CBC’s wonderful Wiretap podcast says goodbye after 11 years with this adorable short film featuring wisdom from elders to youngers, ages 7-93. It covers everything from taking off the training wheels to asking a girl to dance to being kind […]
CBC’s wonderful Wiretap podcast says goodbye after 11 years with this adorable short film featuring wisdom from elders to youngers, ages 7-93. It covers everything from taking off the training wheels to asking a girl to dance to being kind […]
Ever wonder why Pixar’s movies always begin with a desk lamp? Watch Pixar’s first computer-animated short, released 29 years ago today.
It was only 95 years ago that American women first got the right to vote.
Dorothy McKim produced one of my favorite of the recent Disney short films, “Get a Horse,” which brought old-time Mickey Mouse into the era of 3D CGI with an eye-popping, with a hilariously intricate choreography that literally jumps out of […]
Thanks to my friend and fellow film critic Eddie Pasa for sharing this short film by Patrick Jean, the inspiration for this week’s “Pixels.”
I love the way Wil Wheaton sort of plays himself on “The Big Bang Theory.” The characters interact with him as Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher from “Star Trek: TNG” and star of “Stand By Me” (and “Serial Apeist 2″). But […]
Lewis Black plays Anger in Pixar’s new film, “Inside Out.” So who better to remind the audience to TURN OFF THEIR CELL PHONES!
AISH made an Uptown Funk parody in honor of Passover: And so did Six13: Hag sameach!
Here’s a great Rube Goldberg-style contraption tribute to Passover from the folks at Technion. And here’s a glimpse of how they put it together.
My very wise mother always says, “If someone pays you a compliment, don’t argue or deflect it. Just lower your eyes and say, ‘Thank you.’” This wonderful film from the great folks at Soul Pancake shows exactly how important that […]
Tom Hanks really, really, really, really, really likes Carly Rae Jepsen!
What advice would you give your younger self? In celebration of International Women’s Day, take part in YouTube’s global #DearMe initiative to inspire and empower young girls everywhere.
And don’t forget the only live action film written by Dr. Seuss, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T!
Happy Purim! May this be a year when all the Hamens of the world are vanquished. This tale, was once told In the days of Achashverosh This one needs a new girl Needs a good girl A straight masterpiece! So […]
“Uptown Funk,” from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92. According to the Choir’s website, Between all of his […]
See what happens when Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Ana, Elsa, Olaf, Cinderella, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney Characters magically surprise unsuspecting shoppers with their “Disney Side.” Smooth moves, Mickey!
Big Hero 6 will be out on DVD/Blu-Ray February 24, 2015. Here’s a cute clip from the DVD extras.
This stunning ballet was choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi
Vanity Fair has cajoled all of the top British actors into re-creating classic American movie lines, featuring everyone from Dame Judi Dench to Benedict Cumberbatch, in this adorable video series. Here’s a sample.
I always enjoy Jimmy Fallon’s lip synch competitions and this is one of the best, with Will Ferrell performing “Drunk in Love” and ‘Let it Go,” Kevin Hart going all out with “All of Me” and “Roar,” and Fallon rocking […]
“Frozen” fans have a treat in store! A short “Frozen” sequel will be in theaters next month, shown before Disney’s new live-action “Cinderella,” opening March 13, 2015. You can get a glimpse of it here.
High school teacher Scot Pankey brings the funk to the entire school in this joyous dubstep video. I love its spirit and its inclusiveness; everyone is just there to have fun. It has become a viral sensation, tweeted by Michelle […]
Alan Menken, currently composing the songs for “Galavant,” here sings some of his greatest hits, including songs from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Enchanted,” “Pocahontas,” “Tangled,” and “Newsies.”
Pure pleasure: Four great Disney artists, Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Josh Meador, and Walt Peregoy, paint a tree. There’s a reason they call them actors with pencils. Or, just call them geniuses.
When his sons text at the dinner table, a father responds. This film from Matthew Abeler won the Best Comedy Award at the 2014 Five16 Film Festival. In less than two minutes, it makes its point and makes us smile.
I can’t think of a better way to start the new year than these suggestions from Kid President. Happy 2015!
