Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

Tonight, the Maleficent sequel came out and my family was there to see it. The first Maleficent film was the first movie I went to see in theaters after my daughter was born. If you have not seen it, it is amazing! It is probably my favorite live action Disney film.

It is a villain back story that shows good vs. evil is not always black and white. In that way, it is like the Broadway musical, Wicked, which is also excellent if you have not seen it. I am actually surprised that Disney has not put out more villain back story movies, as they seem to be cranking out live action films so regularly.

When I first saw the previews for the sequel, I was a bit put off as the previews all focused on Maleficent as evil. It annoyed me, because that was in direct contrast to the first film’s premise. One can tell in the preview that Michelle Pfeiffer’s character would probably end up being the actual bad guy (which is true), but it only showed Maleficent getting angry.

Of course, the preview does not tell the whole story. This was a film about war vs peace. Acceptance over intolerance. The film is stunningly beautiful. The visuals are enchanting.

The movie may be a bit dark for many young children, although my daughter loves both of them. Angelina Jolie is perfect as Maleficent.

We love Maleficent in my family. My daughter just recently did a Maleficent themed photo shoot. I can’t wait to see all of the pictures. She was gorgeous and is a great model. I also ordered a headpiece so that I can be Maleficent for Halloween this year. My daughter is going as Mal from the Descendants, so my husband and I will be her parents (Maleficent and Hades).

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a beautiful fantasy film with a great message. I love it!

Toy Story 4 Birthday Party

As my daughter’s school class gets bigger every year (not to mention all of the other friends and family), I decided to take it easy and forego the huge birthday party this year that we normally do. She had one school friend over last week for a special extended play date, and they had a great time.

I still wanted to throw a party though, just on a smaller scale. We had a few friends and family over for a Toy Story 4 themed party at our house. The cute invite came from moolaparty on Etsy.

I couldn’t help but use cute little themed food labels to make it fun. The labels came from lunabirthdays on Etsy. Some of the label ideas were my own. Others I found on Pinterest.

The drink station idea came from Pinterest. I glued the googly eyes to make alien cups, and my daughter drew the mouths (so each one was unique).

To Infini-Tea and Beyond!

In addition to some Pizza Planet pizza, we had gumbo. I couldn’t relate gumbo to Toy Story until my brother came up with Gum-Bo Peep!

The cake was designed to look like Bo Peep’s outfit and was made by Les Amis Bake Shoppe.

We also had Forky cookie favors made by Cookie Rouge. She always does the best work!

We even played a game of Pin the Tail on Bullseye. This download came from itsacowsopinion on Etsy.

It may have been a small party, but I couldn’t help myself going crazy with the details. My little family also wore themed shirts.

It was a party success!

Seize the Day

Musical Theater.  It is the absolute best.  They take a story and tell it through song, and it goes from good to great.  I think it is because songs tap into a deep emotional side of us. Add in some drama and dance and you are good to go.

Last night, I went to see Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of Disney’s Newsies.  I had never seen Newsies before, neither on stage or the film. I know – I’m behind the times.  It was excellent, like every musical I’ve seen at TBR is. There is something extra special about community theatre.  Seeing all that amazing talent and knowing that these are the kids, doctors, teachers, etc. who reside and work right here in Baton Rouge.  

The singing, dancing, acting, and production were all great.  It is an inspirational tale of the Newsboys strike of 1899. If you haven’t seen it yet, they added two dates next week that still have tickets.  I guess I need to get around to watching the movie now.

I’m not a toy!

My daughter and I went to the first showing of Toy Story 4 this morning. Like everyone else, I’ve been a fan of Toy Story since the release of the first film 24 years ago. Each of the films has been great, including this one. I think that spacing them out this much really ups the nostalgia factor, but they are each great movies on their own. (The trailer for Frozen’s sequel, however, is looking a bit intense.)

The movie is funny and full of all of our old loveable favorite characters. Several new characters are also introduced, including Duke Kaboom and of course, the loveable Forky! I thought Forky was just going to be a funny side character, but he actually turns out to be a major part of the movie.

Ultimately, this movie is about Woody, Andy’s original favorite toy. If you are emotionally attached to Disney movies (as I am), the ending is bittersweet. You may even cry.

I was the only person in the theater who stayed all the way until the end of the credits for the final post-credit scene. The four teenage movie theater employees stood by and waited for me to leave so that they could start their clean-up of the theater. There are several different scenes during the credits. The one at the very end is cute, but not worth staying for if you’re not really into that sort of a thing. It’s just an extra joke. But I like to get the full experience.

Now to just save my money for a trip to Disney World, so that I can experience Toy Story Land!

Aladdin (2019) Film Review

I went to see the new live action remake of Disney’s Aladdin yesterday, on opening night.  I love Disney movies, and appreciate the new interpretations and added storylines that come with the new live action films.  Aladdin was not my favorite of the recent remakes.  That honor would probably go to Maleficent or Beauty and the Beast.  Aladdin was, however, an enjoyable ride (on a magic carpet).

Will Smith’s Genie was not as funny as the character made famous by Robin Williams, but it was still fun to see his take on the all-powerful master of the lamp.  I love when the remakes give us a literal live-action interpretation of the original, but I also appreciate the added storyline elements and new songs. One of the main additions to Aladdin was a heightened focus on Princess Jasmine’s wish to rule her father’s kingdom after him.  The new original song in the film is entitled Speechless.  It is a feminist anthem about the power of a woman’s voice. It might have been interesting to have the film have an even larger focus on Jasmine and her storyline.


Overall, I quite enjoyed the movie, but not quite as much as the recent Broadway musical production of Disney’s Aladdin.  That performance took my breath away.  It was so beautiful, funny, and entertaining.  If you ever get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it.  As for the new live action film, I highly recommend it for fans of Disney, musicals, and remakes.  I’m all three, so for me, it was an enjoyable night.