Movie Munchies 2: Ratatouille

Today I get to present to you the 2nd episode in my Movie Munchies series.  Just in time for Valentines Day Jacqueline and I make the french dish ratatouille and talk about- you guessed it- Ratatouille!  These videos were a huge challenge for me so I would love your feedback.  We plan to do a couple a month so if you have ideas for good movie/recipe combinations please put in the comments sections.  Thanks!

Recipe:
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
1 large eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large yellow onions (1 pound total), diced large
1 head garlic, cloves smashed and peeled
2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
2 large zucchini (1 pound total), diced large
1 lb mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
2 to 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Salt the eggplant and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Saute peppers, onions and garlic till translucent.  Add eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms and get some color.  Add tomatoes and then let stew on medium low heat as long as you can.  Serve as a topping for pasta or a side with meat.

Every year I do a custom valentine and this year was no exception.  Here is the 2016 valentine.  Happy Valentines Day!

Rachel_Valentine2016

Rotoscopers, Little Mermaid Tag, and Dumbo

So today ended up being a crazy day content-wise for me.  I had 3 articles published on Rotoscopers.com you should check out!

Rocks in My Pockes Review for Rotoscopers.com

http://www.rotoscopers.com/2016/01/27/review-rocks-in-my-pockets/

My interview with creators of independent animated film Snowtime I did for Sundance Film Festival.

http://www.rotoscopers.com/2016/01/27/interview-with-snowtime-filmmakers-francois-brisson-and-marie-claude-beauchamp/

My review of Snowtime for Rotoscopers.com

http://www.rotoscopers.com/2016/01/27/review-snowtime/

I will be reviewing Snowtime in the next couple of days on this blog, as I didn’t want to take anything away from the Rotoscopers review.  I have previously reviewed Rocks in My Pockets on this blog (but I would still love it if you checked out the Rotoscopers review).

But I also posted 2 new videos on my youtube channel.  I created a tag called The Little Mermaid tag and my fellow youtuber Aly did it with me.  It ended up being really fun and if any of you want to do it I would love to hear your answers. (My cannon review of Little Mermaid is here)

Here are the questions if you want to do the tag.

Little Mermaid Tag
Favorite Ginger actress?
Have you ever had ginger hair?
What world from movie or book would you like to be a part of?
What teenage movie or book is your favorite?
If you could be a mermaid would you want to?
Best name- Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella, Alana or Ariel?
What would you wish for from Ursula?
What human device could you picture using in a new way?
Favorite Disney song?
Favorite Disney couple?
Favorite fish recipe?
Could you convince someone to love you without speaking?
What is your ideal date/proposal/kiss?
Best father/daughter combo in a movie?
Belle vs Ariel? Lumiere vs Sebastian?
Is Little Mermaid feminist or not?
Who should play Ariel in live action Little Mermaid?
Why do you love Little Mermaid?

I also posted my review of Dumbo in my Disney Canon Project on my channel this morning.  I worked really hard on it and would love if you gave it a look.

So a bit of a jumbled post today but I hope you enjoy all the content.  I had a blast making it!

This weekend should be very busy coming up as well with Kung fu Panda 3 and The Finest Hours,  which I will review.  Will look forward to your feedback.

700 Subscribers Q and A Request

Hi guys!

Over on my youtube channel I have almost reached 700 subscribers.  To celebrate I thought it would be fun to finally do a Q and A.  I wanted to give you my lovely readers the chance to participate.

Since most of the readers of this blog are into movies and animation ask me about those topics.  Ask me about Disney or the Disney parks or what I loved growing up.  Ask me about television or what I think of a particular property or brand such as Marvel or Batman.

You can ask me about other topics like books, music, swimming, life, blogging, work.  Whatever you want!

You can put your put your question in the comments of this post or the video or you can email me at smilingldsgirl@yahoo.com. I look forward to answering your questions and chatting with you!

Thank you for all your support!

Just so you know I am also starting a Disney Canon series on the youtube channel you guys might want to check out.  I will review a movie a week so this week posted on Snow White

 

Friday 5: 5 Favorite Animated TV Show Theme Songs

There is a really fun series I do over on my youtube channel that I normally post on my other blog smilingldsgirl.com called The Friday 5.  It was set up by a fellow youtuber named Sarah Crawford and each week she picks a topic and we have to choose 5 of our favorite songs that fit that topic.  Normally my other blog is more suited to music but since this one involved animation I decided to include it on this blog this week.

This week’s topic was ‘5 of your favorite themes from TV Shows” and since animation is my favorite I decided to go with that.

I think they are 5 really fun themes and 5 great shows. If you haven’t seen them you should totally check them out.  What are some of your favorite themes from TV shows, animated or not?  I would love to hear.  I do this series every week and next week is wild card so if you have any suggestions of a fun topic I could pick put in the comments section.  If any of you have youtube channels it’s a very fun series to be a part of.

Thanks and have a Happy Friday!!