Hannah Brencher has a story to tell about how she helped herself by helping others — through the almost-lost art of real letters on paper. Make 2015 the year you write some letters — thank you notes, condolence notes, someone […]
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child’s world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year’s best ads.
You don’t have to be a fan of “Downton Abbey” (or “Mr. Selfridge”) to love this hilarious spoof, with guest appearances by Jeremy Piven, George Clooney and the Absolutely Fabulous Joanna Lumley.
“Moonquake Lake” has a lot of star power behind it — “LEGO Movie” directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord and stars Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rihanna. And it looks….intriguing, some sort of “Twilight”-style supernatural teen romance. It just isn’t […]
Happy Hannukah from StandFour!
The New York Times brought together the stars of some of this year’s biggest films and asked them to kiss. Each is a tiny gem of a film that suggests so much more.
I love this video, which reminds me of some of my favorites from OK Go. It seems deceptively simple but they have some remarkable dimensional and reverse-motion effects. Nice song, too!
Us the Duo, the adorable Carissa and Michael Alvarado, whose song is featured in “The Book of Life,” have a new video with the top hits of 2014 in just 2 1/2 minutes.
Watch Peter Pan Live! On NBC Thursday, December 4 at 8/7c.
Kristen Bell (“Frozen”) and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser have a new Christmas song sure to be a classic: “Text Me Merry Christmas.”
All my best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all, and please know how thankful I am for the time you spend here.
Professor Drew Morton deftly shows the connections between three films about listening or looking in secret and what secrets are discovered or uncovered: Blow Up, Blow Out, and The Conversation
No one making movies anywhere is more creative than OK Go. This is pure kaleidoscopic joy. And all it took was a few umbrellas. Some background on the making of the video here.
Here’s a cute reminder on movie theater manners.
From Morgan Spence
One of my favorite songs, performed by many of my favorite performers. Here’s the guide to who’s who.
Thanks to Matthew Rissien for this parody of “All About the Bass.” For something a little more spiritual, here’s Barbra Streisand singing the beautiful hymn “Avinu Malkeinu.” Translation: Our Father, Our King Be gracious and answer our prayers For we […]
It was on September 17, 1789 that the US Constitution was approved. The Bill of Rights was not added until later, but let’s celebrate that, too. How many can you name? This will help you remember them.
Watch how Pixar uses the colors of the rainbow to create a mood, tell a story, and delight the eye.
I’m delighted to share some of the behind-the-scenes artistry that went into LAIKA Studios’ “The Boxtrolls.” You can see some of what I found so enchanting on my visit to the studio last spring.
Sacla staged an impromptu Opera in the food aisles of a London grocery store. They planted five secret opera singers who were disguised as casual shoppers and store staff amongst the groceries who broke into song bringing the foodhall to […]
Top directors do more than movies. Take a look at these clips from Emmy-nominated television series and these music videos made by some of the most talented directors working in Hollywood, including Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), […]
I’m really looking forward to “Dolphin Tale 2,” even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, […]
Taylor Swift, who can be seen in “The Giver,” debuts her first pop album with this adorable video. There have been some online discussions about whether Swift is racially insensitive or even racist. That is a subjective assessment viewers will […]
Produced by a team of Deaf campers & staff from Deaf Film Camp 2014 at Camp Mark Seven.
I love this endearing story about how people in even the most unexpected of jobs can make a real difference.
“Can I put on some real clothes now?”
Brendan Gleeson gives a magnificent performance as a warm-hearted priest in a sad and damaged world in “Calvary,” opening next week across the country. Here’s an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring Gleeson and Director of the Pauline Center for […]
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz.
Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (“We Bought a Zoo,” “The Devil Wears Prada”) talks about inspiration in this latest in the terrific Academy Originals series from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
It is literally….very instructive!
Weird Al Yankovic, gets weird about Pharrell Williams’ ubiquitous “Happy,” with some help from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, and Jack Black! Update: I am pleased that Weird Al, who is the gentlest soul alive, has apologized for the thoughtless use […]
Colbie Caillat is not the only one paying tribute to the full range of female beauty with a new video. John Legend’s “You & I” is a deeply moving tribute to the woman he loves, who appears in the video […]
This is what we are celebrating today. Happy 4th!
A safe and happy celebration to all!
