December Disney Dare – #DisneyDare

Two blog posts in one week, crazy right?! My friend Chris (who happens to be the amazing designer behind my blog!) and I decided to team up to host a Disney movie challenge for December. We’re both avid Disney fans and we’ve both been to Disney World in the past couple of months and we wanted to make an effort to watch as many Disney films as possible in the next month.  Then we decided it would be fun to open up our challenge to anyone who wants to participate along with us!  I’m so excited to immerse myself in some of my favorite classics (particularly Beauty and the Beast’s Enchanted Christmas because December) in the upcoming weeks and I hope you’ll join us as well.  You can read all the rules below and see Chris’s magical graphic!

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The Dates: Runs from December 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 (Movies watched prior to December 1st do not count for the challenge).  You’re able to join anytime throughout the month and the link-up will be open through December 31st.

The Dare: To watch as many Disney / Pixar animated films as possible!  Maybe you’ve missed out on a recent film or two? Well, this is the perfect opportunity to play some catch up!  Maybe you’ve always wanted to watch the films in chronological order? (if so, here’s a handy list of all of Disney’s animated theatrical films in order of release date)  Or perhaps you want to spend your holiday season reliving your favorite magical Disney moments?  If any (or all) of these challenges peak your interest, then we dare you!

The Details: This is a low-key challenge for all the Disney lovers out there so you can feel free to set your own goal or aim for one of our tiers:

1 – 4 films – Moana (Newbie Disney Fan)

5 – 8 films – Aurora (Rather be Sleeping Disney Fan)

9 – 12 films – Stitch (Crazy for Disney Fan)

13 – 16 – Ariel (Disney Film Hoarding Fan)

17 – 20 films – Rapunzel (Diligent Disney Fan)

21+ films – Snow White (Ultimate Disney Fan)

The Deal: Films that qualify for this challenge encompass all of the animated Disney and Pixar films.  Live action films and Marvel films do not count for this challenge.

You can join in the challenge by entering the link-up below!  If you don’t have a blog, you can also declare your intent to participate on Twitter and enter the link up that way.

And don’t forget to use the hashtag #DisneyDare when tweeting about your progress or while reviewing any films to connect with other Disney fans!

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News & Stuff #4: NYCC Edition

Last weekend I was one of the chosen ones who were able to acquire an NYCC 4-day pass so that is where I spent my days!  There was so much exciting news that came out of New York Comic Con that I wanted to make a video to share some of my favorite upcoming things.  One thing I forgot to include in my video is that VIZ Media is coming out with a Pokemon art book! I cannot wait.  Gimme all the Pokemon things.  Also is it Sun & Moon release day yet?! Anyway, I think Marvel was the clear news winner at NYCC this year but I’m also super excited about the new Shoujo manga that Kodansha got licenses for.  What are you most looking forward to?

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BookTube: News + GIVEAWAY!

Today I’m sharing a general news video about things I’m excited for and I’m also teaming up with Disney books to give away a copy of Serafina and the Black Cloak and Serafina and the Twisted Staff to one lucky reader! Some of the things I touch upon are the Mistborn board game Kickstarter, Neil Gaiman’s new book, the upcoming Beauty and the Beast film, Pokemon GO and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tea & Movie Chat: Finding Dory

Andrew and I had the pleasure of seeing an early screening of Pixar’s newest film, Finding Dory, last night and I have to say that I loved every minute of it.  Often sequels are nowhere near as good as their predecessors and one of the most challenging obstacles is to turn a side character into a main character, and harder yet is to do it well.  Finding Dory excels on all of these points.  As we all know from Finding Nemo, Dory is an optimistic fish that suffers from short term memory loss.  She’s endearing and her constant confusion leads to plenty of laughs for the audience but in Finding Dory, her songs and rhymes adapt a deeper meaning.  Dory begins having memories of her parents and story takes off from there.  She, Marlin and Nemo set off on another cross ocean adventure as Dory tries to piece together the few memories that begin to resurface.

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My favorite character is hands down Hank the octopus who is voiced by Ed O’Neill.  Hank is desperate to avoid being released into the ocean and he begrudgingly assists Dory in her search.  He perpetuates a tough guy exterior but it’s clear he has a lot more heart than he lets on.  And his constant camouflaging to evade humans is extremely comical.  I also loved Destiny, the mostly blind whale voiced by Kaitlin Olson who is super friendly and positive despite always bumping into walls.  Oh and I have to say that Dory is the cutest fish baby.  Her flashbacks of her parents teaching her about her memory loss are heartwarming to the max.  I wanted to reach into the screen to hug her and tell her that everything would be okay.

