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Movie Mom

Movie Mom's Top Picks for Families Archives

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genre

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
  • B+, B, B-
  • C+, C, C-
  • D+, D, D-
  • F+, F, F-

who's watching

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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
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The Sound of Music Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

A glorious new 50th anniversary Blu-Ray edition of Sound of Music is out this week, featuring commentary, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of extras — sure to be one of your “favorite things.”   This box-office champ is one […]

101 Dalmatians: Behind the Scenes

posted by Nell Minow

The Pick of the Week is a Disney animation classic: 101 Dalmatians, which has a gorgeous new Diamond edition. For some behind-the scenes info about the film, check this out.

Movies for Black History Month 2015

posted by Nell Minow

Every family should observe Black History Month and movies like these are a good way to begin discussions and further study. Start with “Selma,” the brilliant film now in theaters, about Dr. Martin Luther King and the march for voting […]

List: Movie Snowmen

posted by Nell Minow

The movies have included some memorable snowmen. Here are some of my favorites. The Snowman This exquisite wordless story about a boy and a snowman is bittersweet (their time together is limited) but exhilarating. Frozen Olaf is the most adorable […]

After You’ve Watched White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and A Christmas Story…..

posted by Nell Minow

I love the Christmas classic movies and watch as many as I can every year.  But there are many great Christmas films that don’t get mentioned as often and I like to remind families that these are worth making time […]

Family DVDs for Hannukah

posted by Nell Minow

When all the world is caught up in Christmas, it can help to have some movies on hand to explain that some people celebrate a different holiday at this time of year, especially when the stories and songs are told […]

Two Nights Only in Theaters: 60th Anniversary of “White Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

The 60th anniversary of one of the most beloved movies in history is coming up, and so you will have a chance to see “White Christmas” in theaters for just two nights, December 14-15, 2014. This is your chance to […]

Gortimer Gibbons: Life on Normal Street

posted by Nell Minow

Amazon Prime’s new series for families is a delight. Gortimer Gibbons: Life on Normal Street is the story of three middle school-age friends and the mysteries they investigate on Normal Street are anything but normal. It has fun and fantasy […]

Coming Soon: Guardians of the Galaxy on Blu-Ray with Extras

posted by Nell Minow

Coming soon on DVD and Blu-Ray: the most purely entertaining film of the year, “Guardians of the Galaxy”  Release dates: 11/18 for Digital 3D and Digital HD 12/9 Digital SD, 3D Blu-ray Combo pack (3D Blu-ray + Single Disc Blu-ray […]

Family Movies for Halloween

posted by Nell Minow

  Halloween gives kids a thrilling opportunity to act out their dreams and pretend to be characters with great power. But it can also be scary and even overwhelming for the littlest trick-or-treaters. An introduction to the holiday with videos […]

Dr. Toy’s Best List 2014

posted by Nell Minow

Every year I look forward to Dr. Toy’s list of the best toys and games for kids. Steveanne Auerbach is the author of Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/ Smart Toys and a respected expert on toys that encourage learning and imagination. […]

All the Gilmore Girls Episodes Will Be Streaming on Netflix!

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted that all of the 153 episodes of “Gilmore Girls” will be available on Netflix, starting in October.  This show had some of the most delightfully quirky characters and some of the most witty dialog in television history.  Melissa McCarthy […]

Limited Time Offer from Amazon: Warners Best, 100 Films for About $2 Each

posted by Nell Minow

This is an amazing deal. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a collection of 100 Warner Brothers classics at 75 percent off. Best of Warner Bros 100 Film Collection, including 22 Best Picture winners, a limited edition 27 x […]

Cinderella — With Music by Rodgers and Hammerstein

posted by Nell Minow

Every family will enjoy the 50th anniversary edition of the glorious Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren, with Celeste Holm as the fairy godmother, Jo Van Fleet as the evil stepmother, and Walter Pidgeon and Ginger Rogers as […]

Best TV Show of the Fall: The Roosevelts on PBS

posted by Nell Minow

Passion, betrayal, unprecedented power, triumph, failure, devastating loss, personal and professional turmoil, and triumph again, played out against the most tumultuous events of the 20th century — that is the real-life story of the Roosevelts, especially the two who served […]

