Category: Family/Kids

Kaleidescope Entertainment is buzzing to announce that Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb will be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from May 17. 

Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb is the third theatrical feature in the successful Maya the Bee franchise; an iconic animated series that has been entertaining young children for more than 100 years. 

When a bored Maya and Willi bust out of winter lockdown early, they are catapulted headfirst into a top secret mission! Entrusted with the care of a sacred seed, Maya and Willi team up with their old pal’s Arnie and Barnie to deliver the seed to its new home atop the mysterious Bonsai Mountain.

When their “seed” hatches, Maya and Willi come face to face with their biggest responsibility yet – a smooshy, squishy little princess! This adventure is a LOT more than they bargained for as they take on bounty hunters, thugs and ruthless enemies, to return the lost princess to her mountain colony, only to find it hanging in the balance of a turf war and remorseless predators.

Willi discovers a side of himself that he never expected as he becomes protective of the tiny princess, but to save the her, and her colony, Maya must learn that trust is not just a word, it has to be earned!

 Ideal for fans of family adventures Antz, A Bugs Life and Bee Movie, Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb is an epic bug battle that will transport you to exciting new worlds!

Summary: A young warrior sets off to find the last remaining dragon after her world faces annihilation at the hands of some dark monsters.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates: 4th March 2021 (Australia), 4th March 2021 (Thailand), 5th March 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 5th March 2021 (UK), 5th March 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Don Hall, Carlos Lopez Estrada

Screenwriter: Adele Lim, Qui Nugyen

Cast: Awkwafina (Sisu (voice)), Gemma Chan (Namarri (voice)), Francois Chau (Wahn), Sung Kang (Dang Hai (voice)), Daniel Dae Kim (Benja (voice)), Dichen Lachman (General Atitaya, Spine Warror (voice)), Sandra Oh (Virana (voice)), Jon Park (Chai (voice)), Lucielle Soong (Dang Hu (voice)), Kelly Marie Tran (Raya (voice)), Thalia Tran (Little Noi (voice)), Alan Tudyk (Tuk Tuk (voice)), Izaac Wang (Boun (voice)), Benedict Wong (Tong (voice)), Jona Xiao (Young Namaari (voice))

Running Time: 114 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), G (Thailand), PG (USA)

BLACKBIRD REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

It is hard to believe that it has been twelve months since Disney released a brand new film straight to cinemas… yes even the House Of Mouse was not immune from the great Covid cinema lockdown worldwide. The great news is that Disney returns to cinemas this week with a film that is arguably one of their greatest pieces of animated brilliance – Raya And The Last Dragon.

It is rare these days to find an animation that has adults staring wide-eyed and excited at the screen the way that so many of the Disney classics did when we were kids but such is the stunning artwork and captivating storyline of Raya that it certainly wakes up your inner child.

Inspired by South East Asian culture the film follows the adventures of Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran – Star Wars: The Last Jedi) a young warrior who is trained by her father Benja (Daniel Dae Kim – Hellboy) to guard the last remaining piece of dragon power contained in a magical gem stone.

They live in a world divided, a place where every tribe has fended for itself since a great war that saw the destruction of the dragon race at the hands of evil creatures known as Druuns. Since then the land of Kumandra has become separated and the various tribes do whatever they can to survive while people such as Benja do whatever they can to try and reunite everybody once again.

However, when Raya is tricked by Namaari (Gemma Chan – Crazy Rich Asians), a young warrior from another tribe, the gem breaks and each tribe takes a piece for itself at the same time the spell is broken and the Druuns once again return and begin to destroy what is left on Earth. With the world then slowly disappearing and mankind being wiped out Raya begins a journey to try and find the last remaining dragon – Sisu (Awkwafina – Ocean’s Eight).

Excuse the pun but the magic of Raya And The Last Dragon is out of this world. The storyline here is involving and creative and this time Disney have realised that they don’t need a song every five minutes to move things along a little bit. In fact this time around the screenwriters and the literal team of directors that worked on the film get everything right.

The story itself draws you in the same way as other modern day fantasy tales, such as A Writer’s Odyssey, do while the film doesn’t exactly cater for extremely young children as it mixes fight sequences with chase sequences and even finds a way to throw in some humour without it ever seeming out of place. The world created here is as imaginative as the worlds film lovers a generation ago found themselves escaping to with films like The Neverending Story and The Dark Crystal and while the story is in depth it never loses its audience and instead keeps them on the edge of their seats.

What makes Raya And The Last Dragon come together so well though is the amazing artwork with the animation. There are times with this film where you find yourself watching the screen and believing you are watching actual actors and actresses as the artwork is so realistic – the same can be said for the scenery which was inspired by the filmmakers trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Part of what makes the animation of this film work so well is also because the art team decided to make the characters look like the actors and actresses playing them. As soon as Benja walks onto screen the likeness he has in appearance to Daniel Dae Kim is astounding – and yes the filmmakers even find a way to make Sisu look like Awkwafina.

Raya And The Last Dragon is one of the cinematic highlights of 2021. Disney manage to bring everything together in such a way that the capture that old school Disney magic that has been missing from the company for quite awhile. This is truly a film for people of all ages as even adults are going to be captured by the magic and imagination of Raya.

David Griffiths and Lee G’s Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Lee’s Rating Out Of 5:

Alex First and Peter Krausz’s Raya And The Last Dragon Review:

Alex’s Score Out Of 5:

Peter’s Score Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) on IMDb

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You can also check out our review for Raya And The Last Dragon in The Phuket News https://www.thephuketnews.com/disney-is-back-raya-and-the-last-dragon-reigns-supreme-79250.php

Trailer:

 Get ready to go back to Bayside (again!) because Stan today announced the critically acclaimed comedy Saved By The Bell has been renewed for a second season, with ten brand new episodes on the way only on Stan.

Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren starred in the first celebrated season, reprising their roles as A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, and were joined by John Michael Higgins, alongside a new class featuring Belmont CameliDexter DardenMitchell HoogAlycia Pascual-PeñaJosie Totah and Haskiri Velazquez.

“I’m thrilled that Saved By The Bell has been renewed. I’ve been blown away by all the love for the show and can’t wait to go back and make more episodes,” said writer and executive producer Tracey Wigfield.

In the reimagined series, when California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the most well-funded schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the privileged Bayside kids (who never have a problem that can’t be solved in twenty-two minutes) a much-needed dose of reality.

Season 1 addressed many important topics such as race, inclusion, class and education. In the season finale, Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez) stages a walkout in order to keep the Douglas High students at Bayside. 

Tracey Wigfield serves as writer and executive producer for the series, alongside executive producer Franco Bario. Peter Engel also serves as executive producer. Saved By The Bell is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Saved By The Bell Season 1 is now streaming only on Stan, with every iconic episode of the original series also available on Stan.

The long wait for Muppet fans is almost over! The Muppet Show, Jim Henson’s iconic variety series that started it all, will begin streaming Friday, 19 February exclusively on Disney+. In addition to the first three seasons, fans will be able to enjoy seasons 4 and 5, which have never previously been released on home entertainment. 

The Muppet Show stars Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, the Swedish Chef, and more in a ground-breaking twist on the classic variety show, blending original songs, sketch comedy, and guest stars into a prime-time hit for all ages.

“It’s going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more,” said Kermit the Frog. “Today, I’m proud to say: ‘It’s time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney Plus tonight!’  And as for Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys in the balcony, I can only add: ‘Sorry, guys, but….here we go again.”

Originally premiering in 1976, some of Hollywood’s brightest stars stopped by “The Muppet Show” for unforgettable comedy and chaos including Steve Martin, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Alice Cooper, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Gene Kelly, and Mark Hamill.
 

With all five seasons of The Muppet Show, Muppet favourites like “Muppet Treasure Island” celebrating its 25th anniversary next month, and new hits like “Muppets Now,” Disney+ is now the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational streaming service on Earth. To stream The Muppets Collection, visit www.disneyplus.com/franchise/the-muppets.

Summary: A young boy decide to declare war on his Grandfather after his Grandfather moves in and takes his bedroom.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: 3rd December 2020 (Australia), 8th October 2020 (Thailand), 2020 (UK), 9th October 2020 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA, UK, Canada

Director: Tim Hill

Screenwriter: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Robert Kimmel Smith (based on the book by)

Cast: Rutanya Alda (Lynn Marino), Veronica Alcino (Nurse Alice), Juliocaesar Chavez (Billy), Robert De Niro (Ed), Oakes Fegley (Peter), Colin Ford (Russell), Poppy Gagnon (Jennifer), Joe Gelchion (Chuck), James Matin Kelly (Carl), Isaac Kragten (Steve), Laura Marano (Mia), Cheech Marin (Danny), T.J. McGibbon (Emma), Rob Riggle (Arthur), Jane Seymour (Diane), Joanie Stewart (Carla), Lydia Styslinger (Lisa), Uma Thurman (Sally), Christopher Walken (Jerry)

Running Time: 94 mins

Classification: PG (Australia), PG (USA)

OUR THE WAR WITH GRANDPA REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The War With Grandpa Review:

Sometimes as a movie critic you forget that it is okay for a film to be fun. Somewhere deep down inside your brain you watch a movie and then you try to analyse and pick apart exactly what the director was trying to achieve with the film. Sometimes there are no hidden meanings though, or there are no world changing beliefs that the filmmakers are trying to open the world up to. Sometimes a film is made to do what films were originally made to do – and that is entertain their audience. That, everybody, is exactly what The War With Grandpa was created to do – entertain not just any audience but entertain the entire family at once.

Now I could sit here and write an epic review that analysed every aspect of this film from the costuming through to the editing, but I know that when it comes to a fun movie like The War With Grandpa all you really want to know is whether the film is going to entertain your family or bore them to death… and that I am more than happy to answer by saying if you like fluffy family films then you are going to love this one.

The film centres around Peter (Oakes Fegley – Pete’s Dragon), a young boy who thought his biggest problem for the year was going to be the fact that he is now the ‘small fry’ at his school as he rolls into sixth grade. But then his mother (Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction) drops a bombshell on him that he never saw coming – his grandfather Ed (Robert De Niro – Taxi Driver) is going to be moving into their home and taking over Peter’s room. Yes Peter not only has to give up his room but he is now going to be living amongst the bats and rats in the attic.

Not to be removed from his domain so easily Peter alongside his rag-tag mates decide to declare war on Ed, who counter-acts that declaration by forming a team of his own that includes – Jerry (Christopher Walken – The Deer Hunter) and Diane (Jane Seymour – Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman). That is when the fun really begins.

The reason that The War With Grandpa works so well is because the film does appeal to the whole family. The screenplay provides plenty of laughs for kids as Pete and his friends devise childish pranks to play on Ed while the older generation will value a film that takes them done memory lane as they watch screen favourites like Jane Seymour and Cheech Marin (Tin Cup) having a heap of fun with their roles – even when they are asked to do crazy things like have a dodge-ball war while on a trampoline. Yes, seeing older stars like De Niro and Walken tackle roles where they are seem to be having the times of their lives is all part of the fun of this fun.

Like all good films in this genre though The War With Grandpa does have a bit of a serious side as well. Kids watching the film will see the importance of a family pulling together and lean about the importance of the ‘older generation’ in their lives. They are both very important lessons for kids to take on board so the serious side of the film is certainly not wasted.

Of course most of the interest around this film is going to centre on Robert De Niro. The screen legend has made a name for himself over the past few years in the comedy genre and while some films have been great some have been really terrible. Here De Niro cruises through his role, he is obviously having fun and enjoying himself, and if you group this film with The Comeback Trail then you could say that De Niro’s comedic efforts in 2020 are well and truly on the ‘good’ side of things.

If you are looking to have a fun cinema experience for the whole family then The War With Grandpa is you go to movie for this week. Outrageous and funny The War With Grandpa will appeal to every from 8 to 80 years of age.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

The War with Grandpa (2020) on IMDb

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