Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season: On Blu-Ray & DVD Today!

Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season Comes to Bluray/DVD Today!
Adventure Time: The Complete 5th Season is on blu-ray/DVD today, and my kids are rejoicing!  For one thing, my kids are crazy about the clever, animated series, and there are also FIFTY-TWO (52) episodes in the set with a collective run time of 572 minutes (9.5 entire hours)!  Cartoon Network's Adventure Time is wonderfully imaginative, and features Finn and (shape-shifting dog) Jake, as they voyage through the Land of Ooo and meet its citizens.

Previously, I wrote about Adventure Time: Frost & Fire, which my kids enjoyed immensely.  It's definitely worth looking into too.

Watch a VIDEO clip of Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season, below.

Here are the 52 episodes that appear in the Adventure Time: The Complete Fifth Season collection:

1. Finn the Human 
2. Jake the Dog 
3. Five More Short Graybles
4. Up a Tree
5. All the Little People
6. Jake the Dad
7. Davey
8. Mystery Dungeon
9. All Your Fault
10. Little Dude
11. Bad Little Boy
12. Vault of Bones
13. The Great Bird Man
14. Simon and Marcy
15. A Glitch Is a Glitch
16. Puhoy
17. BMO Lost
18. Princess Potluck
19. James Baxter the Horse
20. Shh!
21. The Suitor
22. The Party's Over, Isla de SeƱorita
23. One Last Job
24. Another Five More Short Graybles
25. Candy Streets
26. Wizards Only, Fools
27. Jake Suit
28. Be More
29. Sky Witch
30. Frost & Fire
31. Too Old
32. Earth & Water
33. Time Sandwich
34. The Vault
35. Love Games
36. Dungeon Train
37. The Box Prince
38. Red Starved
39. We Fixed a Truck
40. Play Date
41. The Pit
42. James
43. Root Beer Guy
44. Apple Wedding
45. Blade of Grass 
46. Rattleballs
47. The Red Throne
48. Betty
49. Bad Timing
50. Lemonhope (1)
51. Lemonhope (2)
52. Billy's Bucket List

Are your kids or grandkids fans of the Adventure Time series?  What cartoons are the kids currently watching in your household?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Minions Movie Review! Life Before Gru!

Minions Movie is Out in Theatres Everywhere July 10, 2015!
When reviewing kids' movies, the single most important factor to me is whether the kids enjoy it (or not). So, I will begin by stating that all 5 of my children (ages 5- to 10-years old) enjoyed watching the advance screening of the Minions movie (which includes 4 sons, and 1 daughter). To quote my almost 9-year old daughter: "Minions was amazingly amazing!" Get your dictionary ready: throughout the entire Minions movie, Minionese is widely spoken!

Minions Synopsis:
The premise of Universal Pictures'/Illumination Entertainment's animated Minions movie, is that throughout time, Minions (comical, small, yellow, pill-shaped creatures) have been searching for the most wicked master to serve.  Minions tracks their search for such a nefarious boss over the ages--from the primordial soup, to the 1960s hippy era.  However, it seems whichever master the Minions choose to serve, that said master meets an untimely demise.

Without such a master in place, the Minions grow depressed, and Minions Kevin, Stuart and Bob go on a quest to find the evilest boss of all.  As such, they head to Orlando, Florida for a villain convention.  There, they meet baddest of the bad boss Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), and try to convince her to let them become her henchmen.   

Having passed her "henchmen test", it is then that Scarlet Overkill convinces Kevin, Stuart and Bob to steal the Queen of England's royal crown--or risk death!  The loyal Minions so badly want to be ruled by wicked boss Scarlet Overkill, that they agree to her "despicable" plan.  I will stop here to not give away the entire story, but allow me to let this slip: there is a riotous scene in Minions from the musical Hair, so do watch for it!

VIDEO: Watch a movie trailer for Minions, below!

Based on my own reaction and the audience's reaction at the theatre, I would say that the overall reception to Minions was only lukewarm.  I found that the film introduction about "Minions through the ages" was too long, and just not funny.  I was waiting for moments where I could enjoy a hearty laugh with my kids, but these moments rarely arrived.  Many of the movie's jokes and sight gags I just found not funny.  The theatre was mostly devoid of laughter--almost completely from the adults, and few laughs from the kids.  But allow me to reiterate: my kids walked out of the theatre and thoroughly enjoyed Minions.

I did enjoy that Minions had many nods to the parents and grandparents in the audience, with familiar musical choices well-known to our generation.  This did help to hold my interest, at times where it was wavering.

In honesty, I thought that the storyline for Minions was weak.  I missed Gru (Steve Carell), who had appeared in the Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 prequels.  (Read my review of Despicable Me 2 here.) His voice acting and spirit was definitely missed, as was the strong storyline and tender connections we had made with the characters in the Despicable films.  It is also hard not to compare Minions to the prequels, which are much-loved by my children and often rewatched.  I'm also sorry to say it, but I did not enjoy Sandra Bullock as Scarlet Overkill.  Though, the script was not strong, and therein could lie the problem.

Are the Minions strong enough to star in their own movie, or were they best left to supporting roles in the Despicable movies?  My opinion is that the Minions got the best laugh as sidekicks in the prequels, but my kids--the audience for whom the movie was intended--enjoyed it.  Take the kids to see Minions this summer, and they will enjoy it.  They will thank you, and the film should perform great at the box office.  Look for Despicable Me 3 in theatres in 2017; I know that my family won't miss it!    

Watch Minions in theatres everywhere starting today, Friday July 10th, 2015!

Are you planning on seeing the Minions movie?  Have you, the kids, or grandkids seen the prequels to Minions (Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2)?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Calling All Ontario Parents & Grandparents: NYQUEST Family & Grandparent Camp! (See Video)

Roasting Marshmallows at NYQUEST Family Camp
I've said it multiple times before in my writings: "The family that plays together, stays together". Whether it's a family bicycle ride, nature walk, swim in the lake, or backyard game of soccer--it's a great way to bond as a family unit, and also have fun and stay active. The Canadian summer is too short, and it's important to hold it by its antlers and not let it escape.  Introducing NYQUEST Family Camp and NYQUEST Granparent Camp in Ontario, Canada!


Watch VIDEO of NYQUEST Family & Grandparent Camps!
Pack up the kids and head to beautiful Camp White Pine in Haliburton, Ontario for NYQUEST Family Camp and NYQUEST Grandparent Camp!  NYQUEST camps are a one-of-a-kind vacation experience and a unique opportunity to spend quality time with your family, in a beautiful outdoor setting, with exciting programming and the ability to be involved in as much or as little as you all like.  It's a true sleepover / overnight camp for the whole family!

Mom & Son Enjoy Tandem Ziplining at NYQUEST Family Camp!
Days are split between adult-only time (during which children are fully supervised and in age-specific activities, day camp style), time spent as a family unit (where families can sign up for activities in which to participate together) and camp-wide activities (where every family attends and interacts as a large group).

A Camp-Wide Activity Gets Everyone Involved
Another Fun Camp-Wide Activity
At NYQUEST Camps, both parents and grandparents are fully supported by NYQUEST staff.  Accommodations are comfortable and clean dormitory style, air-conditioned rooms. Note: the NYQUEST Grandparent Camp is reserved for grandparents only, as this is an chance to foster the special intergenerational relationship in an uninterrupted, quality way.  Parents should enroll in the NYQUEST Family Camp.
Waterskiing Is Cool at NYQUEST Camps!
Creating at Arts and Crafts
"Wrapped Up" In the Day's Activities!
  • Waterskiing
  • Tennis
  • Campfires (ie: roasting marshmallows)
  • Mini-Golf
  • Water Trampoline
  • Swimming/Beach-Time
  • Outdoor Cooking
  • Landsports
  • Hockey
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • High Ropes
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Hikes
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Fishing
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • ...and much more!
More Fun on the Beach!
NYQUEST Family Camp Dates/Costs

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015  to Sunday, September 6th, 2015.  (Arrival on Thursday at lunchtime; departure on Sunday prior to lunchtime.)  Connect as a family before school starts up again, and summer is still here for the taking!   

NYQUEST Family Camp includes meals, snacks, accommodations for three nights, supervised programming for children, all activities, stylish NYQUEST t-shirt or hat for the whole family and of course...endless memories.

Kids under 1: Free
Kids 1 - 2 years: $90 + hst
Kids 3-18 years: $260 + hst 
Adults: $400 + hst

More information about NYQUEST Family Camp, including details about food and accommodations can be found here: https://www.go-nyquest.com/familycamp/family.html

Kids of ALL Ages Can Enjoy NYQUEST Camps!
NYQUEST Grandparent Camp Dates/Costs

Friday, August 7th, 2015 to  Sunday, August 9th, 2015.  (Arrival on Friday between 1-2pm; departure on Sunday before lunchtime.)  Enjoy Grandparent Camp during a prime summer weekend!

NYQUEST Grandparent Camp includes meals, snacks, accommodations, support with supervising children, and of course...endless memories!

Kids 2-13 years: $150 + hst
Adults: $300 + hst

More information about NYQUEST Grandparent Camp, including details about food and accommodations, can be found here: https://www.go-nyquest.com/familycamp/grandparent.html

Contact NYQUEST & Important Links!

Telephone #: 416-932-1370
E-mail: info@go-nyquest.com
NYQUEST Family/Grandparent Camps Facebook Page
NYQUEST Grandparent Camp Website
REGISTER for NYQUEST Grandparent Camp HERE
Location of NYQUEST Camps (at Camp Whie Pine) & Directions

Enjoy the Pristine Beauty of "Hurricane Lake" in Haliburton, Ontario
Grab Summer By Its Antlers and Don't Let It Escape!
 Did you ever go to sleepover camp as a child?  Do you think that your child or grandchild would enjoy the overnight camp experience?
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