Animated Oscars Tag

Hi guys!  As you all know I recently finished up a series on my youtube channel reviewing the Oscar nominated animated films.  You can read my written posts and see the videos here

To conclude the project I thought it would be fun to create a tag and ask different youtubers and bloggers to give answers to a variety of questions about film.  Here is the video explaining the tag:

Here are the questions to the tag:

Animated Oscars Tag

1. Tangled- a film that should have been nominated but wasn’t
2. Shark Tale- a terrible film that was nominated for Oscar
3. Rango- a movie that won an Oscar you don’t care for
4. Wall-e- a film about a robot you love
5. Triplets of Belleville- film with no dialogue you love
6. Wreck-it Ralph- film you like but everyone else loves
7. Lilo and Stitch- film which has grown on you each time you see it
8. Song of the Sea- movie you wish you could convince everyone to watch
9. Pirates: Band of Misfits- an underrated comedy
10. Coraline- what is a movie made for kids (or marketed to kids) that scares you or that would have scared you.
11. Persepolis- movie based on graphic novel you love
12. How to Train your Dragon 2- sequel better than original
13. Spirited Away- favorite movie with ghosts
14. Fantastic Mr Fox- favorite Wes Anderson film
15. Frankenweenie- favorite Tim Burton movie
16. Princess and the Frog- movie you like parts but really don’t like other parts
17. The Incredibles- movie about a family you love
18. Wind Rises- movie based on a true story you love
19. Happy Feet- movie that takes strange turn in act 2
20. Big Hero 6- favorite Marvel movie
21. Frozen- Favorite Disney Princess movie
22. Ernest and Celestine- favorite movie about 2 friends

Extra (if applies)- Rachel- Film you want to see after watching these videos about the nominees

You don’t have to give animated answers to these questions. My answers are all films I watched in the series- not necessarily my end all of all films.

In fact, you can answer it any way you want!  Anyone is open to do the tag but I am officially tagging. (And this is of course completely optional.  I won’t be offended if you don’t do it).

Mark at Animation Commendation

https://markb4.wordpress.com

Animation Curation

http://theanimationcuration.com/

Kyle’s Animated World

http://www.kylesanimatedworld.blogspot.com

Disney Freak with bit of Mascara

https://ncdavis2003.wordpress.com/

Disney in your Day

http://www.disneyinyourday.com/

Drew’s Movie Reviews

https://drewreviewmovies.wordpress.com/

Richard at Velociraptor256

https://velociraptor256.wordpress.com/

I would tag Swanpride but I think she said she doesn’t do tags any more.  Nevertheless I have appreciated her comments in this series.  Thanks!

Anyone else who would like to do it please do!

And some of you like Matthew David Cline comment frequently but don’t have blogs that I am aware of at least.  If that is the case put your answers in the comments section!

Thanks and what a glorious time to be an animation (or movie) fan!

Star Wars Ep 2: Attack of the Clones Review and Discussion

Hey guys!  Well, my friends Abby, Jeremy and I have made it through the cinematic masterpiece that is Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.  In truth I really hate the film but on the rewatch I found some things to praise and I had a great time talking about it with my friends (doing these discussions after bad movies would make movie-going so much more pleasant!)

Here is our discussion and even if you hate the movie I think you will really enjoy it.  I’m surprised we had so much to talk about it but look at this as more of a podcast style than a review.

As I am doing with all these Star Wars reviews I wrote up a little summary of the film.

PLOT:

Taking place 10 years after events of Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones focuses on mounting threats to the Republic. Padme Amidala is now a senator and she goes to Coruscant to vote on the building up of an army to thwart the threats. However, there is an assassination attempt on her life using killer centipede-like creatures. Obi-won and Anakin are put in charge of protecting her but Obi-won goes after Jango Fett the bounty hunter instead. Anakin then takes Padme to Naboo to hide but a romance develops between the two.

Obi-won finds out an army of clones is being made for the Republic with Jango Fett as the DNA. Anakin and Padme decide to leave Naboo when he has a dream about his mother on Tatooine. When they arrive, he finds his Mother has been taken by Tusken Raiders who then Anakin seeks out. His mother dies in his arms and in his rage he kills all the Tusken Raiders, women and children included. He tells Padme and she is sympathetic.

Meanwhile, Obi-won is on Geonosis and finds Jedi Master Count Dooku is building an army out of droids and that he wanted Padme dead. In fear the Senate gives Palpatine emergency powers and the clones are sent into battle. Anakin and Padme attempt to rescue Obi-won on Geonosis and they are almost killed but a group of warrior Jedis and their clone army fight a battle against the droids and Dooku. Anakin and Obi-won fight Dooku with light saber along with Yoda with Anakin losing his right arm. Dooku flees from Yoda’s power and goes back to Coruscant and presents his plans for the Death Star superweapon. Anakin and Padme marry to end the film

THOUGHTS ON THE FILM

My over all thoughts on the film is that it is a rough one to sit through.  I blame George Lucas in his inability to get anyone to help him on the parts that aren’t his strength like working with the actors and writing the script.  This is something he was willing to do in the original trilogy.

