Category: Kids

Review | Ballerina 

This poor post had gotten lost in my drafts. I considered sending it to the trash folder, seeing as the film was released here over a month ago, but I decided not to. The thing is, Ballerina is a beautiful film, and if you missed it, then maybe this review will move you to grab a copy for your kid/s (and yourself, if you’re anything like me 😁) once its out on DVD/blu-ray.

Ballerina opened in SA cinemas on 6 January. Our little ballerina had seen the trailer, and couldn’t wait to watch it, so we bought tickets the day it premiered. All three of us – yes, daddy too – thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so good, Zee and I watched it a second time, with three of her friends and their mom. Our kids are home schooled, so I guess it was the first school outing for the year. 🙂

Visually, the computer-animated film set in France is lovely, even giving us a glimpse at an incomplete Eiffel Tower. It’s the 1880’s, and Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning) is an orphan who dreams of being a ballerina. When her friend Victor (Dane DeHaan), an aspiring inventor, shows her a picture of the Paris Opera ballet school, she knows that is where she belongs.

The lead characters are immediately likeable . There’s plenty of slapstick comedy, especially in the scene where Félicie and Victor escape the orphanage in Brittany. And there are scenes which touch your heart. There’s a villain so cruel, she and the step mother in Disney’s Cinderella would be besties. There’s even the mandatory (and somewhat exaggerated.. but hey, it’s an animation) dance movie dance-off scene, set to Demi Lovato’s Confident. It has all the right ingredients for a great family film.

That Félicie goes from zero training and skill, to a brilliant ballerina in only a short while may have some rolling their eyes. Once again, this is an animation. And isn’t the whole point of any movie – animated or live-action – to take you away from what’s real and normal for that little while, and give you something alot more fantastic? Ballerina certainly does that. It has the wonderful message to never give up on your dreams, and will have you smiling even after the credits roll.

So… How old are you?

Remember when we were kids, and someone would ask, “how old are you now?” Excitedly, proudly even, we’d answer, “nine, and I’m going to be ten in four months!” I was reminded of those days during the holiday. There were two older girls where we were staying, who were really sweet to Zee. Chatting to them, I asked how old they were, and the older one replied, “my sister’s eleven, and I’m twelve, but I’m going to be thirteen soon!” I caught that twinkle in her eye as she said the words, the barely contained excitement over the thought of getting older, becoming a teenager, being grown up and fabulous.

How things change… Hit your thirties, and there’s no joyful response to that question. A cynical snort maybe, or a scowl if you’re feeling particularly sensitive about the age thing that day. Funny how back then we couldnt wait for the next number, now that wait couldn’t be long enough.

On a serious note though, I’m going to be thirty five soon, and the truth is I’m ok with that. The part that scares me, is how quickly its come. Not in a bad way, like ugh I’m so old… am I going to have grey hair now?… are those marks on the mirror, or are they lines on my skin?… No, nothing like that – not that I want any of those delightful things which come with getting older, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. The part that actually freaks me out is that every year I get older, my little baby is growing too, and isn’t that much of a baby anymore.

On NYE, we were at my uncle’s place, together with my mom and dad. Zee was having a blast with my little cousins, playing in the pool at 10pm, chatting about ballet, and roasting marshmallows on the braai. She was having such fun, she was still wide awake at midnight! On hearing that it was 2017, she hugged me and said (beaming from ear to ear), “mommy, I’m officially seven and a half!”

You see, Zee is at that stage where she’s now counting down to the next age, and is quite excited about being “a big girl” – this, despite me telling her she’ll be my baby even at forty! 😀 She’d asked in November I think it was, if she was seven and a half yet, and I responded that she would only be seven and a half in January. Thus the excitement when the clock struck twelve. Needless to say, I quickly informed her that she would only be seven and a half at the end of the month, in an attempt to hold on to the baby-ness just that tiny bit longer.

Then yesterday rolled around, and Facebook gave me this:

Like, “your baby’s seven and a half now. Deal with it.” So I did, with a mini photo shoot of course, to remember the time my baby turned seven and a half. Officially. Because, what else can us mommies do, but stop being in denial, and accept the natural order of things… They will grow; they will become more independent, and say more often “it’s ok mommy, I’ve got this” *sniff*;
they will eventually feel we’re not as cool as they once thought… And we have to deal as best we can, savoring every baby-ish moment along the way, taking as many photos as we can to treasure forever, and appreciating the moments when they need us even as they’re busy getting older and wanting to do it all on their own.

“Look mommy, like a superhero cape!”

Please excuse the gross stringy thingy that Cocoa (Zee’s dachshund) was dragging around and decided to drop right there, in the superhero pic.

When a sneeze tickles your nose, but your mom won’t quit with the photos

Mummy Times Two

The Great Moscow Circus – Courage, Skill… and Kindness

Great Moscow Circus - Brazil crew

A few days ago, Husband, Zee, and I went to The Great Moscow Circus at Montecasino. We’ve all been seeing the promotional ads for months now, and it looked good, but the actual thing blew us away! The Great Moscow Circus is two hours of pure talent, skill, strength, daring (with a tiny bit of crazy, I’m pretty sure), humor, and wonder. It is a spectacular show, and it SHOULD NOT BE MISSED!… Sorry, I don’t mean to shout, but it’s just that good! I feel like it would be a public disservice if I didn’t rave about it and urge you to go see for yourselves. 😀

And did I mention The Great Moscow Circus is a kind circus? What this means is that there are no animals in the show, only incredibly talented humans.   ❤️

The show is brilliant, from start to finish, kicking off with an incredible, high flying trampoline act by the American and Canadian crew, which I thought would be hard to top… but each act that followed was equally amazing! The Australian guy below even rocked out on an electric guitar whilst balancing on ALL of that!

Great Moscow Circus - balance

The Brazilian daredevils though, were unquestionably our favourites (and everyone else’s too, judging by the roar of the crowd during both their performances)!

At one point, two of the guys jumped onto the outside of their rings! And then, they were blindfolded… OMG!

Great Moscow Circus - Brazil crew

Great Moscow Circus - Brazil crew

The grand finale saw the guys from Brazil perform again… this time in a very Death Star looking globe. I’ve never seen more than two riders in a globe, and these guys went all the way up to FIVE!!… And then, the globe opened!!! Breathtaking!

Great Moscow Circus - Globe

The Great Moscow Circus is at Montecasino until 27 January. If you find tickets available on Computicket (there aren’t many left), do yourself a favour and book them immediately.

And if you’re in other parts of SA, the good news is they’re heading to Cape Town, Bloemfontein, PE, and ending off at Suncoast in Durban. Tickets range from R150 to R595, and there are discounts on the R495 and R595 tickets when you use your Tsogo Sun or Edgars card.

It is so worth it. In the words of charismatic ringmaster Stas, “the circus is the sincerest form of art. It’s right in front of you, nowhere to hide, no do-overs.”

** Update: Due to popular demand, The Great Moscow Circus returns to Johannesburg, for performances at Carnival City, from 31 March to 9 April. **

Image credit: