Archive for the ‘ DVDs ’ Category

Oscar Nominated Best Animated Short

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and I was excited to see one of my family’s recent faves, Room on the Broom, receive a nod for Best Animated Short. Based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson (author of modern classic The Gruffalo), the quick flick tells the tale of a cheerful witch, her faithful feline companion, and three helpful animals they meet. The cat’s not so thrilled to share precious broomstick space with the new critters but finds that they must ultimately work together to save their beloved witch from a hungry dragon. The sweet soundtrack and beautifully rendered characters hooked my kids, ages 3 and 6, after just one viewing, and they’ve asked to watch the 25-minute short again and again. Given the lovely lessons the film imparts—the rewards that come from making new friends and cooperating with your peers— I’m more than happy to oblige.–Beth Honeyman, Research Chief

For more great film picks, check out all of the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.

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A Great Family Film You May Have Missed

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

For many families, catching movies in theaters or when they’re first available for home viewing isn’t always an easy feat. Here’s a recent release worth tracking-down: We Bought a Zoo. Based on a true story, the flick stars Matt Damon as a widower looking for a fresh start for his family. His answer? A country home that comes with a fixer-upper zoo. The story has all the elements for a great family movie night, including humor, cute kids, heartwarming-yet-not-sappy moments, and four-legged friends. Rated PG.

For more great family film recommendations, check out our Film Fest.

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Great Family Films

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The weather is cold and dreary, which means it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle on the couch with your family and watch a great flick. In the
February issue of FamilyFun, we featured 40 fun family films. Some of my family’s personal favorites: The Princess Bride (“As you wish!”), Mulan (we can’t help but sing along to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”), and Arsenic and Old Lace (a great introduction to classic comedies).

What are your family go-to films?

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A Successful Sequel

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Ellen’s on vacation this week, spending time with her boys. Here’s a guest post from Digital Editor Sam Mead.

With Oscar talk starting to heat up, it seems appropriate to look back at some of this year’s past kids’ movies that delivered big laughs. Like many parents of elementary school-aged kids, my criteria for judging a family movie is based less on the quality of the story or animation as it is my kids’ reaction to it. There are simply few things I enjoy more than seeing my kids split their sides at what they are watching.

This type of reaction is rare with sequels. For adults, the issue might be an old story line that’s just rehashed, or different characters, which are just not as funny as the original ones. For kids, it’s much simpler: Is it funny?

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is an exception. In this sequel, Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman are trying to return to New York from Africa via Monte Carlo and with a travelling circus—talk about whack-a-doo! But the lines are funny, the cast of characters is better than ever, and the story, which includes a wonderfully dark French animal control officer, builds to a dizzying crescendo that delivers major jumping up and down.

Of course, the surefire test of whether a movie is a winner is whether the DVD version engenders the same reaction at home as it did in the theater. My kids went bonkers when we watched Madagascar 3 from the comfort of our couch. So in the category of animated sequels in 2012, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the winner!

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