Film Review: DreamWorks Trolls

TrollsDreamWorks make some of the best children’s films. Their movies are the ones which frame childhoods and create memories and Trolls is no exception. If you’re looking for a frenetic, joy filled musical extravaganza then this is the movie for you.

I should say that Fifi was a little bit worried about the Trolls being scary (she admitted this when we were halfway to the screening) but she soon realised how silly she was being and is now a massive fan. They really are the cutest little movie characters, possibly ever and the scenes which involve what can only be described as fuzzy felt to explain what might happen are a stroke of genius.

I was excited to see Trolls as I remember having the little dolls when I was little and they really were a feature of my childhood. I still have them and I even have a little jewel box which sat on a wrist band and held a Troll- something which is referenced in the film for uber fans of a certain age like me.

Despite being 41 instead of 7, there was no stopping us getting a photo with the Trolls at the gala screening. In all honesty I don’t think I could have been more excited!


This film is a musical and the soundtrack is awesome, we were all jigging about it our seats and singing the songs all the way home. These Trolls are cast as little Party People with pink haired Poppy Troll (voiced by Anna Kendrick) in charge. She’s a sassy little girly troll with an attitude not unlike my daughter and there were some brilliant almost teenager like one-liners from her.

The film is a roller coaster ride of emotions, particularly for younger kids. The bad guys (Bergens) are a little bit scary. Branch  the boy Troll (voiced by Justin Timberlake) reminded me of my eldest son in attitude and latent musical talent.

If you like Shrek, then you will like this movie as it has a very similar sort of feel about it. However, we thought it was better than Shrek, its much more visually stimulating, the comedy is more contemporary and the music really takes it to the next level.

It is without doubt the perfect movie for a rainy autumn half term and will serve to raise the spirits of even the battle hardened parent. I defy you not to feel happy once you’ve seen it. We all love it and the soundtrack is now a fave on our Spotify playlist.

Have a look at the trailer:

The Blurb:

DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a hair-raising comedy filled with unbelievable adventure and incredible music.  Known for their crazy, colourful, and magical hair, Trolls are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. But their world of rainbows and cupcakes is changed forever, when their leader Poppy (Anna Kendrick,) must embark on a rescue mission that takes her far beyond the only world she’s ever known.

TROLLS stars Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Ron Funches

DreamWorks TROLLS is released in cinemas from October 15 in 3D and 2D.

I’d love to hear about your childhood memories of Trolls and if you see the film yourself don’t forget to leave a review here.

Film News: Dreamworks TROLLS

TrollsBeing born in the mid 1970’s it will come as no surprise to you if I say that one of my favourite toys when I was little were Trolls. These hard little plastic dolls with sticky up hair you could backcomb were brilliant. I still have a couple of them and every so often I put them by my computer to spur me on with work.

It was very exciting to hear that Dreamworks have turned their adventures into a film staring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Gwen Stefani, Russell Brand, Ron Founts.

The film looks great, its bright and colourful and hopefully will bring a smile to everyones face. Have a look at the trailer:

The official blurb:

DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a hair-raising comedy filled with unbelievable adventure and incredible music.  Known for their crazy, colourful, and magical hair, Trolls are the happiest, most joyous creatures ever to burst into song. But their world of rainbows and cupcakes is changed forever, when their leader Poppy (Anna Kendrick,) must embark on a rescue mission that takes her far beyond the only world she’s ever known.

DreamWorks TROLLS is released in cinemas October 21 in 3D and 2D.

Film Review: Nine Lives

Nine LivesJunior film reviewer Fifi (7) went along to the Nine Lives screening with Being Mrs C and her daughter. She came out buzzing about the film and reckons its one of the funniest films she’s seen at the cinema.

Nine Lives is the story of a businessman (Kevin Spacey) who works really hard, when it comes to his daughters 11th birthday he decides to get her a cat (something she’s always wanted) from the pet shop. There is an accident and the businessman (Tom) and the cat swop bodies. Tom is now trapped inside a cat and only the cat whisperer can hear him. The film harks back to classic 1990’s rom-com with a few tiny nods to the present day. Jennifer Garner, Malina Weissman and Christopher Walkern star alongside Kevin Spacey.

Have a look at the trailer:


This film has an enormous amount of appeal for any child who owns a cat (such as Fifi). Indeed, I’d have to say that she thought it was fantastic before she’d even seen the film. She has been talking about it ever since and we’ve been told we all just have to go and see it and get the DVD when it comes out!

In terms of adult appeal i’ve been reliably informed that there is more than enough to make this a good choice as a family film. I’m all for this sort of film as a school summer holiday activity because I must admit I do get a little bit bored by children’s animations; if theres some ‘adult’ jokes and a sub plot which goes above the children’s heads (like this does) then that keeps me happy.

