Parents, kids line up to meet favourite cartoon characters on Family Day

It was hard to keep a leash on the excitement at Tecumseh Mall on Mornday, when hundreds of kids got a chance to meet their favourite canine cartoon characters.

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Three dogs from the Canadian animated children’s series Paw Patrol were stationed at different parts of the mall to meet fans during the “Paw-sitively Fun-Filled Family Day” event. The festivities coincided with National Love Your Pet Day.

The Paw Patrol TV show follows 10-year-old Ryder and his league of rescue dogs as they save lives and prevent disaster in Adventure Bay. It airs on TVO Kids and Télé-Québec.

Alysha Sutherland brought her 18-month-old son Maverick to meet the characters from one of their favourite shows.

“We saw it on Facebook, and we were very excited,” Sutherland said. “We love Paw Patrol.”

The event started at 12:30 p.m., but some parents like Lisa Pikul lined up early. Pikul said she and her daughter Eva were waiting in line for almost 40 minutes before getting to meet Marshall, the firefighter dog. Afterwards, Eva was bouncing with excitement.

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Many kids came decked out in Paw Patrol gear, including Mason and Hunter Smith. The four-year-old twins love the characters Skye and Chase — the pilot and police dogs on the show. Skye and Chase were also at the mall posing for photos with fans.

Those in attendance also received a ballot to enter the Paw Patrol grand prize draw, which includes four tickets to the Paw Patrol Live Show at the Sony Centre in Toronto on Feb. 25.

The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society was also at Tecumseh Mall to promote its services to the long lines of animal lovers.

 

“It’s very busy today,” said Emma Truswell-Amlin, events and community relations co-ordinator at the humane society. “There’s a lineup all the way down the mall.”

Truswell-Amlin brought Louis, a white rabbit, and Violet and Lavender, two guinea pigs, to meet the families waiting in line.

“It’s a great way to promote our adoption programs and birthday parties,” said Truswell-Amlin. “There are lots of ways to get kids involved.”

‘Pokémon GO’ Celebrates Pokémon Day With Pikachu

It may not be as big as some of the other holidays in Pokémon GO, but the app has a little celebration in store to commemorate Pokémon Day, marking the 21st anniversary of the franchise writ large. They’ve given Pikachus found out in the wild a little party hat, available until March 6. Any Pikachus caught during the event will keep their hats forever, but you won’t be able to find new ones once it’s over. A blog post from developer Niantic does not specify whether or not your Pikachu will keep the hat as it evolves to a Raichu:

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We’ve teamed up with our friends at The Pokémon Company International for their annual celebration of all things Pokémon, and we have a special treat for you this Pokémon Day! From February 26 at 1:00 P.M. PST to March 6 at 1:00 P.M. PST, special Pikachu appearing all over the world will be celebrating Pokémon Day by wearing festive party hats. These special Pikachu will keep their party hats forever, but they can only be found during this limited-time celebration, so make sure to keep an eye out for them as you explore!

Pikachu, as the case would seem in the Pokémon GO mythos, is the only Pokémon capable of wearing hats — our little friend also donned a Santa cap for Christmas. Pokémon GO introduced some new customization options for trainers recently, but I’d love to see Niantic push this forward for other Pokémon as well. We know that they’re doing this sort of thing for special events, and I can’t help but think there isn’t some money in the prospect of putting some hats on more of the little creatures. Sunglasses on Squirtle alone could probably send the app back to top of the charts.

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Pokémon GO recently got a big shot in the arm with the release of 80 new Pokémon from the second generation of games, as well a few new gameplay features to give longtime players new ways to interact with the extra content. It sent the game back up to the top of the app charts for a little while, though it’s moved back down a few spots since.

When are the Easter holidays 2017, when’s Easter Sunday and how are the dates decided each year?

THE dates for the Easter holidays change every year, so it can be hard to keep track of the dates.

While Christmas and Valentine’s Day have fixed dates, Easter Sunday can fall on any date between March 22 and April 25 – so when is it in 2017, and how do they work it out?

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When are the Easter holidays 2017?

This year Good Friday falls on April 14 and Easter Monday is on April 17.

The celebration for many will be a four-day weekend as Good Friday and Easter Monday are also bank holidays.

For those with kids, the school holidays this year are Friday, March 31 to Monday, April 17, although these may vary from school to school.

To be 100 per cent sure of your child’s school term times use the Government’s postcode checker.

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When is Easter Sunday?

This year Easter Sunday (also known as Easter Day) is on April 16.

Christians celebrate Easter on a Sunday as it was the day Jesus rose from the dead, following being crucified on a Friday two days before.

Centuries ago in 325, it was determined by a council of Christian bishops that Easter Day would always be on a Sunday to commemorate the happy occasion.

How are the dates of Easter determined?

The death of Jesus occurred around the Jewish Passover, which is traditionally held on first full moon following the vernal equinox.

As the full moon can vary in each time zone, the Church said that they would use the 14th day of the lunar month instead – the Paschal Full Moon – and host Easter Day on the following Sunday.

Once the date of that moon is known, Easter Day and the Easter holidays can be determined.

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When’s the best time to buy Easter eggs?

Well, according to some savvy shoppers, Easter eggs are already on the supermarket shelves – for the most organised among you.

But it’s bad news for parents with lots of kids – the cost of Easter eggs has soared this year, with a reported price hike of 18.1 per cent per kg.

How to make the most of Easter and get the most holiday?

Those wishing to make the most of Easter will be able to enjoy even more time off thanks to the way it falls in 2017.

Workers will be able to get a whopping 18 days off using just nine days holiday.

It means that over the Easter period if you finish work on Thursday, April 13 you can book up until Tuesday May 2 by taking just nine days off work.

As Good Friday falls on April 14, Easter Monday on April 17 and May Day on May 1 you have three bank holidays to play with.

The 18 days are made up of three bank holidays, three weekends and the nine during the working week.

‘Sing 2’ and ‘Minions 2’ Get 2020 Release Dates; ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Pushed Back

Universal and Illumination Entertainment are making some changes to their release calendar. In the wake of the enormous success of Sing, which has now grossed $429.7 million worldwide, Illumination has unsurprisingly put Sing 2 on the schedule. The follow-up film will again hit the holiday corridor, as it’s now slated for release on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020. Additionally, The Secret Life of Pets 2 has been pushed from July 13, 2018 to July 3, 2019, nearly a full year, and Minions 2 will drop on July 3, 2020 instead of July 10th.

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Illumination Entertainment made a big statement in 2016, proving that the studio can succeed outside its lucrative Despicable Me franchise. The studio opened with that film in 2010 to solid success, but its follow-ups Hop and The Lorax weren’t near as successful. Illumination stayed the course with Despicable Me 2 and Minions, both of which did well, but last summer’s The Secret Life of Pets was a test to see whether the studio could launch a new franchise. To the tune of $875.5 million worldwide, they did, and this past December’s Sing solidified Illumination’s status as a bona fide contender in the animation studio world alongside the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks Animation.

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Image via Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment
The studio has Despicable Me 3 on the horizon, opening this summer with South Park’s Trey Parker voicing the villain. And they’re also diving back into the Dr. Seuss world with the Benedict Cumberbatch-fronted How the Grinch Sold Christmas, with The Cat in the Hat also in the works.

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Quality-wise, Illumination hasn’t been able to come close to the high art of Pixar or recent Disney Animation output, but the studio has certainly struck a chord with audiences as evidenced by the ambitious release dates announced today. Check out their full upcoming slate below.

Despicable Me 3 – June 30, 2017
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – November 9, 2018
The Secret Life of Pets 2 – July 3, 2019
Minions 2 – July 3, 2020
Sing 2 – December 25, 2020

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Here’s Every New Disney Movie Coming Out Through 2019

Behold, Disney‘s planned movie releases for the next four years! Look for sequels to beloved films such as Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Cars; remakes of classics such as Beauty and the Beast; and new stories your kids are sure to love.

Disney just announced every movie it plans to release through 2019, and we couldn’t be more excited! Here are the highlights of what’s hitting theaters for the next four years.
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From the creators of Frozen comes the newest Disney princess film, Moana. Featuring the voice talents of “The Rock,” A.K.A. Dwayne Johnson, and newcomer Auli’i Cravalho, this is a story of one girl’s quest to save the Hawaiian land and people she loves. The visually stunning tale hits theaters this Thanksgiving (November 23, 2016), with a musical score courtesy of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda. Mahalo, Disney! We can’t wait!

Star Wars spin-off Rogue One – with a cast including Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen (from Hannibal), Felicity Jones, and Ben Mendelsohn – will take place before the events of A New Hope and will follow a group of rebels who try to steal the plans for the Death Star. It hits theaters December 16, 2016.

Highly Anticipated Future Releases

It’ll be hard to wait until 2017 for the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, but we’ll try! Release date: March 17th, 2017.
“We’re sick of Cars”…said no kid ever. Good thing a third installment of the movie is in the works! Release date: June 16, 2017.

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If you’re a Jack Sparrow fan (and who isn’t?!), gather yer brood for his return in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Release date: July 7, 2017.
The animated film Coco is inspired by Dia de lost Muertos and will be directed by the filmmaker who brought us the unforgettable Toy Story 3. Release date: Nov 22, 2017.
We’re hugely excited for Gigantic, which is based on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk tale. Release date: March 9, 2018.
For Toy Story fans, Disney is planning a fourth installment, which will follow the love story between Woody and Bo-Peep. Release date: June 15, 2018.
A sequel to The Incredibles is in the works, too, but don’t hold your breath for this one (unless that happens to be your superpower!). Release date: June 21, 2019.
Oh, plus there are about a million new Star Wars installments and super-hero movies along the way! And following in the footsteps of Beauty and the Beast and 2015′s Cinderella, Disney is planning four new live-action fairytales—while the titles haven’t been released yet, the company has locked down the release dates: Dec 22, 2017; Nov 2, 2018; March 28, 2019; and Nov 8, 2019.

My Little Pony the Movie Cast Photos Reveal All-New Charcters

This fall, My Little Pony fans will get to see some of their favorite characters getting back together on the big screen in My Little Pony: The Movie, which Lionsgate has set for release on October 6. Today, the studio has released new photos, giving us our first look at four new characters, and the voice actors who will portray them. These photos feature Emily Blunt as Tempest Shadow, Kristen Chenoweth as Princess Skystar, Liev Schreiber as The Storm King and Taye Diggs as Capper. It remains to be seen how many other characters will be unveiled, or when the first footage may be released.

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The Emily Blunt photo debuted on the movie’s official Twitter, with Kristen Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber and Taye Diggs debuting their respective photos through their own Twitter accounts. They join previously-announced voice cast members Zoe Saldana, Uzo Aduba, pop star Sia, who is also recording two original songs for the movie, and Michael Pena. Also reprising their roles as the “Mane 6″ from the popular My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV series are Andrea Libman, Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain and Cathy Weseluck.

Originally developed by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D’Aguanno, My Little Pony and Friends debuted in 1983 as a toy and animated series. The colorful horses are marked by their distinctive manes and ‘cutie marks’ on their flanks. Over the past four decades there have been four different animated series, with the toys strongest sales coming in the 1980s and again in 2010 with the launch of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. What started in 1983 as a toy line of colorful ponies with unique symbols, called “cutie marks,” has since exploded into international, multi-media, pop culture phenomena that grossed over $1 billion in retail sales in 2014. The entertainment continues to engage and inspire kids and families in over 180 countries across the globe.

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In the movie, a new dark force threatens Ponyville, and the Mane 6, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity, embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship and save their home. Jayson Theissen is directing from a script by Rita Hsiao, Meghan McCarthy and Michael Vogel. Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis are producing the film with Meghan McCarthy and Michael Vogel co-executive producing.

Lionsgate has set an October 6, 2017 releaes date for My Little Pony: The Movie, which will be facing some stiff competition. The movie will be going up against two highly-anticipated sequels, 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Warner Bros.’ Blade Runner 2049, setting up what could be a very interesting fall box office showdown.

Frozen 2 Release Date

What all fans of animated movies are eagerly expecting is the next installment of “Frozen.” Although no official statement on its release date has been made, it will definitely hit the theaters.

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What seems to be taking so much time is the production of the movie. Namely, the development of the first installment lasted two years, so the second part surely won’t take less time than that.

Actress Kristen Bell, who gave her voice to Anna, has mentioned in an interview that Disney needs a lot of time to make a sequel of good quality. She said that when one had such a successful first movie, they certainly want to make a sequel. What took so much time was coming up with the story and deciding on what the message it conveyed would be, as well as seeing what would be important in the story.

Many speculations are circulating these days on the next sequel, even the one on the possible connection of “Frozen” and “Tarzan.” This rumor is based on co-directors statement in an MTV interview that he had in his head a strange little world where Anna and Elsa’s brother was Tarzan. This led to its fans really hoping that Tarzan will be featured in “Frozen 2”.

At this point, it is unclear how would the crew combine the magical world of Frozen with Tarzan story. It would be a great move for Disney, but we would also like to see separate movies for both of these.

There will certainly be a lot more interesting rumors sparked by all sorts of things connected to “Frozen,” but what is important is that “Frozen 2” is coming and is eagerly expected. In the meantime, there are some other “Frozen” projects to satisfy fans while waiting, such as the Broadway musical planned for the spring next year. There will also be a pre-Broadway event from Aug. 17 to Oct. 1, 2017, at the Buell Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, so all Elsa fans can enjoy it while waiting to see “Frozen 2” on the big screen.

14 Times ‘PAW Patrol’ Made Me Question My Life Choices

PAW Patrol has taken over my life. Its songs have infected my brain and I have learned the unique features of each character, including but certainly not limited to: their vehicles, colors, catchphrases, and individual backstory. I couldn’t even escape its clutches on holiday in Portugal recently; every gift shop had a knock-off version of the cuddly pack of rescue dogs and their caretaker. In other words, the moments PAW Patrol made me question my life choices are seemingly endless.

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If you haven’t yet been tortured with this particular cartoon, let me break it down for you while simultaneously feeling ridiculously jealous of you. I mean, how did you escape the clutches of this television show while parenting? (Don’t answer that. I do not want to know.)

PAW Patrol is a Canadian show enjoying international popularity since its conception in 2013. It’s about a little boy, Ryder, who lives alone (let that sink in) with a bunch of dogs who, together, perform rescue services for the town of Adventure Bay. Each dog has their own cool rescue vehicle, except for poor Rocky, who drives a garbage truck. (Tough break, kid). The town has a mayor (refreshingly, a woman of color) but rather than run the town herself, she gets on her smartphone (heavy reliance on technology in this show) and calls for Ryder and “his team of pups” to help with every problem imaginable.

There are more than a few times I have been left scratching my head while watching an episode, wondering if the life choices I’ve made that have lead me to this point in my life are the “right” ones. I guess, as with everything in life, you just have to take the good and the bad together when it comes to parenting. Ugh.

From your TV to Hampton Roads, The Paw Patrol Pups have arrived

Paw Patrol Live is at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk, Virginia this weekend. We chatted with Paw Patrol Live Spokesperson, Molly Jackson, about the show and what audiences of all ages can look forward to! Come see your favorite characters and help the pups in their newest adventure.

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PAW Patrol is on a roll with the first-ever live tour:

It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol to the rescue! Ryder summons Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest to help. The pups share many lessons for all ages as they make heroic rescues on their race to the finish line.
Catch the show happening this weekend only at Chrysler Hall!

‘Finding Dory’ BluRay Review: A Treat For Nemo Fans

Pixar’s sequel to their 2003 hit Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, is one of the best movies made in some time, a plot specializing in humor and heart.

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The movie’s premise is the life of Dory, who cannot remember more than a few seconds at a time. She suddenly remembers that she has parents. As stupid as that might sound, Ellen DeGeneres as a fish using common sense turns into a wild adventure as she attempts to get back to the zoo she called home as a child. As the fish makes her way into the zoo relatively quickly, old characters such as the manta ray and generic surfer sea turtle make a cameo appearance. As one might expect, it’s tough for a fish to navigate through an aquarium that isn’t located in or around Atlantis. This is where interesting characters come in: three seals, a pigeon, Dori’s two whale friends, and, most importantly, the octopus.

The octopus, easily the best character in the cast, has a cynical, hilarious, smart-ass attitude that keeps it safe for the kids, but mature viewers won’t notice a difference. Even when octopus Hank goes through a change of heart, it doesn’t feel entirely forced, rather the character development seems necessary and is all based on the character making a choice. In fact, all of the character development, especially the hard-hitting parts, are written almost flawlessly, touching the heart of the audience in a relatable, deep, and overall powerful form of storytelling.

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What shines in the movie, however, isn’t the events that happen in the movie, but the journey along the way. As such, the plot is rushed towards the end in order to tie up loose ends and create a happy ending. The plot also concentrates exclusively on Dory and her adventures with Hank, voiced by Ed O’Neil, so the previous main characters, Nemo and Marlin, seem almost unnecessary; in fact, Nemo’s dialogue seemed far more interesting than Marlin’s, who was the main character in the previous movie. Also, just so we’re clear, the ending has fish hijack a truck and crash it into the ocean. Whether that is kickass or ridiculous, I’m not sure, but I do know that it’s incredibly out of place in comparison to the rest of the plot.

Slight criticisms aside, no one can deny how expertly this movie was crafted down to the finest detail. The music, visuals and dialogue are some of the best you’ll find in animated cinema. If you didn’t like the first movie, I wouldn’t recommend it; however, even if you merely liked Finding Nemo, you’re bound to love Finding Dory.