Overall, the message that Finding Dory tackles is so important.  Just because Dory is different, it doesn’t mean that she’s incapable of solving problems in her own way.  Sometimes, thinking outside the box is necessary!  Dory proves that different is good and she will no doubt be a role model for anyone living with any type of ailment that’s made them feel inadequate at some point.  There were quite a few moments where I found myself tearing up whether it be out of sadness or joy for the lovable marine life.  To get personal for a moment,I always found Dory to be hilarious in Finding Nemo but in the past year my grandmother has been suffering with Alzheimer’s so Dory’s memory loss as portrayed in this new installment really hit home for me.  I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be to know something or someone important but be unable to recall what / who it is.  I felt a deep emotional connection to Dory and I was rooting for her all the way.

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Art Gallery: Anime ‘Captain America: Civil War’

If there was ever a mash up that I didn’t know I needed, it’s this Anime version of Captain America: Civil War.  I obviously loved the live action film wholeheartedly (I’m having trouble ranking my favorite Marvel films but it definitely sits within the top two spots for me) and anime, especially the animation and art style are up there in my favorite art styles so this mash up really speaks to me! All of the artwork is done by Bin1 Production and it mashes Captain America: Civil War with The Idolmaster.  There are mild Civil War spoilers in the artwork so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.  My favorite character drawn below is the female version of Spider-Man holding Cap’s shield<3

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Trailer Reaction: Beauty & the Beast Teaser

Talk about a teaser! The trailer released yesterday for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast film is only one minute and thirty one seconds and it only gives us the tiniest glimpse of what’s coming.  First things first, is it me or does that castle look awfully similar to Hogwarts?!  A very fitting aesthetic for a film Emma Watson is going to be starring in!  Then we see the unused ballroom which is covered with cobwebs and decorated in golds fine enough for a French King.  It’s very Marie Antoinette, but it still keeps that gothic vibe.  All of the candles in the next shot remind me of being on that main ride at Harry Potter World and I was half expecting the Sorting Hat to be placed within one of those alcoves in the wall.  “Belle (no last name)… better be… RAVENCLAW!”  The we see what I can only assume is the tiny little child version of the Beast and we hear his guttural grunt when he slashes the painting with his claw.  As the castle door slowly creaks open in the next scene and we hear the iconic phrases uttered by Ewan McGregor (Lumiere) and Ian McKellan (Cogsworth)- Look a girl! Maybe she is the one!- and my heart near exploded with joy.  I cannot even come close to expressing how excited I am to see these actors in their new roles.  The FINALLY, we heard Belle’s voice and see a beautifully artistic shot of the Enchanted Rose!!!!!!  We also get the least revealing shot of Belle’s face hiding behind the rose which I feel like barely counts as the first look at Emma Watson as Belle as all these websites have been claiming.

I have to say that I was really hoping to see Belle’s iconic yellow dress or to view what the Beast will look like but since this is only our first teaser, I’m sure those are coming in due time.  I absolutely adore the entire aesthetic of the castle!  I’m so glad they went with a gothic style, especially since Beauty and the Beast really is one of the darker tales.  It feels really fitting and the darker color scheme really allows the deep red rose to pop.   Plus as I mentioned, I got chills as soon as I heard Lumiere and Cogsworth speak with the voices of some incredible actors.  I cannot believe we have to wait almost an entire year for the film!  I know my anticipation has been building ever since the project was announced.  There also hasn’t been any official posters or images released just yet but I’ll be stalking the Disney Twitter account for hope that something will come our way soon.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week is pretty special for two reasons: 1) I’m participating in March into Middle-earth (LINK) so I thought it would be perfect to spotlight a book that’s on brand and since it’s something that I had recently pre-ordered, it basically came to me immediately, and 2) this is the first WoW post I’ve ever created where I’m unable to find the book on Goodreads! I honestly didn’t even know there could be books that aren’t on Goodreads.  They’re so on top of everything!  Anyway, Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies is a new coffee-table book with a pretty self explanatory title.  It seems to be a combination of the previous two books which were released separately (one for LOTR and one for The Hobbit) but of course, there is some new photography exclusive to this edition to entice all of us Tolkien fiends.  Having never owned either of the previous books, I thought this is a pretty good option for me!  There’s a forward by Peter Jackson along with contributions from Richard Taylor, Andy Serkis and Alan Lee.  Since I don’t see any trip to New Zealand in the foreseeable future, this is a great piece of art to tide me over until that day comes!

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Sumptuous hardback gift edition combining the best of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Location Guides, plus brand new photography unique to this book.

In the epic film trilogies created by Peter Jackson, New Zealand has become Middle-earth. From the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps to the rolling hills and Volcanic Plateau of the North Island, the world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit was stunningly re-created on an epic scale.

