Category: Entertainment + Media

House of Bricks: The hilarious Sesame Street House of Cards parody

If you are as obsessed with House of Cards as I am, please take a few minutes out of your day to watch House of Bricks, the hilarious Sesame Street House of Cards parody, because it is pure genius. I have barely come up for food or air–and oh right, my children–over the past week in an attempt to catch up on House of Cards Season 2 so I can then binge watch the newly-released House of Cards Season 3. But somehow this parody was worth taking my attention away from the real Frank Underwood for a few minutes. Because you guys,...

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52 of the Oscar nominees, in their own words

On Cool Mom Tech today, we covered the big honkin’ official Oscars site, which has, among other things, a really cool feature worth browsing should you want to kill a few minutes today: 52 Oscar nominees sharing their stories, briefly, through questionnaires. From Robert Duvall to Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette, Keira Knightly, and lots of the creators, writers, and technical masters behind other top flicks, you can find out their first movie memories, the artists that inspire them, the motivation for doing what they do, and (a little goofy but) the song that best sums up their feelings about the nomination. It’s kind of...

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The 2015 Oscar nominees, now funnier than ever

This year was a pretty serious year for the Oscar nominating committee, if you consider the likes of Selma, Gone Girl, Birdman…you get the picture. Or pictures.  But of course, there are always clever artists out there willing to take the gravity down a notch–including taking Gravity down a notch. Related: The Oscar nominated posters all remade in LEGOs At Ript Apparel, you’ll find a whole selection of Oscar parody posters, admittedly some better than others. As one of the loud advocates of a recount for The LEGO Movie which should totally be included in the best animated picture, I have to give...

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The Breakfast Club is coming back to theaters! Brains, athletes, basket cases, and princesses all welcome.

We’re fist-pumping, Bender style, over the rerelease of John Hughes’ arguably best movie ever (sorry, Home Alone), The Breakfast Club.  Say it with us: Could you describe the ruckus, sir? In honor of the 30th anniversary of the film that made every girl question whether she was a Claire or an Allison–although we all tried the lipstick trick, admit it–The Breakfast Club is showing in select theaters across the US on March 26 and 31. And despite being oh, just a little bit older than when it first came out (it was my own first R-rated movie) I am so going to be...

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Presidents Day educational videos for kids that they’ll like any day of the year

Today we say hail to all the chiefs who have led the United States of America. The ones we voted for, the ones we didn’t vote for, and even the ones we can’t really remember. And to help our kids learn more about the men who have led our country–and actually had nothing to do with sales on mattresses whatsoever–we’ve rounded up some entertaining and short videos to watch with them. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two as well.   One of my family’s favorite educational apps is the Disney Presidents app for iPad which makes learning about the...

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The 2015 NY International Children’s Film Festival lineup. You want to go.

If like me, you fell in love with the art of animation all over again after losing yourself in the artistry of releases like The Book of Life, The Boxtrolls, and the totally-robbed-by-the-award-show-establishment LEGO Movie, then listen up: The NY International Children’s Film Festival is coming! (Yes, I am a total animation geek. Let’s talk Bill Plympton sometime.) – Don’t miss an exclusive discount for our readers below –  Looking at the terrific lineup, I was immediately excited about the North American premiere of When Marnie Was There (above). This is the latest offering from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi who brought us the wonderful The...

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Where to to see all the 2015 Oscar best picture nominees. (Especially if you’re parents and you’ve only seen Big Hero 6.)

Every year since having kids, the huge build-up to Oscars night is followed by the sad realization that most of us have seen maybe…one of the best picture nominees? If we’re lucky? Oh, parenthood. However AMC theaters is continuing a  genius tradition to help you out, maybe even give you a slight leg up in your Oscars poll this year. AMC’s Best Picture Showcase allows you to see any of the 2015 Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees on the big screen in more than 50 cities around the country over two consecutive weekends. Block off Saturday, Februray 14th, and you can spend Valentine’s...

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New Year’s eve as a parent: How to celebrate when things don’t quite go as planned with the kids.