Schoolhouse Rock is Coming Back to TV!

posted by Nell Minow

ABC will be airing a tribute to the classic educational series “Schoolhouse Rock” on September 7.  Now parents can sing along to “I’m Just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction” and share with their kids these delightful and remarkably informative gems. […]

The Last Leonard Maltin Movie Guide

posted by Nell Minow

Leonard Maltin was only 17 years old when he was offered the chance to create his guide to movies on television. For many years, I kept the latest copy on my desk and anyone who came into my office could […]

Contest: Arthur Goes Back to School

posted by Nell Minow

Eight-year-old Arthur the aardvark has four adventures in this new DVD, available tomorrow, August 12, 2014. This is the perfect back-to-school treat, as Arthur and his friends find out that a candy bar may not be as appetizing as they […]

Free for a Limited Time: 121 Best Books for Children

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful folks at Dinner A Love Story have kindly made their 121 Books: The Greatest Kid Books of All Time ebook available for free for a limited time, so grab it right now.

Happy Anniversary of the First Moon Landing

posted by Nell Minow

45 years ago today, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, a powerful reminder of what is possible if we put no limits on our goals “for all mankind.”  I hope we never lose that sense […]

Brits on Vacation

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a time for travel, and, whether you’re traveling or not, it’s a great time for movies about travel as well. Film Forever has an excellent list of movies about Brits traveling abroad. Here are my favorites.

Summer Movie Catch-Up: Lists for Kids, Couples, and Hipsters

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a great time to catch up on some classic and even not-so-classic films, the movie version of beach books.  The nice folks at Entertainment Weekly have come up with a terrific list of films all children should see […]

Screen-Free Week 2014 Starts Tomorrow

posted by Nell Minow

Check out these ideas to help your family detox from television and the internet.  And before you turn off your computers for a week, watch this to remind you what we miss when we look at screens instead of each […]

Rodgers and Hammerstein Musicals Get New Releases from Fox

posted by Nell Minow

Fox Home Entertainment is releasing the Rodgers & Hammerstein Blu-ray Collection on May 6. This Amazon-exclusive collection will feature six of the 15-time Academy Award-winning movie musicals by the EGOT and Pulitzer Award-winning team of Rodgers & Hammerstein, including Best […]

Half a Century of The Beatles!

posted by Nell Minow

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performances in the United States — and the half century of great music — be sure to watch the CBS Grammy tribute tomorrow night, featuring Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. […]

Cosmos Reboot on Fox and National Geographic Channel

posted by Nell Minow

Carl Sagan’s stunning “Cosmos” series is being updated for a return to television, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It will premiere on Fox March 9 and be rebroadcast on the  National Geographic Channel.  Bill Moyers writes: deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist […]

Movies for the Year of the Horse

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jana Monji and rogerebert.com for including me in this wonderful round-up (especially apt term) of movies inspired by the Chinese New Year.  This year it is the Year of the Horse, so Jana and some of the […]

Kevin Bacon Tells You How to Give Two Gifts With One Purchase

posted by Nell Minow

Kevin Bacon’s adorable parody commercial has a lot of heart — and a great idea.   You can support local businesses and your own favorite charities.  Shift Your Shopping For Good involves hundreds of local, independent businesses, including dozens with […]

Contest: Merry Christmas, Splat

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to be able to give away a copy of the adorable Merry Christmas Splat & More Winter Stories, from my very favorite series for kids, Scholastic Storybook Treasures. Splat the cat is worried that he hasn’t been […]

Contest: DreamWorks Holiday Collection With Shrek, Po, Madagascar, and Dragons!

posted by Nell Minow

All your favorite DreamWorks animation characters are included in the fabulous Dreamworks Holiday Collection, and I have two to give away! * Shrek the Halls (2007) – Shrek promises Fiona a special Christmas surprise, but as usual, Donkey gets involved, […]

Goldieblox Rocks! Hurray for Girls Who Think and Build

posted by Nell Minow

Hurray for Goldieblox for knowing that girls want to think and invent and problem solve and that they don’t always want everything to be pink and princessy!  The company was created by Debbie Sterling, a female engineer from Stanford University.  I […]

Contest: Halloween Story Collection from Scholastic Storybook Treasures

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite series for kids has a wonderful new collection for Halloween and I have three to give away! Enjoy the ghoulish pleasures and scary delights and ghostly giggles of stories like The Little Old Lady Who Was Not […]

New From SpiritClips: Hallmark Hall of Fame and More For Families

posted by Nell Minow

New from SpiritClips: unlimited access to Hallmark Hall of Fame movies, thoughtfully selected Hollywood classics and original short films via the web and stream-to-TV devices.  This is a great source for inspiring, heartwarming stories that you won’t find anywhere else. […]

Contest: Bink & Gollie

posted by Nell Minow

I am always especially excited to have one of the fabulous Scholastic Storybook DVDs to give away, and this one is extra important for families because it is about what it means to be a friend.  This all-new compilation is headlined […]

New DVD Giveaway: Word Girl vs. The Energy Monster

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite television series for kids is the wonderful PBS show “Word Girl,” and this new release is one of the best: Wordgirl vs the Energy Monster. WORDGIRL and her sidekick CAPTAIN HUGGY FACE fight the good fight […]

The Magic Schoolbus: All About Earth

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:April 16, 2013
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: April 16, 2013

Just in time for Earth Day, Ms. Frizzles and the class go on three never-before-released episodes and a bonus from the popular series of animated adventures with science, with English and Spanish language options. The episodes are: “The Magic School […]

List: Dinosaur Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s 20th anniversary re-release of “Jurassic Park” is a good reminder to check out some other dino delights.  These are some family favorites, most of which have the same plot: the dinosaurs have to leave their home to move […]

Beliefnet’s Movie of the Month: Field of Dreams

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out my essay on our latest Movie of the Month, Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster, and based on Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella.

Best of Warner Brothers: Romances

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Varied
DVD Release Date:April 1, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Varied
DVD Release Date: April 1, 2013

This is a must-have for every family’s library — the latest in Warner Bros series of collections is its Romance series, with 20 of the all-time greatest movie love stories: timeless love, unforgettable affairs, and modern romance, filled with passion, […]

Watch “Star Trek” Free on Hulu This Week

posted by Nell Minow

The original “Star Trek” series is free on Hulu this week and Slate has a great list of the essential episodes everyone needs to see. But — what, no tribbles?

Classics on Sale at Turner Classic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

If you act fast, you can get some great bargins at Turner Classic Movies.  Films like “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Captains Courageous,” “They Died With Their Boots On,” “Captain Blood,” “Maltese Falcon,” “Mr. Skeffington,” and “Blackboard Jungle” are […]

Movies to Celebrate Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and one way to celebrate is to watch one of these great movies from or set in Ireland: 1. The Quiet Man John Wayne plays American Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to in Innisfree, the […]

Bill Harley: Win a CD!

posted by Nell Minow

Here is how much my family loves the brilliant and hilarious singer/songwriter/story-teller Bill Harley.  Even though we played and played and played his music until we all knew it inside out, we would still sit in the driveway until the […]

20 Film Collection from Warner Brothers: Musicals

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Varied
DVD Release Date:February 25, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Varied
DVD Release Date: February 25, 2013

Warner Brothers has issued a spectacular collection of musical films, from the ground-breaking “The Jazz Singer” to classics like “Cabaret,” “Signin’ in the Rain,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” and “The Music Man.”  This is a treasure that should be […]

Criterion Free This Weekend on Hulu

posted by Nell Minow

The Criterion Collection includes the very best throughout the history of cinema, impeccably restored.  And this long weekend, you can watch Criterion’s collection free on Hulu.  Try Chaplin’s “Modern Times,” Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal,” Truffaut’s “Stolen Kisses,” Wenders’ “Wings of […]

The Red Hen..And More Cooking Stories: Scholastic Storybook Treasures

posted by Nell Minow

The latest from my very favorite series for families is Scholastic Storybook Treasures’ The Red Hen and more cooking stories.  I have one copy to give away!  Send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Hen in the subject line and tell […]

New From Scholastic: Stone Soup…and Other Stories from the Asian Tradition

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite series for kids has a new release, Stone Soup…and Other Stories from the Asian Tradition from Scholastic Storybook Treasures. Scholastic takes the very best in children’s literature and makes them into DVDs that gently animate the original […]

Which Classic 20th Century Fox Film Should Be on Blu-Ray?

posted by Nell Minow

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today a one-of-a-kind campaign, VOICE YOUR CHOICE, allowing film enthusiasts to decide which classic films they would like to see digitally restored and transferred to Blu-ray for the very first time. The program celebrates […]

Movies for Families about the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

posted by Nell Minow

As we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, every family should take time to talk about this great American leader and hero of the Civil Rights Movement. There are outstanding films and other resources for all ages. I highly […]

Beliefnet’s Movie of the Month: To Kill a Mockingbird

posted by Nell Minow

I was thrilled to have a chance to write about one of the greatest movies of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Movie of The Month for Beliefnet’s Entertainment Corner.  It is the rare case where a great book […]

Angels and Ghosts Today on TCM

posted by Nell Minow

Turner Classic Movies starts off the new year with a day of movies about angels and ghosts, including some of my favorites: “A Guy Named Joe” Spencer Tracy is a fighter pilot who is killed in action and returns as […]

Vulture’s Top Ten Muppet Christmas Moments

posted by Nell Minow

Bravo to New York Magazine’s Vulture Blog for their impeccable selection of 10 classic Muppet Christmas moments.

2012 Additions to the National Film Registry

posted by Nell Minow

Each year, the Library of Congress announces the names of films added to the National Film Registry — an assortment that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significant.  This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 600. […]

My Favorite Versions of “A Christmas Carol”

posted by Nell Minow

My favorite Christmas story is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and I enjoy as many versions as possible every year.  I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by […]

Shalom Sesame DVD Club

posted by Nell Minow

The popular Shalom Sesame DVD series has announced a Shalom Sesame DVD Club.  Grover the Muppet and Anneliese van der Pol (That’s So Raven, Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast) travel to Israel to meet new people and learn new things in this 12-part DVD series co-produced by Sesame […]

New From Veggie Tales: The League of Incredible Vegetables

posted by Nell Minow

The Veggie Tales folks at Big Idea Entertainment have a new DVD just in time for Halloween, to help kids who might have a hard time telling the difference between fun scary and scary scary.  It’s called The League of […]

Halloween Favorites from The Movie Mom!

posted by Nell Minow

The FTC Helps Kids Understand Advertising

posted by Nell Minow

The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent website to help kids be smarter consumers.  It’s always a challenge to teach children to identify and challenge the bombardment of advertising messages they get every day.  You Are Here’s West Terrace explains targeted […]

Doc McStuffins Teaches Kids About Being Healthy on Disney

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s delightful animated series, “Doc McStuffins,” is about a little girl who is inspired by her doctor mother to open up a “clinic” for her stuffed animals and toys. That gives the show a chance to talk to kids about […]

Celebrate America with “America’s Heart and Soul”

posted by Nell Minow

If you want to watch a movie that will remind you of what we love most about the wonderful country we celebrate this week, try America’s Heart and Soul.  If Norman Rockwell made a movie, this would be it. If […]

EW’s 50 Must-See Movies You’ve Never Heard Of

posted by Nell Minow

I love Entertainment Weekly‘s lists of under-appreciated films and the current issue’s list includes some of my favorites, the movies I am constantly begging people to try.  It is a great chance to see some wonderful films, and in may […]

Contest: Scholastic’s “Chicken Little & More Zany Animal Stories”

posted by Nell Minow

I’m thrilled to have two copies of Chicken Little & More Zany Animal Stories to give away.  Scholastic’s wonderful series always has the best in children’s literature, gently animated and beautifully read.  This latest in the series includes: CHICKEN LITTLE (Written […]

List: Scottish Movies and Actors

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Pixar’s “Brave,” this week’s release about a Scottish princess, here are some of my favorite films about Scots and Scotland and some of my favorite Scottish performers. 1. Brigadoon Lerner and Lowe’s first musical is the fanciful story […]

Coming Soon: American Girls’ “McKenna: Shoots for the Stars”

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s an early sneak peek at a wonderful new DVD, based on the American Girls series about McKenna, the young gymnast, and the American Girls “Girl of the Year.”

Contest: 10th Anniversary “Princess Diaries” Original and Sequel

posted by Nell Minow

Has it really been ten years since Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews starred in The Princess Diaries?  It is a delightful movie about an awkward teenager who discovers that she is the heir to the throne of a small but […]

Happy 90th Birthday, Judy Garland

posted by Nell Minow

This musical number, the last she filmed for MGM, is one of my favorites. It’s at the end of Summer Stock. And here is another, “The Man That Got Away,” from A Star Is Born. Judy Garland, who would have […]

List: Snow White and the Seven Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Somewhere around 100 films have been inspired by the fairy tale about the princess with skin as white as snow and the evil stepmother who tried to kill her with a poison apple.  One is a historic and artistic milestone, […]

Pixar Favorites Back in Theaters This Weekend

posted by Nell Minow

Four popular Disney•Pixar movies are returning exclusively to AMC Theatres for the Memorial Day holiday weekend to provide a perfect alternative for families in the midst of PG-13 summer movie season. From May 25 through May 28, “Toy Story 3,” […]

List: The Best Movie Moms

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and children! Here are 10 great movie mothers every family should enjoy. Many were based on real-life mothers, with stories and screenplays in some cases written by their grateful families.  And don’t forget my […]

Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection, Vols. 1 & 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2012
DVD Release Date:April 26, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2012
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2012

My favorite series for children has a wonderful new collection: Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals: Complete Cartoon Collection Volumes 1 & 2.  Emmy Award winner and Sesame Street veteran Mo Willems is the author/illustrator of the delightful book series about […]

Lists: The Funniest Movies and the All-Time Best

posted by Nell Minow

I always quote Mrs. Miniver when the subject of making “best of” lists of movies.  She wasn’t talking about movies but her comment is applicable in many contexts: “Indefensible but irresistible.”  And they’re a great way of finding some good […]

List: Movies for Passover

posted by Nell Minow

Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling the story, […]

New Giveaway! The Muppet Movie

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to have three copies of one of 2011’s best family films to share with my wonderful visitors.  This is really special — a Wocka Wocka Value Pack, including the movie on Blu-ray high-definition, DVD and Digital Copy (3 […]

List: Movies for Your Valentine

posted by Nell Minow

Some of my favorite movie romances are just right for Valentine’s Day.  Cuddle up with your valentine and a bowl of popcorn and enjoy these movies about how love makes us crazy and immeasurably happy at the same time. 1. […]

A Birthday List for Charles Dickens

posted by Nell Minow

Happy 200th birthday, Charles Dickens! In honor of the birthday of one of the greatest novelists of all time, Masterpiece on PBS has announced two new series based on Dickens novels:   A new “Great Expectations” miniseries starring Gillian Anderson […]

Black History Month: DVDs for Families

posted by Nell Minow

Great choices for Black History Month from Scholastic: Duke Ellington… and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history. The DVD includes gently animated and beautifully narrated versions of four books about important figures in black history. Duke […]

Behind the Scenes: Lady and the Tramp

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the release of Disney’s Diamond edition of the classic, “Lady and the Tramp,” here is a glimpse behind the scenes:

A Christmas Carol — The Top Five Versions

posted by Nell Minow

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story and I love it in just about any of its movie incarnations. “Bah, humbugs” have been muttered by Scrooges played by top-notch dramatic actors like George C. Scott and Albert Finney, former Miss America Vanessa Williams, […]

The Snowman: Walking in the Air

posted by Nell Minow

If you are feeling frazzled with holiday preparations, take a moment to enjoy the pure magic of this excerpt from one of the finest animated films ever made:

Period of Adjustment — Tonight on Turner Classic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Tennessee Williams’ only comedy is this neglected gem of a movie about two couples at Christmas. It has never been available on DVD so your only chance to see it is tonight on Turner Classic Movies. It stars a very […]

Twelve Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature Tiny Tim, Linus, Bing Crosby, the Grinch, Clarence the Angel, or a Leg Lamp

posted by Nell Minow

I love the Christmas classic movies and watch as many as I can every year.  But there are many great Christmas films that don’t get mentioned as often and I like to remind families that these are worth making time […]

Your Week with Marilyn — Monroe’s Best Films

posted by Nell Minow

“My Week With Marilyn” is a new film based on the memoirs by Colin Clark about his time as a third assistant director (basically a gofer) on the set of a movie she made in England with Sir Laurence Olivier.  You […]

Have a Little Faith

posted by Nell Minow

Writer Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson) got a very unusual request.  A terminally ill rabbi asked if Albom would write and deliver his eulogy.  “As is often the case with […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by Nell Minow

One of my very favorite movies begins with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the original Miracle on 34th Street. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Best wishes to you and your families, and please know how grateful I am for the chance to be here […]

Veggie Tales On Sale!

posted by Nell Minow

Veggie Tales is having a special sale through November 30!  A great opportunity for finding gifts for special children.

The Muppets!

posted by Nell Minow

Hurray for the Muppets and hurray for Disney and Jason Segal for bringing them back! “The Muppets” is one of the best movies of the year. When your children want more, try The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, and The […]

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers…And Other Inspiring Tales

posted by Nell Minow

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers… and More Inspiring Tales is another delight from Scholastic, who take the best children’s books and turn them into superb short films for beginning readers and their families.  The title film is based on […]

Hand in Hand

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see that one of my favorite childhood films, Hand in Hand (1960), is now available on DVD.  This is the very sweet story of an Irish Catholic boy and a Jewish girl who become friends in early […]

Holiday Gift Opportunity for the Movie-Lover

posted by Nell Minow

Barnes & Noble is offering all of the Criterion Collection DVDs at 30% off for a limited time.  As all serious film lovers know, the Criterion series are the best of the best — the best films and the best […]

A New (Old) Book from Dr. Seuss

posted by Nell Minow

On Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow reviews a new collection of stories from Dr. Seuss, published for the first time in book form: The Bippilo Seed and Other Lost Stories.  Doctorow says, “The illustrations are classic Seuss and full of wit […]

Interview: Andy Borowitz of The 50 Funniest American Writers*

posted by Nell Minow

Andy Borowitz really understands what it means to be funny.  He is the first recipient of the National Press Club’s humor award and his @BorowitzReport Twitter feed is constantly circulated with LOLs.  His new book is The 50 Funniest American […]

Movie Mom Favorites for a Happy Halloween

posted by Nell Minow

New Sesame Street Character Teaches Kids About Food — And Hunger

posted by Nell Minow

In observance of World Food Day, “Sesame Street” has a new toolkit to help families make good decisions about food, so that even those on a limited budget can make meals that help families grow and stay healthy.  A new […]

Trailer: The Three Musketeers

posted by Nell Minow

I’m always excited about another version of The Three Musketeers! As we wait for this acrobatic remake from the director and star of “Resident Evil,” we can revisit some of the best of the previous versions.  Here’s Gene Kelly showing […]

Citizen Kane

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 26, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1941
DVD Release Date: September 26, 2011

“Citizen Kane” has topped more “all-time best” lists than any other movie and this 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition is a treat for passionate fans and those who still have the thrill of seeing it for the first time ahead of […]

Dumbo

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1941
DVD Release Date:September 19, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1941
DVD Release Date: September 19, 2011

A gorgeous new 70th anniversary “Dumbo” Blu-Ray DVD pack is the Pick of the Week. The stork delivers babies to the circus animals, including Mrs. Jumbo’s baby, an elephant with enormous ears. The other elephants laugh at him and call […]

Contest: Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin and More

posted by Nell Minow

I’m very excited to have a gorgeous DVD box set from the Scholastic Storybook series, my very favorite family DVDs to give away. And this one is really special, with three different collections that will inspire children to use their […]

Jewish Movies for Everyone

posted by Nell Minow

Malachi Kosanovich has a great Beliefnet gallery on six Jewish films everyone should see — all excellent choices. I’d also add: Fiddler on the Roof, Hester Street, Crossing Delancey, Gentleman’s Agreement, and Advice And Dissent.

