Month: November 2013

A Mom’s Review of Disney’s Frozen

FrozenDo you have plans to see Frozen this holiday season?

Due to an early dismissal day at school yesterday, Gavin, my six-year-old and I spent this afternoon in the theater watching Disney’s latest movie release, Frozen.  Determined not to be influenced by other reviews, I made sure not to read anything Frozen related that came my way before seeing the movie.  Of course I couldn’t avoid the marketing campaign Disney put out there, so I did hear that one critic pronounced Frozen to be the best Disney film since The Lion King…pretty big shoes to fill.  Regardless, this review is my thoughts, as a mom and a Disney Enthusiast, typed out for you to read.  I am not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.  Having said that, on with my review.

My Thoughts As Mom

As a mom of two small children, I’d recommend seeing Frozen and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase the movie to add to our DVD collection.  Much like other Disney animated films, it was a beautiful movie with adorable, strong fun-loving characters.  If you have a little princess in your home, she’s going to love this film and the new dresses she’ll be adding to her wardrobe. On a serious note, the lessons taught within the film are those that we all want our children to know and exercise.  Family is important and sacrificing for those we love is how we all should live our lives.  The acceptance of differences in others will lead to true happiness for everyone and being selfish only results in exclusion and misery.

My Thoughts as a Disney Enthusiast

As a Disney Enthusiast,  I enjoyed the film but didn‘t leave the theater ready to purchase another ticket to see it again.  The film’s storyline played out in classic Disney format with the use of music.  The soundtrack was playful, but at times heart wrenching.  The songs were fun and a bit more trendy than I expected.    However, one major detail jumped out at me.  Idina Menzel , whom voiced Elsa, the Queen,  previously voiced The Wicked Witch of the West in the Broadway musical rendition of Wicked.  Anytime Disney chooses an actor who’s voice is to give life to a character, I feel that it should be a voice that the new character could own.     As soon as Idina’s beautiful voice hit my ears I couldn’t get her other role out of my head.  It was a huge disappointment for me since the two characters are so different.  I feel that the association of the Wicked Witch to Elsa was then formed in my head and it was hard not to allow the association mold my feelings about Elsa.

The animation was exquisite. There were moments in the film where not only are you saying, “Wow”, but the animated characters are too!  The landscapes were nothing short of magical.  The sisters, Elsa and Anna could easily be told apart, due to their hair, skin coloring and mannerisms.  However, I’m disappointed in what I call Disney’s new “bowling ball head” animation.  Soon after Disney and Pixar joined forces, the change happened.  Now I feel as if every female character in a Disney or Pixar film looks as if they are related to the Incredible family.  From Merida in Brave, to Mrs. Fredrickson in Up and now Elsa and Anna, they all appear to be long-lost family.  Maybe I’m being too harsh, but take a look at all of the princesses before Merida and they have distinguishing features and characteristics that make them relatable in the real world.  Don’t get me wrong, the film’s animation was breathtaking, fabulous, and outstanding but I’m being honest when I’m harshly reviewing the human animation.

The storyline was surprising.  I immediately fell in love with the two sisters and had tears in my eyes within the first twenty minutes.  The character development of the two sisters was perfect.  It was wonderful to see a storyline based on sibling love and fantastic to watch a “not-so-typical” fairytale ending.   However, there were moments that  I felt like the movie was rushed.  At the end of Frozen my son said, “That was short.”  I agree.  Although the length of the film wasn’t short (103 minutes which is actually 3 minutes longer than Tangled), we left feeling as if there could have been more.

So, is Frozen as good as The Lion King?

I’m not sold on that statement.  Frozen is a good film and both my son and I enjoyed it.  But I would not place it in the same room as The Little Mermaid ( also a story line inspired by a Hans Christian Anderson story), Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin or The Lion King.



Disney Christmas List: Disney Infinity


Are you wondering what the Disney Infinity game is all about?

