Ok so a combined effect of a rainy August, 25p DVDs at Blockbuster have meant our family has watched a lot of children’s movies this Summer. Here’s some of our views on children’s DVDs. See also my 2008 recommendations. You can see some of the recommendations on my amazon store too:
1. Zathura – total rehash of Jumanji -but my kids had never seen Jumanji. Nicely put together with a take home message of loving your siblings while you can. Suitable for all ages but boys aged 5 and up will probably enjoy it the most.
2. See Spot Run – Great dog based movie involving a FBI dog agent who foils a mafia circle and helps a dysfunctional family get back together again. Watch out for some quality Mafia actors turning up. Suitable for all ages but children aged 4 and up would enjoy it.
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire– quite scary for younger children – some great Quiditch shots and an exciting finale. Children eight and over would probably enjoy this most. It does carry a 12 certificate.
4. Jump In – it didn’t look promising when the best thing the advertisers could say about the film was that it featured Corbin Bleu from High School Musical (which was a really great kids movie). But this “skipping can be cool” movie is ok. The plotline is basically the same as High School musical – where the son of a Boxing Coach wants to leave boxing to “focus on his skipping” and is willing to take the ribbing from his ex boxing friends. Everyone is eventually won over to the fact that skipping is not only for girls. It did remind me that I always wanted to learn how to double dutch. Suitable for all ages but children 6 and over would enjoy most.
5. Mighty Joe – The tale of a massive gorrilla who befriends Charlize Theron and goes to America before being returned to the wild. Suitable for children 5 and up. Some Gorilla scenes are a little scary.
6. Because of Win Dixie – strangley enough – this film which features AnnaSophia Rob from Bridge to Terebithia shares with Terebithia the same ability to deal with pretty adult themes like divorce, addiction, loneliness in quite a helpful way. It is quite slow moving and for a film which seems to be about a dog there is not a lot of canine action. Great image of a household church gathered by a young girl with a big heart. Most suitable for children seven and over.
7. Arthur and the Invisibles – surprisingly boring film. It features a great vocal cast: Madonna, HarveyKietel and Robert De Niro but it doesn’t really go anywhere quickly. Freddie Highmore did a good job with the opportunities he was given but overall depressingly bland. Suitable for all ages.
8. The Last Mimzy – our kids really enjoyed this movie. It has a the same kind of mysterious beginning as the flight of the navigator – but manages to sustain it through the whole movie. Best for children 6 and over.
9. Open Season – below par animated adventure.
10. Hoodwinked – really enjoyed this quirky movie. The animation looked pretty sub standard but there are enough sight gags including a snowboarding granny and a singing goat that make this a very funny film.
11. Herbie Fully Loaded – this could have been such a good film. I loved Herbie as a kid but they didn’t do anything interesting with this film at all. It is a very basic plot with a pretty boring rendition of herbie.
12. Barnyard – run of the mill animated adventure. Strangest thing is that male cows have udders in this movie. Suitable for all ages. Great movie for adults to catch 40 winks to.
13. Happy Feet – who couldn’t love a movie about penguins. Fun soundtrack. Pretty in your face dig at the Church of Scotland. Suitable for all ages.
14. Flushed Away – actually quite enjoyed this animated adventure. The nice touches from Nick Park of Wallace and Grommit fame really carried the movie. Suitable for all ages.
15. Brother Bear – the amazing story of “a boy who became a bear to become a man.” OK so there is a kind of strange spirituality going on in the movie. But if you can get beyond that there’s quite a fun storyline and some Phil Collins songs that I couldn’t get out of my head for a while. Kids enjoyed it too. Suitable for all ages.
16. The Incredibles & Cars- basically pixar haven’t put a foot wrong in their films so far. Cars probably had the weakest storyline. For young children the incredibles is only really fun in the last 20 minutes. But these are visually fantastic animated adventures.
17. Shrek (1 , 2 & 3) – Personally I think Shrek 3 was the worst of the Shrek films so far. I loved the first film and think it has been going downhill since. The first film is a great way to talk about peer pressure, body image, helping the outsider…
Garfield (1 & 2)
– if only this film had come about before “Babe.” The cute and polite little pig story has been told already. This was so many people’s favourite childhood book. It might be worth saving the story to read at bedtime.