Children’s movies are varied in scope and quality. Over the years, certain powerhouse production companies, (Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks,) have made the bulk of the films that we would consider great, but this is not always the case.
When considering these films we have attempted to include only quality entertainment, nothing offensive, and nothing too babyish. The age of the child makes a difference as well, such that kids who enjoy The Land Before Time might be too frightened to see Stand By Me.
With this in mind, Reel Reviews presents a cross section of our favourite movies appropriate for kids six to 12, which, as parents may know, is the age that children become smarter than adults.
TAYLOR: I think I’ll start with my most recent picks and work backwards to the movies I loved when I was small. The Lorax was a fun, funny and reasonable bit of logic. I also enjoyed Pirates: Band of Misfits, although it really was just a bit of fluff. Fluff has its place.
HOWE: Finding Nemo was just re-released Friday in 3D. That might be fun for the youngsters; I enjoyed Nemo, though I can’t see the point in adding the third dimension to it. You could probably buy the DVD for the same price as the glasses at the theatre, but I’ll still end up taking my little boy to see it.
TAYLOR: I liked Nemo, probably better than some of the more syrupy Disney fare. I like the kids’ movies that are silly, like Hoodwinked. I’ll never forget that singing goat. But I also don’t mind if there is a message to the films, like Up or WALL-E.
HOWE: If we are working backwards, it would have to be Toy Story 3. I felt it was on par with the 1995 original. It made me laugh and towards the end I did choke up a little bit. Disney/Pixar really did set the standard for animated movies that we see today such as Cars. There’s also DreamWorks’ Shrek and TinTin.
TAYLOR: Really, TinTin? One of my all-time faves is Babe, the talking pig. I’ve also mentioned before that I’m a big fan of The Princess Bride, which is not just for girls (there’s lots of swashbuckling.) Although these next films are not only for kids, and in fact may frighten very young children, they deserve their place here: Home Alone, The Goonies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the original three Star Wars movies, and Back to the Future, (I think my inner 10-year-old loves Spielberg.)
HOWE: Going back… all the way to the ‘80s, who could forget E.T? Elliot riding his bike and taking off with the little alien on the front of his BMX in the shopping basket… then leaving, breaking your heart. I loved the sci-fi/fantasy movies, Krull, The NeverEnding Story and Jim Henson’s (yes the Muppet master) Labyrinth with the great David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King.
HOWE: (in a trance) Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ice Age, Harry Potter, Annie, Chicken Run, The Absent Minded Professor, Pete’s Dragon, The Jungle Book, Charlotte’s Web, The Dark Crystal, The Secret of Nimh, The Wizard of Oz…
–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie critics based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.