Tag archives for Movies
Earth Day is April 22! How are you and your family going to celebrate? It’s a great day to get outside and ride bikes, or make a point to recycle, but there are other ways you could spend the day. You can learn more about the Earth and the animals and creatures that make the world a special place to be.
Below are lists of books from National Geographic and movies which you and your family may want to take a look at on Earth Day. They all share the common theme of the environment (and some have cute animals too)! Do you have any favorites on the list?
True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin
This book offers you 100 great tips and tricks on how you can make a difference. Being environmentally friendly isn’t hard with these great ideas!
Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders by Susan Magsamen
You’ll never get bored with this environmentally aware book. Chock-full of poetry, literature, art and activity ideas, there is something for everyone and is great to share with the family.
Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis
Poetry is pretty great. Animals, are also pretty great. How about 200 poems about animals with pictures? Really great! This book is full of roaring, squeaking and soaring.
National Parks Guide U.S.A.
America’s National Parks are some of the country’s most valued treasures. This book has lots of great pictures of the sites, facts about animals there, tips on exploring, and more.
Amazing facts about 2,500 animals! This book has maps, fun trivia and 1,000 color pictures of just about any animal you’re curious about.
The World Is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley
How many times have you been asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This book helps you figure it out based on things you love and are interested in now as a kid. All the while encouraging you to explore, discover, and go on adventures!
A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley
This picture book helps show how we are all connected around the world by our need for water. It doesn’t matter if you get it from the kitchen or scoop it up from a river, we all need this vital resource.
One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley
No matter where you are from or where you are going there is one very basic fact: we are all sharing the same journey. Through amazing pictures and storytelling, see how we are all connected.
Backyard Wilderness by Catherine Herbert Howell
Here’s a pocket guide to many of the great animals found in North America including bats, squirrels, birds and bugs.
Earth in the Hot Seat by Marfe Ferguson Delano
Take a look at how the environment is changing and the scientific reasons behind. Maybe it’ll inspire you to make a difference!
This film shows what may happen to our Earth in the future if we don’t take care of it and leave it behind. By taking care of ourselves and protecting the Earth, we can live in a happy and healthy environment.
Can you imagine living in a world without trees? They provide us with oxygen and hundreds of homes for animals. We can all be like the Lorax and protect the remaining trees, or even plant new ones!
Though the rainforests may not be the home of fairies, it is an important ecosystem for other plants and animals. Deforestation and pollution are one the greatest threats to these lush habitats.
After seeing all the beauty that’s out there, can you imagine it all being wiped out by mankind’s careless ways? Do your part to make the Earth a better place for all of these animals.
How would you react if someone took away your home? These animals aren’t going to stand for the overdevelopment of their land!
March of the Penguins
Take another look at how amazing animals are and their natural environments. It’s our job to protect them.
Not everyone has the environment’s best interest at heart. But just like these kids in the movie, you can take a stand and make a difference.
BOOK NAME: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznick
Have you ever read a book that was a piece of art and a great story at the same time? If not, then you’ll find that The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a great book to try. In fact, it’s such a great book that they made it into a great move too and it has since won several Academy Awards. It is also impressive to say that you read a five hundred page book in one day, as long as you don’t mention that the majority of the book is pictures. However, you’ll find that this novel is like a picture book times a thousand with stunning illustrations, realistic characters, a nostalgic setting, and a mysterious adventure that will keep your eyes glued on the pages.
Hugo Cabret is a boy that lives in a magnificent train station in Paris. This boy’s father used to clean the clocks and make sure they stayed working. Hugo learned everything he knows from his father. He learned something new every day until the day his father died. Not wanting to go to an orphanage, he takes his father’s place so no one would notice his dad was gone. The only thing Hugo’s father left behind (besides his knowledge) was an automaton. An automaton is a complex humanoid “robot”. Hugo suspects his father left a secret message and when he gets it working he will understand.
On his own with no one to support him, Hugo goes through many tribulations, including to resorting to stealing. He steals food from the café, and steals small toys for parts for his automaton. The man who owns these toys catches him stealing and they come to find that they are not complete strangers.
This is a book that I think everyone should read, especially if you want to see the movie. This inspiring book is sure to be an instant classic.
MOVIE NAME: The Hunger Games
BASED ON: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I loved the book The Hunger Games and couldn’t wait to see the movie. The story takes
place in future North America, where the government randomly selects a boy and girl from each
District to compete in the Hunger Games. The goal for them is to kill one another and become
the last one standing.
Many of the scenes in the movie were exactly as I imagined them when I first read the
book. But there were a few changes. First off, the District 12 mayor’s daughter gave Katniss the
Mockingjay pin in the book for good luck. However, in the movie, an old lady gave it to her. The
time that Katniss spends with her District 12 friend Gale is shortened quite a bit, but that is
obviously done because of the time constraints of a movie. The only huge part left out is Peeta
losing his leg in the end of the Games. President Snow was much older than I had thought, and
he has many more parts in the movie than in the book. The head Gamemaker also had no scenes
in the book, but he has many in the movie. Ceaser, Katniss, Effie, Gale, Cato and Haymitch were
exactly as I imagined. My favorite character in the movie is Haymitch, mainly because the actor
who portrays him makes the scenes entertaining.
Some scenes in the Hunger Games movie actually are taken from Catching Fire, the
next book in the series. One example is when the people in District 11 start
rebelling and are quickly out-numbered by the armored police ironically known as the
Peacekeepers. This actually happened in District 8 in the second book. President Snow’s reaction
to Katniss and Peeta’s threat is also in the movie but
doesn’t come until the second book.
I loved both the book and the movie and am looking forward to watching Catching
Fire and Mockingjay on the big screen.
Many of you have left comments sharing which of the Harry Potter books is your favorite. The movies are just as popular as the books, and we’re really excited about the final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which will be in theaters on July 15.
We’d like to hear your opinions about the Harry Potter movies. Which one is your favorite? Which movie do you think does the best job of capturing the book? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!
A little yellow house like the one seen in the Pixar movie Up actually went up in the air on Saturday, March 5 as part of the upcoming National Geographic Channel series “How Hard Can It Be?”. Scientists, engineers, and balloon pilots worked together to launch a life-sized model of the Up house using 300 helium balloons! Not only did the team prove that a house really could be lifted by balloons, they broke a world record for the largest balloon cluster flight ever attempted.
How far did the floating house get? It rose to a height of 10,000 feet and was in the air for about an hour.
Want more balloon fun? Watch this video of a dog popping balloons!
Photograph by Stewart Volland
MOVIE NAME: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
BASED ON: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
I went and saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the day it came out, and since then (it’s been about a week and a half), I’ve seen it twice more. Needless to say, I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and this epic culmination of the series I’ve been following for 11 years was extremely exciting for me.
One thing that I liked about Deathly Hallows Part 1 was the extent to which it quoted the book. It was a call back to the first two movies, which were heavy with lines from the original books. I felt that this alone was a nice tie-back to the beginning of the series, since it is now coming to a very exciting end.
There is a lot of depth to themes that underlie the great battle between Voldemort and Harry: the battle of good versus evil and love versus hate barely scratches the surface. I think that the first part of the movie did a great job tying in these loose ends and the morality of the struggle between Voldemort and Harry.
Having said that, there were a few scenes in the movie with which I became disillusioned after seeing the movie again. For one, the scene where Harry and Hagrid are escaping from the Dursleys’ house to the Burrow struck a particular chord within me: in the book, the Death Eaters know that Harry is the real one because he sees Stan Shunpike, an old acquaintance of his, being manipulated by the Death Eaters, and he decides only to disarm him instead of stunning him and sending him to his death. Harry had used the same spell, Expelliarmus, against Voldemort when they had met three years previously. In the same scene, Hedwig was killed. I think that Hedwig could have been killed while still showing Harry’s true morality in the movie, and it would have reinforced Harry’s inherent goodness and mercy that is such an obvious theme within the whole series.
Another point that I didn’t like as much was the scene at Malfoy Manor with Peter Pettigrew. In the book, Pettigrew strangled himself with his ultra-powerful hand to let Harry and Ron go save Hermione. This tied up yet another loose end because Harry had stopped Sirius and Lupin from killing Pettigrew four years previously, and the magical debt that Pettigrew had to Harry was symbolic of the goodness of Harry’s actions. However in the movie, Dobby stunned Pettigrew and that was the end of his appearance in the movie.
Overall, though, the movie bore great resemblance to the book and I liked it the best out of all of the previous movies except for the first one. As an avid Harry Potter fan, I give the movie a B+, and strongly urge everyone to read the Harry Potter books as well as seeing the movie.
Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for actress Emily Blunt, one of the stars of the new movie Gulliver’s Travels. Emily answered your questions about the Lilliputians’ diet, her costar Jack Black, and what it was like to play a princess. Here’s what she had to say.
Image TM & © Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved.
Emily Blunt stars as Princess Mary in 20th Century Fox’s Gulliver’s Travels. Shipwrecked travel writer Lemuel Gulliver (played by Jack Black) finds himself transported to the hidden island of Liliput, where he towers over Princess Mary and the other tiny citizens.
Have you ever wondered what’s it like to work with Jack Black? Or how they made Gulliver look like a giant and the Liliputians look so small? Where’s the strangest place Emily Blunt has ever traveled while filming a movie?
Well, now’s your chance to find out! Send us your questions about Emily’s experience filming Gulliver’s Travels or questions about her experiences traveling around the world. Just leave a comment with your question on this post BEFORE 5:00 ET today (12/9), and we’ll send 10 questions submitted by NG KIDS fans for Emily to answer!
Image TM & © Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved.
Kristen Schaal is an American comedienne and actress who is the voice
for animated characters such as Pumpkin Witch and Palace Witch in “Shrek
Forever After” and
the web-savvy dinosaur, Trixie the Triceratops, in “Toy Story 3″ (the
DVD goes on sale today!).
NG Kids: How did you get into acting and voice overs?
Schaal: Well, I started out doing stand-up and that led to all the jobs I have now.
NG Kids: Can you tell us how your voice becomes part of a movie or a TV show?
Schaal: It depends on the project. Usually you’re in a sound booth by yourself and say each individual line in different ways and the director can take which one he or she likes the best and that’s usually how the movies work. For the TV shows I’ve worked, we’re in the room together with the entire cast and we’ll riff and improvise with each other. It depends on whose project it is, but usually you’re just by yourself in a sound booth.
NG Kids: How long did it take for you to do the voice for “Toy Story 3?”
Schaal: I probably went in two or three times and each time, only under and hour. Trixie’s only a very short scene.
Read the whole post »
BOOK NAME: Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture
AUTHOR: Kathryn Lasky
Soren is a young barn owl who lives with his family in the kingdom of Tyto. His little sister has just hatched, and his older brother is arrogant and defiant of their parents. For the whole 3 weeks of his life, Soren’s parents have recounted to him the Legends of Ga’Hoole, or tales of a noble group of their ancestors who did good deeds. Soren’s life is going just as planned–that is, until he topples out of the family nest and ends up on the ground 30 feet below with no way to get back up. His older brother refuses to help him, and Soren worries that something has happened to the Mrs. P, the blind snake who serves as their nest maid. Before Mrs. P can go for help, Soren is abducted by a group of strange owls and finds himself in a foreign place that he learns is called the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls.
Soren meets another abducted owl, Gylfie, and they both know that there is something very strange going on at St. Aggie’s. Questions are not allowed, and there are very strict rules. All new owls are given numbers and are ‘moon-blinked,’ which essentially brainwashes them. Soren and Gylfie know that they have to escape, and the story follows the formulation and execution of their plan to get away from St. Aggie’s.
After reading this book, I found out two things: that there are a total of 15 books in the series, and that a movie is being made out of the first 3 books. The movie is set to release on September 24, 2010. Overall, the book was very good. It was well-balanced as far as dialogue and narration go, and the storyline was engaging. My favorite character was Gylfie, the minute elf owl, who was always using big words. The author, Katherine Lasky, did a great job bringing the characters to life. My only concern is that I’ll have to read the next two books before the movie comes out! I would recommend this book to kids who are 9 years old or older because there are some mild fight scenes.
BOOK NAME: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
AUTHOR: J.K. Rowling
For all of Harry’s life he has been treated unfairly by his aunt, uncle and cousin. They put him in a cupboard to sleep in for the past eleven years he has lived there. One day Harry gets a suspicious letter that reveals a secret that has been kept from him. Harry is a wizard.
He goes to a wizarding school, Hogwarts, where he learns all kinds of magic and learns about his past too. Harry and his two best friends Ron and Hermione end up dealing with Centaurs, plants that kill, and teachers with two heads! Can Harry survive his first year with out getting eaten by trolls?
This is one of my favorite books EVER!! J.K. Rowling is and amazing writer because she always keeps you into the book. There are seven books in the Harry Potter series and six movies have been made. The seventh movies comes out late fall and part two comes out mid winter! I know I’ll be there opening night. The genre of the series is fantasy because of all the mythical and made up creatures that are invented in it. Make sure when you are reading this that you don’t skip around pages because crucial information that will come up in later books are found in this one. There are a lot of loose ends at the end of the book meaning you will have LOTS of questions but just keep reading and you will find out more, meet new people, and continue on this great magical adventure!
If you like the Harry Potter series, you should check out The Tales of Beedle the Bard, also by J.K. Rowling and it takes place in the world of Harry Potter.
MOVIE NAME: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
BASED ON: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The question I kept asking myself when I read The Lightning Thief was “who is the Lightning Thief?” This book is full of characters based on Greek and Roman mythology that are living in today’s world, and one of them has stolen the master lightning bolt of Zeus, the king of the gods. There are many mythological characters and creatures that are friends, foes and relatives of Percy Jackson, who the book is all about. Percy finds out that he is the son of Poseidon, the god of water, and that he has magical powers.
They made a movie out of The Lightning Thief, which I saw at the theater while reading the book. The book had a lot more detail than the movie, including some characters such as Ares and Kronos. Overall, I thought the book was better than the movie. One part of the movie that I did like was how they turned seven security guards at a museum into the seven heads of the hydra monster. While the ending of the movie was all wrapped up, the book had such a strong cliffhanger that I found myself reading the second in the series, Sea of Monsters, before I had a chance to write this review.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a new stop-motion animated movie based on Roald Dahl’s classic book for kids of the same title. The movie’s full of fun and animal “facts,” but are all these facts for real?
According to Fantastic Mr. Fox, beagles love blueberries. Is that true? Nope, according to Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel Club. “Most dogs don’t like fruit at all.” So what do beagles like to eat when they’re not eating dog food provided by their owners? “Poop for sure, the fresher the better–usually someone else’s, but quite often their own. And I have one [beagle] that digs up grub worms and eats them. They also like any paper products, and if they don’t eat them, they will tear them up,” adds Janelle Holmes, a Texas-based beagle breeder.
Which other Fantistic Mr. Fox facts don’t hold water? Find out (and watch the movie trailer) on NGM Blog Central.
Movie review by Lily, age 12
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Photograph courtesy Warner
Dumbledore takes Harry to Horace Slughorn’s house. The house looks like it has been robbed. After they find Horace, who has disguised himself as a chair, they ask him to be the new potions professor at Hogwarts. Harry and Ron take his class and Harry ends up with the potion book, “The Half-Blood Prince.” He uses the book to find out how Voldemort came across his dark magic.
In the end, Harry learns all of the secrets that Hogwarts has kept for years.
I liked the unexpected events that happened, including the VERY big one at the end. I won’t tell you what that was, because you have to go see the movie!
I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 cow spots.
How much do you know about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!