I was.  My six-year-old son Gavin REALLY wants this game from Santa.  My husband and I don’t play video games and therefore had no idea what to think when he asked for it for Christmas.  Before deciding on whether or not Santa would bring this new game, I visited by my good friend, Art, at his home for an overview of the game and some trust worthy feed back.  Art has two elementary age children and has had the game since its first day of availability.  I knew he’d be the perfect person to share the good, bad and surprising things about the game and how it relates to young children.  After spending about an hour watching him play, asking him questions and talking with his children, I left his home with a better understanding of the game, how it works and the knowledge to decide if it is appropriate for my son to get Disney Infinity from Santa.  Today I’d love to help you get to know the game a little, so you could decide if you’re adding Disney Infinity to your Christmas shopping list.

Basic Disney Infinity Information

If you’ve opened any toy sales flyer or entered into any video game store, you’ve probably seen the really cool Disney Infinity figurines.  There’s currently 23 figurines available today, with an additional six figurines planned to be released by the end of this year.  I can honestly say that as soon as I saw the figurines I was intrigued by the game.  Seeing them out of the box, they’re even better- great construction and spot on with the character representation.

As for the gaming side of the figurines, here’s the scoop.  There are two different ways to play Disney Infinity and they are referred to as the “Play Set Mode” and the “Toy Box Mode”.  The “Play Set Mode” is the official name for the characters playing a game in their own world.  For example, Sulley plays in a game that takes plays on the Monster’s University campus.  The “Toy Box Mode” is the where players can customize their own game and play with any of the Disney Infinity figurines in the same game.  For example, Captain Jack Sparrow and Mr. Incredible can play together in a world that your child creates.

This photo was taken from Wikipedia..
This photo was taken from Wikipedia.

This photo is of the Disney Infinity starter pack.  The starter pack is what you’d purchase if you chose to  buy the game and it retails for approximately $75 US.  It includes three characters (Sulley, Jack Sparrow and Mr. Incredible), their three different worlds disc and also the Infinity Base.  Now before you look at all the other cool character figures (priced separately at approximately $12.99 each) and start to buy your favorites, there’s something key that you should know.  Each character belongs in their own world when your playing in “Play Set Mode”.  To unlock each world you have to purchase the world’s play set that includes the world disc.  Here’s an example, to play with the Mater figure you will need to use the world disc that is included in the Lighting McQueen and Holley Cars Play Set.  Once you have the world disc you can play with Mater within the Cars world.  Since the starter pack comes with a three world disc you can play within the Monsters world, the Pirates world and the Incredibles world and therefore any of the figurines from their respective movies will work within those worlds.

Mouse Ears Mom’s Thoughts

The game states clearly on the box that its intended for children 10 years old and above.  To some degree I agree with the rating.  Creating in “Toy Box Mode” I believe would be extremely hard for my six-year-old son.  In actuality, it would be hard for me to build my own game and I’m 36 years old!  The concept is super cool and after some serious time spent learning I’m sure a 10-year-old would have a lot of fun designing and playing their own game.  For anyone with an older child, I’d encourage you to purchase this game for that “mode”  alone.  It’s a fantastic way for children to be creative.

In addition to the “Toy Box Mode” complexity,  there are several worlds in the “Play Set Mode”  that I wouldn’t allow my son to play at six years old.  I don’t feel as if the Incredibles, Pirates or Lone Ranger worlds are appropriate due to cartoon violence using guns and swords.  Granted, I may be a bit more restrictive than most parents, but I feel you should be aware of it before you purchase the game for little ones under the age of 10.  On a positive note, I give Disney credit that there is no blood or gore in the game, as characters simply fall apart and disappear.

Although I’ve told you a few reasons why this game isn’t appropriate for a six-year-old, here’s why I’m going to give Santa a thumbs up for Disney Infinity.  Playing the game in “Play Set Mode” within the Monsters, Cars and Toy Story worlds will be a lot of fun for my son and will be a challenge that he can work to complete.  In addition, the “Toy Box Mode” is beyond measurable in terms of creativity.  I know that he’ll be able to grow with this game and expect before he’s ten he’ll be capable of creating in the “Toy Box Mode”.  Most importantly the game is interesting to everyone in our family.  We’ll play it together during this long winter we’re entering.  I think Santa’s going to have to bring Mommy or Daddy a controller this Christmas!

Are you ready for Black Friday?  I’ve read that Disney Infinity will be selling for roughly half the suggested retail price.  Keep your eyes open for sales flyers!





Disney Christmas List- Disney Pixar’s Monsters University and Disney’s Planes DVDs

Do your kids have Disney Pixar’s Monsters University or Disney’s Planes DVDs on their Christmas List?  Have you seen these films yet?

 If you haven’t seen them yet, but would like to know more about the films before purchasing them for your children, I’ve reviewed both of them for you.  Below you’ll find the links to each review and I’ve also included some ideas on how to have a fun DVD viewing party for each.

Monsters University

Monsters UniversityHere’s the link to read my Monsters University Review:

If you’ve already experienced this film and want to throw a little Monsters University DVD viewing party, surprise your little monsters with a cupcake monster making station.  Here’s how we made our monster cupcakes.

Cupcake Sulley and Cupcake Mike
Cupcake Sulley and Cupcake Mike

Disney Planes

planes logo

Here is the link to my Disney Planes review:

If you’ve already experienced this film and want to have some high-flying fun, here are some treat and craft ideas to do with your children.

Dusty cookie popsDusty Cookie Pops

You can find the tutorial here:

Airplane Garland

Airplane Garland

Find my free printable template here:

Planes cupcakes

Planes Cupcakes

You can find out how to make these here:

As you might imagine, on the top of my six-year-old son’s list for Santa is the Disney Planes DVD.  Tonight, he’ll be delivering his wish list to the big man.  Have your kids visited Santa yet?

What Disney items are on your little Mouseketeer’s list for Santa?

Mouse Ears Mom’s Christmas 2013 Toy Review and Giveaway

Lego Giveaway 001I had planned on starting this week with reviews on this Christmas’s top requested Disney themed toys.  However, my family and friends had so much fun at our Disney Lego duplo party this past weekend, I decided to share with you the party details and easy Lego themed treat tutorial first. Now having experienced 19 children playing with Lego duplo’s Disney-themed building bricks, I’d like to begin this week’s toy review by sharing my thoughts on these products.  As I mentioned earlier this week, Lego and House Party provided me with six of their newest sets, in exchange for hosting a Lego duplo themed House Party.  My reviews of these building sets are exclusively my opinions and do not reflect those of Lego duplo, House Party or anyone other than myself.  Having said that, on with my review.

Lego duplo currently offers three Disney Planes themed building sets, three Disney Junior Jake and the Never Land Pirates sets and five Disney Princess sets.  I was given all three Disney Planes and Jake sets for the children to play with during the party.  After observing the kids playing, here are my thoughts on each.

Disney’s Planes

lego set 005Lego duplo bricks are roughly double the size of  regular Lego bricks, making them harder to swallow and easier for little hands to work with- both awesome.   The Disney Planes Lego duplo building sets are made for children ages 2-5 and I believe can be enjoyed by Disney Plane enthusiasts beyond age 5, especially if they like to play with the toys once building is complete.   My favorite thing about all of the Planes sets is that the Plane character Legos come in solid body pieces and little ones only need to add the wheels. It’s fantastic because the planes do not fall apart easily. Each building set comes with a minimum of two characters and a Lego based setting for them to play in.  It’s nice that the “setting”, whether it’s the flight school, the air race or Chugs fuel station, is what your child will create with the bricks.  Therefore they’re using their motor skills and learning about colors and the finished product remains stable.  We love Legos in our house, but my six-year-old gets extremely frustrated when in the past he has spent a half hour building a set and then it falls apart easily and he can’t play with it.  I can’t say enough positive things about the Disney Plane Lego duplo sets.  He’s played with these Disney Planes sets for four days!    All three Plane sets have been great for both my 2-year-old and my six-year-old.  Both children are able to feel a sense of accomplishment in playing with these and I’d recommend them!