We all know that parenting means giving up sleep, hygiene (admit it), disposable income, and perhaps, the wild New Year’s Eve plans of our wonderfully misspent youth. So you can see why I had the best time sitting down with my partners at American Express on behalf of their Amex EveryDay Credit Card, and remembering just what happened one New Year’s eve a few year’s back with my kids, when they WOULD NOT GO TO SLEEP. (I’m not big on all caps, but holy heck, kids!) I imagine quite a few of you will be able to relate to this. And don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. (While I’m no...

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The best new music for kids and families: 6 of our favorite fall picks

Whether you’re like me and need some holiday gift ideas for the little ones on your list or you just want some new music for kids to dance away the winter chill, I’ve found six recently released kids’ albums that will keep any ears happy. With new music from such CMP favorites as The Pop Ups and Caspar Babypants, as well as a wonderful collection of Latin American tunes for kids, there’s a little something for everyone–including we parents who will be listening along.   The Pop Ups’ Fids and Kamily pick, Appetite for Construction, kicks off with the Prince-era sounds of “Getting the Job Done”,  a multi-layered...

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The Book of Life movie review: A treat that will last long past Halloween

We sat down in the theater to see The Book of Life movie, and as the lights dimmed, my nine-year-old daughter whispered, I have literally been waiting to see this since the day we saw the preview! And indeed she had. After that many months of anticipation, I didn’t know if it could live up to her expectations, but indeed, The Book of Life movie is entrancing, charming, whimsical and wonderful. The gist is that in a small Mexican town long ago, Manolo and Joachim, friends and rivals since childhood, fight for the love of the gorgeous Maria, voiced by...

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The best kids and family albums of 2014: The Fids and Kamily Award winners

The Fids and Kamily Poll has been announcing the best kids music  of  the year for kids and families since 2006, and we’re always so glad to be a part of it, along with other top bloggers,  journalists, publicists and kids’ music radio show hosts who all have a passion for seeing the best kids music succeed. And, today, the top albums of 2014 were announced. Whoo! This award is a great way to honor those musicians and singers who have helped blast the negative stereotypes about lame kids’ music and who make raising kids so much more joyful–and danceable–for us modern families who...

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The Ella Jenkins documentary: Let’s help get it made

We are always on the lookout for the best and brightest new kids’ music makers on Cool Mom Picks, bringing you everyone from The Not-Its! to Shine and the Moonbeams. But today we want to honor one of the longest-enduring stars in kids’ music, the incomparable Ella Jenkins, with the hopes of getting a documentary about her life and legacy made to share with future generations of kids. Ella Jenkins: We’ll All Sing Together will tell the story of The First Lady of Children’s Music who has been recording and performing her own songs for 60 years, including her latest release More Multicultural...

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Check out what Laurie Berkner is serving up on Kids’ Place Live this weekend

If your kids can’t get enough of Laurie Berkner’s music, they’re going to eat up the news that she’s coming to Sirius XM’s Kids’ Place Live this weekend–and throughout the year–to promote healthy eating. Oh, and play lots of tunes, too. Her new hour-long program Laurie Berkner’s Garden: Eat, Play, Grow will air multiple times from Friday night through Sunday and stars both Laurie herself and Kids’ Place Live’s awesomely fun Mindy Thomas. This weekend’s show will also feature Catherine McCord, whose cookbook Weelicious has saved more than a few dinners in our home. With four different shows planned to...

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Baby Loves Disco turns 10! Which kind of makes it Tween Loves Disco, huh?

I’ve been a huge fan (and friend) of Baby Loves Disco ever since I shook my groove thing at my first dance party with them back in 2006. Well, they’re turning ten this year (10!), and they’ve got a slew of cool dance parties all around the country to celebrate. They’ll be touring the U.S. all fall (starting with Baltimore tomorrow!) with fun events where you and your kids can cut a rug, get down, or do whatever it is that you love to do on the actual dance floor of a hip club–cool music included, although there’s no shortage of other...

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Schoolhouse Rock is back! (Well, just for one night)

If you guys are anything like me, the news that ABC will share some of our favorite Schoolhouse Rock videos on network television in The ABC’s of Schoolhouse Rock made my day. And since I’ve been sharing the best Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube with my kids since they were old enough to sing Lolly Lolly Lolly, they are just as jazzed about this news as I am. For those of you who slept through the 70’s, just entered the country, or–gulp–weren’t born when they originally aired, Schoolhouse Rock‘s catchy, educational, and campy videos helped me learn everything from the Preamble to the Constitution...

