Leave it to Guillermo del Toro to produce an animated movie that looks unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in a major production. I just love the look of this movie, foregoing the recent “as photo realistic as possible” trend in animation and instead drawing deeply on the rich mythology and visual style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) to make something truly unique and beautiful.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what director Jorge Gutierrez has put together. Word is that when he started work on this film, he said to his designers and animators that his goal was to have the final movie live up to the incredible conceptual art that he so often saw in “The Art of…” books for many movies, but never seemed to make it to the final screen. From the looks of things, he has succeeded.
When I think back to when I was a kid, science-fiction movies were my fertile imagination’s bread-and-butter.
Sure, there was Star Wars, which of course I loved. But it was about grown-ups who lived far, far away, a long time ago. What I really loved were those great standalone movies where kids (like me!) got thrust into the adventure: The Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, Explorers, and of course, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. As I’ve grown up, new movies that play on the same theme have rocked my socks off, like The Iron Giant, and Super 8.
When I started seeing trailers for Earth to Echo I could tell it was exactly the sort of movie I would have gone gaga over when I was a kid. I’m so looking forward to watching it with my boys when they are old enough. Tucker has been enamored ever since he discovered that one of the characters is also named Tuck. 🙂
If your kids are like mine, they love building stuff. They’ll use blocks, boxes, buckets… heck, they even stack up chairs if I’m not watching. About the only thing they like more than building things up is knocking the whole thing down, like Godzilla on a rampage.
My friends at Crayola recently asked me if I’d like to give one of their new products a try with my kids, and then enter a fun video contest for my trouble (as well as getting to give something away to one of my readers. See below!). The product is the Create 2 Destroy Dino Destruction Metropolitan Mayhem set, one part of their new line of Create 2 Destroy products. And as two little boys who like destroying stuff AND dinosaurs, it fit right into my kids’ wheelhouse. How could I say no?
It doesn’t take long after becoming a parent that you start to become hyper-aware about the choices we all must make when to comes to the things that entertain our children.
Sure, there are questions like “How much screen time is okay for a 2-year old?” and “What age do I let my kids watch Star Wars?”, but I’m talking more about questions like “How do I make sure my kids never, ever fall in love with Barney?” and “Is there any children’s music that isn’t terrible, annoying, or both?”
Thankfully, if you really take the time to look, the answer to the latter is a resounding “yes.”
I’ve long been a Star Wars geek, and proudly. I’ve written before about trying to figure out when and how to introduce my boys to the epic saga (I even participated in DorkDaddy’s brilliant white paper on the subject with other prominent geeky dad bloggers). As a family we watched the first film over a few weeks (and by “first,” I of course mean Episode IV, A New Hope) and my son liked it well enough, though he didn’t really understand it. He has an X-Wing fighter and a TIE fighter, and he enjoyed Star Tours at Disneyland. But I’ve yet to really see that spark of Star Wars love yet.
And so, when I saw that what I received was, in fact, a selection of Hasbro’s new Angry Birds Star Wars toys, I knew I’d found my gateway drug.
Because, really, what 21st century kid isn’t obsessed with Angry Birds?
Check out these SWEET prizes you can win:
The all new Air Hogs Battle Tracker delivers head to head interactive combat! Take command of the Disc Launching Helicopter as the A.R.T (Automated Robotic Turret) tracks your every move.
The Coolest Experiments and Projects for Science Fairs and Family Fun!
Check out this review of the book by blogger CuteMonster.
Cool Hacks, Cutting-Edge Games, and More Awesome Projects for the Whole Family
Do you have ears?
Do those ears enjoy listening to sounds?
Well then listen up!
In conjunction with a great new group of dad bloggers (more on that below) SOL REPUBLIC is giving away a fantastic pair of headphones, valued from $99.99 to $179.99 (winner gets to choose). The headphones feature interchangeable pieces, a remote and microphone, deeper bass, higher clarity and crisp vocals.
UPDATE: WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!
READ MORE HERE!
In the summer of 2012, my family got our first plot at a local community garden, and we’ve been having a blast growing all sorts of delicious fruits and vegetables and herbs.
As a part of making our little area of the garden our own, I made some custom garden stakes from my own illustrations. Due to popular demand, I’m now offering these illustrations in a downloadable, printable PDF document for just $4.99.
The document includes every item I have created, in three sizes — 3.75″, 3″, and 2″ squares, all in full color and high resolution. Just print and cut the ones you want to use, however you’d like to use them.
Items included in this set are based on our own family garden, which are as follows: Basil, Beans, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Corn, Cucumbers, Kale (Red Russian), Lettuce, Onions, Potatoes (Yukon Gold), Pumpkin, Rosemary, Spaghetti Squash, Spinach, Strawberries, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Zucchini.
In addition I have included things we didn’t grow this year but you might want: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Garlic, Jalapeño, Melon, Mushrooms, Radish, Red Cabbage, and Watermelon.