Build-A-Bear Pikachu Images And Details Released

Build-A-Bear Workshop has released new images and details for the Pikachu Build-A-Bear.

Pikachu will be available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in North America, Europe and Australia, and online at BuildABear.com in late December. Beginning today, fans can pre-order the exclusive Pikachu offerings at buildabear.com/pokemon. The pre-order options will be available while supplies last, or until the product is released.

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Those interested in owning their own Pikachu will two options to choose from:

The online-only package will include a pre-stuffed Pikachu plush; an online-only sound chip; a Poké Ball hoodie; an online-only Charizard costume; and a Build-A-Bear Workshop-branded Pokémon TCG card. After completing a pre-order purchase for the online package, guests will receive an email confirmation of their order and a secondary email message once the product ships. Guests will not be charged until the order ships.
The make-your-own Pikachu plush—that comes with a Build-A-Bear Workshop-branded Pokémon TCG card as a gift with purchase—will only be sold in stores following the pre-sale. (A Poké Ball hoodie will also be sold separately at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores only once the product is in stores.) After completing a pre-order for the in-store plush, guests will receive an e-gift card via email and then a secondary email message when their pre-ordered Pikachu plush is ready for pick up at their designated Build-A-Bear Workshop store. After receiving the pick-up notice email, guests can present a printed copy of their e-gift card or show the e-gift card to a Build-A-Bear Workshop associate on their mobile device or smartphone to receive their make-your-own Pikachu plush that will be stuffed and stitched in store.

See Frozen fan-favorite Olaf on Sofia the First in exclusive clip

A familiar face is helping Sofia out on her newest quest: Olaf from Disney’s Frozen. Josh Gad will be reprising his popular role as the lovably confused snowman for a new episode of Sofia the First.

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In the episode titled “The Secret Library: Olaf and the Tale of Miss Nettle,” Sofia must stop the wicked fairy Miss Nettle (Megan Mullally) from stealing the snowdrop flowers from the kingdom of Freezenberg. It’s the perfect setting for Olaf to pop by and help Sofia out by showing her that she doesn’t need her magic amulet to save the day.

In the very first sneak peek at his appearance, the exclusive clip above shows Olaf and Sofia’s introduction. Their meeting of the minds is complete with many of the gags the dopey snowman pulled in Frozen, including his disembodied head directing the rest of him to its location. The episode will premiere following an airing of Frozen on Disney Channel.

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Why Your Children’s Television Program Sucks: PAW Patrol

It’s time once again for our ongoing series surveying the awful shows you’re forced to endure before you can finally kick the kids out of the TV room to watch sports for eight hours.

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The Show

PAW Patrol

The Theme Song

PAW Patrol!

PAW Patrol!

Whenever you’re in trouble!

PAW Patrol!

PAW Patrol!

We’ll be there on the double!

The Mythology

PAW Patrol takes place in a (Canadian) town called Adventure Bay that apparently has no functional fire department, police department, or local contractors. So whenever someone around town has a problem, they have to go crawling to a volunteer squad of seven puppies (not even grown dogs!) and one (Canadian) boy, all of whom work out of the town’s space needle. This is what libertarianism looks like, people. Think about that the next time you read an Ayn Rand book.

Episode Format

Every episode starts with some moron in Adventure Bay getting into an easily preventable jam: Oh, no! Mayor Goodway’s chicken got caught in a tree! Bereft of any municipal infrastructure, they’re forced to call up Ryder (that’s the boy) and the PAW Patrol to come save the day. Once Ryder accepts the assignment, he cries out, NO JOB IS TOO BIG, NO PUP IS TOO SMALL, which is a hilarious lie. Imagine calling in a teacup poodle to solve the Syrian refugee crisis. What a fucking joke.

While off-duty, the PAW Patrol pups are basically just a bunch of average, stupid dogs. But then Ryder summons them to their Lookout (that’s the space needle), and they transform, Voltron-style, into a bunch of highly trained rescue canines, each one able to drive and operate a rescue vehicle of its own. I bet they can also sniff for heroin and everything. Anyway, Ryder gives each of them a task (“Marshall, I’ll need YOU to recover Mrs. Fisk’s tampon box from the ocean floor”). Then they go save the chicken (or whatever), and then Ryder rewards them by telling them that they’re all good pups (but how can anyone feel special if EVERYONE is special?) and gives them biscuits for their trouble.

Characters

Ryder. The leader. Has a phone AND a Canadian accent. I don’t know why there are so many Canadian children’s TV programs. There’s this one, and Max & Ruby, and the universally despised Caillou. What is Canada doing making all this shit? Is this some passive-aggressive manifestation of your resentment of the United States’ near-total domination of North American economics and pop culture? If so … well played. Well played, you maple-humping ice farmers.

There is some controversy around the voice of Ryder, because he’s been played by two different actors: Elijha Hammill and Owen Mason. Why the switch? What did Owen Mason do wrong? Did they sub him out for a less Canadian voice? Did some insane stage dad demand triple the salary for his child so that he could afford to rent an apartment for his mistress? Did they REALLY expect us to not notice the switch? What are they hiding? Someone get me a squad of trained cats to quietly investigate this.

Chase: The cop dog. Hence the name. Get it? It was two years before I made that connection. Same with …

Marshall: The fire dog. Hence the name. Sensing a pattern yet? Also, whenever Ryder calls on Marshall, Marshall cries out, I’M FIRED UP! Very subtle. Roughly 90 percent of this show is catchphrases.

Rubble: Bulldog. Has his own digger. It’s pretty cool. I’ve already told my kids that Rubble is my favorite PAW Patrol dog. The rest of them can go get hit by a truck. Rubble’s the one I’m taking home. WHO’S A GOOD PUP?! IS IT YOU?!

Skye: Girl dog. Has her own helicopter. Is likely paid less than the male puppies on staff. Her lack of character depth is highly problematic. ANSWER FOR YOUR GENDER IMBALANCES, CANADIAN ANIMATORS.

Rocky: Another dog. Drives a recycling truck. What fucking good is that? The only time I need a scheduled truck pickup is if I’m throwing out a piano or I’ve murdered someone.

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Zuma: Drives a race car.

Everest: Snow dog. Was NOT an original member of the PAW Patrol. CAVING TO THE SNOW LOBBY ONCE MORE I SEE. Anyway, Everest makes her debut in a special hour-long episode called “The New Pup.” Did it ruin the show forever? Yes. Everest is the Cousin Oliver of the PAW Patrol. Shame on you, Guru Studios.

Mayor Goodway: Mayor. Incompetent. Has a pet chicken. Is afraid of hot air balloons.

Chickaletta: The chicken.

Best Episode

Any episode without commercials. A while back, Nick Jr. would air entire episodes of this show without ads, but now that PAW Patrol is a big deal and PP toys are flying off the shelves at Target, you get ads in between each vignette. They even have ads right after the title sequence, reminiscent of the NFL cutting to commercials after any kickoff. Really gets my goat. My children are spoiled 21st-century TV consumers with NO patience for commercials of any kind. The second the show cuts to commercials, they cry out for me to fast-forward as if there’s a fucking boat on fire somewhere. Not cool, Nick Jr. I expect you to indulge my children as horribly as I do.

Worst Episode

Any episode with commercials. Parking a child in front of a television is my oasis. It is my release: a touch of peace of quiet in an otherwise hectic day. I need the viewing (and hence, the silence) to be continuous.

Pros

I actually have no real problem with PAW Patrol. The animation is shit, but what do you expect? This isn’t Pixar. The pacing is gentle. The lessons are fine. And kids love puppies, so it only makes sense to have a show featuring puppy garbagemen and the like. The pups help everyone out, the problem is solved, and my children come out of the exchange relatively unscathed.

Cons

My kids want a dog now. Many of them, actually. I’ve managed to hold out so far, but it’s only a matter of time. At some point, I WILL crack. And then what will happen? I’ll tell you: They’ll feed and walk the dog for ONE day before abdicating their dog chores. And then I’m stuck with a de facto fourth child. No. No fucking way. No dogs until you people are 30 years old or older.

“Kung Fu Panda 3″ Entertains And Inspires

HOLLYWOOD—Most people spend their entire lifetime figuring out who they really are. “Kung Fu Panda 3″ tells a self-discovery story so universal because it depicts an experience everyone is bond to go through in their lives sooner or later; yet, a story so unique because this journey is not only about the clumsily cute panda’s personal realizations and growths, it also highlights an important conversation about the differences and similarities between the Eastern and Western culture.

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In the movie, our hero Po, the panda who happens to be a Kung Fu genius, learns the essence of Kung Fu by exploring who he really is and what it means to be a part of a family as well as a community. Therefore, acquires the ultimate power in Kung Fu to defend his village from being attacked by an evil Ox.

While the part where he rejoins his family and only becomes stronger because of the community he belongs to exhibits traditional Eastern family value, the other part where he defends the village against the evil falls into the classic Western type of save-the-world superhero genre.

Through Po’s journey, the movie manages to unite the collectivism in Eastern culture and the individualistic heroism in Western culture under the universal theme of self-discovery and family value.

The first Kung Fu Panda movie emphasized on Po’s self-realization of whom he needs to be, followed by the second movie, in which he overcomes his self-doubts and starts to head into the right direction of becoming the hero he’s destined to be. Now the third movie in the franchise advances Po’s journey even more. It provides Po with chance of going back to where he’s originally from, lets him find his real identity, and ultimately hits home by giving out a perfect explanation of why he is who he is.

While “Kung Fu Panda 3″ aligns well in this franchise in terms of Po’s character arc, it also deepens the story greatly because up until now, the Kung Fu Panda series has successfully completed its own exploration towards the three basic philosophical questions of life: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?”

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What’s better is that those stodgy messages underneath the Kung Fu Panda series are conveyed through a straightforward, but engaging enough story of a dumpling-eating and Kung Fu-loving animated panda’s journey of finding himself. The fun, light and comedic tone of it further helps the movie become an entertaining as well as inspiring ride for people of all ages around the globe.

Therefore, by finding the common ground between the East and the West, “Kung Fu Panda 3″ makes an undoubted case in proving that this franchise of DreamWorks truly is an inspiration for US-China film co-productions; by telling a relatable story essentially about love and growth that speaks to all human beings, it has no difficulty at all in captivating a global audience.

Trailer Talk: ‘Zootopia’

Movie trailers are like free samples at Costco: the good ones excite you and leave you wanting more, while the bad ones make you cringe. Each week, A&E columnist Matthew Fernandez will dissect one movie trailer and analyze the Hollywood fare to come.

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Disney has a penchant for zany characters and a magic power to make the world fall in love with every single one of them. It’s given us an ice princess with an infuriatingly catchy song, a ham-handed building wrecker who jumps through video games and a pillowy healthcare robot that fights crime and gives fist bumps (“bah-la-la-la”), which begs the question: What will it think up next?

How about a rabbit traffic cop? Alright, I’ll take it.

Disney released the second U.S. trailer for its new movie “Zootopia” on New Year’s Eve, which revealed more about the upcoming film’s plot. The film takes place in a world of anthropomorphic animals that is suddenly plagued by an outbreak of rabid, mindless behavior from its citizens. Enter Judy Hopps, voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, the first rabbit police officer, eager but undervalued due to her small size and unimposing species in comparison to the tigers, rhinos and elephants on the force. In order to prove that she is a capable officer, Hopps decides to solve the case on her own.

The idea behind “Zootopia,” a city where carnivores and herbivores coexist peacefully, lends itself to interesting possibilities. In no way is it a new concept – “Dinotopia” and “Kung Fu Panda” are only two of many examples – but the potential for it to be a great movie lies in Disney’s characteristic imagination.

I’d like to see how Disney addresses some of the issues that the citizens of Zootopia would have, like what animals eat and how carnivores survive without becoming murderers. The trailer shows food like donuts and ice cream, but is that ice cream vegan or are they eating something that could have come out of a neighbor?

Like most of Disney’s recent movies, “Zootopia” seeks to cater to older audiences as well as children. Much like the movie’s first trailer, the New Year’s Eve trailer reuses a painfully accurate and clever joke in which the Department of Motor Vehicles is run by sloths. Most people, myself included, know the agonizing pit of despair that is the DMV, where the minutes crawl by with bureaucratic slowness.

Even though the gag was already shown in the first trailer, it’s like a Twinkie – it never gets old. I’ve seen both trailers multiple times and giggled like a 5-year-old every time.

There is also a quick jab at nudist colonies and the naturalist movement, but the best joke comes at the end of a trailer with a reference to “The Godfather,” complete with Marlon Brando drawl, tuxedo rose and daughter’s wedding.

As a cinephile and lover of pop culture, I replayed this part at least three times – “The Godfather” Easter egg was the trailer’s biggest treat for me. The attention to detail, loving treatment of an iconic character and witty unexpectedness of the reference hints at more great nuggets to come. This kind of pop culture awareness that caters to adults yet remains family-friendly is very promising, maybe even signaling a shift away from the more subtle, dirty jokes that are often hidden in other Disney films.

The trailer signals that the film has the most to offer in its visual gags. In a world of animals of all shapes and sizes, there is limitless comedic potential, and if the trailer is a good indication of the film to come, then this comedic gold mine has not escaped the eyes of the filmmakers. The considerations are demonstrated practically in the city’s infrastructure like different-sized doors on the train and in the film’s overall silliness – for example, a mouse’s car gets blown away by the wind, and the tiny shrew version of Don Corleone is named Mr. Big.

Based on what the audiences have been shown, the film seems to be standard Disney. There are cutesy characters, high-quality visuals and the big moral underpinning that aims to teach kids how to be good people. It looks to be a solid film, but with many big animal-centric animated films to be released this year, like “Kung Fu Panda 3” and “Finding Dory,” will “Zootopia” be able to stand out in the crowd? When stacked up against the competition, I think “Zootopia” has a good chance to rival the success of “Kung Fu Panda,” but might not be strong enough to contend with Pixar’s might.