Monday, August 31, 2015

Family Movies

Recently, I watched Little Women with my daughter.  Our whole family had been listening to and enjoying the books in the Penderwicks series while on road trips this summer, and those stories reminded me of this other family of four sisters.  Before we started the Little Women dvd, my daughter wanted to know if it was a kid story or a grown-up story.  Knowing that the book is shelved in both adult and juvenile fiction collections here at Peter White Public Library, I answered that it’s a story for families, for people of all ages.  This week’s column contains titles for movies that feature entire families and that can be enjoyed at a broad range of ages.

Newer additions to the Library’s video collection include Paddington (based on the series by Michael Bond) and Song of the Sea.   In Paddington, a young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.  I found this movie both very funny and endearing.  Younger or more sensitive children might be overly scared by Nicole Kidman’s evil taxidermy-driven character, but most of the scarier sections are intertwined with enough humor to keep audiences from taking them too seriously.

Featuring a gorgeous soundtrack, Song of the Sea is a modern animated story that plays with traditional Irish folklore and artwork.  A family is healed when a brother and sister go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.

Sharing the movie I Wish with my daughter was a bit of an experiment.  At nine, she’s a competent, but not an expert reader.  I Wish was made in Japan, and we watched a subtitled, not dubbed copy.  She remained engaged throughout the whole story of two brothers who have been separated due to their parents’ divorce.

If you missed the Incredibles when it came out, you’ll love it now that you can share it with your kids.  Kids like it because the kids in the movie get to be superheros too.  Parents like it because the parent superheros have the same day to day problems they do.  It’s lots of fun for everyone.

If you were a kid in 1982, you remember ET and you don’t need me to tell you what a great film it is.  If you missed all the hype of that era, ET stands for extraterrestrial.  The ET in this story befriends a ten-year-old boy.  The boy brings his new friend home where one by one his older brother, younger sister and finally his newly separated mother meet this being from another world.

The Black Stallion is a movie with very little dialog but a mesmerizing story.  While traveling with his father, young Alec becomes fascinated by a mysterious Arabian stallion who is brought on board and stabled in the ship he is sailing on. When the ship tragically sinks, both he and the horse survive only to be stranded on a desert island.  He befriends it, so when finally rescued, both return to his home with to live with his grieving mother.

In Millions, ethics, being human, and the soul come to the fore when a seven-year-old finds a bag of Pounds just days before the currency is switched to Euros.  He and his older brother learn the value of what they have, what they can buy, and what they can do with money.

--Ellen Moore, Webmaster

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