Harry Potter

Normally we are a “got to see it immediately” kind of movie going family. I wondered why no one was rushing to see the final installment of Harry Potter.  So finally this week, I suggested we really should see it and certainly before Matthew heads off to college. His best friend Daniel (you can hear them both in many of our toyportfolio.com videos this summer) – is also heading back to college.  So off we went.

I think we all enjoyed it, but I realized during the last five minutes of the movie why we had all delayed. Like so many other families, our children have grown up with Harry and his gang. Much the way Harry, Ron and Hermoine were all grown up at the end of the movie (not the final scene where they are ridiculously aged to look older)…so too were the  two young men sitting next to me. I could still remember when they jumped out of their seats when the spiders were overtaking Harry in the Forbidden Forest.

The end of the movie marked the unofficial end of their childhood. I’ll admit it, I was weepy. The boys  thought I was being silly.  My husband smiled at me the way he does when he appreciates my more emotional take on things. He took my hand and we all walked home together.


Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

Sometimes you watch actors on press tours and feel their discomfort. Maybe the movie isn’t what they hoped it would be–or maybe after a month of saying the same thing around the globe they’ve had enough.  We can usually feel those moments..

But if you watch this video that announces the new Harry Potter experience at Universal Orlando…and more specifically the Ollivanders wand shop…you’ll see a cast deliver the lines…my favorite is from Michael Gamdon (Dumbledore)…”I need  a new wand…”

Even the coolest wizards in the world sometimes still need to sell the soap.

Jim Dale…wonderful as always!

Screening audios can be pretty painful- each year we ponder giving it up.  The music is often preachy or so frenetic that you want to scream, and so many of the books on audio are so dry, you can’t imagine any child sitting through any of it–without falling asleep.

And then we get to something recorded by Jim Dale and we feel happy that we cover this category of children’s media.   If you’re looking for something to enjoy in the car, we’d highly recommend Return to the Hundred Acre Wood read by the unmatched narrator of our generation, Jim Dale.  It’s now available from Penguin Audio.  Don’t be put off by the introduction…get to the story and all of the wonderful voices of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and gang.  As you may know this is first authorized sequet to A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner in more than 80 years. There are two new characters, Lottie and Otter.  (And if you have a child that wants to begin the Harry Potter series but may have trouble with the length of the titles–Jim Dale brings the whole Hogwarts gang to life.  Perfect for long trips–you’ll all want to get back in the car.)