Thursday, May 5, 2011

Family Films - Part 1

After recently posting about Two Family Films, it dawned on me that I review a lot of period films that are by nature for the older viewer either in subject matter or because of their intricate plots. So I wanted to share with you some of the Family Films that my sister Miss Bea (age 15) and I have enjoyed together for many years. Many of these are not period films but they do have a certain old-fashioned charm that makes them delightful to watch!

Part One's List is 15 films that we consider "girly girl" type films. 
Family films that will appeal more to girls. In no particular order.

This tale of three sisters following their dreams and finding their niche in life is very sweet. We love watching the three girls especially Posy and Petrova. I reviewed Ballet Shoes not too long ago so for further details and recommendations check out my review here.

We've loved Disney princess films and other animated films for a long time but we longed to see this Rapunzel story and were not disappointed! Tangled quickly jumped to being one of our all-time favorite films! If you've never seen it you need to. Everyone I know loves this film and we highly recommend it!

The American Girl Films
When  I was young I was a huge American Girl fan, I had two dolls, some accessories, read all the books and had birthday parties for the dolls with my friends. I really enjoyed sharing The American Girl Collection with my sister Miss Bea and even more when the films came out! We enjoy watching Samantha - An American Girl Holiday and Felicity - An American Girl Adventure around Christmastime and Molly - An American Girl on the Home Front when we're feeling very patriotic. Our favorite by far is Kit Kittredge: An American Girl not only because Kit Kittredge has always been Miss Bea's favorite, but also because it's the most interesting of the lot. These historical films never fail to make us laugh and cry! 

Also in the American Girl Collection, An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong, is one of Miss Bea's absolute favorite films. She watches it over and over again and has read the books several times. This more modern tale is a sweet tale of friendship and lessons learned. 

As much as we love Disney's animated films we also adore many of their live action films as well. As soon as we saw Enchanted we got the songs and quotes of the lovely Gisele stuck in our heads! It's such a sweet fun parody of the classic princess tales. We've watched many times!

This series and these films were so popular when they first came out, and rightfully so. Miss Bea and I love princess tales and Princess Mia is so spunky and delightful of follow as she goes from gawky teenager to reigning monarch of Genovia. My whole family really enjoyed The Princess Diaries but it was Miss Bea and me who begged to go see The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement when it was in theaters. We've definitely watched the second film more frequently but can and do quote from both film. So much fun!

Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favorite story lines, and I wrote my own modern day story based on the story when I was a young teen. Miss Bea and I love this modern day version because it's so clean, funny and sweet. Also this film talks quite a bit about God's forgiveness and following and trusting in Him. Belle is such a sweet girl and their sweet romance is delightful to watch!

This is a film that Miss Bea and I first watched when we were staying overnight with an older Christian lady. I remember being perfectly delighted by the costumes, story line and sisterly relationships. We very soon bought our own VHS copy and watched it many times with our family. We don't watch it as much now but it's a definite Christmas time favorite we still love!

After enjoying actress Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries my family and I were excited to see her in this film and we were not disappointed. Miss Bea and I enjoy watching Ella of Frell as she sets off to get herself out from under the spell that makes her do whatever her wicked stepmother and stepsisters tell her too. Another fun fairytale that come complete with a dashing Prince Charming.

Although my family and I have watched Jane Austen adaptations together for years Miss Bea hasn't paid much attention to them until watching Emma 2009 with me. Ramola Garai sets a lively mood for this film and we just love actor Johnny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley in this film. The dance scenes, music, costumes and actors in this adaptation are all bright and beautiful and so full of life. If we're in the mood for a Jane Austen adaptation this is the first one we reach for!

My mom read the Emily books to me when I was younger and I remember enjoying them but it wasn't until I bought the first season of Emily of New Moon on DVD for Miss Bea that she really got interested in the books. We'll say right here that although we enjoyed watching the TV series and even bought the second season on DVD this TV series doesn't follow the books very well at all. The first season was alright but by the time they make it to the second season the series kills off some of the main characters and makes Emily into a spoiled brat who talks to ghosts. But the Emily book series by L.M. Montgomery is one of Miss Bea's favorites.

At Christmas time I did a review of Eloise at Christmastime (see review here) but we wanted to include her again here because the Eloise films are two of our all time favorites. Eloise is such a lively and fun character with a bright imagination. We love watching these two films with our families or by ourselves and laughing out loud at Eloise's adventures!

Penelope was one film that we wanted to see for a while and throughly enjoyed when we finally did. We don't watch it very often but we really enjoy the modern day fairytale story. Penelope is a lovely heroine with a flaw and her parents are looking for a "prince charming" to marry her and set her free. The many suitors are so funny and the film leaves you with the message that each girl is special in their own way.

The Prince and Me
Another fun modern day fairytale about a normal American girl who wins the heart of a real live prince. There is at least one scene with kissing that is a bit uncomfortable but it ends abruptly with a paparazzi photographer. There are three other film sequels to this but they change the main actress. Although I like this first film my favorite is actually the second film The Prince & Me 2 - The Royal Wedding, because it takes place mostly in and around the royal palace.

VeggieTales - Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen
My family and I have always loved VeggieTales and have watched them many times. But this one about Esther is a favorite of Miss Bea's and mine. They do a wonderful job of staying true to the Bible story while adding a bit of VeggieTales fun and beautiful music. This is the best of the best!

So these are just some of our favorite "girly girl" type family films. We recommend all of these to girls probably ages 9+. Most of these are safe for family viewing, but parents will know best. Be on the lookout for Miss Bea's Family Films - Part 2 which will include 15 more films in the Fun and Adventure category.

What are your favorite films to watch with your younger sisters, daughters or friends? 
Have you seen any of these? Which is your favorite?

Very Truly Your's,


Anonymous said...

I want to see the Ballet Shoes! It looks really cute. I have seen most of these. However, I remember seeing the beginning of the 1st "The Prince and Me", and I thought it was inappropriate. I have heard that is is clean after that though. Would you agree? I would like to give it a go again, but I am not sure.


Kathy said...

Thanks for the list. It's nice to see films that have been reviewed and approved.

Tristans_Isolde said...

I love girly movies and that is a great list I loved Ballet Shoes, The Prince and Me, The Princess Diaries 1 & 2, Belle and the Beast and Little Women. Oh and the 2009 Emma adaptation was just 'WOW' I never liked the ones before that so I was so happy with that one, Romola Garai is a such a talented actor! I will have to check out the others you have listed :)

Some of my favourite movies to watch with my 3 sisters, not including the films you have already mentioned are- Tuck Everlasting, Ever After, Anne of Green Gables and Lady and the Tramp (which for some reason we watch it a lot- maybe because Lady is SO cute as a puppy) :)

Jemimah C. said...

I love Ballet Shoes (both the book and the movie)! The three actresses who portrayed the Fossil sisters look exactly how I would imagine them to be.

Tangled is one of the best Disney princess films ever!

I love the American Girl books! I'd love to watch the movies too. I haven't seen any of them.

Enchanted and the Princess Diaries films are cute. Well, actually, I haven't finished watching PD 2, only watched half of it. Ella Enchanted was sort of nice, though I prefer the book.

I adore Emma (2009)! It was so beautifully made. I love anything Jane Austenish.

Little Women was one of the movies I used to watch over and over again before.

There are so many lovely "girly girl" family films. I still have to watch some of the ones you mentioned above.

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