Fun With JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES: Battle for the Book

jake and the never land pirates battle for the book reviewAs a mom, I think Disney Junior makes the best animated television shows for little kids. Even though we usually only watch them on DVD, I couldn’t be happier that my own kids love Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Never Land Pirates!

best jake and the never land pirates dvdLast week we celebrated the release of Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book with the DVD and some fun toys!

When Wendy’s special Storybook is stolen by Captain Hook, Jake and his mates go to London to help Peter Pan’s friend (from the classic movie Peter Pan). 

The longer the book is out of Wendy’s hands, the more she and her brothers (John and Michael) forget about their past adventures on Never Land. 

The battle for the book continues in Never Land, where Hook plans to destroy the book and its stories in the legendary Ring of Blue Fire.  It’s up to our young heroes to save Wendy’s Storybook and the Story of Peter Pan!

Disney sent us the Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book movie, along with these toys:

jake and the never land pirates cannon popper1. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Cannon Popper

jake and the never land pirates scully2. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Skully Plush

jake and the never land pirates figurine figures set3. Jake and the Never Land Pirates Figure Play Set

best jake and the never land pirates dvd movie

We had a great time watching the Battle for the Book DVD and and an even better time playing with the Jake and the Never Land Pirates toys!

As for the Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book movie, I think I loved it almost as much as Haiden and Piper did!

It’s no secret that I’m a gigantically huge Disney fan, and I think the classic animated films have something really special about them. I love that this DVD has more than a hint of the magic in the original Peter Pan! Not only is the story based on Wendy’s book, Peter Pan himself makes an appearance, too!

Adding to the fun with this particular DVD is the Jake and the Never Land Pirates bandanna that comes with it. It has a checkerboard printed on it and it comes with little silver and gold cardboard coins to use as checkers.

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book has a list price of $19.99, but it can usually be found for under$15 (and eligible for FREE shipping) at Amazon!

Exclusive: On the Set of Marvel’s Agent Carter! #ABCTVEvent #AgentCarter

agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

exclusive marvels agent carter

Last week I revealed that I was lucky enough to get the inside details on Agent Carter, including interviewing top Marvel Executives and screening extended clips from the show. What I didn’t reveal was  that I actually visited the Agent Carter set, met Hayley Atwell and learned some amazing details about the show and how it’s made!

Gigi Melton Agent Carter costume designer

Gigi Melton photo credit: Marvel

One of the many incredibly interesting things we did on the set was meet Agent Carter’s costume designer, Gigi Melton. This woman was a wealth of interesting information. She told me things about designing costumes that absolutely blew my mind!

First, the costume designer’s goal is to make everyone look absolutely true to the period the show is set in. In this case, Agent Carter is set in 1946. Melton has clearly become an expert at textiles, clothing construction and styles of that era.

The costume designers know that the Great Depression then WWII both occurred shortly before Agent Carter’s time period. Because of that, fabric was scarce and men’s ties were made with a minimal amount of fabric. There were no linings, no extra folds or seams to waste fabric. After Gigi Melton explained this, it totally made sense that she would actually be able to recognize the exact year a tie was made!

Photo credit: Marvel

Photo credit: Marvel

Melton and her team also made a bunch of fantastic inspiration boards to highlight key colors and just feelings that they were attempting to capture for each character. Getting a glimpse of these inspiration boards would be interesting. Being able to study them in detail was spectacular!

Then we moved into the SSR office and were set free to explore and take it all in.

Marvel's agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

I don’t know why, but I always assume almost everything on a set is fake. Like, I think props are made from styrofoam and furniture that looks heavy is actually made of plastic. I’m. always. wrong!

I learned that every effort is made to keep the set authentic. That means actual vintage typewriters, phones and all office supplies were sourced and found to use instead of creating replicas. It was all super interesting!

set of agent carter

Photo credit: Marvel

I think the magic of Disney/Marvel/ABC trips like these is that bloggers like me are treated like professionals while being given an ultimate fan experience. Example: In the midst of all the information about costumes and props and how the set is used, the Marvel executives let us all have our picture (by the Marvel photographer) taken at Agent Peggy Carter’s desk!

blog trip agent carter set

Photo credit: Marvel

The absolute icing on the cake of the set visit was actually meeting Hayley Atwell, who plays Agent Peggy Carter on Marvel’s Agent Carter.  In addition to taking photos with all of us, she was so kind and answered plenty of questions about her background, her costumes and much more!

On describing the character of Agent Carter, Atwell said, [Agent Carter is] capable, she’s intelligent, she’s vulnerable and she’s living this double life, having to juggle so many things at once. 

Based on what I’ve seen of Agent Carter, I love her description and really think it’s spot on! I can’t wait to see more of Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter!

Check out this teaser to get a better idea of how amazing Marvel’s Agent Carter is:

Be sure to follow Marvel’s Agent Carter on these social media channels to stay on top of all the details:

  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Facebook
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Twitter
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Tumblr
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Pinterest
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Google +

All photo credits: Marvel

Disclosure: Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for the press trip and all experiences encompassed in it. 

Marvel’s ANT-MAN: New Teaser Trailer and Poster! #AntMan

paul rudd as ant man

Since I say this pretty much every time I write about a Marvel movie, I think I should be clear: I’m determined to make a Marvel fan out of everyone!

I’m definitely unlikely Marvel fan myself, so I understand why you might not get the hype. But trust me, if you start watching Marvel’s brand of superhero movies, you won’t be disappointed!

Ant-Man is one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2015. One reason I’m excited? The Ant-Man screenplay is by Adam McKay and Paul Rudd. Yay!

Watch this trailer to get the first taste of why fans are so excited:

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man” when master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats.

If that’s not enough, take a look at this crazy new Ant-Man movie poster:

ant-man movie poster

Marvel’s Ant Man will be released in the United States on July 17, 2015. 

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.”

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats.

Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip “Ti” Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Wood Harris as Gale, Jordi Mollà as Castillo and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.

Peyton Reed directs Marvel’s “Ant-Man” with Kevin Feige producing and Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Edgar Wright and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and the screenplay is by Adam McKay & Paul Rudd.

An Exclusive Look Inside Marvel’s Agent Carter! #ABCTVEvent #AgentCarter

exclusive marvel's agent carterexclusive marvels agent carter

I’ve been waiting for this day for almost exactly two months: It’s the day Marvel’s Agent Carter premieres on ABC, and it’s also the day I can start sharing the exclusive details on Marvel’s Agent Carter that I learned on the last ABC and Disney press trip I was on!

One reason I like the entire Marvel cinematic universe that Disney is doing is because of the empowered females. Yes, it’s dominated by males, but the women created by Marvel definitely show that females are powerful. Plus, nothing makes me want to jump out of my seat and pump my fist like watching an awesome woman kick butt as well or better than any man around :)

exclusive marvel agent carter quotesThis is all leading to my crazy excitement over Marvel’s Agent Carter, a show created by some of the best storytellers around that features the toughest leading lady you’d ever want to find.

exclusive agent carter interviews

Photo credit: Marvel


About Marvel’s Agent Carter:

It’s 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad.

Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark.

Who is Agent Peggy Carter?

Agent Peggy Carter (played by Haley Atwell) has a background that will likely be familiar to some of you. She first appeared in the 1940’s as the love interest of Steve Rogers in Captain America. It was Agent Peggy Carter who Steve Rogers spoke his last words to before his plane crashed at the end of the film.

After Captain America, Agent Peggy Carter and all of her girl power glory were showcased in Agent Carter, her own Marvel One-Shot short film on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray. Peggy Carter has since appeared in a handful of flashbacks on ABC’s hit series, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

All of this has been leading up to Marvel’s Agent Carter, the new series that’s appearing during the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mid-season break!

I sat down with Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, and Louis D’Espostio, Co-President of Marvel Studios, to learn more about the how Marvel’s Agent Carter came about and why it’s a show we all shouldn’t miss.

exclusive agent carter

Jeph Loeb and Louis D’Esposito | Photo credit: Marvel

Make no mistake, Jeph Loeb and Louis D’Esposito are absolute forces in the entertainment industry. To see them both speak with such passion for this product and such clear admiration for Haley Atwell, who plays Agent Peggy Carter, was enough to hook me before I saw a single clip of the show!

If you’ve seen the Marvel One-Shot Agent Carter, you’ll notice that the television show doesn’t follow exactly the same story as the short film, which ends with the beginning of S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead, the show goes back all the way to the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve).

Loeb and D’Esposito explained that they wanted to show the journey to S.H.I.E.L.D. instead of a making a television show that looked a lot like it’s modern-setting counterpart.

They also said starting a show with Agent Carter running S.H.I.E.L.D. would “put her in a position where she’s already empowered. For us, the Marvel hero has to overcome something in order to be an even better hero. It’s a more interesting challenge.”

When asked if we were going to see more of Agent Carter in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we were told, “I think it’s safe to say that it’s all connected.”

This led to the question of Marvel Easter eggs in general (who doesn’t love them?!?). “We love planting Easter eggs,” said D’Esposito, “but we don’t want to turn into an Easter egg farm.” Meaning, they carefully evaluate and place each little surprise and connection to make sure it doesn’t overpower what the audience should be focused on.

I screened extended clips of the first and second episodes during the interview, and I was beyond impressed with the show. I’m definitely going to be watching Agent Carter tonight, and you should, too!

Check out this teaser to get a better idea of how amazing Marvel’s Agent Carter is going to be:

Be sure to follow Marvel’s Agent Carter on these social media channels to stay on top of all the details:

  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Facebook
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on Twitter
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Tumblr
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Pinterest
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter on  Google +

All photo credits: Marvel

Disclosure: Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for the press trip and all experiences encompassed in it. 

Magic, Mowgli, Mind Tricks, Monkeys, Ant Man and More! The 2015 Disney Studios Slate!

2015 walt disney studios scheduleAmazing, exciting things are coming this year for all of us by way of Disney!

If you need a refresher, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributes films produced by:

  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios
  • Pixar Animation Studios
  • Lucasfilm
  • Marvel Studios
  • Disneynature
  • Dreamworks Studios

That means there a wide array of films in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to see so many of them!

The 2015 Walt disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate:

January 23, 2015: Strange Magic
View the Strange Magic trailer.

February 20, 2015: McFarland, USA
View the McFarland, USA trailer

March 13, 2015: Cinderella
View the latest Cinderella trailer and everything else I’ve shared about the Cinderella!

April 17, 2015: Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom
View the Monkey Kingdom trailer.

May 1, 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron
View the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer and everything else released about the The Avengers sequel!

May 22, 2015: Tomorrowland
View the Tomorrowland trailer.

June 19, 2015: Inside Out
Watch the Inside Out trailer and check out the rest of the Inside Out news!

July 17, 2015: Ant-Man
Watch this link for more Ant-Man news!

October 9, 2015: The Jungle Book

October 16, 2015: “The Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller”

November 25, 2015: The Good Dinosaur

December 18, 2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer and read all the Star Wars news!

I’ve actually already seen McFarland, USA and I highly recommend it! Beyond that, I’m extra-excited for more than a few of these movies.

As you likely already know, I love to share Disney news on I’ll be sure to post all the exciting trailers, posters and everything else on these movies as they land in my inbox!

Top 5 Reasons to Watch #Galavant: Joshua Sasse, Alan Menken and More! #ABCTVEvent

exclusive galavant no spoilers

reasons to watch galavant

Back in November 2014, Disney and ABC flew me out to LA for a little Disney press trip that I might have mentioned one or two times :) The trip was amazing in a ton of different ways, and I’ve been waiting to share my exclusive experience about ABC’s new show, Galavant!

‘Galavant’ is a medieval musical comedy that follow sthe adventures of Galavant, a dashing hero who is determined to reclaim his reputation and his “Happily Ever After” by going after the evil King Richard, who ruined it the moment he stole the love of Galavant’s life, Madalena.

The episodes will chronicle Galavant’s journeys (and the twists and turns that go along with them) through musical numbers composed and written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

As soon as I found out I was going to get an inside look into Galavant, I found this teaser trailer:

As a gigantic musical theater fan, it’s no surprise that the little video blew me away. It also left me wanting so much more, including details on how I could convince everyone else to watch Galavant with me!

After my meeting and interviews with these people, I have tons of reasons why everyone will want to watch Galavant! Here’s who I had the pleasure of interviewing:

  • Alan Menken: Academy and Tony Award-winning composer of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors and more.
  • Glenn Slater: Grammy Award-winning lyricist of Tangled and stage adaptations of The Little Mermaid and Sister Act: The Musical.
  • Dan Fogelman: Writer from films like Tangled, Cars, Cars 2  Bolt. 
  • Joshua Sasse: Stage and film actor with roles in various films, television shows and musical theater productions.

5 Reasons to Watch Galavant:

1. The concept!

One YouTube commenter put it perfectly:

“So, if Monty Python and the characters from The Princess Bride walked into Disney World, this is what would happen, right?” 


Dan Fogelman, the writer for Galavant, also said, “If you like Princess Bride, Game of Thrones and Monty Python, you’re more likely to like this show than those that don’t.”

2. The music!

When I first read about Galavant my inner 14 year-old was squealing. Alan Menken is the composer for this show. He’s the man responsible for making the music that shaped my musical history.

alan menken galavantDreams of playing in the orchestra for scores from films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid motivated me to play the French horn and play it well. That music was also the gateway to my theater fandom.

As it turns out, Alan Menken creates more magic than can actually ever be used. I learned that the volume of his compositions far exceed what can ever be used. The thought of all that music left on the cutting room floor makes me want to cry a little bit, but I can’t wait to hear everything that was kept. Since there are 33 musical moments in just eight episodes of Galavant, so there will be plenty to listen to!

3. The scenery! 

Every episode of Galavant is filmed on location in England and the scenery is real. Remember, the show is set in Medieval times. That means castles. And the castles that you see in the show are real. You’ll be seeing a lot of true historic sites as you watch Galavant.

4. It’s written with families in mind! 

Galavant was written with the understanding that families would be watching it together.

That’s not to say that there’s not humor aimed at adults. But Dan Fogelman said, “We try to make adult jokes that kids won’t understand. It’s adult humor that adults can watch, but hopefully there’s nothing that crosses the line.”

I think that kind of humor is something we see in a lot of contemporary animated films, and it’s fun to be on the side of getting both meanings!

5. The cast and guest stars! 

Galavant is played by the incredibly charismatic Joshua Sasse, and we were lucky enough to meet him:

galavant joshua sasse spoilers

Further, the eight episodes that are showing this month are packed with guest stars we all know and love. Watch Galavant and you’ll be seeing: Weird Al Yankovic, John Stamos, Ricky Gervais, Hugh Bonneville and Rutger Hauer among the talented cast!

As I stated at the beginning of this post, Galavant premieres January 4th at 8:00 pm EST and you can watch it every Sunday night in January!  

Follow Galavant on social media to stay caught up with all the news!

Photo credits: Staci Salazar and ABC Television.