Disney Junior’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates

Lego Party 055Doesn’t every toddler and preschooler love Jake and the Never Land Pirates?  The smallest building set is 22 pieces and the largest set, Jake’s Pirate Ship Bucky at 56 pieces.  They’re perfect for the recommended age of 2 to 5 years of age.  Of course everyone’s favorite was Jake’s pirate ship.  The ship’s cannon shoots!  Each set comes with at least one character.  Jake’s Treasure Hunt includes Jake.  The Never Land Hideout, featuring a cool slide that my daughter loves and includes Izzie and Cubbby and the large Pirate Ship Bucky set includes Jake and Captain Hook.  If you have a Pirate fan in your house, I suggest getting the Ship.  The completed set is something that your child will play with over and over.  It stays together really well.  You’ll enjoy helping your little one put this building set together too!


Everyone at the party enjoyed these sets so much.  I know you and your kids will too!  So Monday I went straight to Toys R Us, and purchased Jake’s Treasure Hunt for a Giveaway!  The set consists of 22 pieces, including Jake and his parrot friend, Skully.  My two-year-old daughter loves the boat that’s included.   Lego Jake attaches in the boat, so he stays where she wants him too.  She’s actually managed to fit four characters in the little boat!  If you’re a fan of Mouse Ears Mom on Facebook, or choose to become a fan today you’ll be able to enter the Giveaway!  To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disney Princess

ariel lego
This photo is a Lego dupo website photo.

 There are five Disney Princess Lego Duplo branded sets:  Cinderella’s Caste, Ariel’s Undersea Castle, Ariel’s Magical Boat Ride, Cinderella’s Carriage and Snow White’s Cottage.

Other than seeing these products on-line and in stores, I haven’t had the experience of having my children play with these sets.  I’m not going to review them because of that.  However, I can say my daughter has a couple of these sets on her list!  At the moment, one is sitting in my closet waiting for some pretty wrapping paper.

Stop by Lego duplo website for more photos and product descriptions.

I hope this week’s reviews will help you get your shopping list ready for next week’s big shopping day!  In the meantime, enter to win one Jake and the Never Land Pirates Lego duplo set.  You’ll know on Thanksgiving Day if you’re the winner!

Just click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lego Treat Pops

Lego Treat PopsDo your kids love Legos?

This past weekend I hosted a fun Disney Lego Duplo play date for 19 little Mousketeers and their parents.  It’s hard to say which Disney character themed Lego Duplo set was the favorite.  However, it’s easy for me to tell you what party treat was the favorite.  These colorful and sweet Lego themed pops disappeared from the snack table before the first hour was over!  If you’d like to throw your own Disney Lego play date, these treats couldn’t possibly be easier to make.

Rice KrispiesWalking through the grocery store the night before party I found Kellogg’s  snack size Rice Krispies Treats.  Since I was short on time and wanted to make a “Lego- Inspired” treat, they worked perfectly.  I purchased three boxes, a tub of white icing and a large package of M & M’s candies.  These treats were completed in record time and I’m pretty sure they were eaten in record time too. Simply complete steps 1,2 & 3 and you’re done!

  1. Unwrap the treats and insert a cookie pop stick in the bottom.
  2. Use food coloring to create several different colors and ice your bricks.
  3. Add six color coordinating M & M candies to each brick.

Lego Party 022Have you had the opportunity to see or play with Lego Duplo’s new building brick line which are themed Disney?  Tomorrow on the blog I’ll be sharing my review of Lego Duplo’s Jake and the Never Land Pirates line and Disney Planes.

Also, stop back for a giveaway announcement.  Let’s just say that today I went shopping!

If you missed yesterday’s post about our special Disney Lego themed party, you can find it here.