Toy Story 3 LEGO Sets Provide a Wealth of Fun Gift Ideas

Think back to 2005, before the Disney/Pixar merger. Would you ever have expected to see another installment in the Toy Story franchise? Pixar’s Steve Jobs and John Lasseter seemed to have little interest in creating another Toy Story sequel. And while The Walt Disney Company’s executives wanted another picture, Disney’s animation studios lacked the creative quality necessary to create a movie that rivaled Pixar’s magical storytelling and quality.

How quickly time flies. Fast forward through the Disney/Pixar merger to 2010 and this year’s blockbuster hit, Toy Story 3. In addition to being a terrific movie, it has come with an amazing portfolio of toys based on the movie.

And when you combine the ingenuity of the LEGO brand, one of the top toy brands for boys, with Disney/Pixar magic, you have a recipe for success. The Toy Story LEGO collection has been wowing little boys all through 2010.

If you’re shopping the LEGO aisles looking for the perfect LEGO Toy Story gift for this holiday, have a look at this list to see my top picks.

LEGO Toy Story Woody and Buzz Rescue (7590) – This set is a fun way for boys to relive the exciting rescue scene where Buzz and Woody race to catch up with Andy’s moving truck.

LEGO Toy Story Woody’s Round Up (7594) – This set will help your silly little boy reenact the Stinky Pete scenes from the second movie. With a lot of detail, this is a great set. However, it’s best for those boys who like Woody as much as they like Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear.

LEGO Toy Story Western Train Chase (7597) – The railroad dream adventure is a favorite scene from the movie and this is a great set to play that scene. It has 584 pieces and includes figures of Buzz, Woody, Jessie, Rex, Bullseye and Hamm. Parents have been saying that this is a premier LEGO set that inspires a lot of imaginative play in their children.

LEGO DUPLO Toy Story The Great Train Chase 5659 – For younger kids, LEGO Duplo bricks are a great way to get them involved in the fun of LEGO. If you’re shopping for little ones from 2-3 years old, this easy-to-assemble set might be an appropriate gift.

LEGO Toy Story Trash Compactor Escape (7596) – The scene here, the escape from the trash compactor, may be one of the scariest scenes in all 2010 movies.

Buying a gift can be complicated, especially if you’re buying for someone else’s children. I hope this article makes your shopping decision easier.

Top Disney Pixar – 2010 Movie Favorites

Disney Pixar has a way of making movies that appeal to just about everyone, of every age. It would be next to impossible to personally choose what I think would be the Top Disney Pixar movies – my family and I love a number of them and call them each a “favorite”. However, in terms of overall popularity, there can be a such thing as picking a “best” list.

With that in mind, here are the Top 5 Disney Pixar movies coming into the year 2010:

1. Disney Pixar Up – This movie is the most recently released on DVD and involves a retired (and rather elderly) balloon salesman who decides to “beat the system” and go on the ride of his life – with balloons! A very cute film, with some funny moments as well as some truly touching ones.

2. Pixar Toy Story – I believe that this is the first of the Pixar movies, and is obviously still a favorite since it remains toward the top of the list of popular movies for kids and family. Always a good pick to watch – especially if you feel like you need a good laugh!

3. Toy Story 2 – The follow-up to the first Toy Story movie, this film has a unique storyline that is just as entertaining as the first. There are some funny new characters as well, and has some dramatic moments that take the viewers from laughter to being “on the edge of their seats”.

4. Monsters Inc. – The Monsters Inc movie comes next in line in popularity this year. It has a story that is unlike any other I’ve seen, with a merging of two separate worlds that kids sometimes even have nightmares about, but with the world of the “monsters” not actually being scary at all.

5. Pixar Finding Nemo – Here is a story that will likely always be a favorite for kids and families to watch. An adorable story about a “little boy” clown fish who years for more personal freedom and a father who is afraid to bend the rules. Very sweet, truly funny as well.

There are (of course) more movies from the Disney Pixar lineup – and I understand that more will be released this year! However, if you are looking for a great movie for kids and families to watch you will be hard pressed to beat the list above of Top Disney Pixar movies for 2010.

Autism Movies

Here’s a list of movies that contain autistic characters. The list doesn’t include those television shows and the list is not complete. We only choose the top 10 movies which are highly recommended by parents or public. Most of the actors or actresses did a remarkable job of portraying autistic people. However, there’s also some confusion. It is said that Oscar-winner Kate Winslet is going to narrate a documentary that tells a heartbreaking story about a mother and her son with autism; the film is called “The Sunshine Boy”.

1. Rain Man
Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Director: Barry Levinson
Released: 1988

Rain Man took Academy honors for best director, screenplay, picture and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. The story is very touching; it’s between two brothers, an autistic one played by Dustin Hoffman who inherits 3 million dollars from their father, and the other one is a car dealer who’s not close to them. They went to a cross-country journey after their father’s death and get to know each other.

2. Mozart and The Whale
Actors: Josh Hartnett, Radha Mitchell
Released: 2005
Director: Peter Naess

A romance story happened between a boy and a girl who both suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild case of autism. They are very different from those normal couples because of the disorder, it makes love more complicated. But still, it’s a lovely story.

3. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
Actors: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Released: 1993

This movie is deep-moving, extremely touching, a lot of people’s favorite. It’s a story about family loyalty, sadness and the power of love. The most shining character of this drama is a retarded boy played by Leonardo DiCaprio, Arnie. Depp and DiCapro have a wonderful chemistry together.

4. Killer Diller
Actors: Lucas Black, Fred Willard, William Lee Scott, Ashley Johnson
Director: Tricia Brock
Released: 2004

The film is based on Clyde Edgerton’s highly acclaimed novel. When guitar-playing car thief Wesley Benfield meets Vernon, who is an autistic savant with rocking piano skills, they will transform to the Killer Diller Blues Band.

5. The Boy Who Could Fly
Actors: Jay Underwood, Lucy Deakins, Fred Savage
Director: Nick Castle
Released: 1986

An autistic teenager went to his uncle’s after both his parents died in a air crash. He makes friends with the neighborhood girl who become his tutor later and help him. Many parents of autistic children claimed that the boy in this film seems so real autistic that just like their sons. It’s a beautiful movie.

6. Mercury Rising
Actors: Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes
Director: Harold Becker
Released: 1998

A 9-year-old little boy with autism has a genius for breaking codes. And he become a target of assassins after he breaks a top government code. Bruce Wills, as a hero, protects the boy from being hurt. The boy’s parents are killed by the government. He always repeats words and avoids eye contact. It’s heart-breaking to see him like that.

7. Relative Fear
Actors: Jason Blicker, James Brolin, Denise Crosby, Darlanne Fluegel, Linda Sorenson
Director: Georges Mihalka
Released: 2005

Thriller Movie. There’s some really frightening moments in the movie, but nothing too bloody. A boy with autism who is fascinated with crime on TV, is suspected as a killer responsible for a series of murders occur in the neighborhood. The end of the movie is surprising.

8. David’s Mother
Actors: Kirstie Alley, Sam Waterston, Stockard Channing, Michael A. Goorjian, Chris Sarandon
Director: Robert Allan Ackerman
Released: 1994

A mother of an autistic boy saw this movie and said: “This is my life!” The film is highly recommended to parents of children with autism, mental retarded or other disabled cases. There’s something that you can learn about and benefit from.

9. Imagination
Actors: Ed Gildersleeve, Nikki and Jessi Haddad, Courtney Sanford
Director: Eric Leiser
Released: 2008

Fantasy story. A little twin girl named Anna, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and is unable to cope with reality. Their father leaves the family. The sisters cannot face the pain and sink deeper and deeper into their imaginations.

10. Miracle Run
Actors: Mary-Louise Parker, Aidan Quinn
Director: Gregg Champion
Released: 2004

Mrs. Morgan’s twin boys are diagnosed with autism, and her husband cannot fact the fact and leave them. The story is about a mother’s fierce love to her autistic sons. Touching movie.