This post has been sponsored by KidzVuz on behalf of Amazon Studios.
The American Civil Rights Movement comes to life for young children with the new release of An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win, debuting on Friday, October 21 on Amazon Prime.
The new Amazon TV special tells the story a 10-year-old girl named Melody who in 1963 faces the realities of being black in America. She sees, hears and experiences all sorts of inequalities around her – including learning about schools in her neighborhood that don’t have books, being accused of shoplifting while simply looking at a dress in a department store, hearing her mother’s boss talk down to her and being bullied on the playground by a few fellow pupils. An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win presents real-life, tough historical issues in a family-friendly manner that is relatable for children.
Last Monday, my daughter and I had the opportunity to attend the An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win series premiere at the Galaxy Theaters at The Grove in Los Angeles. It was a beautiful fall evening as we watched the stars of the film arrive on the red carpet.
After sitting down in our comfy seats, we snacked on complimentary popcorn and drinks, and anxiously awaited for the movie to begin. I started a nice conversation with a mom and her two young daughters who had personally been invited to the premiere by the American Girl Store & Cafe in LA. Apparently, they were devout American Girl fans!
Throughout the movie, Field Trip Girl would lean over and ask me specific questions about the story line. She didn’t understand why some people in the film did not treat others with respect. She also wondered why some characters in particular “were so mean” (in her words).
Yet the star of the film, Marsai Martin (Black-ish), did an outstanding job at unpacking this complicated topic for both of us through her role as Melody.
Thanks to An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win, the movie sparked a conversation between my daughter and I about how Melody’s journey is relevant to today. As Melody’s mother (Idara Victor) says in the film,”Fear brings out the worst in us, but love brings out the best.”
After the movie premiere, we had the pleasure of attending a private party at the American Girl Place in Los Angeles. They had all sorts of delicious food, delightful crafts and colorful decorations reminiscent of the 1960s. Motown music also played throughout the evening.
An American Girl Story — Melody 1963: Love Has to Win, debuts this Friday, October 21 on Amazon Prime. I highly recommend watching it with your children to further the discussion of race relations in America. It is an extremely important topic that we all need to be involved in.
Happy Movie Watching!
Two weeks ago, my family of four and I were invited to the Hollywood premiere of The Stinky and Dirty Show hosted by Amazon Video at the Grove in LA. The premiere was unlike any other movie premiere I had been to! There was no red carpet, formal attire or paparazzi staked anywhere. Instead, the premiere was choked full of icky, messy and muddy fun as Amazon premiered The Stinky and Dirty Show!
This review was made possible by iConnect and “Bottersnikes & Gumbles”. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.
Hey, parents! There’s a new children’s series on Netflix called “Bottersnikes & Gumbles” that is chocked full of whimsical characters, playful language and a sense of urgency to protect those things most important to us.
I was recently invited by Netflix to review “Bottersnikes & Gumbles” for the blog with my family. While the show is designed for children ages six and up, the adults in my household loved it too.
Written by guest blog contributor Fran Sawyer. This post may contain affiliate links.
Last Tuesday, SoCal Field Trips attended Popplopolis, a star-studded color-popping party at the Lombardi House in Hollywood! We were kindly invited to celebrate the release of the second season of Popples, premiering on Netflix on March 11.
During the party, face painters were on hand to transform the children into their favorite Popples characters. The girls enjoyed having the pinkalicious Lulu painted on their cheeks, while the boys picked got to choose a Yikes mask.
My daughter was a little too young to sit for so long, but so instead she picked out a few Lulu-inspired hearts for her design. They did a fantastic job!
After throwing the ball and winning cool Plopples plush prizes, we cooled down from the California sun inside where more fun things were waiting for us. While Popples was playing on the large TV screen, we headed toward the cake-pop decorating tables and our kids kept true to their Popples spirits and decorated Yikes and Lulu treats.
There were also numerous celebrities in the house! Molly Sims helped her son decorate cake pops, while Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster!) was there hugging her favorite Popple. We also met Jamie-Lynn Sigler and YouTube sensation Megan Nicole, as cute as a button with her polka-dot dress. Nicole is lending her singing talent and voice to the second season of Popples as the character Squeaky Pop.
And, of course, one of the Popples was in attendance: a life-size version of the character Bubbles! My 2-year-old daughter had the funniest “oh-my-gosh-expression” on her face when she saw her favorite plush character come to life.
Needless to say my kids were exhausted after having so much fun and excitement at the Popplopolis party! And parents…if the name Popples rings a bell, that’s because it was a popular line of toys and a cartoon back in the ’80s. I also remember having one of the plush toys as a kid, but I think the new modernized line of toys is much cuter!
Happy Movie Watching!
This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Sony Pictures blogging program.
The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. #MiraclesFromHeaven
Miracles from Heaven is the remarkable true story of faith and blessings. Annabel Beam (Kylie Rogers), age 11, spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals with a rare and incurable digestive disorder that prevented her from ever living a normal life. One day when she was outside with her sisters, she fell three stories headfirst inside an old, hollowed-out tree, a fall that should have ended her life. Instead, she survived without a scratch. After being released from the hospital, she stunned her doctors and was inexplicably cured of her chronic ailment. Now that’s a miracle!
I had the opportunity to see Miracles From Heaven today as part of a Sony Pictures/Megan Media VIP event, and the movie hit close to home. Two years ago, my own daughter was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that I knew would change the course of her life forever. At first, I was in shock and denial. I pulled the comforter up over my head for about a week and cried non-stop. Then I decided enough was enough: it was time to get down to business to help my daughter. So the phone calls and the doctor visits began. As the denial letters from my health insurance rolled in, my appeal letters went out.
Over the course of a year and a half, my daughter received 25 hours a week of intensive speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy. Managing her therapy schedule, while attempting to keep our life as “normal” as possible and working part time and maintaining our home, was difficult to say the least. Some days, I just wanted to throw up my hands and say “I am done Lord! Why me? Why my daughter?”
Those were the days when the little miracles from heaven would appear. For example, when my daughter’s speech therapist would tell me that my daughter identified a new word and used it appropriately in a sentence. Or when a friend came over to clean my house. The biggest miracle of all came 18 months later when our local school district agreed to provide my daughter with a fair and appropriate education.
The fact that I had the strength and determination to advocate for my daughter for so long is a miracle in and of itself. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” This is the type of strength that Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner) displays in Miracles from Heaven.
Christy Beam, in my world of heroes, is a “warrior mom”. This is a compliment: a warrior mom is the one hanging by her fingertips while clinging to keep her family, job, friendships and sanity together. And she does this while displaying a sense of intelligence, grace, and rugged tenacity. That’s Christy Beam.
Jennifer Garner does a spot-on job portraying Christy Beam in Miracles from Heaven. After the screening, there was a Q & A session with producer Devon Franklin at Sony Pictures. There, I learned how Jennifer Garner was selected to play Christy Beam. Devon said that when he first sent Garner the script, she stayed up all night reading it. She felt she had such a strong connection with the Beam family, especially with Christy and Annabel, that the decision to take the role was an easy one.
Another spirited woman with great character in the film is Angela, portrayed by Queen Latifah. Angela, a waitress, befriends Christy and her daughter during their visits to Boston Children’s Hospital. Angela provides comfort and a helping hand when they need it the most.
Miracles from Heaven, directed by Patricia Riggens and starring Jennifer Garner, Martin Henderson and Queen Latifah, opens in the theaters nationwide on March 16, 2016. Advance tickets are available now through Fadango!
Go see Miracles from Heaven…we all need a little miracle sometimes!