Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Little Pony Season 4 Wrap-Up!

You all know how much I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. You know TV Boy is a Brony something hardcore (and you know why I think that's awesome).

What have our favorite ponies treated us to this year? Aside from epic guest stars like Weird Al Yankovic, a Pinkie Pie rap about the Wonderbolts, Fluttershy singing, and my new favorite pony of all time: Pinkie Pie's sister Maud, who is basically Daria if she were a pony. I'd say it was a banner year for my favorite of the Mane Six! (Yep, I'm a Pinkie fan... big surprise?)

Cheese Sandwich with Pinkie Pie. Image © Hub Network

Check out my recap of Season 4 on and then be sure to stay tuned to the blog for my fun trip to Build-A-Bear to make a pony friend with TV Boy as well as a review of the season finale which airs on Hub Network on Saturday May 10th at 10am Eastern... yes, I've *seen* it, and--no spoilers!--you're going to be blown away! Also, there may or may not be a MLP-themed Hubbub interview coming up....... (hands in pockets, whistle whistle whistle...) All that and more coming soon here at!

Monday, April 28, 2014

How Inspector Gadget Predicted The Future of Technology

Who hasn't sat around with their friends and argued about a cartoon? (Oh come on, you know you've done it too. Don't lie.) Recently, something along those lines came up in my circles of friends, and we began to debate what pieces of cartoon technology from our favorite shows in childhood in the 80's have since become not only reality, but commonplace.

And Inspector Gadget came up.

Dun dun dun dun dun Inspector Gadget dun dun dun dun dun HOO HOO!

Image courtesy IMDB.

Yeah, you know you just read that in the theme song. I'm that good.

Anyway, it inspired a great piece for my cartoon page, which is good because I'm in the height of cartoon slow season. And yes, that's a real thing. I've found it happens every spring. Odd.

Check out the article here and come back and tell me the next show you'd like to see me take on! By the way, the Jetsons is already on my list (Rosie the Roomba, anyone?)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#IWantMyNerdHQ Home Stretch!

Zachary Levi and the Nerd Machine group are only two days away from the end of the #IWantMyNerdHQ campaign, and we all still need your help to get the word about about Nerd HQ and why it's awesome!

Image courtesy

Check out this video featuring three years of awesome Nerd HQ Conversations for a Cause!

Also, just released from my friends over at The Nerd Machine... 

"When we reach 333K, one third of our one million dollar goal, every funder that has contributed $5 or more to the campaign will be automatically entered to win the most awesome prize offered to date, a visit from Zachary Levi. That’s right, a funder somewhere in the Continental United States (sorry international funders) WORLD will win a visit from Zac in July before Nerd HQ. He will fly to the nearest city and accompany the winner and a guest to dinner.

And that’s not all.

After the city is chosen, all funders in the area are invited to meet Zac to say hello, grab an autograph, and take photos after the dinner with the selected funder. The Nerd Machine will find a venue close to the winner’s location that can accommodate the event, dependent on how many attendees want to come. When all the details are arranged, we will ask funders who live close enough to attend to RSVP so we can get an accurate count for the venue.

Remember, this incentive is only possible if we reach 333K during the campaign.

Go to to support the campaign
- See more at:"

That's right, everyone who becomes a funder of the Indiegogo campaign is eligible to win a DINNER WITH ZAC LEVI!!! But it's only if they reach $333K by this Friday! Even just $5 helps!

Still on the fence? Here is an awesome list of reasons why you should contribute to making NerdHQ happen thanks to my friend Audra at

Visit to contribute or find out more about the campaign or the event! Also, you can use the widget on the right side bar to donate directly. Let's make NerdHQ '14 the most incredible one yet! Thanks to all my nerdy, geeky, fantastic friends who have already contributed! 

Now... whose suitcase is big enough to smuggle me to San Diego in July?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Just in case you can't love science and the incredible astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson any more, he joins up with the incredible minds behind shows like Family Guy and American Dad and brings science into the homes of millions with COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey. The 13 episode series is running right now on Fox networks, and I was given the opportunity to chat with the Animation Developer and Producer Kara Vallow!

