The changes to family movies have been drastic. The usual family film offering tends to be the newest animated feature by a major studio. Granted, these are usually fairly stellar films that really nail the entertainment value for the entire family, but at the same time, it can be tough to simply sit through what may only be deemed as ‘cartoons’.
Don’t fret though, as there are plenty of great celluloid works that appeal to parents & kids alike. Here are five particular movies that do their best to stay away from animation:
Babe – What happens when a little pig does amazing things on a farm? You’re greeted with a magical tale of an outcast little pig that no one really likes & doesn’t feel at home anywhere form a relationship with a tough, old farmer. It’s a story that teaches lessons on accepting those who are different, never judging a book by its cover, and everyone has a chance to be terrific (wink-wink).
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial – Who knew you could learn so much about both the dark nature of humanity as well as the strength of the human spirit by way of such a weird-looking alien who likes chocolate-peanut butter candy? E.T. is an inspirational story of believing in the unbelievable and that the idea that sometimes the only way to live life is to believe in something bigger than yourself.
The Princess Bride – Do fairy tales have meaning in the real world? Does true love actually exist? Is it possible to be swept away by the fantastic in a world that demands a realistic, and often pessimistic, approach to life? Is it possible to laugh silly at the word ‘inconceivable’? All these questions & perhaps one of the best casts assembled are yours in this amazing film.
A Christmas Story – “You’ll shoot your eye out!” For over three decades, this classic movie has absolutely entrenched itself into the holiday traditions of families the world over. From the irreverently childish daydreams of the film’s main character to the subtle jabs at the commercialism of the holidays, this movie has it all.
Enchanted – This one’s kind of interesting. It initially starts off animated but then decides to take the entirety of the characters into ‘the real world’. This stylistic approach allows us to see how “fairy-tale” animated princess movies can be when seen through the prism of reality. Oddly enough, though, this allows us to cast an even brighter light on just how much cynicism there is in terms of ideas such as love.
Family movies are a great way to get the whole gang together for a night out on the town or even for a nice, comfy evening at home. What’s more, no longer does the family have to rely on animation for a great, family-friendly film, especially if the kids are a little older as well. Remember that the key to a great family movie is being together.