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A couple of years ago, we posted on the IML Blog about the DVD releases of four films by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki. Where do you go when you dream?  Is it some completely random place you don't recognize at all, or is it a land made up of some combo of the people, places and things from your real life? If you're a dance fan, these are long months when neither "So You Think You Can Dance" or "Dancing With The Stars" is on TV. Actress Bridgit Mendler was tempted to show up to the set of “The Secret World of Arrietty” in her pajamas.
In “The Secret World of Arrietty,” which will be available beginning May 22 on Blu-ray and DVD at retail stores and rental outlets throughout the Valley, Mendler voices the title character – a four-inch-tall girl whose family lives anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home.
When all was said and done, Mendler often found herself getting swept into the story, unable to recognize her own voice while watching “The Secret World of Arrietty.” However, her favorite part was finally hearing all of the other characters' voices as she did not have an opportunity to interact with any of the other actors during the voice-over process. Previously Yonebayashi had worked on films by Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and Spirited Away), and Yonebayashi’s work is almost identical to those films.  This is a plus because Miyazaki (who served as one of the writers of the screenplay) has such great attention to detail, and a story about little creatures that live in a world with the debris of the “human bean” world needs great detail. It was one of our most popular blog entries ever, because as it turns out, we weren't the only mega-fans out there! As you probably know, the issue of helping animals and wildlife conservation is a big one for us, because it's a big one for IML'ers.
Is it the Christmas episode of your favorite sitcom, or a heartwarming movie where some greedy, grumpy guy has to learn the true meaning of the season? Mendler had been familiar with the production company's films and the idea of being a part of one of them was extremely appealing her.
Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 9 a.m.
How long will it last this time?Kylie Jenner split with Tyga allegedly for real this time and the breakup has left her feeling very sick.
10, 2010 round-table interview joined by fellow screen cowboys James Drury and Don Kay Reynolds. IML'ers write on our YSI boards about their favorite Miyazaki films, everything from "Spirited Away" to "Ponyo." With the never-ending barrage of animated flicks from Hollywood, some great and some awful, it was wonderful to see that these unique, beautiful, imaginative, and totally entertaining movies are still popular with tweens.
There's something about the way animals touch our hearts and remind us of the incredible power and beauty of nature. As you may know by now, here at IML we are big supporters of dance because of the amazing creative and self-expression outlet it can give young people, and how anyone can do it. Maybe you love to laugh at some cheesy old variety show where celebs of the past croon carols and put on skits.For millions of people, nothing says "Holiday TV" like the works of producers Arthur Rankin, Jr.
However, she resisted the urge as a sign of professionalism around the members of the crew, many of whom she had never worked with before. Moreover, the actress had the opportunity to watch the Japanese version of the movie before participating in the voice-over process and was blown away by the beauty of the material.
Recently, Miyazaki's company, Studio Ghibli, along with Walt Disney Studios, released "The Secret World of Arrietty," a new take on the classic children's book "The Borrowers." Featuring the voices of Bridgit Mendler and David Henrie in a lovely tale of friendship between two very different young people, this film brought Miyazaki's trademark visuals and storytelling style to a new generation of viewers. We were on the lookout for something that illustrates this in a fresh way for young people, and found the IMAX film "Born To Be Wild," which has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray. The latest project from our fabulous furry, feathery and felty friends is a smash hit motion picture called, simply, "The Muppets."In this musical comedy we're introduced to a brand new character called Walter, who doesn't seem to fit in with the "normal" humans in his town. The DVD is officially an "extended edition" because of a bonus scene after the end credits, and there's a "Rock-a-long" version with lyrics so you and your friends can back up the band.And then there's Adam Hicks. IML'ers have written in to our "You Said It" section, complaining about what you feel is unjust parental treatment.
In "Born To Be Wild," we meet amazing people who are dedicated to rescuing and raising orphaned wild animals so they can be returned to the lives they were meant for. Walter is smaller, more colorful and, well, just plain more Muppety than even his brother Gary (played by Jason Segel).
Yes, Bridgit Mendler is stunning with those lead vocals and just watching Hayley Kiyoko makes us feel cool, but for us it's Adam Hicks's performance as Wen that really shines.
Many of you wish the rule-happy adults in your life would let you date, or have a cell phone, or wear makeup, or at least hang out with friends at the mall without being followed around by a smothering, paranoid guardian who watches your every move.
Are things basically the same as in the daytime, or are they weird, warped and wild?Poet and novelist Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) thought, and wrote, a lot about dreamscapes. What a perfect choice for family movie night, because your 3-year-old sister and 43-year-old mom will probably love it equally. We loved that the DVD doesn't talk down to tweens, and especially liked the "Meet the Peacemakers" section where the young people featured on the DVD share what they love about yoga (see video below!).
His two most famous books, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass," read a lot like dreams themselves, following a curious girl through strange and spectacular realms that get "curiouser and curiouser" the deeper she goes.
Anyone curious about how animation will enjoy the storyboard version of the film in the bonus features, which also includes music videos for the movie's catchy songs. Birute Mary Galdikas and her team care for baby orangutans who are the victims of deforestation, while in the savannahs of Kenya, Dame Daphne M. When Walter and Gary visit the Muppet Studios in Hollywood, they find that it's fallen upon hard times, and uncover a bad guy's dastardly scheme to take over the property. It's funny because you do a project, and then you're in a waiting period where the anticipation is crazy. What if your parent sheltered you by, y'know, sheltering you?In "Tangled," Walt Disney's latest animated adaptation of a classic fairytale which was released this week on DVD and Blu-ray, a teenage girl named Rapunzel faces this exact situation, having been literally locked up in a tower by the most overprotective mother in the world. Animals, plants, and even objects like playing cards become bizarre and funny characters, often poking fun at human follies and emotions. You'll recognize some familiar faces along the way, including "SYTYCD" stars Twitch, Legacy, and Joshua, and "Glee"'s Harry Shum Jr.The Blu-ray includes some cool bonus features such as deleted scenes, a faux documentary on dance by the character of Luke, a bunch of music videos from the likes of Flo Rida and Trey Songz, and "extra dance moves" that were cut out of the finished film. We know that Rudolph is the star of the show, but King Moonracer the gryphon is one of the coolest things about this story.
Last time around, we reviewed "Castle In The Sky," and now this movie is also released on a DVD and Blu-ray combo pack. Sheldrick works to save and rehabilitate young elephants after their mothers are killed by poachers. Determined to set things right, they resolve to find Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets, and get the whole gang back together.We won't spoil the rest in case you haven't seen it, but suffice to say that the international adventure that follows is filled with jokes, slapstick, songs, dancing, guest stars, and everything we've come to expect from The Muppets.

For it to come out and do so well, and to see the responses from the fans has been incredible. Only the woman, Gothel, isn't really her mother, and she isn't really protecting Rapunzel so much as the girl's amazing secret. The books made Carroll rich and world-famous, and continue to be huge sellers around the globe more than 100 years after they were first published.Given the fantastic source material, Walt Disney had his work cut out for him in adapting Carroll's stories to the screen.
He's a little strange and potentially scary, but he has a good heart and we love that he takes care of all the unwanted toys in his special kingdom. The film, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman, made us laugh and go "awww" a lot (and even made us cry), really driving home the importance of the human-animal bond. Through my practice, I found a way to see my life as a treasure!IML: What are some of the preconceived notions and stereotypes that tweens have about yoga?
He's like the ultimate foster parent for toys, looking out for them until they can find a child to love them. It reminded us of just one of many reasons why environmental awareness matters.Extras on the discs include wonderful additional footage, which is a good thing because you probably won't be able to get enough of the baby orangutans and elephants.
We watched the 3-disc "Wocka-Wocka" version, which includes a bunch of hilarious extras, including deleted scenes, bloopers, a making-of feature, and even a copy of the movie's awesome soundtrack, which features the Oscar-winning original song "Man or Muppet."We also noticed that, although they mostly play it for laughs, "The Muppets" has a lot of great themes and ideas that fit right in with what we talk about every day here at It's My Life. In fact, the mystic healing powers of the hair have been keeping Gothel alive for hundreds of years.
The oddball toys are awesome too, and we've always thought that most of them would be big sellers, instead of rejects.
Themes like trying to fit it, finding your place in the world, getting along with siblings and friends, and standing up to bullies. He's a big change from Luther, my character on "Zeke and Luther." Luther is this zany, outrageous comedy-driven character, and to make that transition to Wen, who's quieter and more thoughtful, was an amazing opportunity for me as an actor. But Rapunzel, on permament lockdown, dreams of seeing the wider world, and when a rogueish thief named Flynn Rider decides to hide from the law in her secluded tower, she hatches a daring escape plan. Anyone who jumps into a seemingly bottomless hole just to follow a white rabbit has got some guts, and she seems unruffled by most of Wonderland's challenges.
Whether that's true or not, "Strictly Ballroom" is definitely a funny, heartwarming, still-fresh-and-original flick that your whole family can enjoy. With the help of Seiji, a boy she dislikes at first but then comes to respect, and The Baron, a magical cat figurine, Shizuku learns to listen to the "whispers of her heart" and push her imagination to amazing new places. We had a chance to talk about all these ideas, and a bunch of others, with Muppet stars Kermit the Frog and Walter. She says what she thinks, asks for what she wants, and can be pretty resourceful when necessary.
Like "Step Up 3" (and many other dance films), "Strictly Ballroom" focuses on a big competition; this time it's the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix Dancing Championship.
A lot of people see us as a band on camera but not a lot of people know that Lemonade Mouth was a band off-camera too. Will she find out more about the mysterious floating lights she watches from her tower window?
Considering this movie was made in the era of Disney princesses that didn't do much more than look gorgeous and sing to cute little animals, Alice is one of animation's first steps towards a more "modern" character.The colors. Our hero, Scott Hastings, has been training his whole life as a competitive ballroom dancer and it's his dream to take home this big prize.
A lot of people don't get enough sleep, either, so they can get fatigued in all the whirlwind. IML: That definitely shows, and is probably one of the reasons why the movie is so successful. We were lucky enough to see this new 60th anniversary release on Blu-ray disc, and TBH, it looks awesome.
However, he wants to do it using his own personal dance style and not the "strictly ballroom" steps everyone else does. What was the best part of the experience for you?Adam: The best part of the whole experience was having the movie finally come out! When "Tangled" was released in theatres last fall, it was a big hit with filmgoers of all ages thanks to the updated story, beautiful animation, catchy music, and voice acting talents of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, among others.
From the very opening scene in the flowery English countryside, the colors seem to just pop off the screen with bright, dazzling lusciousness. His parents are former ballroom dancers and now help run a dance studio, so the pressure is pretty high for him to win, and everyone wants him to just do the regulation moves. We'd bet that even original movie audiences back in 1951 (yeah, we're prolly talking 'bout your grandparents) didn't see an Alice this pristine and colorful.The voices.
Everyone, that is, except awkward beginning dancer Fran, who convinces him to take her as his partner and teaches him some new moves of her own. We're not sure what the writers were thinking with this particular version of Santa Claus, but he's not very jolly.
Gothel keeps control over Rapunzel by using the power of Fear against her; from an early age, she brainwashes her that the outside world is dangerous and filled with people who will do her harm. From Kathryn Beaumont as the sweet but befuddled title character to Ed Wynn as the maddest of all Mad Hatters, AIW has what is possibly the best line-up of voice actors in animation history. IML: What would you say to a young person who tells you he or she can't practice yoga because they're overweight, out of shape, bad at concentrating, has poor flexibility -- or any one of a ton of other excuses out there?Abby: I would say, those are all PERFECT reasons to practice yoga! We had these 75-foot monitors and a camera that would swoop in on your face and then shoot into the air. She'll yell at Rapunzel, then tell her how much she loves her (unconvincingly, at least to all of us). Our absolute favorites are Bill Thompson (the marble-mouthed White Rabbit), Verna Felton (the hot-headed Queen of Hearts), and Sterling Holloway (the other-worldly Cheshire Cat). The Special Edition DVD includes a "making of" documentary, a dance featurette, deleted scenes, a design gallery, and audio commentary.
He insults the elves after they go to all the trouble of rehearsing a Christmas song just for him, and he tells Rudolph's dad Donner that he should be ashamed of his red-nosed son. It was an incredible feeling with the fans there -- they were hired fans, but the screaming gave me so much adrenaline.

Rapunzel can't resist the urge to rebel, but she also can't shake the need to please her "mother" despite being treated this way. This scene isn't just a great bit of cartooning, it's an expertly-choreographed routine of slapstick comedy.
Then another says, "Dancing lets me be someone else for a few minutes." In other words, it can be whatever you need it to be! Frosty is goofy and lovable, and Karen, the little girl who helps build him, is sweet and kind.
I wrote all the raps for Wen on "Determinate," "Breakthrough," and "Highwire." The producers came to me before I even auditioned for the role of Wen and said they wanted me to help write the music for Lemonade Mouth.
These two characters form a great friendship, and they look out for each other like best friends should. When the temperature goes up and Frosty starts to get "all wishy-washy," Karen makes sure he gets on a train headed north.
They sent it over with the temporary vocalist and then they had a breakdown area with a beat and I got the vibe from the singer and made up my own twist.
Is there someone who treats you not-so-nice, which makes you want their approval even more? And when the refrigerated boxcar chills Karen and makes her sick, Frosty risks everything to get her someplace warm and cozy. Abby: Yes, yoga is part of the curriculum and it's also part of the culture at the schools where I teach.
Right before we left to film in New Mexico, the producers decided to do a bonus track called "Highwire" to use in a bonus scene for the DVD so I got to jump on that also. Let's just say that it's funny, but also a bit creepy.If you're a fan of the recent Tim Burton version of this story, you might enjoy seeing the original film treatment.
It's one of the most complicated relationships we've ever seen in a Disney movie.A good bad guy. And as is usually the case with these animated classics, it's a great Family Movie Night choice because your little sibs will probably enjoy it as much as your parents (and even grandparents). We do lots of group and partner exercises in yoga that give us all a chance to connect to one another in a peaceful way. Yoga practice in the curriculum gives an opportunity to be mindful of our own state of mind. But "Lemonade Mouth: represents the underdog stepping through, and the movie lets people know that anyone can follow a dream and make it happen. Another great thing is that the movie went into every character's life, so at the end of the movie the fans really know them. There are a lot of wonderful characters and scenes in this special, but Sombertown's red-headed schoolteacher is our fave. We love that she pretends to be all serious and strict, only to have her heart melt when the young Santa gives her the China doll she always wanted as a child, and we love that she grows old to become the iconic Mrs. When you feel healthy and empowered, it's easy to be yourself and have a positive impact on your world.
You can't really do a cartoon of the Rapunzel story if you don't get the girl's hair right, and the animators working on Tangled did exactly that: they got it right. Rapunzel's hair is like a character all its own in this movie, moving and flowing and trailing behind her in a beautiful ribbon of gold.
The filmmakers seem to be trying too hard to craft a plot that combines all the various details of various Santa Claus stories (not all of them accurately), and the tale comes out a little muddled in the end. A "making-of" featurette included on the disc includes some early work-in-progress animations that show just how hard it was to get all that hair to behave properly while Rapunzel walked, danced, and leaped around in her tower. We didn't really need to know that reindeer fly because of the Winter Warlock's magic feed corn, and the bit that explains how Santa's name is both Kringle and Claus seems a tad forced.
It kind of just happened and I took it so seriously, every single day writing music constantly.
One of the most visually stunning moments in the film involves a boat, our two main characters, and thousands of floating, drifting paper candle lanterns. I jut worked at it and jumped into acting and loved it and have done that professionally for 11 years now.
Impossible to adequately describe with words, the sequence is lovely to watch.Maximus to the max. There have been a lot of horses in animated fairy tales, but Maximus, the big, noble Roman-inspired white steed in Tangled, is special. He's got personality (horsinality?) to spare, and he's one of the funniest things about the whole film. We haven't liked a cartoon horse this much since Pegasus helped the hero save the day in "Hercules."Dreamy songs. Our favorite show-stopper is the hilarious "I've Got A Dream," which stars a gang of underworld thugs and killers who, deep down, long for different sorts of lives. It's wacky and wonderful, and kept us singing long after the movie was over.Modern heroine, timeless themes.
Disney princesses have come a long way from characterized as simply "beautiful," with a nice singing voice, kindness to animals, and ability to get a dwarf's house really, really clean. Especially when I write music, a lot of the influences come from personal experiences or from being on the outside looking in, being that person who witnessed things that stuck with me throughout my life.
And also not being scared to share an opinion about something that you know about and want to be heard on. I went to a lot of different schools so I was a quiet and shy kid, not really expressing how I felt, like Wen was in "Lemonade Mouth." I relied on a couple of personal experiences for that.

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