Thursday, May 19, 2011

Family Films - Part 2

As promised here is Part 2 of my Family Films posts. See also Family Films - Part 1.
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 Two's List is 15 films that are full of fun and action.
These are family films that will appeal to the whole family. In no particular order.

Lately when we want to watch a movie Miss Bea often suggested Bridge To Terebithia because it is one of her favorites. This modern day story revolves around young Jesse Aarons who loves two things drawing and running. He's trained all summer to be a fastest runner in school and is upset when newcomer Leslie Burke beats him. But despite their early difference the pair become fast friends and create the imaginary world of create Terabithia, a land of monsters, trolls, ogres, and giants where they rule as king and queen. Seeing their imaginary land come to life is fascinating and their friendship and relationships with Jesse's sister and their teacher are very sweet. There are a few scary scenes and one sad one but it's a very sweet movie for the whole family!   

Who doesn't like Nancy Drew? She's bright, inquisitive, great at solving mysteries and has a great sense of style. This modern Nancy Drew story is a newer film but Nancy has all the same qualities of the favorite girl detective. Miss Bea and I really enjoy watching Nancy and her friends as they search for the secret behind what really happened to silver screen actress Dehila Draycott. There's silly antics, haunted houses, secret passages, mysterious strangers, puzzle boxes, hidden treasure, chase scenes, people to help and problems to solve! Definitely a lot of fun!

Whenever we want to watch a movie together this fun animated film is usually first on our list. Hoodwinked is a high spirited take on the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale. Following each character as they tell their version of they story and trying to figure out the real identity of the Goody Bandit. Miss Bea and I are really looking forward to seeing the sequel to this film which was released in April.

Every time I re-watch this film I'm surprised at how good it is! The characters are so enchanting, especially young Eric Applebaum with his collection of interesting hats. It's so fascinating to see the amazing things in the toy store come alive! The themes of friendship, helping others and believing in yourself are inspiring and heartwarming. A delightfully fun film for the whole family!

Animated films can be so much fun and Bolt is no exception! This tale of a TV star dog who thinks he's actually a superhero and his adventures in the real world is hilarious. Our favorite character by far is the crazy kooky hamster Rhino, scampering about in his plastic ball.  A must see for fans of Disney films and films about animals! 

Nim's Island
One of our favorite young actresses is Abigail Breslin who we have enjoyed in films like Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, The Princess Diaries 2 - Royal Engagement (Full Screen Edition)The Ultimate Giftand No Reservations. In Nim's Island she is Nim the daughter of an island dwelling scientist who disappears in a storm. Worried about him Nim e-mails the hero of her favorite adventure books and is answered by the reclusive hypochondriac author who soon realizes that she might be the only one who can help the little girl. What ensues is a funny turn of events as author Alexandra Rover tries to overcome her multiple fears and Nim sets out to protect her island and find her father.

As much as I enjoy the older film (starring Lucille Ball & Henry Fonda) that was based on real life events, my sister and I greatly enjoy this high spirited newer film based on a similar plot. Hilarious events take place as the Beardsley and the North children try to break their parents up and then find they're only happy when they are working together. The children cast in this film are adorable with their various quirks and the special features and behind the scenes interviews on our DVD copy are just as much fun to watch as the movie itself! 

Sometimes you just need a little adventure with a mysterious house and magical creatures. The Spiderwick Chronicles centers around three siblings who find a book that opens a door to an unseen world of magical creatures and creeping beasts. Because there are more scary scenes (fighting the evil creatures)  this film is not for younger children but use your own discretion. Miss Bea and I enjoy the humor especially at the beginning of the film and the triumph over darkness at the end of the film. The three siblings are brought closer together and to their mom through their wild adventure!

Although we also enjoy the older version of this film (starring Hayley Mills), Miss Bea said this newer version is her favorite. We don't watch this very often but it is so much fun when we do! Hallie and Annie are twins who were separated at birth by their divorced parents. When the twins meet for the first time at summer camp they initially hate each other, but soon become friends scheming up a plan to switch places and bring their parents together again. A fun film for the whole family! 

It Takes Two
This film is similar in plot to The Parent Trap but instead of being twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen play a rich girl and an orphan, identical strangers who meet at summer camp and decide to switch places experiencing the life they never had. When Alyssa's rich father shows an interest in Amanda's motherly social worker the girls decide to try and get the pair together before he marries a wicked step-mother type woman and Amanda is adopted by the Butkis family. This films does have a few innuendos and some mild language but is a fun film for the whole family.

We always like films that are a bit different and with a little mystery. City Of Ember is about an underground city whose generators are failing and the two young people who find the lost plans laid out by the city's founders to lead their family and friends to the outside world and safety. It does have a few suspenseful moments, especially when the greedy mayor is trying to stop Doon and Lina. But it's a clean film with humor and a mystery to be solved!

My whole family enjoys the Pirates films but Miss Bea and I were the ones who one Saturday had a Pirates marathon and watched all three movies in the same day. The fourth film is in theaters now and we can't wait to see it! 

Miss Bea and our parents went to see this in the theater one year while my brother and I were working at camp and they said they laughed so hard. I was excited to see it with them when it came out on DVD. No matter how old I get I still love animated films! Po, the bumbling Kung Fu Panda, is so funny to watch as he tries to impress the others with his less than impressive kung fu moves. Definitely a fun film!

Over The Hedge
One of the funniest animated films ever! There are so many sweet and funny characters and exciting events. Our favorite character by far is still the adorable squirrel Hammy! Good clean fun for the whole family!

And there are many other films we enjoy but these are just some that Miss Bea and I enjoy watching together. I'm sorry it took me so long to get this post up. I have some other things in the works reviews and such so stay tuned. 

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

Very Truly Your's,


Christela A. said...

There's some few of these movies I'm familiar with and obviously I like them.
Most, likely I gotta watched them with my sibs.
It's hard to enumerate those animated films...many to mention. :D

Tristans_Isolde said...

I really enjoyed this post, particularly because so many of those films I have not seen and it was great to learn more about them. I have watched and enjoyed the City of Ember it is one of my little sisters (she is 6) favourite movies. I also remember watching It Takes Two with my brother when we were very little we also liked that one a lot.

One of my little sister's and my favourite animated movies is Horton Hears a Who, she loves the Dr Seuss books so this movie was an instant favourite and we love to quote every line in the film :)

Jemimah C. said...

I've seen some of those are great family films. Bridge To Terabithia is really sweet. The Parent Trap was a favorite family film before. We used to watch it a lot. I just watched City of Ember last month, and it was enjoyable. I haven't seen the Nancy Drew movie yet, but I'm glad to hear that she still has the same qualities as Nancy from the book. When I saw the trailer of Hoodwinked, it looked interesting and catchy--Red Riding Hood with a twist. I can't wait for the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, too!

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