Photographer Ian Brodie has captured these locations in all their beauty and splendour. Featuring the most breathtaking photographs from his bestselling The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook and The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy Location Guidebook, plus all-new imagery and contributions by Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Andy Serkis and Alan Lee, this is a magnificent record of a historic era in film-making, and a peerless collection of landscape and location photography by a master of his craft.

Featuring contributions from Peter Jackson and other members of the films’ cast and crew, as well as fascinating background to the film-making process, this is the ultimate tribute to the land and its locations. (via Amazon)

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‘Tis the Season: Favorite Christmas Films

I absolutely adore devoting some cold nights of the holiday season to watching my favorite Christmas films from my childhood and watching some new ones in the hopes of finding more favorites.  I compiled a list of the ones I make sure to watch every year along with two new ones I’m hoping to see before the big day.  The first is called The Christmas Dragon and it looks so ridiculous in the best way.  I watched the trailer and it focuses on woodland elves who are trying to save Christmas, evade goblins and they happen upon an iridescent dragon who they befriend and manage to use to fly Santa’s sleigh.  It’s free to watch on Amazon Prime if you’re also interested.  The second is Nativity! and it’s described as an improvised comedy that centers around a school nativity play.  The major selling point on this one is that it stars Martin Freeman!  What are some of your favorite holiday flicks?

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Kristin

GIVEAWAY: Sisters Starring Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

I was so happy when I found out that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were teaming up to release a new film together.  They’re two of the most intelligent and hilarious women and they’re also best friends.  They’re basically the best female duo in Hollywood.  It must’ve been a blast to film together and I can’t wait to see what they’ve created.

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Synopsis

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for Sisters, a new film from Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore about two disconnected sisters summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house.  Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high-school-style party for their classmates, which turns into the cathartic rager that a bunch of ground-down adults really need. 

Fey produces the comedy alongside Jay Roach (Meet the Parents series) and John Lyons (Austin Powers in Goldmember), and Poehler executive produces alongside Jeff Richmond and Brian Bell from a script by Paula Pell (TV’s Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock).

Starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, John Cena, John Leguizamo and Dianne Wiest

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Trailer

GIVEAWAY

One (1) ban.do Giant Gem Speaker, SISTERS Sweatshirt, T-shirt, and party cup will be given away.  Prize pack is valued at $100 and provided by Universal Pictures.  Open to US addresses only.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Official Links

#SistersMovie

Like SISTERS on Facebook

Follow @SistersMovie on Twitter and Instagram

Visit the official website

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Kristin

5 Fandom Friday: Holiday Recommendations

For this week’s 5 Fandom Friday I decided to throw together a little hodgepodge of my favorite holiday recommendations in 5 different categories.  I’m going to be doing a book specific holiday recommendations post next week so I thought it would be nice to compile my top favorite favorites here today.

5 Fandom Friday

1) Book – My True Love Gave To Me – This book is full of short stories set during the holidays.  It’s perfect to read during the season when you can’t devote as much time to reading a full blown novel.  I read it last year and really enjoyed it and I’m planning on re-reading it this year and writing a full review of each tale!

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2) Cookie – Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – My mom makes these every year and I have never been able to resist them when they’re just sitting there on our table basically begging to be eaten.  It’s essentially a shortbread cookie with a scoop of raspberry jam in the middle.  I’m a sucker for raspberry anything so these have always been my holiday favorite!

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3) Drink – Gluhwein – It’s been a tradition in my family since long before I was born for my grandfather to make a huge batch of gluhwein.  It’s a mulled wine (full of tons of liquor) and can be garnished with a cinnamon stick or orange slices. It’s so delightful to warm up a cup on a freezing cold winter night and sip it while reading or watching tv.  Luckily, my grandfather has been teaching my dad and brother to brew his version for the past few years so the recipe will continue to be passed down throughout our family.

Two glasses of  mulled wine on german christkindl markt

 4) Song – Baby It’s Cold Outside – I just adore this song.  Paticularly, the She & Him version.  I play this on repeat without ever feeling the slightest bit sick of it and I love singing along and switching parts or singing both by myself if I’m alone.  Zooey’s vocals are so beautiful<3

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5) Movie – Elf – Elf is one holiday movie that I watch year round.  I love everything about it! The humor, the positive Christmas spirit message it sends and obviously Buddy’s enthusiasm and eating habits.  Andrew and I have been quoting Elf to each other since we met (a sure sign of true love if you ask me).

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BONUS

Decorations – Rolf’s – Andrew and I went to Rolf’s for the first time last year.  We spent at least 1.5 hours (it honestly could’ve been more) waiting outside in the freezing cold December weather just for the opportunity to get inside.  Rolf’s takes Christmas decorations to a whole other level.  It’s like Christmas exploded inside.  Plus, there’s gluhwein!  We’re definitely planning on going back this year because despite the wait, the experience was just perfect.

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Kristin
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