And the Oscar Goes to….

We were thrilled that two of our Pillow Pets favorites were nominated for an Oscar last night. Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling from the movie Trolls was nominated for best song and Moana was nominated for best animated feature. Two categories of Oscar fun to watch, root for and celebrate!

According to the Academy of Motion Picture & Sciences, an animated feature is defined as a motion picture with a running time of more than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.

How did the Oscars get started? During a dinner at his home, M-G-M studio chief Louis B. Mayer and his guests talked about creating an organized group to benefit the film industry. A week later, 36 invitees from all the creative branches of the film industry dined at Los Angeles’s Ambassador Hotel to hear a proposal to found the International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Articles of incorporation were soon presented and officers were elected with Douglas Fairbanks as president. This was in 1927. A lot of movies and ceremonies have been enjoyed since this time.

When was the first Academy Awards Ceremony? The first Academy Awards ceremony was a May 16 banquet at the Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room with 270 attendees. Recipients were announced three months earlier; the next year the Academy kept the results secret but gave an advance list to newspapers for publication at 11 p.m. This continued until 1940 when the Los Angeles Times published the winners in its evening edition – readily available to arriving guests. That prompted the sealed-envelope system in use today. By the second year, enthusiasm for the Awards was such that a Los Angeles radio station produced a live broadcast.

When was the first ceremony broadcast? In 1953 the first televised Oscar ceremony enabled millions throughout the United States and Canada to watch the proceedings. In 2002 The Academy’s film archive moved to a new facility, the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study at 1313 Vine Street. The complex was built in the 1940s as the Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting building, and sound stages were converted into vaults to house the archive’s holdings. The Center now houses the Science and Technology Council and other departments and has a 286-seat theater. The Animated Feature Film Award was established, with “Shrek” winning for films released in 2001. The ceremony took place at the new Kodak Theatre, built with input from the Academy. The Oscars are still held at the same location, now known as the Dolby Theatre.

Who votes for nominees? Over 7000 members makeup the voting committee.All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees.Nominations voting is conducted using both paper and online ballots, with online voting being the preferred choice for the overwhelming majority of Academy members.  Voting for nominations begins in late December, and all votes are tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nomination results are then announced at a live televised press conference in mid-January at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

Finals voting is also conducted via online and paper ballots. During finals, all Oscar categories are on the ballot for voting members. After final ballots are tabulated, only two partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers know the results until the famous envelopes are opened onstage during the Oscars telecast. One of the most exciting moments is watching the anticipation of the nominees as they wait for the winner to be announced.

And the Oscar went to…..a look back at past animated feature film winners and nominees:

Animated films can be nominated for other categories, but that has not occurred often in the history of the Oscars. Beauty and the Beast (1991) was the first animated film ever nominated for Best Picture. Up (2009) and Toy Story 3 (2010) also received Best Picture nominations.

The 74th Academy Awards, held in 2002, presented the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Shrek, Jimmy Neutron and Monsters Inc. were nominated with Shrek taking home the award. Check out our take on this children’s classic, the Pillow Pets Shrek and Donkey.

In 2003, the nominations were Sen To Chihiro No Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Ice Age, Lilo & Stitch, Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron, and Treasure Planet . The winner was Sen to Chihiro, an anime fantasy film.

2004 nominees included Finding Nemo, Brother Bear and Les Triplettes de Belleville (The Triplets Of Belleville). The clear winner was the beloved tale of friendship and fish of Disney’s Finding Nemo.  Pillow Pets released a Dory and Nemo Pillow Pet and Dream Lite and also as a Jumboz Nemo Pillow Pet.

The Academy Awards in 2005 nominated The Incredibles, Shark Tale and Shrek 2. The Incredibles were lucky enough to take home the award this year, superhero meets the suburbs.

Nominated in 2006 were Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle) with Wallace & Gromit taking home the prize.

2007 brought beloved animation that quickly became classics. Happy Feet, Cars and Monster House were all nominated with Happy Feet taking home the academy award. Pillow Pets had breakout hits with Cars and introduced Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and Francesco as Pillow Pets. A new Cars movie is coming out this summer, so stay tuned for new Pillow Pets and Dream Lites in your favorite Cars characters.

Ratatouille, Persepolis and Surf’s Up were all part of the Oscars in 2008 with Ratatouille bringing home the Oscar. The plot follows Remy, who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.

Wall*E, Bolt and Kung Fu Panda fought it out for the Oscar with Wall E the winner in 2009, was a delightful blending of robots, science fiction and love.

2010 brought a plethora of candidates as nominees for the award. Up, the clear winner and also a Best Picture nominee won. Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and the Frog and Brendan and the Secret of Kells all were given nominations.

Tears and fierce battles were waged in 2011 with Toy Story 3, How to Train your Dragon and L’illusionniste all nominated. Toy Story 3 took home audiences hearts and the Oscar.

2012 also had a large number of animated feature offerings. Rango, Une Vie De Chat, Chico & Rita, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Puss in Boots were all nominated. The winner that year was Rango, a Nickelodeon movie production.