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When back to school shopping goes awry: Can you relate?

Of all the things I thought I’d grow up to be in life, a cartoon character was never one of them. But, here I am! A cartoon. It’s a little strange. And yet? My butt never looked so good so no complaints from me. For the last year, I’ve worked with American Express in various ways, which is a joy; I love getting to partner with the brands I love and respect and actually use myself. Proud member since 19-mumblemuble. So as a spokesperson for the Amex EveryDay Credit Card (you know, Maroon 5, Tina Fey…me. Ha.) I am so excited to share...

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Sweet Blackberry: Bringing African-American history alive with a little starpower

There are moments in stories I heard as a child — lots of them in fact — that have stayed with me my entire life. Charlotte’s spider babies, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s wonderful cures, Peter Rabbit losing his jacket in what, at that time in my life, felt like a very scary chase. They stay with me because they are wonderful stories, well-written and -kudos to my parents- well read. These moments are just what I thought of when I first discovered Sweet Blackberry. A new non-profit organization, Sweet Blackberry is creating a similar story memory legacy for children with narrated...

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Music for kids: 5 terrific new albums for the whole family, from hip-hop, to pop, to banjo.

Put away that cartoony music for kids that makes you want to jump 0ut of the car. We have better options! Because our favorite kindie artists like Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Recess Monkey, The Not-Its!, and others have been busy this summer putting together great new music for kids, for your family. As in,  your kids will like it, but you’ll find yourself not minding it at all when they ask to play it again. We get a whole lot of kids’ CDs  to review but these are five of our absolute favorites just out now. And like a lot of days this...

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3 cool new albums for kids, just in time for summer road trips.

Between road trips, hot days spent in front of the AC, and impromptu neighborhood BBQs, summer means lots of time together to enjoy great new family and kids’ music. And we’ve discovered new albums from They Might Be Giants’ Danny Weinkauf,  The Walkmen’s Walter Martin, and CMP’s favorite country duo Hullabaloo that you’ll want to add to your collection. DANNY WEINKAUF: NO SCHOOL TODAY No School Today would win Best Album Name from my kids, though it’s the music from Grammy-winning composer Weinkauf that makes this one a real hit. Kicking off with the one-word, enthusiastically shouted Hey!, the album moves into Archaeology...

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Dan Zanes new web series gives parents one more thing on YouTube for kids that we’re not terrified of.

For the past 14 years, the likable, talented, and crazy-haired Dan Zanes has been putting out some of the very best family music with albums like House Party, Catch that Train, Little Nut Tree, and, most recently, Turn Turn Turn with Elizabeth Mitchell. But his latest venture brings the magic to life through video at a new home on YouTube with the Dan Zanes and Friends web series that lets fans (young and uh, formerly young) enjoy this prolific performer in a whole new way. Dan Zanes and Friends is a series of nicely produced and edited videos, each about 9-10 minutes long, which follow the adventures...

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A musical walk Through the Woods with Grammy winners The Okee Dokee Brothers

Grammy-award winners and all around super guys The Okee Dokee Brothers follow up their stellar Mississippi River-themed album, Can You Canoe?, with Through the Woods, all about their adventures hiking a chunk of the Appalachian Mountain trail. This is another collection of songs that should rightfully become a family classic for the joy, fun, and great music it’ll bring into your home and on your family’s travels.   Childhood friends Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander pack Through the Woods with a variety of “mountain music”, including American folk, bluegrass, blues, and a bunch of cool-sounding instruments. Songs like the gently rambling title tune that invites you to join them...

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The Fed Up Movie: Everything you may or may not want to know about what you’re eating.

It’s pretty shocking to think that in 2010, there were nearly 58,000 cases of Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in adolescents–while in 1980 there were zero. Zero. In fact, it used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes, which isn’t even accurate anymore. It’s equally shocking that we’re now at a point where more people in the world will die of obesity than starvation. And that’s what the Fed Up Movie, which opens in theaters tonight, explores and explains if uncomfortably at times. If you have ever had trouble losing weight, if you have ever read a nutrition label, if you have...

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Lucky Diaz’s new Spanish-language kids’ music release will turn any day into a Cinco de Mayo feista

I am exactly 0% Spanish, but I’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo tonight and blasting some cool tunes like yesterday’s Cool Mom Tech Download of the Week and the latest Spanish-language kids’ music release from CMP favorite Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, Aqui, Alla. Lucky, Alisha, and friends will have you kicking up your heels for a family fiesta faster than you can say uno, dos, tres. Starting with a party-song if I ever heard one, Viva La Pachanga will leave you breathless from dancing, but hold onto your sombrero because there is more to come. The...

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Rio 2 movie review: Grab your fanny pack, go outside, and teach the kids to samba.

When the Rio movie ended, I was left with two kids who loved to shake their tail feathers to the samba and a sinking feeling that Type A Blu and fiercely independent Jewel were going to need some relationship counseling. Now, after a whirlwind weekend in Miami Beach for the Rio 2 premiere, I’m glad to report that the sequel doesn’t smooth over the conflicts of the first movie, as so often happens. Nope; there are kids, marital discord, the world’s toughest in-laws, and a villain who’s badder, balder, and more hilarious than ever. Not to mention a great message about...

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Need some new lullaby music for babies or kids? Try Lullabies by Laurie Berkner. Our kids are snoring, and it’s music to our ears.

If you are looking for lullaby music for babies–or even for bigger kids–I am the person to ask. The routine to get my kids down has never been so easy, and so like most parents in the world, I sing. And sing. And sing. If you’re looking for new lullaby music, lately we’ve been singing along to Lullabies by Laurie Berkner in our home and it is definitely doing the trick. Here’s how good Lullabies is: we put it on in the car during our morning commute to school, with my kids hyped up on syrup and OJ (sorry, teachers.)...

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A clever alphabet video for toddlers that you’ll like watching too.

When I first heard from dad and animator Brandon Ray about this  alphabet video for toddlers that he created for his own children, Bleu and Violet, I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting much.  But after watching, I am utterly charmed. The Paper Alphabet is a terrific way to teach toddlers their ABCs and honestly, to give older kid–and you– a chuckle too. It’s a little They Might Be Giants, a little Yo Gabba Gabba and a little animation festival short film entry, if you can imagine that. To be sure the word choices can be a bit edgy; C...

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The Oscars best picture nominees reimagined with Legos

While I thought the Lego movie was a great film (with its own terrific movie poster art), what might be even cooler is seeing every Oscar nominee for best picture recreated with Legos. Of course since that would take years–and I haven’t the slightest idea what Minifigs they could possibly find to represent the women in Wolf of Wall Street–the next best thing: making all the film’s movie posters made out of Legos.     You can find them all Yahoo Movies which it seems worked together with Sony Pictures to design them. And they are awesome. Of course Leonardo...

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Remembering Shirley Temple: Her best 3 films to watch with your kids.

We were so, so sad to hear that Shirley Temple Black passed away Monday night. She was one of our (and probably your) most very favorite child stars ever—those dimples! Those curls! Not to mention the respected diplomatic path she took as an adult. If your children are asking Shirley who? allow us to offer you three of Shirley Temple’s best  films that they definitely have to watch. Get that Netflix log-in or that Amazon account ready. Quickly, before all the prices triple.   Bright Eyes This is the movie Shirley Temple first became famous for, and most of us...

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The Lego Movie Review – A real block buster.

As the cultural discussion continues about building toys for girls and gender specific toy aisles, let me start by saying that my girls have been talking non-stop about The Lego Movie since they first saw a preview for it months ago. They are fans of everything Lego from the classic sets to the movie themed sets to Lego Friends, which means that sitting in the theater watching an early screening of the movie, they thought they died and went to block heaven. Now this movie could have been terrible. Really. In less adept hands it might be a pat, cheaply produced, plot-light franchise to...

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The best Super Bowl ads portraying parents this year. Because it’s 2014, not 1914.

We’ve come a long way, baby, from the days when Super Bowl ads necessarily meant the Swedish Bikini Team and disconcerting depictions of women with anthropomorphic animals (RIP Spuds McKenzie). Now, some of the best Super Bowl ads in 2014 portray parents in a progressive, positive way. That said, we haven’t come as far as we’d like. But in between a creepy candy bar threesome and Uncle Joey’s ploy to get a date to lick yogurt off his pants (or something) we found  a few bright spots.  Here, shout-outs to our favorite portrayals of parents among the 2014 assortment...

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