These Creepy Theories Will Make You Question Your Favorite Kids’ Movies

(Youtube/ScreenRant)

Conspiracies makes kids movies scarier than ever

As anyone parent knows, children are creepy AF.

They sneak into your room in the middle of the night just to silently stare at you, willing you to wake up and let them get into your bed. Or else they scream bloody murder because a sticker is on the bottom of their foot.

Either way, they are walking heart attacks, and those are just the normal ones. What about the ones in movies? Not even horror movies, but kids’ movies. That’s right. Kids’ movies are twisted.

Screen Rant put together a little video that highlights the creepiest theories about the kids in some of your, and your own kids’, favorite movies. You’ll never look at them the same way again!

The video includes clear sociopaths like Kevin McAllister in Home Alone – the video posits that Home Alone is the origin story of Jigsaw, the sadistic killer from Saw who relies on baroque contraptions to murder his victims.

Fun theory, except have you seen Macaulay Culkin lately? He’s much scarier, and he’s real!

via GIPHY

The video somehow manages to make the Toy Story series even more existentially depressing, carries that over to Wall-E, and then delves into a theory that Nemo in Finding Nemo is actually dead, and is just a manifestation of his father’s grief, thus ensuring that the Pixar movies are this generation’s Faces of Death.

The theories are fun, but I’m not sure why we need to darken these children’s movies when there are already tons of terrifying children’s movies to watch! Like the third movie in the aforementioned Toy Story series. Toy Story 3 is like the Schindler’s List of children’s movies. I lost 10 pounds just watching it.

Back in the day, when we were kids, there was no shortage of terrifying flicks that were ostensibly for us but were, in reality, nightmare factories. When’s the last time you watched The Dark Crystal? How about Gremlins? I recently showed my kid Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and halfway through I started watching the door, expecting child services to burst in.

via GIPHY

Nowadays it’s mostly Disney and Pixar that have our kids by the balls, and harebrained theories from that video aside, most of them are pretty tame (especially if dead parents don’t faze you!) They have their fair share of death to keep things lively, but they’re a lot more touchy-feely. Even the Avengers movies lack a bit of an edge. Then again, the DC movies try to be nothing BUT edge and they’re terrible AF so I’m not entirely sure what I’m bitching about.

Keep doing what you’re doing, Hollywood! Tomorrow’s children are just going to pirate your stuff anyway.

ScreenTime: Kung Fu Panda Watch #1 Vs. Watch #183

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

ScreenTime is a recurring column where Matt McC reviews the movies and shows his daughter forces him to watch.

First impressions aren’t everything. Sometimes a movie’s inner beauty reveals itself only after a rewatch or two. To that end, here are two reviews of the Dreamworks Animated feature Kung Fu Panda, separated by six months and 182 viewings.

Kung Fu Panda Review: Watch #1, May 3, 2017

Kung Fu Panda is the story of Po, a young panda and kung fu fan voiced by Jack Black. After an accident causes him to be picked as the legendary Dragon Warrior, he has to leave his father’s noodle shop and train with kung fu legends The Furious Five in order to fulfill his destiny of defeating the evil tiger Tai Lung.

It’s a simple tale of overcoming adversity and learning to play to your strengths. It is told strongly with a concise script and competent direction. Much of the humor may be a little too slapstick for adults but excellent voice work from an all-star cast makes even the silliest gags land nicely. An okay film that kept my daughter entertained, but not substantial enough to be worth a rewatch.

Kung Fu Panda Review: Watch #183, November 2, 2017

Iconic New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael notoriously only ever watched movies once. As she once told famed author Francis Davis, “I’m astonished when I talk to really good critics, who… will see a film eight or ten or twelve times. I don’t see how they can do it without hating the movie.”

Those critics, however, would surely argue that the artistry of a great film cannot be appreciated in a single viewing, that in order to fully appreciate such a film, one must devote themselves to it, to learn to live and to breathe it. This is why I watch 2008’s Kung Fu Panda every single night of the week.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

Every evening, entirely of my own volition, without anyone prompting me or screaming “PAAAADDDAAAAAA” so loudly the neighbors call animal control, I sit down with a select audience and a bowl of dry cheerios to enjoy one of the decade’s foremost animated Jack Black performances.

The Profundity Of Small Moments

Kael, sadly, did not live to witness this stirring tale of the rotund panda who, against all odds, became a kung fu legend. If she had, she would no doubt have been entranced by Po’s antics, and swept up in the grand arc of his story. She may even have had time to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of shots such as this one, during Tai Lung’s thrilling escape.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

But she would not, in a single viewing, have been able to appreciate the transcendental hilarity of this scene, in which Po smashes his face against a wall. A scene which has never failed to produce peals of laughter from the audience at every single one of my nightly screenings.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

Kael’s viewing may have allowed her to appreciate the subtle thematic foreshadowing in this transition, where Tai Lung’s shadow briefly darkens the entirety of the Valley of Peace before fading into memory.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

But it is only after multiple viewings that one begins to understand what it is that compels audiences world-wide, upon seeing this flashback of an infant Tai Lung training with his new master, to yell, “BABY LION, DADDY! SEE? SEE?”

