Films for kids big and small
Published on 20th December 2014
Christmas is a good time to take out DVDs from the library, as you get some extra time to watch them instead of the usual week. So you can stock up on films to keep the kids occupied. Ideally, you want a film that you can watch as well without going crazy – so that rules out Barney. There are plenty to choose from, though, with great animation and top-notch humour, besides the obvious ones like Toy Story and Shrek. Here’s a few suggestions that appeal to both children and adults alike.
Cartoon villain supreme Gru faces competition from newcomer Vector, and needs to get rid of this upstart. Aided and abetted by his sidekicks Dr Nefario and the minions (there’s a band name waiting to happen!), he hatches a plan to steal the moon, picking up three orphans along the way. Great fun.
The Karate Kid meets Hong Kong Phooey in this tale of Po, an overweight panda who works in his dad’s restaurant - he suspects he may be adopted! – and spends his days dreaming of becoming a kung fu warrior like his heroes, the Furious Five. Out of the blue he’s chosen as the Dragon Warrior, with a mission to defeat the baddie Tai Long. Can he do it? Of course he can!
This is a bit of a strange one, and it might be an idea to watch it after Christmas dinner, rather than before. Reggie is a turkey who joins the Turkey Freedom Front, and goes back in time to the first Thanksgiving with the aim of getting turkey off the menu. The kind of plot you just have to run with, really. It covers a couple of big issues, but with plenty of humour.
Free Birds from the fox’s point of view. Stop motion animation, hillbilly music, and a fairly dark sense of humour combine in Wes Anderson’s tale of Mr Fox, trying to stay true to his nature in the face of family responsibilities, accountants, and feral farmers. The eating scenes are hilariously accurate, and the show is pretty much stolen by Kylie the opossum.
Superheroes struggle to stay valid in the modern world in this very funny story of the Incredible family who, along with other superheroes, are banned from using their powers. An offer of a secret mission lures them back into crime fighting, and the adventures begin. Lots of sendups of other films, and great supporting characters Iceman and the fashion designer Edna Mode being especially funny.
This is a really lovely film – quirky and adorable without being twee. Carl, a retired balloon salesman, takes off in an airborne house for one last great adventure, in the company of a small Wilderness Scout called Russell, a giant bird named Kevin, and Dug the talking dog. He runs into his childhood hero, the renowned explorer Muntz, but let’s just say the meeting doesn’t go well. An uplifting homage to the spirit of adventure.