If you like dog movies, go see the movie Max!

Max is not your average little kid dog movie, lots of action and suspense. The plot focuses on a military dog named Max who’s handler is killed in the line of duty and what becomes of him and his family. It is a fictional story, but it makes you think about and appreciate the dogs and their handlers serving in war. It is a story of sadness, family growth, and triumph.

(Warner Bros.)

Here is the preview:

Being that it is a movie for families with older kids there are a couple moments that did not seem very realistic, but overall the movie is great! The movie may be too dramatic for younger children. This is well worth seeing!

More about the dogs that played Max in the movie:
Five different Belgian Malinois played the star dog Max. The main dog who acts in most of the movie is named Carlos, who stood out from other Malinois because he has light markings around his eyes which makes it easier for the camera to pick up the dog’s expression. The four other dogs are: Jagger, who was the main understudy, Dude, who was used for jumping scenes, Pilot, who was trained to knock people down and play fight, and Pax, who was good at running and bearing his teeth. All of these dogs had their faces dyed to resemble Carlos.

To read more about the dogs and their training see USA Today.

Here is Jagger on the red carpet:
(Inside Edition)

Max is in theaters now!

Ringling Brothers Circus to End Elephant Acts

In a surprising move Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, parent company Feld Entertainment, announced they are phasing out their elephant acts by 2018. While elephants have been an iconic part of their circus for a century, the decision comes amid growing pressure from the public over how the animals are treated.

(Heinz Kluetmeier, PR Newswire)

Ringling Bros. has 13 performing elephants which will be taken to their Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida after their performances are phased out. The circus started the Center in 1995 to help preserve the highly endangered Asian Elephant. The company has 43 elephants in total, of the animals not on tour 29 live at the 200 acre facility and one is on breeding loan to the Fort Worth Zoo. This is the largest herd of Asian elephants in North America, and 26 elephants have been born at the facility. Each elephant costs $65,000 a year to take care of. At first the Center will only be open to researchers, caretakers, and other interested parties studying Asian elephants. But they hope to be able to allow the public to eventually visit for educational purposes and because it is so rare to see Asian elephants.

Ringling Bros Circus ap
(AP Photo/Field Entertainment Inc., Gary Bogdon)

Ringling Bros. will continue to use other animals in its shows including horses, dogs, and tigers. A troupe of Mongolian camel stunt riders was recently added to the Circus Xtreme show.

(James Estrin/The New York Times)

(James Estrin/The New York Times)

(James Estrin/The New York Times)

(James Estrin/The New York Times)

The executive vice president Alana Feld stated “There’s been somewhat of a mood shift among our consumers. A lot of people aren’t comfortable with us touring with our elephants.”

Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld, of Feld Entertainment, stated:

…this is the most significant change we have made since we founded the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in 1995. When we did so, we knew we would play a critical role in saving the endangered Asian elephant for future generations, given how few Asian elephants are left in the wild . . .This decision was not easy, but it is in the best interest of our company, our elephants and our customers.”

Many cities have passed anti-circus or anti-elephant ordinances making it difficult to plan tours. It is also incredibly expensive for Ringling to try and fight any of these measures in court. Past legal fights include a 14 year long battle over unproven allegations that circus employees mistreated the elephants. That settlement cost $25.2 million. The false claim was filed by a former barn helper who had been paid $190,000 to do so by animal rights groups, and found to be a paid witness lacking credibility in court. The company wants all of this time, effort, and money to actually go into the conservation of Asian elephants instead.

(James Estrin/New York Times)

The circus will now focus more on human acts of bravery and strength.

If you want to see the last of these elephant performances check out one of the Ringling’s shows before 2018. Overall, this will be better for the preservation of Asian elephants. They will live as elephants should and bring awareness through that rather than traveling and performing in an unnatural or stressful way.

How long will it be before other smaller circuses phase out their elephant acts as well?


Fox 411 – Ringling Bros. Eliminating Iconic Elephant Acts from Performances
USA Today – Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Puppy Bowl 2015 is this Sunday

It is once again time for Puppy Bowl! YES!!!! This Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!!!!!


Puppy Bowl is a show on Animal Planet which always airs on the Sunday of the Super Bowl. It is to show off cute puppies playing a fake game of football for your enjoyment. You can watch puppies both before, during, and after the big game. Puppy Bowl XI will air on February 1 2015 at 3 pm. It will start and end before the big game begins. However, PBXI will also replay a few more times so you can watch it instead of football or you can catch it after the game if you do not have time before.