A female heroine led the charge in 2013 with Brave and braved the worthy competition ParaNorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, and Wreck-it Ralph, to take home the prize. Disney’s Brave was a hit at the box office.

No other animated film could take on the feature film that melted hearts globally, Frozen. Also nominated in 2014 were The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest et Célestine (Ernest And Celestine) , and Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises).  Pillow Pets introduced an Olaf Pillow Pet, Olaf BodyPillar and Dream Lite plus an adorable pal Sven Pillow Pet.

2015 Big Hero 6 took home the Oscar but found excellent competition with The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea and Kaguya Hime no Monogatari (The Tale of the Princess Kaguya). Big Hero 6 featured Marvel comic characters and gave Disney another animated feature win.

Inside Out was the emotional favorite in 2016.  The competition may have experienced all of the emotions, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness during the ceremony. Competition that year included Anomalisa, O Menino E O Mundo, Omoide No Mani and Shaun the Sheep Movie. Disney Pixar did it again and took home the win.

2017 brought music, adventure and diversity to animated features with Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Ma Vie de Courgette, The Red Turtle and Zootopia. The tale of animals that wanted everyone to fit into their world, Walt Disney’s Zootopia took home the prize last night. Pua made an adorable little companion to Moana and also a Pillow Pet.  Even though Trolls wasn’t nominated, Poppy, Branch and Guy Diamond are still winners in our book. You can get them as Dream Lites too.

Pillow Pets is excited to tie-in with children’s animated films to bring you the characters that connect with you.  Whether it’s Tow Mater, the goofy, beloved tow truck from Cars 3, or Pua, the adorable and faithful sidekick, Pillow Pets hopes you to find a place in your heart for these cuddly friends.  Pillow Pets are much more than a stuffed animal by day, pillow by night.  They provide comfort, room decor, travel buddy, slumber party pal, birthday gift and more.

Staying on top of what you are watching, Pillow Pets has the best children’s animated film characters including Cars, Moana, Trolls, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, and much more. Bring home all your Oscar winning Pillow Pets and Dream Lites at PillowPets.com.

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Hail to the Sweet Tooth!

 

President’s Day

President’s Day celebrates the birthday of George Washington. The celebration was originally implemented as an Act of Congress in 1879.

A great place to visit on President’s Day, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a massive sculpture carved into Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Completed under the direction of Gutzon and Lincoln Borglum from 1927–1941, the sculpture’s roughly 60-ft.-high granite faces depict U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Gutzon Borglum selected these four presidents because from his perspective, they represented the most important events in the history of the United States.

George Washington: Born 1732, died 1799. Washington led the colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. He was the father of the new country and laid the foundation of American democracy. Because of his importance, Borglum chose Washington to be the most prominent figure on the mountain and represent the birth of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson: Born 1743, died 1826. Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, a document which inspires democracies around the world. He also purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 which doubled the size of our country, adding all or part of fifteen present-day states. Gutzon Borglum chose Jefferson to represent the growth of the United States.

Theodore Roosevelt: Born 1858, died 1919. Roosevelt provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the “trust buster” for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man. Borglum chose Roosevelt to represent the development of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln: Born 1809, died 1865. Lincoln held the nation together during its greatest trial, the Civil War. Lincoln believed his most sacred duty was the preservation of the union. It was his firm conviction that slavery must be abolished. Gutzon Borglum chose Lincoln to represent the preservation of the United States.

Hail to the Sweet Tooth!

It turns out that most presidents had a taste for sweet (and savory) treats.  We like to think our Sweet Scented Pets would have been a match for a few of the former presidents.

Thomas Jefferson enjoyed Vanilla Ice Cream. Perhaps he might have enjoyed snuggling with PupCake, a vanilla scented cupcake. Grover Cleveland was also a fan of white cake with yummy vanilla frosting.

Franklin D Roosevelt liked fruitcake. We wonder if he would have liked the fruity smell of Gummi Pup?

Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush both enjoy chocolate chip cookies which would mean Cookie Pup might have presidential friends for life.

George H.W. Bush liked fresh popcorn. We bet our Popcorn Panda would be a winner in his house.

JFK enjoyed frozen strawberry flavored treats so Strawberry Milkshake Cow might have been a delightful match.

You don’t need to be a president to enjoy the new Pillow Pets Sweet Scented Pets. We have a flavor to delight almost anyone’s favorites whether it’s sticky sweet cotton candy or a fresh out of the oven scented blueberry muffins.  Select your treat here: Sweet Scented Pillow Pets

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue…..

Roses are Red, violets are blue, Sweet Scented Pets say I love you!

Sure you can give someone a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day but a Sweet Scented Pillow Pet will last longer. But, since flowers are traditional, we decided to take a look at the rose color spectrum to see what each one signifies.

A colorful significance:

  • The Red Rose represents true love.
  • Yellow Roses are a symbol of friendship, joy, or send a get well message. The vibrant yellow color and its association with the sun make this a way to brighten anyone’s day.
  • Purple is traditionally the color of royalty so a purple rose is one way to let the woman in your life know she is queen.
  • A pink rose is elegant signifying a graciousness and respect.  The darker pink shade is a perfect way to send with a note of appreciation. A lighter shade can show admiration or sympathy.
  • The white rose is a traditional wedding flower symbolizing unity and pureness. They also bestow honor and reverence which makes them a perfect way to memorialize someone.
  • An orange rose is somewhere between friendship and love.  A great way to tell someone you are interested without over committing.

Why a dozen roses?

When we think of roses, we think of either one single rose or a dozen.  The number 12 is a significant number in many aspects of life, the zodiac with 12-months, or the 12-hours of a clock.  One way or another it may be time to give the one you love a dozen roses (and be sure to add a Sweet Scented Pet to go with them).

A few additional fun facts:

  • Roses are only native to the United States.
  • Roses are the national floral emblem.
  • June is National Rose Month
  • Rose is the state flower for Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota and the District of Columbia

The scent of a rose:

The scent patches on Sweet Scented Pets are made from natural pulp fibers. The scent on a roses comes from glands on the lower petal surfaces, and its amount is limited by both the variety of the rose and by climatic conditions. Sun and warmth are needed for maximum production. Roses are never as fragrant on a cloudy day as on a sunny one.

The blooming cost of love:

A dozen roses cost around $73.00 which is a lot of money for something that lasts less than a week.  You can get the delicious smell of Cotton Candy, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vanilla Cupcakes, Gummy Bears, Popcorn, Orange Ice Pops, Blueberry Muffins, Strawberry Milkshakes and Watermelon all in a $19.99 Sweet Scented Pillow Pet. Now that’s an inexpensive, long-lasting way to tell someone you love them! Get your Sweet Scented Pets Here: Sweet Scented Pillow Pets

Showing your Love:

Show your love to a family fighting cancer this year.  Purchase any Pillow Pet product and add a donation or round-up at checkout.  Pillow Pets will match your donation.  Family Reach is our long-term charity partner and provides a financial lifeline to families facing a cancer diagnosis.  See what they do: http://familyreach.org/

 

 

 

 

 

Shimmer and Shine are here!

We are so excited to introduce Shimmer and Shine from Nickelodeon’s hit series, Shimmer and Shine.  Twins Shimmer and Shine are genies-in-training who grant wishes for their best friend, Leah. The wishes don’t always go as smoothly as they plan, though — after all, they’re still in training — and the girls must clean up the magical mess that results from the issues. When Shimmer, Shine and Leah work together they are able to solve the problems that arise and make things right. Trying to correct their mistakes helps to teach young viewers about learning from mistakes and doing better next time.

Let’s meet these adorable genies to find out more about their unique characteristics:

Shimmer (voiced by Eva Bella) is an optimistic genie with blue eyes and pink hair. She is enthusiastic and encouraging. She loves cleaning, glitter, and collecting genie bottles.

Shine (voiced by Isabella Cramp) is a courageous genie with purple eyes and blue hair. She is an animal lover and is often hungry. Due to her love of animals she is very knowledgeable about various animals and magical creatures native to Zahramay Falls such as Zoomicorns and dragons. Unlike her sister, she dislikes cleaning. She has a habit saying “It’s like I always say…” only to humorously reveal she have just made up the saying when Shimmer points out she had never heard it before. In Season 2, she is shown to be a skilled Zoomicorn Toss player.

Tala (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is Shimmer’s pet gibbon monkey. She has green eyes and wears white pearls, like Shimmer does. Tala is shown to be a talented dancer in both “Happy Wishaversary” (when she plays a dancing video game with Zac) and in “Untamed Talent” (where she dances at the Zahramay Falls Pet Talent Show).

Nahal (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) is Shine’s white Bengal tiger cub. She wears pink jewels and a gold circlet, like Shine does. In “Untamed Talent” it is revealed that Nahal has a talent for playing the keyboard. Humorously she is shown to be better at playing the keyboard when she was distracted by a magical feather that Zeta tried to use in an attempt to distract her and ruin her performance.

The Shimmer and Shine Pillow Pets are the ideal gift for your child. The detail on each Pillow Pet brings out the playfulness, individuality and fun of each character.  Un-do the hook and loop enclosure on the belly and it turns from a stuffed animal for imaginative play, into a pillow for bed time.

Shimmer and Shine Pillow Pets are great for nap, travel and bedtime.  Also an ideal way to make sure your preschooler will rest at school. The Pillow Pets are perfect for slumber parties, birthday gifts, holiday gifts and more.

Use as décor for a Shimmer and Shine birthday themed party.  Add to the gift table, snack table, and use as prizes for games.  The beautiful colors will add style and creativity to any themed party.

Purchase your Shimmer and Shine now.  Visit Pillow Pets and make your selection.