Check out my interview over at the Kids' Cartoons page. Because, yes! Cosmos is for kids! It's for adults! It's for everyone! It makes science so accessible and really brings to light the fascination with the world that children already have. If you're not watching it, you should be! You won't be disappointed!

Friday, April 18, 2014

APP REVIEW: StoriesAlive

If your child is anything like TV Boy, they aren't yet too keen on just sitting down with a book and flipping through. No, it has to be something with technology! It has to be animated, moving, musical, etc. It has to be entertaining. A book made of paper cannot be that... not just yet.

Enter the StoriesAlive App, available for iOS and Android platforms. You can have it on your phone, your iPad, your Galaxy, or whatever you prefer to hand your children for digital entertainment time... even Nabi systems! The app features bestselling storybooks by popular authors with more arriving all the time.

My friends at StoriesAlive shared a demo of the popular New York Times Bestseller "On The Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman in my demonstration, so that's what I wanted to feature here.

You can customize the story with your child's name, which you can also record so that various characters in the story can actually say it aloud, as well as your child's picture so their face can appear in the stars! The story is read aloud to the child and the pages have interactive characters on them that the child can make dance, sing, and fly.

It also features soothing music behind the story, so that your child can easily be read this story with you at bedtime. It also showcases the beautiful artwork from the actual story book.

There are several other fill-in-the-blank digital scrapbooks that your child can fill out about themselves, their family, their home, their pets and more!

StoriesAlive has also already won numerous awards!

I wasn't sure that TV Boy was going to like it when I first heard about it. He really doesn't gravitate towards the educational apps he has and while he does like having stories read to him, he doesn't tend to sit still for something that isn't Minecraft related. However, StoriesAlive held his attention enough that he read three stories all the way through the first time he sat down with it. The navigation is also easy enough that he had no problem figuring out how to choose a book, and choose whether it was read to him by a narrator or set so that he can touch the words and have them said as he did so. Plus, we don't need to be on wifi once the books were downloaded, so it makes it easily portable to places that don't offer wifi like doctors offices and in the car.

The app download itself is FREE and comes with six free trial titles. However, for a subscription price of $7.99 a month (or there is a $29.99 for six months option that lowers the price to $4.99 per month), families get unlimited access to the ever growing library of titles. See the FAQ page for more information. It is available for tablets with a screen size of 7" or larger that support iOS6 or above and Android platforms, including the Nabi.

All in all, I'm impressed with it. It gets TV Boy interested in reading as well as learning to read, and those are wins in my book! (And it's not Minecraft! Woohoo!) Thanks to all my friends at StoriesAlive for sharing this with our family!

Disclosure: A free trial of the app was provided for review purposes. Please see my Disclosures tab for more information.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

10 Cartoons Parents Love to Hate

If you're a friend of mine, perhaps I've asked you a question about children's television lately: what is your most despised kids' cartoon? I piled over the responses--and I had tons thanks to my DAM Blogger friends--and compiled a list of the top ten most mentioned cartoons that parents hate.

Just a sampling of the list competitors!

Check out the list over at the page! Did your child's favorite (or your least favorite) make my list? Did I miss something? Sound off on The TV Mom Facebook page!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Geek, Thy Name is TV Mom

Some of you who are frequent readers of the blog here at might have noticed a slight change recently... look around, I'll wait....

Did you find it?

The banner.

There ya go.

That's right, I'm adding in a component of my everyday life to the blog: Geek Culture. And as part of that, I'm going to let you in on a little bit about who The TV Mom is on a day to day basis.

First of all, here's a more recent picture of me, surrounded by a friend's massive video game collection:


Here are just a few things you might want to notice about that picture. First of all, I'm wearing a shirt that is a Doctor Who/Donkey Kong crossover (found at, by the way). I'm also sporting a lovely pair of NES controller earrings that were a birthday gift from TV Dad to me for my thirtieth (he got them from Etsy... seller unknown, he won't tell me!). Third, you can see most of my tattoo in this shot... an 8-bit heart with TV Boy's first initial in Binary written on the banner. And of course, my geek glasses.

Then, there's pinball.

Pinburgh 2014 - Image credit: S. Vieth.

There's TV Dad and myself at what is essentially heaven/Mecca for pinball enthusiasts: PAPA... the Professional and Amatuer Pinball Association. It's a huge warehouse just outside of Pittsburgh, PA that houses pretty much every pinball table ever created. They host tournaments every year (no, I'm not *that* good, I'm only ranked 9706th... but I'm friends with the #10 ranked guy!) and events like Pinburgh, when you can show up, get a cup full of tokens, and play until you can't feel your fingers anymore. Here's a shot of me putting the boys to shame on a Black Rose table:

Image credit: S. Vieth.

Those are just a few of the ultra-nerdy things I fill my days with. There are more R2D2's around my house than most normal people have, and I may or may not have gotten to talk to Star Wars actors Jeremy Bulloch and Peter Mayhew a couple of years ago at Comic Con in Chicago...

Boba Freakin' Fett people!

Yeah, this totally happened!

Essentially, I'm a huge nerd, and I love it. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to not only know that I have serious geek-cred, but that I am now an official supporter of the #IWantMyNerdHQ campaign! You may or may not have heard about the Nerd HQ event that is put on concurrently with THE huge Comic Con on the west coast. The event is hosted by The Nerd Machine and features guest speakers from across the realm of all things nerdy including a special panel called Conversations for a Cause, which helps raise funds for charity Operation Smile that provides free surgeries to children with cleft lip and palate across the globe.

The Nerd HQ 2014 event is scheduled to run July 24th-27th at Petco Park in San Diego, CA.

Here's why this is important. This year, Nerd Machine is crowdfunding the event to cover ever-increasing costs for hosting. Here's spokesman Zac Levi to tell you a little more about Nerd HQ and how YOU can help!

Here's what you can do to help. First of all, visit or use the widget on the right to donate to the NerdHQ fund. Even small donations of only $5 can help! Then, you can share or tweet this campaign using the hashtag #IWantMyNerdHQ across all social media platforms, even if you can't give financially. This helps get the word out to all nerds across the world who might want to help and participate! And, just announced: "If we reach our goal by 250K goal by 11:59pm PDT this Friday, April 11th , Five (5) contributors will win a Skype call with Zachary Levi. Anyone who has contributed at least $5 since the beginning of the campaign will be eligible to win." How cool is that?

So please, give if you can, and share, share, share! Nerd it forward! Click the image below for more!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TRAILER: Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue!

Check out the new trailer for the upcoming Disney flick, Planes: Fire and Rescue, coming to theatres this summer!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Hub Network's What's The Hubbub?" - With Spooksville's Keean Johnson and Jim Kreig

Last night I got a chance to Google Hangout with Hub Network's seires Spooksville star Keean Johnson (Adam) and Head Writer Jim Kreig! Jim is an absolutely hilarious guy, and I really kind of want to meet up with him for a drink next time I'm out in L.A. because he seems like the kind of guy who that would definitely be a night to remember! Thank goodness they muted us when we weren't asking our questions, because most of the time I was cracking up.

Image © Hub Network.

My first question comes in around the 7 minute mark, and is a call back to my October excursion to California for the Hub Halloween Bash! Check out the video below to see the entire conversation between myself, these awesome guys, Hub Network Exec Ted Biaselli and a handful of other awesome bloggers! And don't forget to tune in to Spooksville on Saturdays at 5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific on Hub Network!

UPDATE 4/8: The video now has much clearer and better audio! Check it out below!

BEHIND THE SCENES - Pirate Fairy Directors!

Sniffle.... my last L.A. trip post. This means I have nothing more to talk about regarding my trip. My trip is officially over you guys! Wahhh!

Today's post is about my Q&A session with The Pirate Fairy Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Jennifer Cook. If you have the DVD or Blu-ray, you can see their smiling faces on the special features as they introduce the deleted scenes. These ladies are adorable!

Jennifer Cook and Peggy Holmes. Image © Disney.

What was neat about talking with them after our screening is their passion for the characters and the story. They talked about Pirate Fairy like it was one of their children, and in a way, it is. It took months of planning and hard work. Peggy Holmes begins by describing the tale of Zarina in that she "wanted to tell a story about a girl who makes a mistake... everyone makes mistakes."

Again, my techy-geekness strikes and I recorded the entire presentation with these two ladies. You can listen below! There is also a little sneak audio peek of Tom Hiddleston's special feature from the disc from his recording session for the "Frigate That Flies" around the 9 minute mark (which you will want to turn your speakers down for... sorry about that!).

There is also discussion about the adorable little Crocky. Here's the hard truth: everyone loves Crocky. Period. Not only is he downright adorable but he rescues the fairies from a trap, AND he becomes infamous in the stories of Peter Pan! How can you NOT love him? As you'll hear in the presentation, it took a few tries to get his design just right. What we get is nothing short of cute overload! There is even a special feature devoted entirely to Crocky!

Image © Disney.

Finally, I wanted to share something I now treasure as I look at it every single day above my desk:

That, my friends, is a piece of art featuring the background scene from inside Skull Rock, and it is autographed by Jennifer Cook and Peggy Holmes! You know, I have been looking at it for a few weeks now, and it wasn't until the Blu-ray finally arrived at my house and I re-watched it until I realized that it was inside Skull Rock. Yeah, major derp on my part! But I now have a place to start hanging some of my cool stuff I get when I go on these trips... next to my Pirate Fairy art!

I just want to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who made this trip possible for me: Sabrina, Gabby, Marshall, Click Communications, and Disney. I've made so many amazing memories as well as some incredible and life-changing contacts with this trip. I also want to give a shout out to my new blogger buddies over at DAM Bloggerswhich is a page you should all pop over and like. It features some of the best parent-bloggers the web has to offer. To make a long sappy speech short, thanks to everyone I've worked with and here's to the next time I hop on a plane to sunny California!

Disclosure: I received a trip to Los Angeles as well as a review copy of Pirate Fairy in exchange for this post. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BEHIND THE SCENES - The Pirate Fairy Character Development

This is the second to last post about my Los Angeles trip. Getting near the end of these posts makes me itch to jump back on a plane to go to LA again for something or another. (You see that, Disney friends? I'm ready to come back! Please?) These trips are fantastic, a lot of fun, and I've made so many amazing new friends and contacts. I want more!!!

The foyer of DisneyToon Studios.

Yet another one of the neat things I got to do was to sit down for a presentation about the creation of the new character, Zarina, a fairy who becomes a pirate. The character designers had to figure out a way to make her bridge the gap between fairy and pirate, without making her lean too heavy to one direction or another.

The foyer of DisneyToon Studios.

As I've said previously, I love Zarina's pirate costume. I could see myself wearing it to the local Renaissance Festival. Especially her nifty pirate coat... which, as you'll hear in the presentation below, designers designed from the "cuff of a pirate's coat." How neat is that? (And you'll hear a room full of bloggers go "Ohhhhh!" as the idea clicks with us, haha!)

Image © Disney.

One of the questions I asked while I was there was "where did the fairies get their swords?" because the fairy swords were so ornate... and I got my answer: hat pins! Ornate hat pins from the Victorian era would have indeed made perfect fairy swords! I loved how the character designers took everyday objects and made them pirate-y for the fairies.

Image © Disney.

Below is the full half an hour presentation we were treated to, featuring character designers and animation supervisors, all with a background of the cool Skull Rock they had on display in the lobby! Be sure to turn your speakers up! You'll be treated to neat secrets such as which pirate had a secret hobby of sewing and made Zarina's outfit? I won't tell, you have to listen!

Disclosure: I received a trip to Los Angeles in exchange for coverage of The Pirate Fairy release. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.