Dora and the Lost City of Gold


It seems like Hollywood is obsessed with turning animated animated films and television shows into live action movies. Disney started the trend. It seems like other movie studios have jumped on the “animation-to-live-action” bandwagon. The latest entry is a live action film of a popular animated television series – Dora the Explorer.

Dora the Explorer was an animated series back when my kids were little. It first premiered on Nickelodeon on August 14, 2000. I believe it’s one of Nickelodeon’s longest running series (I could be wrong). Dora still airs on television, but she has grown up since back in the day when my kids used to watch the series pretty much every day.

Dora is a young girl from South America who enjoys exploring. With the help of her best friend, Boots the monkey, her backpack and map, Dora solves puzzles and gets around obstacles. Along the way she teaches children how to say things in Spanish. Admittedly I learned a lot of Spanish words and phrases by watching Dora the Explorer, and I’m an adult!

I learned how to say “Happy Birthday” in Spanish, compliments of Dora (“Feliz Compleanos”).


I was a bit surprised to see that Dora the Explorer was being made into a live action, full length movie. What next? A Barney movie and/or a Teletubbie movie coming to a theater near you?

Honestly, I didn’t hold out much hope for a movie based on Dora the Explorer. To my surprise, the first time I saw the official trailer, I quickly changed my mind. Dare I say that the movie could be, good?

Based on Rotten Tomatoes (84% Tomatometer, 88% Audience Score), Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a hit.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. I was sent a copy of the film to review, along with some fun supplies that can be used to go on my own exploration adventures (more on that later).

Dora and the Lost City of Gold stars Isabela Moner (Dora), Eva Longoria and Michael Peña (Dora’s parents), Jeff Wahlberg (Dora’s cousin Diego), Eugenio Derbez (Alejandro), Benicio Del Toro (voice of Swiper the Fox) and Danny Trejo (voice of Boots the monkey).

Dora lives with her parents in the Amazon jungle in South America. Her cousin and best friend Diego used to live with them too, but his parents moved to the “big city” (Los Angeles, California).

Dora has always love to explorer, even on her own. Being an explorer is in her blood, thanks to her professor parents.

Her parents discover the possible whereabouts of a lost city of gold, Parapata. They feel as though Dora is not ready to go with them, so they send her to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin Diego in the “big city.”

Adjusting to regular life, most especially high school, is the hardest “adventure” Dora has ever had to go on. People are not very kind or accepting of her. In fact, they make fun of her for being difference, and for having a positive outlook and a overly perky personality. Even her cousin Diego is put off by Dora just being herself. When asked to make changes, Dora simply replies that all she knows is to how to be herself.

On a field trip, Dora, Diego, a nerdy classmate and a snooty classmate who doesn’t like Dora at all, end up getting kidnapped and taken to South America.

Once in South America, Dora learns that she was kidnapped to help them find her parents. They have no interest in finding her parents. All they care about is finding Parapata and they know the Dora’s parents know where the City of Gold is located.

Dora, Diego and their classmates were able to escape thanks to a mysterious “friend of her parents” named  Alejandro Gutierrez.

Now it’s a race against time to find her parents before the rebels find them or the Lost City of Gold. But the surviving the jungle is not that easy, especially for Dora’s classmates who have no experience being in the jungle.

Will Dora find her parents before it’s too late? Does Parpata really exist? Will Dora ever be able to return her life back to the way it was before venturing to the big city? To find out you need top pick up, download or rent Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.

In the beginning I thought the movie was a bit too “dorky” (for lack of a better description). Young Dora even goes so far as to say a word and look directly at the camera and ask viewers if they can say the word too (reminience of her animated television series). Between that and a poor CGI version of Boots, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this film. But… I gave it a fair shot, so I kept on watching it.

As each minute passed, the film got more and more entertaining. Sure, there were still some goofy parts, but for the most part I found myself very entertaining, especially towards the end of the film where the story peaks.

I’m very impressed by Isabela Moner. She IS Dora. She has the look, the manerisms and the overall “vibe” of being Dora the Explorer. She was the perfect choice to play that role.

In real life Isabela is 18 years old, yet she comes across as a few years younger in the film. By the way, the REAL animated Dora does make a cameo in the film.

I enjoy Eugenio Derbez. I have seen him in a few films and I have always enjoyed them. He’s a funny comedian, not only with his acting, but also with the expressions on his face.

I first thought this would be a film only five year olds would enjoy, but by the time the time the film had ended I realized that it’s a fun, family film for all ages – even adults.

The film is rated PG. I honestly don’t recall any foul language, and there is no nudity or sexual situations (two teens give an innocent kiss, that’s about it). I think the PG mostly comes from intense action scenes.

Along with the screener copy of the film, I also received a backpack filled with essentials one would need to take with them when going on an exploration. The backpack included;

  • Dora and the Lost City of Gold backpack
  • Young Explorer drawstring bag
  • Boots tote bag
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Binoculars
  • Magnifying glass
  • Crayons
  • Flashlight that powers up when you push down on the side of it.
  • And a beautiful flashlight from Maglite.

I may not be an explorer like Dora, but these goodies will come in very handy. The Mini Maglite flashlight will be helpful in case of a power outage, which we happened to have last night (transformer blew – most of the county lost power!).

The flashlight that powers up using the “button” you push on the side of it, is currently in the glove box in my car. You never know when you’ll need a flashlight when you are out and about.

The compass is also in my car. After all, you never know when you might need it.

The binoculars I am holding on to since that I can use them to do some bird watching from our balcony window.

You can never have enough crayons, especially if you want to do some Dora and the Lost City of Gold activity sheets. I have included the activity sheets (below). It’s a zip file.

Dora Activity Sheets

The whistle I have been using at work to get the attention of my “work kids,” most especially for fire drills.

If you would like to learn more about the film, check out the film’s Facebook page. The film is also on Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag is #DoraMovie.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. Please note that this is the theatrical trailer. The film is no longer in theaters.



*I received a copy of the film as well as other goodies. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Movie Review: Fantastic Fungi – Now showing in select theaters


When you see mold, fungus or even mushrooms, what do you do? Are you grossed out by the sight of them? Are you curious about them? Do you want to eat them? Chances are most people are not exactly fans of fungi.

My entire family is grossed out by the thought of fungi. As for me, I love mushrooms. I love to order mushrooms when we eat out at restaurants. At our local diner, their balsamic chicken dinner comes with mushrooms. My husband doesn’t request that they eliminate the mushrooms. He intentionally gets them just to remove them from his plate and give them to me.

Have you ever tried a portebello mushroom? I swear they could pass as meat. It’s a healthier alternative to meat, that is for sure. Plus it would mean less cows, and less methane gas destroying out atmosphere.

Did you know that you need fungi to make many of the things you enjoy eating and drinking, such as bread (yeast is a fungi), beer and cheese. If you saw mold on cheese, chances are you would never eat cheese again. But it is made using fungi.

If you enjoy blue cheese, you enjoy eating blue mold, because that is what is used to make the cheese. Personally, I’m not a fan of blue cheese. Not because of the mold, but rather I don’t like the taste.

If you have ever had a shot of penicillin, then you have had fungi injected into your body. Penicillin is made from mold.

There is a documentary that is now playing at select theaters across the country called Fantastic Fungi. It’s narrated by Brie Larson, and directed by Art by Louie Schwartzberg.

Some people, like my husband, thought the documentary would be either boring, or gross. Just the thought of fungi grosses him out, so there is no way he’d give a documentary about fungi a chance. Thankfully, I enjoy learning and I love mushroom, so I was curious about the film. I was sent a screener to review.

Fantastic Fungi gives viewers and in-depth history about fungi, and how it pertains to life, and by that I mean ALL life – from the soil to humans and everything in between.

There are over a million different types of fungi. That is more than the different types of plants on Earth. That to me was mind-blowing.

If you believe in the idea of evolution, human beings came from fungi. Not right away (of course), but over millions of years. Fungi is responsible for all life on Earth.

I love that this documentary provided viewers with an eye opening look at this amazing thing. Who knew that fungi was such a vital part of our lives, and we weren’t even aware of it.

Fantastic Fungi provides detailed information about how fungi is used today, including it’s medicinal purposes.

Fungi can even help save the bees (which is extremely important right now) and provide an all natural, safe “pesticide” to kill things like termites, ants and bed bugs.

Scientists and doctors are exploring how a single use of “magic mushrooms” can help with depression and anxiety, and give users a clearer, and happier, outlook on life? More so than taking drugs on a daily basis. That to me is sounds pretty amazing. I would much rather take natural substances than man made medications any day.

There is a whole community of people across the country, and around the world, that revere fungi. They have get togethers where they search for fungi, talk about fungi and even enjoy eating fungi.

I learned A LOT about fungi from this film. So much so that I am honestly curious about fungi, and I am interested in learning more about it.

I know a film like this might seem boring to most people, and perhaps it’s not your “cup of tea” (you can make tea out of mushrooms too!), but if you have the opportunity to see this film, I”m sure you will find it equally as interesting. It is truly an eye opening experience.

If you are interested in learning more about this film, or to find out where it’s playing near you, visit the film’s official website, FantasticFungi.com. The film can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those links are found at the top of the official website.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

Are you a fan of fungi? Do you think that you would be interested in seeing this film? Why or why not? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.



*I was sent a free screener in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Protect Our Oceans with the 100K Initiative #WorldOceansMonth


As I write this post I am enjoying some cold, refreshing water with my Zak reusable water bottle.

I will admit that I have used bottled water (plastic bottles). I try not to use plastic water bottles unless I have no choice. Take for example if I am out and run out of water and need something to drink. I have no choice but to grab a water bottle from a local convenience store.

Have you seen images of all the waste that ends up in our oceans? It’s HORRIFIC!

Did you know that every 3 seconds, 100,000 pounds of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean.


The plastic waste consists of a lot of things (toys, laundry baskets, garbage cans), but A LOT of this waste is plastic bottles from water, soda and other beverages.

Marine life is severely affected by all this mindless waste. I have seen countless photos online and on television of creatures harmed by all of this garbage that is not only floating on the ocean surface, but it’s also reached the depths of the sea.

Today happens to be World Ocean Day (June 8, 2019). June is also World’s Oceans Month.

There is a new campaign going on right now, in honor of World’s Oceans Month called the 100K Initiative. The campaign was started by FOUND Beverage Company, in partnership with the non-profit organization, Oceana, the world’s largest ocean advocacy group. The campaign is also supported by the fashion brand, Les Girls Les Boys, who are donating proceeds from their Swim Collection throughout World’s Oceans Month.

It is important to us to play an active role in helping protect our planet’s oceans and wildlife from plastic pollution as a beverage brand. We need to give consumers alternative and sustainable choices.  With the 100k Initiative, we are delighted to support Oceana’s efforts & offer people a choice that can help protect marine wildlife.” States Co-Founder of FOUND, Mark De Luca. “Plastic bottles are the number one plastic dumped into the ocean. We want to use the 100k Initiative to change consumer’s behavior on single-use plastics, and to have more people and companies be aware of this issue.”

The number 100,000 represents the number of marine mammals that are negatively affected by plastic in our oceans (according to UNESCO). For this campaign, FOUND has developed 100,000 glass bottles of their naturally sparking infused water to represent this amount. They are using the sale of these special bottles to raise money for Oceana.

“We need companies to recognize that they are selling us products made of what is essentially a toxic pollutant. It is why it is critical that companies focus on reducing and not just recycling plastic. And, it is why it is crucial that consumers, citizens, universities, towns and other organizations be given plastic free choices rather than the false hope and guilt created by recycling.” Begins CEO of Oceana Andy Sharpless. “We hear constantly from our supporters and others that they want to reduce their plastic consumption but don’t know how because they don’t have easy choices. It is time for all of us to demand the companies and governments provide these choices and make real steps towards reducing plastic use to dissipate the future tsunami of plastic headed our way. We need to do this for our oceans and our future.”

To date, Oceana has already protected over 4.5 million square miles of ocean and the sea life that calls the oceans home. Considering that our oceans cover over 71% of our Earth, it is important that it is protected.

The special 100K Initiative FOUND bottles were designed by globally renowned artist Amit Greenberg in honor of World Ocean Month and World Ocean Day.

Together these organizations will be holding a pop-up in New York City commencing on June 10 that will enable guests to experience the campaign, learn about the work Oceana does to protect the marine environment, and purchase products that will raise money for the campaign.

The limited edition FOUND 12 packs of Elderflower & Cucumber Mint infused waters will be available for purchase online for $36 at drinkfound.com/collections/the-100k-initiative.

I was sent a pack of Elderflower flavored water. I love the bottles. I love their simplicity. The bottles are also well made. I wasn’t worried about them breaking on me when I took them to work.

I would have preferred to try the Cucumber Mint flavor. I have had other cucumber mint flavored products, and even cucumber mint hand soap. But that is OK. I like the Elderflower flavored water too. It’s a unique flavor that I found very refreshing. Even my co-worker liked the taste of it.

If you would like more information about FOUND, or the 100k Initiative. visit The100KInitiative.org. You can also follow @DrinkFound and @Oceana. The campaign will also be using hashtags #the100kinitiative and #breakfreefromplastic across all social media channels.

FOUND and Oceana would also love for you to join the 100K Initiative by pledging to use less plastic at HERE.

Do you use reusable water bottles?

What will YOU do to protect our valuable oceans? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.


*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Review of the Award-Winning Documentary ‘Living in the Future’s Past’


If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I enjoy watching documentary movies, most especially ones about nature and animals.

I know some people might find documentaries “boring,” but not me. I truly enjoy the wealth of information documentaries supply. I also enjoy how many of them really make you think.

There is a new documentary releasing in select theaters across the country October 5 – 11, 2018 called Living in the Future’s Past. There will also be a special one night only theatrical event for the film on October 9, 2018.

The film is hosted and narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, who I must say was an excellent choice. He has a great voice. It’s very commanding, yet soothing at the same time.

What does the phrase “living in the future’s past” mean to you? To be 100% honest with you, I didn’t fully understand it at first. I don’t know why it didn’t “click” until I watched the film, which I was able to stream in order to do this review.

All of us – me, you, our friends, family, the animals at the zoo, the honey bee buzzing outside your window… we are ALL living in our future’s (something that has not happened yet) past. Ten, twenty, one hundred, one thousand years from now our lives today will be considered “in the past.” That is really an odd concept to consider.

Living in the Future’s Past explores the ideas of who we are, where we come from, how we think and why we do that things we do. It sounds complex, and in a way it is, but the way these topics are discussed by scientists and profound thinkers, it’s truly very fascinating. I found that what they had to say about “us” (humans) in today’s day and age to be very fascinating, and sadly, not all of it is good.

It’s hard to think of it when we go through our day-to-day lives, but everything we do has an impact on the future. Even the smallest thing can have a major impact. For example, the bowl of cereal you poured for yourself this morning, did you even stop to think about how that box of cereal got to your table? Do you ever think about the tree that was chopped down to make the box? Or do you think about the tractor trailer that brought the cereal to your grocery store that uses a lot of gas and omits noxious fumes into our atmosphere? Most people would say “no.” This film challenges us to see the “bigger picture.” The world is not just about “us” today. Every thing we do RIGHT NOW has a huge impact on our planet’s future.

The film also explores how we, humans, are no different than the creatures that share our planet with us. The cows, eagles, whales, even tiny insects all evolved and survived and deserve to live just as much as we do. Their lives are no less meaningful than our own, and I think people often forget about that.

In between the interviews, the film shows an array of breathtaking imagery of landscapes, creatures and nature that is all around us right now. I could sit there and watch hours upon hours of the beautiful images. It just exemplifies how amazing this planet is that we live on.

Not all of the images are pleasant. Some of the images depict all of the things we are doing to destroy Earth. Industrialization, waste, population increase, the effect our daily lives has on the atmosphere – they are all having a major impact. What will all of this have on our future and for future generations?

This is the type of film that truly makes you think. It is entertaining, but not in the traditional sense. Honestly, I appreciate having a movie that is more than just two hours of special effects and plots that have been played out time and time again. This film is refreshingly different.

I was able to view the film (for review purposes) online. I don’t know if there will be any bonus content in the release of the film for home viewing.

For more information about the film, visit LivingintheFuturesPast.com. The official hashtag is #LivingintheFuturesPast.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.



*I viewed the film online for free. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Celebrate Earth Day 2019 with DisneyNature’s Penguins


Happy Earth Day 2018! Have you done anything special today to celebrate the day? Personally I haven’t. I have been doing homework all day today. In fact, I just finished after working on it since I got up this morning.

DisneyNature has made it a point to release a new film just in time for Earth Day over the past decade. This year (2018) they didn’t release a film, but they did release a trailer for next year’s film, which is coming to theaters just in time for Earth Day 2019. The film is called Penguins.

Disneynature’s all-new feature film Penguins is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family.  None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind Bears and Chimpanzee, Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

Check out the film’s trailer.


Awwww! I love it! I can’t wait to see it. I have seen all the DisneyNature films to date and I have no intention of missing Penguins either.

If you would like to keep up with this film, you can follow DisneyNature on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

The official hashtag is #DisneynaturePenguins.

What do you think about the film? Do you think you’ll see it when it comes to theaters?

Have you seen any of the DisneyNature films? Do you have a favorite?


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Learning To See: The World of Insects


Are you a fan of insects? I don’t mind them for the most part, but I am not fond of spiders (Brown Recluse specifically) or creepy, crawlies that scatter about in the darkness. Ewww!

I also don’t like Praying Mantis. They scare the heebie jeebies out of me. I was “attacked” by one as a child (it jumped on me – I saw it as it was attacking me). I guess the situation scared me for life because I truly cannot stand them.

My mom passed away from complications from a Brown Recluse bite. For that reason I am weary of big, brown spiders.

When I come across an insect I usually leave it alone. If I want to get it out of my house I do my very best to capture it and release it back outside. That’ just how I am. I don’t believe in harming another living creature unless I have no choice.

I recently had the opportunity to watch a documentary all about insects. It gave me a new prescriptive about insects and a new appreciation for them. The movie is called Learning To See: The World of Insects.

Learning To See: The World of Insects is a documentary about a very interesting man named Robert Oelman.

When the film first started it was all about Robert and his life, both growing up and as an adult. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what this all had to do with insects.

Robert grew up on a pig farm in Ohio. As an adult he moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he worked as a psychologist.

Working with people with issues, such as depression, brought Robert down. It’s as if it sucked the life out of him and he wasn’t happy.

A friend of his gave him a the book “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Robert enjoyed the book. It also made him curious about the country of Columbia. So much so that Robert decided to go on vacation in Columbia.

Robert found the Columbian lifestyle appealing. The people there were more laid back, friendly, and genuinely seemed happy and content with their lives. That appealed so much to Robert that he took a leap of faith and moved to Columbia.

Once in Columbia, Robert purchased a home with land. He also hired people to help him, including Christian Lopez.

For the fun of it, Robert started taking pictures of the things around his property, including insects. He really enjoyed the photos he took of the insects and together with Christian they would scour the property looking for more insects to photograph.

Soon Robert felt like they photographed just about every insect there was on his property, so he and Christian started to explore other areas of Columbia. They eventually expanded to Peru.

Over the past 20+ years, Robert has photographed rare and previously unidentified insects. His photographs have given not only scientists, but also every day people, a close look at these amazing creatures.

Photographing the insects is not only a hobby for Robert, but his work also helps to bring awareness about the importance these insects play in our ecosystem, and why destroying their environment (such as the Amazon rain forest) will eventually effect all of us – as human beings.

It was explained this way in the film – which I think makes it all perfectly clear.

Think of every species (insects, animals, humans…) as a brick that together makes a house. A brick house is a strong house.

If you did away with a single species of insect (represented as a brick), the house would still hold up. But as you keep removing bricks (species), the house becomes weaker and weaker until it eventually falls apart. That is what will happen if we, as humans, keep killing off the creatures that belong on the Earth with us.

In addition to that eye opening anaology, seeing the remarkable photographs Robert has taken over the  years is very interesting. There are some fascinationg insects in this world. Some are downright ugly or scary looking whereas others are beautiful and remarkable.

Remember earlier in this post where I said that Praying Mantis scare me. In this documentary there are a few. At one point there is a Mantis “licking” it’s “arms” and wiping off it’s face – just like a cat would do with it’s paws. WOW! I never knew that they did stuff like that. That was really cool to see.

If you are interested in learning more about this documentary, you can check out the official website, LearningtoSeeFilm.com.

The film is currently available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and Vudu.

In addition, you can check out the film on social media. All of their links are found on the film’s website/home page.

Below is the official trailer for your enjoyment. You can also see some of Robert’s stunning photographs in the trailer. In addition, there are more videos on the film’s website worth checking out.



*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.