As usual, the show features puppies from animal shelters playing with football (and other) dog toys on a miniature field inside a mini fake stadium. Puppies are switched out throughout the game and a touchdown is made any time a puppy makes it over the goal line with a toy. A ref calls penalties and makes sure that the puppies play nice. The halftime show features kittens playing. One puppy usually wins an MVP (most valuable puppy) award for playing the best. But I am not sure if that is true this year with the addition of an online fantasy draft. The point of the whole thing is to show off cute puppies to encourage people to go to their local shelters and adopt dogs in need of homes. All of the puppies featured have been adopted into new homes.

This year they are also featuring a fantasy draft, which might take the place of the mvp award.
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.30.00 PM - Edited
You go online here to sign into the site and pick three puppies for your dream team from the starting line up. The puppies are split into two teams: Team Ruff and Team Fluff. You can pick three puppies in any variation and across both teams.

Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.35.46 PM

You also get to pick which team you think will win. Team Ruff is in the lead!

Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.34.17 PM

Here are a couple of the puppies from the starting line up:

Aria the Labrador Retriever mix, on Team Ruff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.28.34 PM
Keith Barraclough/DCL

Blue the Schnauzer Poodle mix, on Team Fluff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.49.29 PM
Keith Barraclough

Boomer the German Shepherd mix, on Team Ruff:

Chicklet the Australian Shepherd Mix, on Team Fluff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.53.05 PM
Keith Barraclough

Falcor the Clumber Spanial, on Team Ruff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.54.13 PM
Keith Barraclough/DCL

Fritz the Mini Schnauzer, on Team Fluff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 4.59.14 PM
Keith Barraclough/DCL

Lee the Boxer mix,on Team Ruff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 5.01.23 PM
Keith Barraclough/DCL

Panda the Pomeranian, on Team Fluff:
Screenshot 2015-01-28 at 5.02.43 PM
Keith Barraclough/DCL

You can see the entire starting line up here. There is a great mix of beautiful and adorable puppies this year, you won’t want to miss out!

Make sure you tune in and watch all the adorable puppies this Sunday at 3 pm on Animal Planet!

– Fizz

Review: Dolphin Tale 2

The human went to see Dolphin Tale 2 and told me what she thought of it, so I figured I would pass it along. Guinea pigs don’t really watch movies after all.

dolphin tale 2 poster

If you enjoyed the first Dolphin Tale movie you should find this movie just as enjoyable. You might not find it necessarily as good as or better than the first movie, but still inspirational and worth watching.

The movie follows Winter as she loses her female friend and poolmate Panama, and what the marine hospital has to do about the situation because according to USDA regulations Winter cannot be kept by herself. This leads to the introduction of a couple new dolphins including Hope, the second dolphin on the above poster. A warning when taking younger viewers, there is a brief moment of showing a “deceased” dolphin at the bottom of its pool and a few dolphins in distress throughout the movie but nothing gory. These moments might just upset younger kids or lead to questions you might want to be prepared to answer. Further ideas the movie explores is whether it is okay for a healthy dolphin to be kept at a marine park when their goal is rehabilitation, what is in the best interests of such large marine mammals even when humans have personal attachments to them, and what it means to let go of fears to be able to move on in life.

Winter and Hope, the new dolphin star of the sequel:

The major cast members from the first film came back for the squeal. That adds a lot to the quality and consistency of this movie. Where the first movie focused on coping with a disability, this movie is more of a story of growing up. The kids from the first movie are not really kids any more, and the plot does a good job of dealing with their growing desire for independence and decision making. The only real downside was that because of their age a suggestion of love interests and conflicts was thrown into the plot. While it doesn’t feel forced, and is kind of cute, it also feels completely unnecessary to the overall story. The movie would have been just as compelling without it, and it is possible for boys and girls to simply be friends even at their age. But if that is an element you enjoy or require in a movie than you will not be disappointed.

Overall, if you are looking for a quality family movie with some good discussion points this is a great choice. It does provide an entertaining and endearing story, and it helps to point out some issues surrounding the welfare and treatment of marine wildlife.

Dolphin Tale 2 is now in theaters!

– Fizz

Winter and Hope, the dolphins featured in the movie are real dolphins that you can visit at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater Florida. You can learn more visiting them in person at

Winnie the Pooh Exhibition

Walt Disney Archives has an international traveling exhibit that is touring around Japan featuring Winnie the Pooh. Pooh is incredibly popular in American and Japan. The original books were translated in Japanese and the Disney movies released in theaters to much popularity.

The human loves Pooh bear and has high hopes that this exhibit, or one similar, will come to the US some day. If you live in or can visit Japan you might be lucky enough to see this one as is, and if not D23 did a nice write up where you can see more pictures here.


The exhibit features items from the Disney archives like animation cells, movie posters, maquettes, books, and toys. The goal is simply to celebrate the art, history, and legacy of Winnie the Pooh.

Here is the entry way:

Some of the items on display:

Books in Japanese:



The Winnie the Pooh Exhibition opened in August in Tokyo, and has moved to Mitsukoshi department store in Fukuoka. The exhibit will continue traveling to different parts of Japan for the rest of the year and on into 2015.

Pooh bear is clearly a very popular and well loved bear. Don’t miss this chance to learn more and see items not usually available to the public if you are near the exhibit as it moves around Japan!

-Cola and Fizz

Don’t forget to see these photos and more on

How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Review

If you enjoyed the movie How To Train Your Dragon, you need to see the sequel! How To Train Your Dragon 2 is exceptional!


If you never saw the first movie, How To Train Your Dragon is the story of an island town of Vikings plagued by dragon attacks. However, it turns out dragons are much more than they appear. The main story revolves around a viking named Hiccup, the son of the town’s leader, who befriends a powerful and playful dragon which he names Toothless. Their friendship changes everything. It is a story of understanding, growth, friendship and family. Dreamworks did an excellent job on this movie with quality animation and story.

Toothless the Night Fury is simply irresistible, cute for a dragon, and just the right amount of attitude:


The sequel continues that story with the same characters five years later.

Hiccup then and now:

This movie has more mature themes than the first, but right in line with the aging of the main characters and what life can bring. The movie can make you laugh, cry, and feel triumphant. There are new dragon species in the movie, and the world really expands beyond the main Island of Berk. You can learn more and watch videos on the How To Train Your Dragon website.


I was a bit unsure of what this movie would be, given that sequels are hardly ever as good. This was exceptional, just as good as (if not for some viewers even better than) the first. It was everything I could want from a sequel, especially given that it took 4 years to make. The animation is beautiful, I would say almost Pixar quality.The textures, lighting, scale, and landscapes seem even more real and very well done. The dragons appear as if they are flying, and the scale differences between them never seem unbelievable. If dragons are in scenes with humans talking front and center they will be doing interesting things in the background, a very nice touch. Toothless has even more personality and you learn even more about Night Furies. I loved the movie and went into not knowing too much so I don’t want to ruin any of the actual story, you will just have to see it to find out even more!


I also wanted to note that I saw the movie twice, once on a regular screen and once on IMAX, both were 3D. It is worth it to see the movie on a larger screen! The 3D is also very nice, it adds to the perception of the landscapes, flights, and action rather than taking away from it or utilizing cheap gags to make it “worth” the experience.


Go see How To Train Your Dragon 2, I don’t think you will be disappointed!

Our Review Score: 4.9/5 paws

– Cola and Fizz


Never saw the first movie? You can buy it now on Amazon (DVD or Blu-ray):

2014 Belmont Stakes Saturday

The Belmont Stakes, the final race in the illusive Triple Crown, is this Saturday June 7! You can watch on NBC, the live coverage starts at 4:30 but I think the actual race takes place around 6 pm. On NBC sports you can see a show about California Chrome at noon, and then race day coverage from 2:30 on until post race coverage at 7.

Can California Chrome make racing history? Many horses have won the first two races only to fail to win the third and longest.

Chrome at Belmont Park:
(Jason Szenes/EPA)

There are 11 horses in the race, some of which have been contenders against California Chrome since the Kentucky Derby. Wicked Strong is back for a second race against Chrome, and Ride on Curlin and General a Rod are back for their third go. Chrome will be running from the number 2 post position, which is sort of unfavorable (5 is the most favored) but the race is one of the longest, with the widest turns, and fewer horses than other races. Maybe even more important, Secretariat ran from an inside post position when he won the Belmont Stakes (even though he only had to beat 4 other horses no one is disputing his raw strength and ability).

Wicked Strong is a favorite to steal the win from Chrome because he is more fresh, placed well in his past two races, and has run best in New York. Ride on Curlin finished second to Chrome in the Preakness, who took the most favored post position number 5, could also pose a big threat. No one should forget Commanding Curve either, he raced against Chrome in the Kentucky Derby and finished in second place. The newcomer to the race which poses the biggest threat to Chrome is Tonalist, who won the Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, which has historically indicated a horse prime to place well in the Belmont Stakes.

(Chelsea Durand/NYRA)

Everything is uncertain at this point, I want Chrome to win but he has some impressive competition. It all comes down to race day, don’t forget to watch!

Interested in picking up some official California Chrome merchandise? I had no idea you could get such items, but given his popularity and the chance for a Triple Crown I am guessing this stuff is selling! Find it at the Belmont Stakes store here.

– Cola

Dolphin Tale 2

Dolphin Tale 2, the sequel to the first movie about Winter the tail-less dolphin, will be in theaters September 19, 2014!


Here is the preview:

Another Dolphin Tale movie?!? The first movie was very inspiring, and I expect the same of the second. The original featured the story of Winter the dolphin who lost her tail, the people who went to great lengths to save her, and those who were inspired by them all.

Dolphin Tale 2 will also have Winter in it, but will feature the story of another rescued baby dolphin named Hope. Both were rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and both can be visited there! It is also the principle filming location for the dolphins. Winter played herself in the first Dolphin Tale and will return for the sequel. Hope will also play herself in the upcoming movie. More amazing still, Hope came to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium during the wrap up of the Dolphin Tale movie. She was injured and separated from her mother, found in same area where Winter was previously discovered.

Here is Winter without the prosthetic tail designed specifically for her:
Here she is wearing the new tail:
(Barcroft Media)

And here is Hope with Winter – Hope is the one with a full tail:

I am really looking forward to seeing this movie!

If you live anywhere near Clearwater or are going their for vocation maybe consider visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to visit these two dolphins!

– Cola

Also, if you have not seen the first Dolphin Tale I highly suggest it. Inspiring and heartwarming.

Now Playing: Mr. Peabody and Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman is now playing at theaters!


I got to see the movie, and I really enjoyed it!

I wrote up a little review to share with you guys, but I don’t want to give away too much of the story because I want you to see it!

The basic plot follows the hyper intelligent dog Mr. Peabody, his adopted son Sherman, and the time machine Peabody invented called the WABAC (pronounced way back). Sherman begins school and faces a bully named Penny, who both end up in the WABAC and have to help save the space-time continuum while trying to work out their differences. The plot was better than I expected given the origin from the old Peabody cartoon shorts. It is not a Pixar quality story, and the plot seems a little off at times, but if you go into it expecting that I think you will be pleasantly surprised overall.

I think the movie keeps adults and kids entertained throughout. It is full of humor that ranges from the very intelligent to childish bathroom humor. I really enjoyed the puns throughout the film. The bathroom humor serves to keep kids invested when they may not understand why all the puns are funny. The movie has decent pacing, and the story does progress well.

What I enjoyed most about the movie was its focus on history and intelligence. Any kids movie that attempts to foster a love of history and places a value on learning/knowledge is a welcome change from many cartoons these days. Mr. Peabody’s character is a demonstration of how cool and interesting you can be if you are intelligent. He comes off as arrogant at times, but I think the fun things he is able to do and the things he has accomplished demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with being smart and there are certain benefits to that. The jokes, historical periods depicted, and Sherman’s excitement for history all reinforce that history doesn’t have to be boring and learning about it is important. I hope that kids come away from the movie with some increased desire to learn a little bit more about history.

The movie does a fair job of exploring the complexities of a dog having adopted a human boy, and how society would treat that, for children. I would have enjoyed a more in-depth look at that, but it isn’t where the movie went. Sherman loves his dog father, and Mr. Peabody proves himself. It is a good look at a first time parent learning to let go and grow.

Overall, I think you guys should see this one! It is both intelligent and funny, and Mr. Peabody is quite cute (in a dignified doggy way).