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

A Reverie of Obsession

It is not surprising that “Padda” rewards such dedication: it is a film about dedication, about obsession, about loving something so much it’s all you think and dream about. When Po yells “I love Kung Fuuuuuuuu,” it comes after a montage depicting the lengths to which he’ll go for a glimpse of his obsession. When we yell it along with him, it comes after what feels like a lifetime of staring at the object of ours.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

It is thus extremely fitting that a movie that opens with the lushly-rendered dream of an infatuated fan should inspire such love that fans of all ages begin their day by screaming, “WATCH PADDA. WATCH PADDA NOW!!!” before they’ve even fully opened their eyes.

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

A Life of Love

Some may be content to experience Kung Fu Panda fleetingly, to watch once, then move on. But true joy can be found in a deeper experience, in immersing yourself in “Padda” day after day, even when you don’t want to, even when you’re exhausted, or pissed off, or bored out of your damn mind. Profound insights come when you dedicate your life to something, and rededicate yourself to it every single day. After all, isn’t that what love is?

Kung Fu Panda
(YouTube)

There’s a Dark ‘The Hardy Boys’ Series Coming and Here’s the Trailer

Hardy Boys Trailer
(YouTube/Hulu)

When I was a kid, I read a whole bunch of Hardy Boys books. They were easy-to-read adventures and mysteries that served as a nice bridge between the Bunnicula and Judy Blume books I read in elementary school and the Anne Rice and Stephen King books I read in high school.

They were fun and simple and I was a kid with brothers too. I also loved to pretend I was a detective and that something sinister was always afoot in my boring Connecticut suburb. It was kind of a more realistic Scooby-Doo, and I suspect a lot of guys my age read them, just as girls my age read Nancy Drew.

Well, now our kids can find out about the Hardy Boys, in a much darker and sexier way! Hulu is hopping on the teen soap strain, picking up the baton from the CW’s Riverdale and bringing the sibling detectives to the small screen.

Based on books created in 1926, the TV series follows Hardy brothers Frank, 16, and Joe, 12, as they move from NYC to Bridgeport, CT (I was right!) and quickly become suspicious that there’s a conspiracy in town – and that their parents may be involved.

Check out the trailer for the show, which hits Hulu on December 2nd:

Tributes Pour in for The Undertaker Who Is Now Retired in Peace

Undertaker Retires
(WWE)

After 30 years of greatness, the Undertaker can finally Rest in Peace (from the professional wrestling world). The iconic WWE superstar made his official final appearance as a wrestler at Sunday’s Survivor Series and got a hero’s send-off as he enters retirement. rid

It’s easy to love the ridiculousness of pro wrasslin’, especially if you grew up in the 80s or 90s. And there’s a reason it was deemed an essential business during the dark early days of the pandemic. But the sad truth behind professional wrestling is very few of its stars get a proper send-off into retirement. There are far more tragic early deaths and bittersweet controversies than proper salutes to legends, which is why Undertaker’s final show was so great.

You know a wrestler has impacted the pop culture fabric like few others when even SportsCenter gives a nod to your retirement. The Undertaker, Mark Calaway’s character he’s embodied for three decades of ups and downs, gave one last heartfelt farewell speech, saying:

“For 30 long years, I’ve made that slow walk to this ring and have laid people to rest time and time again. And now my time has come. My time has come to let The Undertaker rest in peace.”

In an extremely touching twist, the WWE used a hologram of the late Paul Bearer, Undertaker’s longtime manager, recreating their old pose.

It was a fitting end to a career that started 30 years ago at a much different Survivor Series show, but his character impacted pro wrestling like few before or after. And many greats of the wrestling world were quick to highlight that, as The Rock quickly fired off a touching tribute.

Vince McMahon summed up Taker’s impact fittingly: “The measuring stick. The locker room leader. The Phenom. Three decades ago today, Undertaker changed the landscape of sports-entertainment. His legacy is incomparable, his impact immeasurable, ” he wrote on Twitter.

Soon, the #ThankYouTaker hashtag took off, letting other WWE stars chime in with the impact he had, with praise from John Cena, Shawn Michaels (they had some classic matches together), Triple H, Ric Flair, and more.

A truly legendary career, and a retirement tribute fitting of one.

Dad Has Sewn Over 200 Dresses for His Daughter To Bond Through Creativity

Dad sews over 200 dresses for daughter
(Instagram/daddydressedmebymg)

For many of us, getting our kids dressed in the morning is little more than a necessary chore to fit into our already hectic days. But for one dad named Michael Gardner, his daughter’s wardrobe became something that helped the pair bond throughout the years. Helping his 9-year-old daughter Ava get dressed doesn’t mean laying out an outfit the night before – for this crafty dad, it means starting from scratch. In fact, Gardner has started from scratch over 200 times, and he has no plans to slow down.

“I decided to start sewing for Ava to teach her to be confident, have high self-esteem, and to believe in herself,” Gardner told The Dad. “I have been creative since I was a kid, I was in search of a new creative challenge and sewing became the catalyst to achieve my mission. My goal was to bond with her through my creativity, which is the most impactful way that I express myself.”

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

When Ava was younger, her dad took creative control. Gardner started sewing dresses for Ava when she was just 3 years old, but as she’s gotten older, Ava has become an essential piece of the creative puzzle. She helps choose styles, fabrics, and once her masterpieces are complete, she helps choose locations for photoshoots.

“Ava and I have been inseparable since she was born,” Gardner explained. “The journey of me sewing and her modeling strengthened our bond. It is truly a collaboration on all levels. We share ideas, inspiration and encourage each other throughout the process. It has also allowed us to have in depth conversations and simply have fun together.”

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

Gardner is self-taught when it comes to sewing, and if he can do it, he truly believes that anyone can. Gardner learned to sew through YouTube videos and Pinterest, and last summer, he was named a brand ambassador for Janome Sewing Machines. This talented dad even started Daddy Dressed Me by Michael Gardner, a fashion brand and social media campaign. Through sharing the creations he and Ava have brought to life on social media, the creative duo has received support from around the world.

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

“Every time I am thanked for bringing joy, happiness and complimented for being a positive light in what’s been a challenging year I am truly amazed,” Gardner said. “Hearing that I am an inspiration as a creative and parent means so much to me.”

The bond between Gardner and Ava is immediately evident through their photos and videos, and since Gardner’s relationship with his own dad was less than ideal, being a great dad to Ava was especially important.

 

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A post shared by Michael Gardner (@daddydressedmebymg)

“I want people to know that it is absolutely possible to be the parent you choose to be, regardless of the circumstances in your childhood,” Gardner expressed. “I am blessed to have an amazing relationship with Ava, it’s a totally different experience than I had with my parents. I put in the work, time and love into providing Ava with all the things I wish I had as a kid, I broke the cycle and for that I am proud.”

Netflix Creates Bizarre Christmas-Themed Witcher Promo

Netflix The Witcher Christmas Promo
(Twitter/Netflix)

I’m not entirely sure that I would associate swordplay and dragons and monsters and Henry Cavill with Christmas, but I don’t work at Netflix.

Cavill stars as The Witcher in Netflix’s popular adaption of the videogame, and about the only thing he has in common with Santa Claus is the white hair. And maybe the enormous arms, I’ve never seen St. Nick with his shirt off. But that didn’t stop the streaming service’s social media people, who cobbled together a bunch of Witcher scenes and made a little holiday video out of it.

So far, Netflix has only aired one season of the show, and a making-of documentary and season 2’s production has been delayed by COVID, like everything else. So they don’t have a lot of new footage to work with, but they did their best, layering a Christmas song over clips from the show in a strange effort to connect it to the holiday season. They’ve even added Christmas lights and presents and more, for some reason!

Not sure how seeing a bunch of people get stabbed in the throat is the reason for the season, but gotta respect the effort!

Check it out:

‘The Last of Us’ TV Series Coming to HBO From Writer Behind ‘Chernobyl’ Series

The Last of Us
(HBO)

I don’t like starting every paragraph about a Hollywood project by bemoaning the constant remakes and reboots and hijacking of existing intellectual property, but you play the hand you’re dealt!

This time we’re talking about an adaptation of a video game, and for once it’s not another version of Resident Evil. This time, it’s The Last of Us, a beloved zombie game whose devotees swear is one of the best stories, videogame or otherwise, out there.

HBO must agree because they’ve just announced a plan to bring the popular game to their network in the form of a series.

If you’ve never played the game, Variety describes it as taking place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. (Spoiler alert: there are zombies GALORE!)

It sounds pretty bleak, which may explain why HBO has hired Craig Mazin, who created the network’s devastating Chernobyl miniseries, to write and direct. Mazin will work alongside Neil Druckmann, who created the game.

“Craig and Neil are visionaries in a league of their own,” said Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming. “With them at the helm alongside the incomparable Carolyn Strauss, this series is sure to resonate with both die-hard fans of ‘The Last of Us’ games and newcomers to this genre-defining saga. We’re delighted to partner with Naughty Dog, Word Games, Sony and PlayStation to adapt this epic, powerfully immersive story.”

The Last of Us was released in 2013, to acclaim and blockbuster sales, and last summer the sequel came out. We’ll see if that one eventually makes its way to HBO too.

Hibernate Through the Winter in Pizza Hut’s Weighted Pizza Blanket

Pizza Blanket
(Twitter/PizzaHut)

For all it’s faults, 2020 is coming to an end. And with it, 2021 brings the promise of vaccines and a much more normal world (without pepperoni shortages.) But, we still need to get through the winter, with many still stuck (mostly) at home. So if you’re going to be hibernating more than usual this winter, you gotta do it in style, like with a giant pan pizza weighted blanket. Pizza Hut is making the chill game even tastier with its new creation, part of a collab with the popular Gravity Blanket company.

The new Original Pan Weighted Blanket is modeled after the same exact pizza you remember wolfing down at birthday parties as a kid. It’s also the type of nonsensical brand product you just learn to accept these days. Giant pizza blanket? Sure. Waffle House Bacon Beer? Absolutely. And, to be fair, Pizza Hut has already earned our trust, especially after bringing back the Book-It program.

In a press release from the pizza maker, a spokesman said there was ‘no better way to close out 2020 than eating a Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza while wrapped in the warmth and comfort of the Original Pan Weighted Blanket.’

Honestly, I can think of worse ways to end this year, so yeah, sign me up for eating pizza and wrapped in the giant Pizza Blanket. The blanket is supposed to be a 15-pound weighted blanket (I’m not a Gravity Blankets guy, but their rep seems to hold up) and the blanket sells for cheaper than their normal products. It’s 72-inches in diameter and has a “luxurious” feel to it.

Weighted blanket people swear by them, so if you’re looking for that final touch to your Hibernation 2020 game, you can do worse than a giant pizza.

Father Figures: Selfless

“My husband Tim Parrish (@timatreez) has not only been an amazing dad to our boys but has shown me a level of selflessness I didn’t know was possible.

After I went back to work when our first son was two months old, he changed his entire work schedule to ensure he could be home with our son during the day. He gave up so much to be a full-time dad – and then work a night shift.

When we had our second (rainbow boy) he once again shifted his schedule to ensure our family had him when we needed him most so I could go back to work and focus on my career.

When Covid hit, he didn’t get to stay home. He had to work – often around people without masks – and had to come home to an exhausted wife, newborn, and toddler. He never flinched. He jumped right into wrestling, running, jumping, baseball, and baby wearing.

When I eventually lost my job, he told me to take time off and focus on me for a while.

He’s by far the most selfless, loving, and dialed-in dad and husband and we are so lucky to have him. He deserves recognition more than anyone I know because he refuses to accept that he’s gone above and beyond!”

– Meg Parrish

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney Bought a Soccer Team Together

Reynolds and McElhenney Buy Soccer Team
(Twitter/WrexhamAFC)

“The Gang Buys A Welsh Football Club.” It’s the Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode you never knew you needed, now that actor (and Sunny co-creator) Rob McElhenney and movie star Ryan Reynolds have teamed up to buy a Welsh soccer team. It’s one of those stories that only make sense in 2020.

Reynolds, aka Deadpool and home school gin connoisseur, can seemingly do no wrong, so we’ll get to see if his magic touch can extend to Wrexham AFC, one of the oldest professional soccer teams and one that’s currently entrenched in the fifth tier of English soccer. But the two are serious about turning the team around and plan to make it a “global force” around the soccer universe.

“This is really happening,” Reynolds said in a video released by the team. The club is fan-owned and approved the takeover by the two celebrities. Apparently, the duo did a lot of research after deciding they wanted to buy a soccer team and thought Wrexham AFC had the most potential.

Reynolds said he and McElhenney want to be at as many games as possible (once fans are allowed, post-pandemic) and ‘want to have a pint with the fans.’ They also plan to be ‘great ambassadors for the club’ and want to introduce them to the world.

The Wrexham Supporters Trust Board voted overwhelmingly to sell to the two celebs, as they have serious plans for community engagement and plans to improve their standing in the soccer world. Chief among them is a behind-the-scenes documentary to help bring more fans into the fold.

“You may never have heard of Wrexham, but you will. So to the Wrexham Supporters Trust, thank you for your faith and trust in us,” McElhenney said.

Reynolds added: “We are humbled and we are already getting to work.”

So now that two of our coolest and funniest celebrities have bought a soccer team, we all have a Cinderella squad to root for as Wrexham AFC works its way out of the cellar of the soccer world.