Beauty and the Beast——— delightful in 3D

Don’t miss Beauty and the Beast in 3D. My husband and I loved the cast and, of course, the Oscar-winning musical score by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken.

We ignored the hype about diversity and the Beast not apologizing. We were glad they also went with the Disney version and ignored the original with Belle’s jealous sisters. Oh, my gosh, you know the story and this delightful musical romantic fantasy will have you singing or humming along with Celine Dion or “the servants.” According to Wiki, the film’s budget was $160 million and box office to date is $874.9 million.


Director Ron Marshall with Into the Woods cast.

Director Ron Marshall with Into the Woods cast.

News that Into the Woods celebrated the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie adapted from a Broadway musical must have director Rob Marshall celebrating once more. Marshall was also the director of Academy Award winning Chicago (2002).




I loved Into the Woods as a play with memorable quotes/music/lyrics the first time I saw it. Like so many movie aficionados, I couldn’t wait for it to open on the big screen and it didn’t disappoint. Casting and costuming with Disney settings made this fairy-tale themed musical an easy candidate as an Oscar nominee.

Yes, expect to laugh out loud as the witch, Red Riding Hood, a wolf and a couple of princes learn life’s lessons the hard way.  Though the woods are eerie and dark, the characters are anything but grim (yes, pun intended). So, don’t be surprised if you start humming the tunes next time your off “to grandmother’s house.”

SAVING MR. BANKS – a “step in time”


Full disclosure:  I like the movie Mary Poppins; and I admire and appreciate Walt Disney—big time.  Until I saw Saving Mr. Banks, (2013) I knew nothing about Poppins author, P.L. Travers.

Disney’s (Tom Hanks) hurdles to make a movie based on Travers book has more story to it than her book.  Travers character (Emma Thompson) is so well performed that my husband found himself in the theater lobby after listening to her diatribe.  (Mike returned with red licorice for me!) “She’s rude and ungrateful,” he complained, “she drives me nuts.”

There you have the movie in a nutshell.  Haunted by childhood memories of her alcoholic father, Travers penned Poppins, a magical nanny who appears to rescue of two children—scratch that.  She came to save their father, Mr. Banks.

Travers nit-picked everything about Disney and his staff to a degree the only recourse was for her to refuse the rights to use her book and return to England.  Disney’s persistence is masterly and a darn good example to admirers of all ages.

I was both entertained and exhausted by the time the film ended.  Bravo to the script-writers and casting directors; but, most of all, thanks for the memories, Walt.

FROZEN is not chilly–it’s enchanting


Today’s freezing temps in much of the country won’t chill movie-goers to the beautiful icy settings in Disney’s offer of FROZEN.  Brrrr factor aside, the scenes in FROZEN were eye-catching and the animation magical.

The story moves quickly about two princesses with a problem.  Elsa must keep her gloves on or sister Anna will freeze! She heads for the hills to avoid the curse that could destroy the kingdom and worse, her sister.

Anna’s quest to find Elsa introduces new characters along the way.  But, unlike Dorothy on the road to Oz, her companions lack the depth of brains, heart and courage.  Yet, the enchanted snowman was fun as simply a tag-along.

Upon the return to the kingdom, Anna doesn’t need to “kiss a frog” or a prince to fulfill her heart’s desire.  She simply needs to perform an act of true love to save her sister.

FROZEN may rank with other Disney offerings when it comes to beauty and charm, but the score, though delightful, is not memorable.   FROZEN is entertaining for all ages; and, who knows, might be just the ticket on a sweltering summer day.