The core story could have been good or at least has good elements.  Like the idea of Palpatine siezing on the chaos of war to get emergency powers from the senate is interesting.  Also the backstory of Boba Fett watching his father getting killed by a Jedi has potential.  The villain Count Dooku is pretty menacing and had potential especially with Christopher Lee as the actor.

Unfortunately all of that gets lost in a terrible romance between Anakin and Padme with some of the worst romantic dialogue I’ve ever heard.  The acting is atrocious but it is hard to fault them for dialogue not even campy enough for a soap opera (and I like my share of cheesy romances).  Not only is it groan inducing but it involves characters making nonsensical choices especially Padme.

The Droid Battle is pretty cool with all the Jedis fighting droids but I hate the Yoda light saber duel.  Yoda is not a Jedi that needs to use a light saber.  He says repeatedly the force is his weapon.  At the very least Count Dooku has not been shown or developed in a way to lead us to believe he is even close to a match for Master Yoda.  As I said in the video I have no doubt Yoda can use a light saber but to me it doesn’t make sense that he would use one.  Plus, the CG Yoda is not my cup of tea and the bouncing around looks lame.

But all of that could be ignored if the lead character was watchable.   In recent years we’ve seen examples of compelling anti-hero stories (mostly on television like Mad Men and I’m told Breaking Bad).  Anakin’s story could have been done well but Lucas chose to make him a whiny, creepy brat.  And to top it all off he murders a whole village of Tuskens Raiders and Padme’s response is “To be angry is to be human,” because that makes sense…

The special effects don’t even look that good (especially in the scenes on Naboo with the weird snail cows)

Sigh… In the end, it is a huge missed opportunity and it basically turned me off movies for a while back in 2002.  I went on my mission from 2003-2005 so I actually have never seen Revenge of the Sith.  That’s how much I hated Episode 2 (there’s a huge gap in movie knowledge for me between 2003-2005.  I’ve seen like 5 movies). So we will see what I think of Episode 3 in 2 weeks (we are taking one week off because of Halloween).

Plus, the title doesn’t even make sense.  The droids are attacking not the clones!!

What do you think of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones? I know some people love the prequels, which is cool.  I just call it like I see it (it is my blog after all 🙂 ).

I know I can’t wait for Force Awakens and for the series to be redeemed (Please JJ)!

Overall Grade- D-

Did the Right Film Win? 2013 Animated Oscars

Hi guys!  We are up to 2013 in my series on the Animated Oscars and I have a special treat for you! Queen Elsa has come to visit to review all 5 films!

elsa2I admit in my review for the Disney Canon of Frozen I was a little defensive and perhaps overly concerned with trolls.  This time I took a different approach and just decided to have fun with it. I know people feel all kinds of ways about Frozen and I explained it as best as I could.   But there are plenty of great animated films for everyone so hopefully you can enjoy hearing my thoughts on one I enjoy.

The other 4 films are also worth seeing (no Shark Tale skunks in this year!).

Ernest and Celestine- Done by some of the same team that did The Illusionist and The Triplets of Belleville.  This is a watercolor sketchbook style story about an unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear.  They kind of become bandits and the friendship evolves over time and then when both are put on trial they teach their societies something important about love, labeling and racism.  A real gem of an animated film (and can also be very funny).

Despicable Me 2- I think the Despicable Me movies are just ok and I wasn’t a big fan of Minions, so I wasn’t sure what I’d think of Despicable Me 2 on the rewatch.  I think the disappointment of Minions actually made me appreciate this film even more.  It has a lot of solid laughs, which didn’t happen in Minions.  I really like seeing Gru with the 3 little girls and being an overprotective Dad.  The Minions are also funnier in small doses than the main attraction.  It’s no masterpiece but a decent comedy for kids.

The Wind Rises- The strongest competition for Frozen.  A great film that just gives us the life of a man and we decide what we think of him and his dreams.  It is a story about hope and how a dream can carry you through tough times.  It is a magic-free film from Miyazaki about the life of a airplane designer named Jiro during World War II.  It made my top 50 animated countdown so clearly I love it.   It goes without saying the animation is stunning.

The Croods-  This was a new one for me from Dreamworks.  I’d heard bad things about the film and you know what? I actually enjoyed it.  I liked it was about a family and thought the script was pretty funny.  I liked how the created new animals and world for them to meet.  It made it unpredictable and surprising.  I liked the voice cast especially Nicholas Cage who has a freak-out even animated!  It’s not a masterpiece but liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

I’d still give the Oscar to Frozen because I think it has the best characters, music, story and everything else.  One of my favorite animated films from Disney.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!  🙂

September Youtube Videos

Some of my youtube videos from September I haven’t shared yet on the blog.  If you want to subscribe that would be awesome.

All my Disney fans may particularly like this one.

I had a lot of fun making these videos so if you have any ideas for reviews or tags I could do let me know.  Thanks!