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Pixar took some lumps after Cars 2 was released. There were more than a few people that believed that it was not up to Pixar’s standards. I was one of them (all is forgiven thanks to Cars Land!). Don’t worry, Brave (and La Luna) has Pixar back on the pedestal where it belongs.

Brave is set in Scotland, and it follows the contention between Princess Merida and her mother, Queen Elinor, over the fate of the former — and it wasn’t something pulled from a previously existing fairy tale, but rather the real experience of story creator Brenda Chapman (except she isn’t Scottish royalty). According to Brave Director Mark Andrews (pictured below), “Brenda Chapman came up with the storyline and the characters, and it came out of her being a parent and her trials and tribulations with her daughter.”

Disneynature’s Chimpanzee opens this weekend and as such you may be looking for some information and activities that tie-in to the film. You’re in luck.

The good people at Disneynature have released a series of kid-friendly activity sheets, educational packets, and production information for your enjoyment (I know I said it’s for non-chimps, but chimps can do it too. It’s all in the thumbs!). Take a look:

Do you remember the first time you saw a Disney branded consumer good. It was probably Donald Duck Orange Juice. A fun way to get kids to eat a little more nutritiously. Disney knows that getting kids to become animated about healthy lifestyle habits is not always easy. To help,Disney Consumer Products (DCP) has announced a new program to equip parents and busy families with the tools they need to incorporate more of these habits into a busy schedule.

Through a series of weekly challenges over the course of 12 weeks, D-Lightful Living: Animate Your Daily Routine will give parents tips inspired by fun Disney-branded products on how to help motivate their families to make simple and easy changes like eating more fruits and vegetables, improving oral care habits and preparing for cold and flu season. Hosted on DCP’s official Facebook page known as Disney Living, each week DCP will feature a video challenge from the “Go-To Mom,” Kimberley Clayton Blaine — a mom blogger, child development expert and licensed child therapist. She will showcase simple tips and product suggestions to help other parents guide their kids toward a healthier lifestyle using products that feature their favorite Disney characters. The program will run weekly through the end of November.

“Encouraging children to incorporate health-minded changes, even small ones, into their daily routines is often frustrating for parents,” said Blaine, a mom of two boys. “With help and inspiration from Disney-branded products that feature some of kids’ favorite characters, moms and dads can inspire healthier habits that feel like fun and not a task.

Please welcome guest author Daniel Wanderman and photographer Liz Degen. All photos are from Liz unless otherwise noted. A big thanks to them both.

As a Disney aficionado and frequent visitor to the parks, I jumped at the chance to experience the grand opening of the freshly redesigned Disney Store at my local mall.

Over 80 years ago, Roosevelt Field was the site of an airfield where Charles Lindbergh took off in the Spirit of St. Louis for his historic transatlantic flight to Paris. Today, the area is home to the eighth largest shopping mall in the country and the first Disney Store on the East Coast to undergo this magical makeover.


Disney Store North America General Manager Molly Adams

Our day started with a tour of the store led by Molly Adams, Vice President and General Manager of Disney Store North America. She showed us around the 4,500 square foot facility and reminded us that it’s “not just another place to buy Disney products; it’s really about being immersed in the Disney experience and feeling the magic.” This became apparent as she led us down a trail of pixie dust, one of the signature icons of the new stores.


Photo by Daniel Wanderman

Lots more below the jump: