Kids movies we loved when we were kids: a review

Family Movie Night

Can’t figure out which movies to put on for the kids? Let The M Word help. Photo: ambro/freedigitalphotos.net

If you’re a mother you know what it’s like to be busy and stressed, taking care of kids and handling everyday tasks. If you want to spend some time with the kids without resorting to duct taping their mouths closed to get some quiet time, then how about putting a movie on for everyone to enjoy. Joline Samawi reviews the best of the best of children’s movies.

There are so many different children’s movies to pick from and if you’re stuck finding the right one here are a few suggestions: some great animations that will keep both you and the kids entertained. We know they’ll love them – we loved them when we were kids ourselves!

Shrek

Director: Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson

Run Time: 92 minutes

Rated: PG

This is a great family-fun movie with plenty for everyone. The movie revolves around Shrek, a big, green ogre who lives happily alone in a swamp until he is forced to leave his home to find a princess for Lord Farquaad. It has plenty of adventure, excellent animation graphics, lots of laughs and even some song and dance for the kids to have a shake and a wiggle. All in all, it’s a fabulous fairy tale with a happy ending. It will definitely satisfy the avid young watcher and might even erase common clichés of the scary ogre and evil dragon, giving your kids one less thing to be afraid of.

Caution: There are a few fight scenes and the suggestive slurs (which will probably go over their heads) may lead kids into asking questions that parents may not be ready to answer!

Quote:

Donkey: “We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!”

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Monsters Inc.

Director: Pete Docter

Run Time: 92 minutes

Rated: PG

Don’t let the title fool you, the monsters in these films are utterly delightful, cute and un-scary. This movie takes you behind the scenes into the inner workings of a ‘closet monsters’ life where they have to steal kids’ screams to fuel their world. However these adorable characters face difficulties when they find that many kids aren’t easy to scare and face a mixture of fear, affection and confusion when a little girl mistakenly crosses over to their side. This movie is a nice blend of funny, heart-warming and zany. The animation is spectacular and the bright colours will have kids frothing at the mouth with delight. It also may be a great way for kids to get over their closet monster phobias as the monsters in this film display human-like traits and are quite friendly. This movie is a good demonstration of friendship, love and overcoming fears with some witty and interesting dialogue that parents will find refreshing. However if your child is particularly sensitive and easy to scare it may not be a good movie for them – unless you will enjoy taking your post by their bed each night, spatula in hand to fend off would-be closet monsters.

Quote:

Sulley: “Hey, did you lose weight, or a limb?”

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Toy Story

Director: John Lasseter

Run Time: 81 minutes

Rated: G

This is definitely a classic that every child should watch in his or her lifetime. Toy Story follows the life and adventures of different toys owned by a young boy named Andy. One day Andy is given a birthday present in the form of a modern space cadet. In a fit of a jealousy, Woody (one of the original toys) accidentally pushes this new toy out the window but sets out to make things right by finding him and bringing him back. Kids will love this story as all kids love their toys, and the imagination and creative voices behind the characters will have kids enthralled. The message of working together and loyalty is an overarching theme displayed in funny and cute ways. The symbol of friendship is also quite endearing and will teach kids the value of these attributes, so parents can feel good and safe in knowing the movie has many good intentions.

Caution: Kids may continue to believe their toys are actually real. It’s best to discourage this from the start to prevent awkward discussion later.

Quote:

Rex: “What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection!”

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A Bug’s Life

Director: John Lasseter

Run Time: 95 minutes

Rated:  G

This is a great comedic animation for kids who enjoy action and have a strange fascination with bugs. This story follows Flik who accidentally loses the food tribute set out by the ants for their enemies, the grasshoppers. In this tale Flik must find a way to protect his community, which he does by mistakenly hiring bugs from a flea circus. This is a great tale of the little guy overcoming bullies and working together, which both the kids and parents will appreciate. There are lots of unique and interesting characters who will keep the kids entertained, with some funny dialogue which compliments the movie nicely. Overall it has good morals, good role models and an interesting story line.

Quote:

Flik: “They can’t know the truth! The truth, you see, is bad! I will be branded with this mistake for the rest of my life! My children’s children will walk down the street and people will point and say, “Look, there goes the spawn of Flik the Loser”

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Finding Nemo

Director: Andrew Stanton

Run Time: 100 minutes

Rated: G

Finding Nemo is a heart-warming tale about a clown fish named Marlin who is a very protective dad. When it’s time for Marlin’s son Nemo to start school Marlin’s worst fears are realised, when Nemo is captured by a deep-sea-diving dentist who collects fish for his aquarium. Marlin then goes on an amazing journey to bring back his son with steely determination and devoted concern. During his journey he meets different funny characters who are very expressive and give the audience plenty of laughs. This is definitely a good one for the kids as it is all heart. Although the animation is beyond wonderful this movie really stands out for its characters and values, especially the relationship between the father and son. Unlike most movies there is no clearly defined villain, and even the sharks are represented as friendly and nice characters.

Caution: There are a few scenes that may frighten timid children.

Quote:

Bruce: [reciting] “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.”

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