The weather in Melbourne has been just horrendous this week – Tuesday to Friday we had temperatures over 40C (110F) and it was just too hot to do anything. Cabin fever set in as I won’t let the kids play outside in the heat. It’s just too dangerous. So we watched a lot of movies. And it got me thinking. What makes a great kids film? Or more to the point, what makes a great family film – one that everyone enjoys?
There does seem to be a magic formula with animated films and only few have really hit the mark. I’ve also noticed that in recent years there is such a huge volume of animated films being released that the quality has dropped and only one or two a year are actually any good. So here is my top ten list. Purely opinion based on animated films I’ve seen. These are not in any particular order because I found it too hard to rank them.
Rio – story about two blue macaws and their adventures trying to avoid bird smugglers in Brazil. Great music, lots of hilarious support characters. Awesome soundtrack too.
Finding Nemo – no explanation required, I’m sure you’ve seen it. Fingers crossed Finding Dory (to be released in 2016) will be just as good.
Robin Hood – 1973 Disney animated film. This one is a huge favourite from my childhood and it’s still great today. Sure, the animation isn’t as slick as all the CGI stuff these days, but it’s hilariously funny and my siblings and I still quote lines from it.
Epic – Anna and I saw this in 3D last year after getting some free tickets. It was such a sweet movie, good story line, and I liked that it was very gender neutral. Both boys and girls alike would love it.
The Princess and the Frog – This one didn’t seem to be one of Disney’s more popular princess films, but I thought it was brilliant. Mainly because the main character, Tiana, was a pretty kick ass chick who was doing things her way and not waiting around for Prince Charming like so many of the other princesses do. I also loved the New Orleans / Louisiana setting. The voodoo scenes might be a little bit scary for little ones.
Tangled -I have really fond memories of this one because it was the first film I ever took Anna to. I was about 39 weeks pregnant with Lucy and I just needed to get out of the house, so we went out for lunch and saw Tangled at the cinema. It was a really special day, and the movie was brilliant. Anna was almost 2 1/2 and had never been to the cinema before, so her excitement and wonder at the whole experience was fun to share with her.
The Lion King – this was released when I was 14, so I was past kid films but this one was never really a kids film and I loved it. Everyone loved it – it was such a blockbuster. This film was a turning point for animated films I think, production companies became a lot more serious them. My girls love it and watch it regularly. Such an awesome cast too – James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane.
Shrek – that lovable ogre and the fairytale creatures. This movie put such a great spin of a lot of well known stories. I must say though, the original was the best, they overdid it with the subsequent films. (Although I do love Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots.)
Monsters Inc. – Anna watches it reluctantly because it scares her. It’s Lucy’s favourite film. That pretty much sums up my kids personalities perfectly! Mike & Sully, best bromance ever.
Ratatouille – the french rat who becomes a famous chef. Such a great film, I LOVE this one, but I do find my kids aren’t so interested. I almost think this one is more enjoyable for adults than kids.
So that’s my ten. And yes, I haven’t included Toy Story or it’s sequels. Sorry, but I just never connected with it. Weird, I know, but that’s just how it is. Despite not making my ten, I also have very soft spots for The Incredibles, Fantasia and The Rescuers (saw it at the movies when I was 7. I remember eating Jaffas during intermission!) I saw Frozen a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed that too.
And now over to you – tell me your favourites! Or your child’s favourites – don’t you find they get really obsessed with particular films? Lucky I like The Princess and the Frog, because we watched it so much about two years ago that I can recite it, line for line.
Did I miss any films that you think I should give another viewing?