The posts on this page are from a variety of Salem blogs and the views expressed are those of the individual blog author.

June 22nd, 2013

Celebrate Global Smurfs Day (Sponsored)

Global Smurfs Day.

By Kathleen Miller


The world is about to get a whole lot smurfier. Ambassadors from 28 countries are painting the town blue today as they kick off the second-annual Global Smurfs Day by spreading that irrepressible smurfy cheer through the streets of Paris.

The celebration honors Smurfs creator Pierre “Peyo” Culliford’s June 25 birthday and the opening of ‘The Smurfs 2’ on July 31. Culliford’s daughter, Veronique, presided over a ceremony in her father’s hometown of Belgium at the site of a giant Smurf statue. She officially appointed more than 40 Smurfs ambassadors who then boarded a train to Paris, where the movie is set, where they spread smiles and heralded the movie’s opening.

Events are taking place around the world, and in Los Angeles, families can join Smurfs at local appearances where they will play the Ubisoft video game, and sample Menchie’s Smurfberry frozen yogurt, among other activities. Families are encouraged to enjoy nature by the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council’s Discover the Forest campaign, and can watch the first “The Smurfs” film at an outdoor evening screening.  

Smurf Ambassadors will post photos from the day on Instagram with the hashtag #GlobalSmurfsDay. You can also follow their adventures at the official Global Smurfs Day site at

‘The Smurfs™ 2,’ is a hybrid live action/animation family feature film starring Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays and Katy Perry, pits the loveable blue creatures against the evil wizard Gargamel, who creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties, kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris. Then it’s up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our time, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Watch a preview of the movie with your kids here.

“The Smurfs 2” opens July 31 in theaters nationwide.

May 28th, 2013

Sneak Preview: Disney’s ‘Planes’ Movie Trailer (Sponsored)

Trailer for "Planes."

Watching movies is my favorite new family ritual. Now that my 5-year-old daughter spends her days running through neighbors’ backyards until dinner, television time has lost that guilty edge. In fact, in our multi-generational home, it’s the only moment when my parents, husband, 5- and 2-year-olds, and I are silent. (Well, not the 2-year-old so much. “That’s a bad guy, Momma?” “Yes, honey.” “Why, Momma, why that’s a bad guy? I want snack.”… You get the picture.)

Really there’s nothing quite as charming as Grandpa sharing his beloved Peter Pan with his Tinker Bell-obsessed granddaughter, and explaining to her that Captain Hook was quite clever to make Tink jealous so she’d give up Peter Pan’s location.

And now, here comes Planes—another Disney special, as always, perfectly attuned to kids’ imaginations and parents’ need for acknowledgement, with a believable bit of indulgence. It reunites Goose and Iceman (Yes, of Top Gun fame), and for the kids, tells the story of a plane who’s afraid of heights. My daughter’s first summer movie is perfectly timed for her first-day-of-kindergarten jitters because its tagline is “All the Courage in the World.”

Moms, here’s what you need to know: Dane Cook voices the unlikely hero Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster who dreams of flying with the big guys in spite of his fear of heights and inadequate frame. The big guys are none other than Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards, invoking their Top Gun legacy as Echo and Bravo, respectively.

So let’s pause here a moment of reflection on Top Gun. It was the ‘80s movie I was too young to watch but did—over and over and over—dreaming of being THAT girl in the bar (no-go). The staggered electric keyboard beats and guitar riffs that make you feel a part of the machinery running those slick planes is right there in the Planes trailer. It transports you instantly back to the 8th grade sleepover party where you ogled Tom Cruise on his motorcycle for the first time. Well done, Disney. Well done.

Iceman and Goose are good too. Disney’s done Broadway, but now we get a take on the ‘80s good vs. evil. Back then, it was unabashedly bad bad guys with cocked heads facing off against arrogant good guys with toothy smiles—and perfectly shaved faces for all! Not to mention one of the greatest movie lines of all time: “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.” Bring it, Planes!

While I fully expect the first viewing of Planes to be an awesome big-kid moment for my daughter, it’s the repetition that counts. When Planes makes it into our home, I know our 2-year-old—who just asked me, “I can’t go in sky, right, Momma?”—will see that anything is possible. Again and again and again.

Planes is coming to theaters August 9.