In this short from the terrific Academy Originals series, Seth Rogen says that it is friendship that is at the center of the stories he likes to write. [Warning: Some strong language.] “Academy Originals” is AMPAS’s first original digital series. […]
Always brought in Lauren Greenfield, is an award-winning American artist, and documentary photographer and filmmaker, to create their #likeagirl videos. What do we think of when we hear “throw like a girl,” “run like a girl,” or “fight like a girl?” […]
Glen Keane is one of the all-time greats of old-school hand-drawn animation. He was responsible for characters like Pocahontas and Ariel. Much as I love computer-animation, there are some things only a hand can do, and his hand is one […]
This should give you a clue.
OK Go consistently produces the most creative music videos around — and some great songs as well. Here’s their latest, fun with all kinds of optical illusions, and shot in one take. And, for a refresher, two of my other […]
When I get stuck in an airport, I usually buy trashy magazines and trashier food. This man made a brilliant video.
Did you see Hugh Jackman hopping through the opening number on the Tony Awards? Top that next year NPH! You might have caught a glimpse of the movie dance Jackman paid tribute to as he hopped by, the wonderful Bobby […]
I Like Giving is a non-profit devoted to inspiring us to be kinder. For Memorial Day, watch the short video about a veteran in need and a man who helped him, changing both their lives.
Many thanks to my friend Leslie Combemale for sharing this adorable reminder that we are better off experiencing the world directly instead of staring at screens.
“Your voice is worthwhile. Have faith in it.”
Kay Robertson has made a short video for “I am Second” with some frank talk about marriage, motherhood, and her struggles with depression.
And catch the Cantina Band auditions, featuring Chris Daughtry, Ben Folds, Liz Phair, Reggie Watts, Mark McGrath, Jordin Sparks, Rick Springfield, Weird Al, Lisa Loeb, and mc chris.
I love it when a song and video inspires tributes that pop up all over YouTube. And Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” an irresistible tune with a simple video of people dancing, has inspired people all over the world to do their […]
This time of year always makes me think of “Windy Day,” one of my favorite short films. John and Faith Hubley created this wonderfully impressionistic animation using a recording of their daughters playing together as a soundtrack.
What do the Simpsons and the LEGO movie characters have in common? A couch!
Esquire has a fascinating story about a short film called “Black Angel,” “created to accompany The Empire Strikes Back in theaters. It was the directorial debut of Star Wars‘ pioneering set decorator Roger Christian and a special request by the big man himself, […]
In this charming story, a man finds his life transformed by a robot pet.
One hundred years ago this week, British music hall star Charlie Chaplin made his first Hollywood film, the silent “It’s a Living.” It would be a little while before his classic character of the little tramp really came together. He […]
The Ylvis song What Does the Fox Say is an international hit and there have been many parodies, like the Kerry Washington skit on SNL. I love this Quaker tribute to founder George Fox, funny, sweet, and inspiring at the same […]
The delightful Be Kind Rewind introduced the concept of “sweding” a film — remaking it with whatever low-tech, analog materials are on hand. The makers of next week’s “Lego Movie” asked fans to “swede” their trailer and you must see the […]
Most associated with Steven Spielberg, the “dolly zoom” shot is the vertiginous technique that has the camera moving backward as the lens zooms in. Here’s a terrific compilation — hold on tight!
And the LA Times explains how they do it. As the film business has become an increasingly global one, [Rick] Dempsey’s job has become ever more complex, with languages in emerging territories added every year. The newest additions include Bengali, […]
The Rijksmuseum museum in Holland took one Rembrandt painting from 1642, Night Watch and brought it to life the characters in a busy mall. Thanks to my mom for sending me this one!
A compilation of worldwide YouTube content, the crowd-sourced documentary “Life in a Day” by Kevin Macdonald, and local footage by Jon Goodgion. Audio is the spoken word poem “Instructions For a Bad Day” by Shane Koyczan.
Here’s a treat to warm up this cold snap! This week’s case on “The Good Wife” concerned the use of a song on a “Glee”-style television show. The cast decided to engage in some very un-courtroom-like behavior. I got a […]
From The Pet Collective: Kittens star in “The Lion King.” And puppies re-enact “Elf.”
Humorist James Thurber’s most famous short story is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Like most of Thurber’s male characters, he was a milktoast, shy, repressed, and hen-pecked. On a shopping expedition with his wife, he daydreamed of adventure and […]
The actors who created some of this year’s most intriguing performances each appear in a eleven original (very) short films directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. The one-line scripts are from the year’s best screenwriters, from Lake Bell of “In a […]
Arlo Guthrie sings about an unforgettable Thanksgiving.
I’m delighted to present a clip from the cute new holiday film, The Naughty List. Two young elves, Winter and Snowflake, have a hard time following the rules and are prone to sneaking off for some good elf playtime. But […]
Watch a 60-second version of my Pick of the Week, the cute “Turbo” about the NASCAR racing snail.
Paul McCartney invites some friends to dance to his new song, “Queenie Eye.” Watch out for: Meryl Streep, Jude Law, Kate Moss, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Chris Pine, and…..?
I just want the Roots to play on every song ever.
SoulPancake has performed a heartwarming experiment that proves a surprising path to happiness. Watch it; I promise you’ll be grateful.
This one is a smile-through-tears of the week. Just lovely.
The US Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1797.
The Forgiveness Project has assembled some touching and inspiring films about the issues we face around forgiveness, asking for it and giving it. In this film, people find ways to forgive the unforgivable. “No matter which side of the conflict […]
For more, check out Frances England’s new Blink of an Eye CD.
Photographer Sam Cornwell took one second of video a day of his new son, Indigo, and it is breathtaking to see him go from newborn to first steps. Guaranteed heart-melter.
As the daughter and wife of two guys who are truly great fathers, I love this new ad from Fatherhood.gov.
For Memorial Day, Sundance is making available online two outstanding short films about the military. Please take time to watch them with your family. For aviation fans, get ready for a ton of wonderful archival footage coming your way in […]
In this lovely underwater Deep End Dance, Conor Horgan dances with his 76-year-old mother.
Happy Paul Revere Day! Here’s the classic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
How did they do it?
50 years after they recorded the first Beatles single, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Martin got back together.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Murray discuss the word “reinforce” — to make something stronger.
Reminiscent of this year’s adorable Oscar-nominated short, “Paperman,” this very romantic Australian short is the story of a lonely office worker who falls for a pretty girl in the window of the building across the street.
Disney’s Oscar-nominated short is one of the best movie romances of 2012. It appeared in theaters before the feature “Wreck-It Ralph.” The music is by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” Christophe Beck and it was produced and directed by John Kahrs.
Today — and every day — we salute the vision and courage of Rosa Parks, not just for what she did one day in being arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to […]
Listen for Judy singing “rainbows” instead of “reindeer.”
Everyone who grew up in Chicago in the 50’s knows and loves this one:
This adorable film is the story of Christmas as told by the children of St Paul’s Church, Auckland, New Zealand.
“The Nutcracker Suite” is a Christmas tradition. There have been a couple of movie versions, but none as good as this exquisite moment with Natalya Arkhipova as the Sugar Plum Fairy from the 1989 Bolshoi version:
A Rube Goldberg-inspired machine for lighting the Hanukkah candles: And behind the scenes: Don’t try this at home!
Out of the blue, I was contacted by The Hang, asking if they could use some of my photos for a music video. I was delighted to say yes, especially after I heard the song, which is very funny and […]
From this weekend’s Comedy Central Night of Two Many Stars benefit for autism (Sunday at 8 Eastern), this touching duet: Her father says, “I’ve taken off the idea that there’s some limit on her.”
The Piano Guys play New Directions’ “What Makes You Beautiful”
Psy has inspired more people to get up and dance than anyone since Los del Rio had everyone dancing the Macarena. Even robots are dancing gangnam style. And of course there are flash mobs. Barcelona, Spain: Bergen, Norway: Cornell University I […]
Here he explains how he got thousands of people to dance with him on camera. Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law Lise for sharing this with me!
I am still enjoying the weekly episodes of “Written by a Kid” on Geek and Sundry’s YouTube channel. Here’s another one of my favorites. The behind the scenes videos are also lots of fun.
As we prepare for the memorable moments of the 2012 Olympics, let’s take another look at this one, when a black American competed in Hitler’s Berlin and, as the world watched, he put the lie to Hitler’s claims about Aryan […]
Could Joss Whedon be any more lovable? He creates smart, provocative, and funny television shows with strong and fascinating female characters. He directed one of the biggest movies of the year, “The Avengers.” And now he stars as an action […]
Brain Pickings writes about a terrific series of cartoons for kids that explore logic and ideas. Even adults can learn a few things — and they may need to, as watching these will make kids very good at arguing! […]
Many thanks to my wonderful friend Brandon Fibbs for sharing this heartwarming short film.
My favorite part of Moonrise Kingdom was the books. Wes Anderson’s props are often more appealing than his characters (I still long for that luggage from Darjeeling Limited). “Moonrise Kingdom” is set in 1965 and one of its lead 12-year-old characters […]
Thanks to The Wrap for sharing a heartwarming gem. The auto-tuned Mr. Rogers is just as friendly a neighbor as the original. I am not going to embed the clip because I am sorry to say it is followed by […]
The New Yorker has a lovely piece about this short documentary about a remarkable boy who created an entire arcade with just cardboard — and imagination.
This beautifully balletic version of Paul MCartney’s new song, “My Valentine” features Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp performing in sign language. The song is featured in McCartney’s new standards collection, Kisses on the Bottom. NOTE: Do not pay attention to […]
Flavorwire has a sensational collection of actors reading poems in honor of National Poetry Month. Here, Bill Murray reads to the construction workers building a new poetry center. Other readers include Alan Rickman, Bill Clinton, and Anthony Hopkins.
Thanks to my mom for sending me this cute Passover video!
In a lovely short film by Carlos Lascano, reminiscent of the opening sequence in “Up,” two birds from a young girl’s drawing take flight to explore her dreams for her future.
Director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar grew up in India and began his career with music videos, and you can see the influence of both in this joyous musical number from Mirror Mirror. The Huffington Post’s Katie Calautti has a fascinating piece on […]
Ah, that explains why I can never remember anything!
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) was first known for its conferences, attracting extraordinary speakers who told the people lucky enough to be in the room amazing, thrilling, and inspiring stories about the latest discoveries in science and the arts. When those […]
“Act of Valor,” featuring active duty Navy SEALs, is number one at the box office and has inspired some nice “thank you” responses from viewers.
Congratulations to Harry Bossert — how many of these scenes can you identify?
Suggested by my darling daughter:
How can Kindle compete with this?
There’s a mini-“Tangled” sequel before “Beauty and the Beast” 3D! Here’s a sneak peek! A full sequel is scheduled to appear on the Disney Channel this spring. Stay tuned.
It isn’t Christmas for those of us who grew up in Chicago watching “Garfield Goose” until we see “Suzy Snowflake.”
I thought I knew of — and loved — every film version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” But what a delight to discover a new one, and an Oscar-winning animated version by one of my favorite artists, Richard Williams (of “The […]
If you are feeling frazzled with holiday preparations, take a moment to enjoy the pure magic of this excerpt from one of the finest animated films ever made:
As the latest Chipmunks movie opens up this week, we remember how it all got started, with the Grammy-winning 1958 song, “Christmas Don’t Be Late:” The singing chipmunks were created by songwriter Ross Bagdasarian, who had appeared in the Alfred […]
Montblanc, maker of some of the world’s most magnificent pens (I am a pen nut and adore lovely fountain pens), has invited everyone to submit short films about beauty. Really short — just one second. There are two ways to […]
Roger Ebert reports that “Star Trek” captain William Shatner and “Star Wars” princess Carrie Fisher are engaged in a battle bigger than anything involving Klingons or The Empire — the relative merits of their two franchises. Check out the warring […]
This week’s release of “Hugo,” based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, is inspired by the films of George Méliès, the French magician-turned-filmmaker who pioneered the field of special effects. “A Trip to the Moon,” made in […]
A Walk in the Woods
posted 5:50:12pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »
AJ Hakari, Mack Bates, Betty Jo Tucker and I Talk About the Fall Movies 2015
posted 5:09:27pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »
Opening This Month: September 2015
posted 3:24:52pm Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »
Trailer: Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl"
posted 11:05:10am Sep. 01, 2015 | read full post »
Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »