Family Fun at Disneynature’s Bears Movie

bearsmovie2014 is turning into the year for amazing family movies, and one of the best ones around is almost certainly “Bears,” the new True Life Adventure feature from Disneynature.

“Bears” showcases a year in the life of an Alaskan brown bear mother, Sky, and her two impressionable young cubs, Scout and Amber, as they emerge from winter hibernation. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. Narrated by John C. Reilly (whom your kids will recognize from “Wreck-It Ralph”), the movie arrives in theaters April 18 to honor Earth Day.

bear and fishWe had the honor of seeing an early screening of the movie and the film nearly took our breath away. From the jaw-dropping scenery, to the incredible and dramatic moments that the filmmakers were able to capture, we were captivated from start to finish. It is amazing to watch two fierce bears battle over turf, for example, and feel like you’re standing right next to them watching it transpire. The two first-graders we brought to the movie were equally impressed, and they giggled along with all of the bears’ playful moments. Note for kids under age 5: There’s some dramatic tension that may be frightening, but (spoiler alert!) it’s all OK in the end.

3 bears“Bears” is the fifth theatrical release for Disneynature, the first new Disney-branded film label from The Walt Disney Studios in more than 60 years. The label was launched in April 2008 to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to capture a variety of wildlife subjects and stories. The first four releases under the Disneynature label—“Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”—are among the top five highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time.

If you see Bears during its opening week, Disney will make a donation to the National Park Foundation through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to protect wildlife and wild places. To reserve tickets for a large group or class, call 1-888-DISNEY6 .



Million Dollar Arm

Looking for a great family movie? Coming May 16, you’re in for a real treat with “Million Dollar Arm,” the new Disney film about a sports agent who goes looking for the next big Major League Baseball star in India.

million dollar movieFrom the movie description: “In a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm) concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace.  JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of  retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India – the boys, who have never left their rural villages – are equally challenged when they come to the States to train. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball – JB, with the help of his friend Brenda (Lake Bell) – learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.”

We were invited to an early screening of this movie and loved every minute about it, especially the positive messages about hard work, goal-setting, the importance of family, and the genuine good humor throughout the movie. It also offers some fascinating glimpses of life in rural villages in India. We can’t wait for it to open in wide release so that we can take our Little League players who understand all too well how easy the major leaguers make it look…and how hard it is to learn to be a great pitcher in real life.

This is a fun sports movie that we can’t recommend highly enough. Thank you to Disney Pictures for giving us a sneak preview of the film!

Million Dollar Arm is rated PG and opens May 16.

“Delivery Man” Special Delivery

DeliverManI’ve got two kids, and that life is plenty complex, so it’s hard to imagine having….533 kids? But that’s the madcap dilemma that Vince Vaughn faces in “Delivery Man” – a Disney movie coming to theaters on July 22. In the film, Vaughn plays an affable underachiever looking for his purpose in life, when he finds out he’s fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. Now he must decide whether or not to come forward when 142 of them want to meet their biological father.

vincevaughnFor many people, the natural instinct might be to run as far away as possible. But Vaughn begins to realize that this is the “one big thing” that can bring meaning into his life… and he decides to take on the role of “guardian angel” for his offspring.

Why am I writing about it today? – Because I’m just one of 533 bloggers doing a “special delivery” preview of the movie today. This morning all 533 of us are proudly presenting this new, never-before-seen clip on behalf of Disney.


Want to learn more? Follow #DeliveryManMovie on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on Instagram at DeliveryManMovie.

Blogger disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this post; all opinions expressed are my own.

The Lone Ranger

Are you ready for some good, old-fashioned summer adventure? Do you love a classic Western? Or are you just looking for your Johnny Depp fix? Either way, you’re going to have a great time at The Lone Ranger, the new Disney film opening July 3.

loneranger“The Lone Ranger”is an edge-of-your-seat adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes.  Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption. Need any further encouragement? The film was brought to you by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

The story is told in an imaginative fashion, through the eyes and ears of a little boy hearing a very elderly Tonto detail his adventures with the Lone Ranger. The action in the film is huge and it’s infused with humor throughout. Johnny Depp fans will find echoes of his Jack Sparrow character: Tonto, like Capt. Jack, seems to be one of the only true “good guys” among hundreds of criminals and corrupt officials. All in all, it’s quite a ride. Our nine-year-old was completely captivated from start to finish.

Want more? Here’s a sneak preview:

“The Lone Ranger” opens nationwide July 3. Blogger disclosure: We did not receive compensation for this post, although we were invited to a complimentary media screening of the film.

See Chimpanzee for Earth Day

Earth Day is coming up later this week, and what better way to celebrate than with the new movie Chimpanzee from Disney/Disneynature — in theaters on April 20.

Chimpanzee is a true-life adventure deep in the forests of Africa, featuring an adorable young chimpanzee named Oscar and his chimpanzee community. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. When Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimpanzees, he is left to fend for himself — until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever.

Directed by Alastair Fothergill (African Cats and Earth) and Mark Linfield (Earth), the footage is both astonishing and heartwarming. Somehow the filmmakers managed to capture this incredible story as it unfolded in the jungle, and, as narrated by Tim Allen, it’s an engaging story for all ages.

Being one of those people who loves to read movie-making trivia, we were fascinated to learn more about the filming process. (While you’re watching it, you feel so much like you’re in the moment that you forget that there were filmmakers and cameras involved.) Some fun facts about the filming include:

  • Making Chimpanzee took more than 700 days of filming.
  • Getting to the forest where the chimpanzee tribe lived took two days, including a 14-hour drive along bumpy dirt roads where the car would frequently break down miles away from the nearest village. The crew would then carry all the equipment on an hour-long walk to camp.
  • Before filming, the crew had to spend eight days in quarantine to ensure that they did not bring diseases into the forest that could be transmitted to the chimpanzees. They wore masks while filming.
  • While filming, the crew had to stay at least 23 feet away from the chimpanzees.  If a chimpanzee looked at them, it meant they were too close.
  • During filming, the crew suffered bee stings, ant bites, a lightning strike, and the constant threat of snakes and predators.

One last reason to go and see the movie: For everyone who sees Chimpanzee during opening week (April 20-April 26), Disneynature will contribute $.20 per ticket to the Jane Goodall Institute for the Disneynature Tchimpounga Nature Reserve Project with a minimum of $100,000 pledged to this program.

In the meantime, go ahead and enjoy this fun little clip from the movie: