My Day at the Moana Masterclass

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you may have seen that last weekend I was lucky enough to travel up to London to go to the Moana Masterclass, put on by The Guardian, and it was such an incredible day!


Despite being up at 5.30am, I was so hyped for the day that I didn’t get a wink of sleep on the train like I normally would – although the shrieking children across the aisle from me may have had something to do with that – and I arrived at Waterloo feeling super excited. In all the excitement, however, I managed to forget to put a memory card in my camera that morning, so I’m afraid all my photos from the day were taken on my phone as I had no time to buy one in my dash from Waterloo to the cinema!


The event was at Picturehouse Central – the cutest cinema located just off Shaftesbury Avenue – and it was outside there that I met my company for the day, Sophie, Cara and Courtney, and we headed inside to join the queue of people waiting to be lead in. The queue time consisted of a great deal of Disney discussion, as you’d expect, interrupted only by the guy coming to check our tickets.. and hand out 3D glasses. At this point my heart dropped a little as I had no idea we’d be shown the movie in 3D, and I’ve never enjoyed watching things in 3D, but I tried to keep an open mind.

We were taken to a screen right at the top floor of the building – hello three sets of escalators! It was a fairly small room, which was great because we were in the third row and felt fully emerged in the whole thing. After a little introduction, we went straight into the good stuff – the latest short, called Inner Workings, which was a brilliantly funny cautionary tale about embracing life – then the movie began..

I’m not gonna spoil the story, but I had tears streaming from the first minute. As well as the film meaning a lot to me personally, it was just so perfect. I’d probably go as far as saying its the most visually stunning film I have ever seen; Disney have absolutely out-done themselves on this one. As for the 3D, I actually thought it only made the film better! Unlike other films, it didn’t feel like I was watching something in 3D, it just gave the scenes a more natural feeling of depth, and I would actually recommend seeing it in 3D if you have the change!

Everything about the film was perfect, the casting, the music, the visual effects, and it left me speechless, feeling totally in awe.

After the showing, we had a break for lunch, which, while the food was good, the organisation was a little poor as there wasn’t space for everyone to get around the buffet, and we had to stand as there wasn’t enough seating for everyone in the lounge that it was done in, but we filled the time talking more Disney, then went back into the screen for the Masterclass with John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer.


For starters, seeing Disney legends so close was just so awesome. They started with a presentation about their inspiration for the film, and all the research that went into ensuring cultural accuracy, then went on to talk about the casting, music and all the stages of production from storyboards to finishing effects. As John and Ron are famous for their hand-drawn animation, it was really interesting to hear about their first experience with digital animation on this film.


After their presentation, there was a short Q&A session. We learned a little about how John and Ron both got into Disney animation in very different ways, they talked a little about some of the Easter Eggs in the film (look out for them!) and they also gave some advice for those looking to get into animation and film making. As a total dunce when it comes to animation and visual effects, I just sat and listened to what was being asked and answered, but if you want to know a little more, keep an eye out on Courtney’s blog as I’m sure she’ll be posting a more detailed account from the eye of an illustrator!

Honestly, it might sound like I’m just gushing about this but that’s because it was such an incredible experience and I had the greatest day. I feel so lucky to have been able to see the film before general release, and it was more perfect than I could have ever dreamed, and I just feel so honoured to have been in a room with such legends from the world of Disney. There’s one quote from the day that stuck in my head the most, and its a quote from an elder that the team met on one of their many research trips:

“We’ve been swallowed by your culture. One time, can you be swallowed by our culture?”

Let yourself be swallowed by this film. You’ll enjoy every second of it.

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Thoughts I Had While Watching Finding Dory

I hate how late I was to the Finding Dory party. I mean, I’ve obviously been looking forward to it since it was announced, but it had been out almost two weeks before I saw it!


And because I’m rubbish at writing proper film reviews, I’m gonna make like my similar Zootropolis post, and just share some of the things that popped into my head while sitting in the cinema – spoiler free!

‘That was just the cutest short ever’

I always love Pixar shorts, but I think that was definitely my favourite!

‘Oh the opening titles..’

Such a cute nod to the original

‘I need a baby Dory’

You can get one from the Disney Store, just FYI..

‘I too like purple shells best’

Shells in generally are just all so pretty

‘Kids these days are getting sassy’

Its true, and I like that they’ve reflected that

‘Dory is just so damn relateable’

I think we all feel a little Dory at times

‘I miss Monterrey Bay’

Please can I go back to California now?

‘Seriously, is Idris Elba in everything at the moment?!’

How does he have time to do his laundry between all these movies?

‘I want to join the cuddle party’

Sea otters are just so adorable

‘What would Dory do? are words to live by’

All life decisions are gonna be made this way now

‘I’m not crying, I’m not crying’

Follow the shells..

‘Holy carp!’

I found that way funnier than I should have done..

‘This is the funniest film I’ve seen in a long time’

I may even go as far as to say I enjoyed this more than Finding Nemo; I don’t know if that’s because I got all the jokes now being an adult, or because its been so hyped up and completely lived up to the expectations, but I think Pixar have gone and done it again!

Have you seen it yet? What did you think?

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Thoughts I Had While Watching Zootropolis

Hands up who’s seen Zootropolis? *raises hands*


If you haven’t, don’t worry, this is spoiler free, but seriously, book those tickets and go go go!

‘I could watch this 100 times and still not spot all the tiny little details that Disney have put in’

I’m surprised I didn’t pull a muscle trying to watch everything all at once.

‘Ok, I already want to watch this again and I’m only 10 minutes in’

I want to spot all the details!

‘Tiny hamsters in tiny business suits. This is the best thing ever’

This should be a real thing.

‘I didn’t know Josh Gad did a voice in this!’

He didn’t..

‘Is Idris Elba doing an English or American accent or both?’

I still don’t know the answer to this. I’m not even sure he knows the answer.

‘Judy Hopps is really rocking that uniform’

Clothes have never suited an animal more.

‘Do I have a girlcrush on an animated rabbit?’

She’s just such a pretty rabbit! Those purple eyes..

‘I just love Ginnifer Goodwin’

Yep, basically.

‘Oh my gosh is that a carrot logo on the back of her phone?’

Move over Apple..

‘Pig Hero 6 ahahaha’

Sow funny. Get it..

‘I definitely need a carrot recorder pen’

You can genuinely buy these from The Disney Store.

‘The references Disney sneak in for the parents are brilliant’

Living proof that Disney isn’t just for kids.

‘Ok, now I need the tsum tsums’

I hate buying merch before a film comes out, but I guess its acceptable now..

Do you agree with me on any of these?

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Have Courage and Be Kind

We are lucky enough to be having some totally gorgeous weather in Bournemouth this week, so today I am blogging from a picnic mat in my garden while soaking up some sun and imagining I’m in Florida!

So yesterday I went to see Cinderella in the cinema again, and second time round I was still blown away by the beauty of it, not just visually but also the messages it conveys.

“Have courage and be kind”

For so few words, this quote has so much power. You may not think that courage and kindness are really all that linked, but in life I think that kindness can sometimes take a whole lot of courage; sometimes we just don’t want to always be kind, sometimes we think we’ll feel better by belittling people whether it be in words or just in our own minds, but does that really makes us a good person, even if we temporarily feel better for it?

No, it doesn’t. Kindness is selfless, and unfortunately that is why so many people choose to ignore their kind urges, because they don’t believe it will serve any purpose to themselves, but that is where many are wrong. Kindness is not innate, we must learn how to be kind and in doing so we must discover our own way to enjoy it, whether it be that warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping another living being, or just appreciating a simple thank you.

“They treat me as best they can”

We cannot expect kindness from those we do not treat in the say way. Although Cinderella isn’t treated right by her new step-family, she can appreciate that that is simply the only way they know how to act, and does not restrict her kindness to them, as she hopes that through her kindness they may learn it too. How simple would it have been to tell Kit that she was not treated well? Perhaps she thought about saying that. But in her heart Cinderella is grateful that she is not treated worse, as she knows she could be. She has lost so much that she has learnt to appreciate what she still has, which is a purpose to keep on going.

“But kindness, kindness makes it everything”

And the Fairy Godmother was right: kindness improves everything. Its like service vs. service with a smile, there isn’t anything we do that cannot be improved with the addition of kindness. I don’t imagine anyone has ever said ‘the only thing that could have improved that would be if they hadn’t been as nice’, and if they have then I feel sorry for that person, who cannot appreciate the act of kindness that they were lucky enough to have received. Kindness is a gift we all must learn to appreciate from others, and be generous enough to share with those around us.

“Will you take me as I am?”

Acceptance of others; it is a thing that in this world I cannot imagine why it is so difficult, yet is is a thing that occurs so frequently that we believe it to be normal. In order to accept others, we must allow ourselves to see them as they truly are, see past whatever assumptions and negativity we want to put upon them and understand why they are who they are. To give someone your understanding is a great kindness, and you may find that they are kind enough to give you theirs in return. And if they don’t, you must try to understand why they cannot, and learn that this is not a reason to withhold kindness from them, as it may be that it is something they do not understand.

“I forgive you”

The power of these three little worlds is astonishing, for without forgiveness the world would be a very different place, and if more people believed in the act of forgiveness then it would also be much changed, but for the better. If Cinderella can forgive her step-mother for her poor treatment and even imprisonment, then why is it so difficult for those of us who suffer so very little to forgive those who wrong us in such minor ways. What does forgiveness cost us?

Nothing. And those who do not expect forgiveness will be more changed for knowing it; being forgiven for wrongs we have committed shows true courage and kindness from our victims, which we in turn must learn to have and appreciate.

“The fairest and kindest”

We must all endeavour to be described as such. We must compete with ourselves to constantly become a better person than who we were before, always improving with time, and learning to show kindness and forgiveness to not only those around us, but also to ourselves. If we cannot be kind and understanding of ourselves, the person we truly know best, then how can we know how it feels to do the same for others. We must look at ourselves in the mirror and see the person we are, and where we have come from to be where we stand today. We must always be the best versions of ourselves, but know that everyone is capable of mistakes, and therefore we must forgive ourselves for them.

So will you make the pledge with me: to have great courage and learn true kindness? From here on out I promise to always try to find the courage for kindness, to understand and forgive others who cannot, and accept them for who they are. I promise to try to make everything better by adding kindness, and always strive to be the fairest and kindest person I can be, and forgive myself when I struggle to be so.

Are you with me?

°o°

6 Reasons Why I Loved Big Hero 6

I’m going to be breaking from usual posting this week because a) I’ve got a few other things to write about and need a bit of a break from regular scheduling and b) I’m working away this week so I’m a little short of time!

BUT..

Yesterday I saw Big Hero 6! I know its been out since the end of January but me and the boyfriend just haven’t had the time to go see it until now.

I think love is a bit of an understatement; it was AMAZING. So I’m gonna talk today about why I loved it, and hopefully won’t give away any spoilers!

1. Baymax.

This big guy needs no real explanation: he’s adorable, hilariously funny and has a robotic heart of gold.

2. San Francisco is one of my favourite cities ever.

Ok, so the movie is set in San Fransokyo, a fictional combination of San Francisco and Tokyo, and the designers did an incredible job of combining the two cities; so clever! Picture the hills and streets of San Fran, with classic Japanese buildings scattered around, cable cars, brightly lit skyscrapers and the Golden Gate Bridge with a pagoda like structure, genius!

3. Honey Lemon is literally me as a Disney character

I literally gasped when she came on screen. Not only does she look like me (blonde-brown hair, glasses and a love of wearing yellow), but she’s a nerdy scientist, which is exactly who I was in school.

4. The smart kids are the cool kids.

This film is giving out a great message to the younger generations: using your brain and skills can revolutionise the way the world works, and anyone can be at the forefront of this change if they set their mind to it.

5. It teaches us that those we’ve lost are never truly gone.

Throughout the story, Baymax helps Hiro through the stages of grief that accompany the loss of a loved one, and quite literally proves that everyone lives on in your heart.

6. Baymax.

I mean, just look at him!

°o°

Review: The Princess and the Frog

Today I watched The Princess and the Frog for the first time.

Until now I’ve been a little sceptical, being from a generation of the true classics, about how a new princess film would match up to something as legendary as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but I was pleasantly surprised..

1. There is a character called Lottie – how could I not love that? (although I wish she had been a little less self-absorbed and money-orientated)

2. Not a magical kingdom far, far away.. – Mixing it up, Disney set the scene in Jazz-age New Orleans, with real life, hard-working parents James and Eudora raising their beautiful daughter Tiana.

3. That girl can work! – Tiana teaches little girls all over the world that dreams can come true if you work hard to make them a reality. Once again, Disney buck the traditional princess trend: Tiana’s ‘kingdom’ is the restaurant she built from scratch, and she continues to work post-coronation.

I wouldn’t put it in my top Disney films, and compared to other more recent princess films (I could watch Tangled all day), it doesn’t have me rushing to buy it on DVD, but I can’t say no to a good bit of breaking social norms!

Well worth a watch 🙂