Friday, January 17th, 2014
Add a Comment
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.
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!
Add a Comment