Friday, April 21, 2017

Disneynature's Born In China. In Theatres Now! #BornInChina


Disneynature's "Born In China" opens in theatres today, just in time for Earth Day (April 22). Boo and I attended the Toronto pre-screening Wednesday night to get a sneak peek, so I could let you know what we thought. I don't think you'll be surprised to hear that we really enjoyed the film and recommend any nature or animal lovers go see it!

The film follows the stories of three main animal families - a very protective Giant Panda mom and her baby girl, a struggling Snow Leopard mom and her son and daughter, and a young Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey feeling left out by his family after the birth of his baby sister. Red Cranes and Chiru (a type of antelope) round out the stories. I would also say the incredible and varied landscapes of China play a key character role. The film is visually stunning.

Mountains, forests, deserts, snow, ice, sun, water. Born In China has it all.
Watching these animal families in their daily lives is both educational and entertaining. I couldn't help but think of my momma cat grooming her baby as the momma leopard groomed hers. Domestic cats really still have a lot in common with their wild cousins. And seeing the panda nursing her baby? So much like a human mother and child. It was so familiar and, I believe, encourages the viewers to connect emotionally with nature. That's a great message for Earth Day.

“The film explores the circle of life in a very emotional and uplifting way,” says producer Roy Conli. “Each story depicts a reality of life that is somehow reflective of our own human experience. It’s compelling to see how animals share certain values that we hold dear.” I read this quote after I saw the film, and it really sums up the feeling I had throughout.

However, I did feel at some points that the narration overly anthropomorphised the animals, but it wasn't overdone in general. This was not my favourite narrator of the Disneynature films, but that did not stop me from loving the film.

How sweet is this baby?
As the producer indicates in that quote, this is a circle of life film. Do I need to expand? Not everything is fun and games and cuteness. There is a death that may be upsetting to particularly sensitive kids (or adults - me), although it is handled well, not dwelled on, and the narration immediately goes in to a circle of life discussion. The radio station CHFI was one of the presenters of the screening, and they had people there interviewing the audience on their reactions to the film. I did approach them at the end of the night to ask about the death scene, and they reported that no one expressed concern, just commenting it was sad.

A final note - be sure to stay for the first part of the credits, as they come with a ton of vignettes from the filmmakers and extra shots of animal families.

The monkeys apparently loved the cameras!

Disclosure: I received media access to a pre-screening of this movie for review purposes. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own, or those of my family.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Celebrate National Pet Owners' Day on April 18 #PetOwnersDay


Last week we had National Pet Day. A day to focus on our furry, feathery, and scaly friends. But don't we do that pretty much every day? Not to knock the day - pets are awesome and bring so much love and happiness. I am all for celebrating them and spreading the word about the benefits of having pets in your life. But I'm kind of keen on today as well.

Today, April 18, is National Pet Owners' Day. Yep. It's a day for us, to celebrate owners and all we do for our little darlings. Kind of like Mother's Day or Father's Day, but with the fur babies. At least that's how I'm looking at it. (I wonder if PJ or Maxi have a special gift for me? Other than the stinky ones they usually leave.) As mom to 3 cats, a dog, and a ton of fish, I think I deserve to celebrate.


Of course, have pets, especially as many as we have, can be a lot of work. And pets can get smelly and bring a lot of dirt in the house. As pet owners, we know they are worth it, but we still need to clean up. Arm & Hammer products have long been on my list of trusted helpers, especially when it comes to pet odours. I swear by the Pet Fresh for your floors (just went through most of a box yesterday, vaccuuming the man cave!) And I've yet to find a litter that competes with their Clump & Seal. This new version, Slide, is a game changer.

Anyway. Here are a few tips from the fine folks at Arm & Hammer, to help you celebrate National Pet Owners' Day in style.
  • Find a product that gets rid of Fido’s footprints and funky smells forever. Even the most loving pet owners will admit that animals bring smells, dust, dirt and a lot of hair into the home. Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ Carpet & Room Odour Eliminator – Pet Fresh, will make your job easier and leave pet areas smelling fresh! It helps to release pet odours deep within carpets and loosens pet hairs, helping to lift up to 25 per cent more dirt than vacuuming alone.
  • Give back with a spa day. Fido’s day at the spa is one way to extend the life of your favourite piece of furniture. Make sure the spa visit includes a nail clipping – no more scratching at your brand new sofa.
  • Make #litterboxlife a little easier. There’s nothing worse than having to scrape the dirty litter from the corners of the litter pan. Today’s the day to switch to Arm & Hammer™ Clump and Seal™ Slide™ Cat Litter, which has a patented formula with “EZ Clean Technology” that helps stuck on messes slide out easily. Plus it delivers a 7-day odour-free home – guaranteed! No scrubbing, no scraping, no odour – no problem!
  • Let your fur baby have a sleepover. It might be hard to spend time away from your furry friend, but sometimes a night off is needed. Phone a friend who has always offered to pet sit for a weekendand finally take them up on the offer! Of course, your pet needs to be comfortable and happy to be with their sitter, but every parent needs a little break now and then. Your pet will get an adventure, and you can treat yourself to a mini vacation. 

Have you ever celebrated National Pet Owner Day? What did you do with your fur baby to celebrate?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Church & Dwight Ambassador Program, and as such receive special perks, products, and other compensation for my participation. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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