This summer has seen a crop of great movie choices and I have to say that over the past 9 years of reviewing family films this year sees some really stiff competition amongst what to watch this summer. From Fifi’s reaction this is another film you cant really go wrong with.

Nine Lives goes on general release in the UK on 5 August 2016. Runtime of 87 minutes. Universal Certificate.

Film Review: Pete’s Dragon

petes dragonWe were lucky enough to go along to the gala screening of Disney’s latest live action movie Pete’s Dragon. This is a  film that had slipped a bit under my radar, i’m not entirely sure why, it just had. However, as soon as the film started and I began to get flashbacks to my childhood. The original film was exactly within the genre of films I used to watch over and over again; Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that kind of thing where there was a mixture of songs, animation and ‘jokey’ acting. However, I think I had blocked it out of my mind because from what I recall (although I haven’t seen it for 30 odd years) there was an element of sadness and the underlying story was a little bit traumatic for me compared to the other movies.


dragon balloon

Awesome balloon dragon!

This years update of Pete’s Dragon sees a slightly different scenario where Pete loses his parents in a car crash and ends up living in the woods with Elliot the dragon. Until that is, they get discovered. The film features Bryce Dallas Howard who plays a superb surrogate mum figure and Robert Redford as her dad alongside Oakes Fegley who does a brilliant job playing Pete. The dragon is clearly animated but in a wonderful way which somehow manages to sit unobtrusively in the film and there were moments where the dragon reminded me of the one in my all time favourite kids movie, The Neverending Story.

There were many things which I loved about this film, not least that it reminded me of some of the best movies of my 1980’s childhood. They have captured the essence of what I imagined life to be like in America at that time, elements of what I remembered about the original film and weaved in a magical feeling of folklore and the preciousness of the wild. This isn’t a big hitting, all action movie, rather a gentle but epic roller coaster ride of emotions which I think is an antidote to many of today’s children’s movies which can feel over produced for thrills and laughs.

Have a look here:

I thought this was a lovely film which I’d very happily snuggle up with the husband and some popcorn and watch again. However, I have to say that the four year old found it a bit scary and the ‘sophisticated’ nine year old was a little bored by it. I think this is because he feeds himself an endless diet of ‘high reward’ action packed films. I must rectify this because this is the sort of movie which can make summer holiday memories. It is an engaging, thoughtful children’s film and I loved it. So I guess what i’m saying is, if you want to take the kids to a film and you’re a child of the 1980’s then pick this one as you’ll love it. I hope your children enjoy it too.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard introduces the film

Info and Synopsis


UK Release date: 12 August, 2016

Genre:  Live Action

Rating: TBD

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford

Director: David Lowery

Based on a story by: Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field

Producer: Jim Whitaker

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, “Pete’s Dragon” is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. “Pete’s Dragon” stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film, which is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in UK cinemas on 12th August 2016.

Film Review: Swallows and Amazons

swallows and amazonsVery rarely a children’s film comes along which as an adult you love. This is one of those films.

Swallows and Amazons is one of my favourite children’s books and I must admit that I was slightly worried that the film would not do it justice. I didn’t need to worry, the film does justice to the book and manages that difficult feat that you find with some of these classic books in making it accessible to this generation of children.

The story tells us about a family who have a holiday in the Lake District. Their father a sailor is out at sea and they are alone with their mum. Resolved to have an adventure they take a small sailing boat out onto the lake to reach an island where they can camp. This is the stuff of dreams, I cant think of any children nowadays who would be allowed such a privilege. Their boat is called the Swallow and they meet some pirates (local children) called the Amazons. Together they end up embroiled in a spy drama. Its about friendship, sibling relationships, pulling together, coping with adversity and much more. For me it was about reliving my childhood dreams of adventure, for my own children it was about the relationships between the children.

Have a look at the trailer:

This is a beautifully directed, thoughtful film with an excellent script. The scenery of the lakes, alongside the carefully considered costume add to the overall feel. The adult stars  Rafe Spall, Andrew Scott and Kelly Macdonald perform their roles brilliantly, but the children are clearly the real stars of the film, especially little Roger who reminded myself and my husband of our third child. The dialogue between the children was spot on, so much so that the children came out remarking how they thought their conversations (and general dynamics) were very similar to our household.

Once in a while we go to a movie where all of us come out smiling and remarking how brilliant it was. This was one of those films. I want to go on holiday to the Lake District now and to be little and to sail a small boat to an island and camp. I guess we could do some of those things.

Swallows and Amazons Cast and crewWe were really fortunate to have the cast, writer, producer and director introduce the film for us. They clearly cared about making this film and how to correctly convey the essence of the book and you could see their pride. I can see why as they have produced what has to be one of the best films of the summer.

You must go and see this film, you wont be disappointed its simply brilliant. You can see it in cinemas from August 19th

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