Bravo to AMC Theaters for the ‘Sensory Friendly’ Film Series

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to hear that AMC theaters is reaching out to family members with autism spectrum issues with monthly “Sensory Friendly” film showings.  Participating theaters are schedules to run the following films at 10 am, with lower sound and […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date:1972
DVD Release Date:July 2, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language
Movie Release Date: 1972
DVD Release Date: July 2, 2012

Happy Independence Day!  There’s only one possible pick of the week for the 4th of July. This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost […]

The Other Summer Movies: Documentaries to Make You Gasp, Laugh, Cry, and Cheer

posted by Nell Minow

I love summer movies with their crashes, chases, explosions, superheroes, and sequels as much as anyone, but after a while they all run together.  But good documentaries are unforgettable.  There is something about real-life characters inviting us into their lives […]

A Father’s Day Tribute to My Favorite Movie Fathers

posted by Nell Minow

My updated gallery of the greatest movie dads is now up, with some new additions including “Up” and “The King’s Speech.”  Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, especially my own magnificent dad and to my kids’ wonderful […]

The North Star…And More Stories About Following Your Dreams

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:May 30, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: May 30, 2011

The latest from my very favorite series of DVDs for families has one of my very favorite books, Swamp Angel, in a collection of stories about lifelong learning and  following your dreams. The stories are: THE NORTH STAR (Written and […]

Tikki-Tikki-Tembo…

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:NA
DVD Release Date:April 26, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: NA
DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011

The DVD pick of the week is Tikki-Tikki-Tembo and More Stories of Asian Heritage, another from my very favorite series for young children and their families. This one arrives in time for May’s celebration of Asian Heritage Month in May, […]

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t start with me about who wrote Shakespeare.  Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare and today is his birthday.  Celebrate with some of the many, many movie versions of, about, or inspired by his plays.  Here are some of my favorites: 1. The […]

List: Passover Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting — Hag Sameach! Passover is not just about remembering the story of the Exodus from Egypt. It is about telling the story. Thousands of years before people talked about “learning styles,” the Seder included many different ways of telling […]

List: Movies with a Touch of Brazil

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “Rio,” an animated film set in Brazil, put on some samba music and think about some of these Brazilian-flavored films for your Netflix queue.  (No, I am not including the superb film actually […]

Interview: Candace Cameron Bure of ‘Truth Be Told’

posted by Nell Minow

  “Family Movie Night,” sponsored by Proctor & Gamble and Walmart, has produced another fine film for all ages.  Candace Cameron Bure (“Full House,” “Make It or Break It”) stars in “Truth Be Told,” the story of a marriage counselor […]

List: Civil War Movies

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a defining moment for good and bad in American history, it is a good time to watch some of these great films that show how we continue to try to […]

The Corporate Villain in Movies — My First Appearance on Ebert Presents

posted by Nell Minow

I was thrilled that my first appearance on Ebert Presents At the Movies was a discussion of corporate villains on screen from 1909 to the present — why they are so popular and how the portrayals have evolved to reflect […]

Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1940's
DVD Release Date:April 12, 2011
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1940's
DVD Release Date: April 12, 2011

Now this is a pure movie magic. There has never been an on- and off-screen romance like the nine-movie pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. When writer-director Joseph Mankiewicz introduced them, Hepburn, who was wearing special heels that added […]

National Velvet

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Tated
Movie Release Date:1944
DVD Release Date:2000
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Tated
Movie Release Date: 1944
DVD Release Date: 2000

In memory of Elizabeth Taylor, this week’s DVD pick has the performance that made her a star, along with Anne Revere, who won an Oscar for her role as Elizabeth Taylor’s mother in “National Velvet.” Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney) arrives […]

Spring Movie Favorites

posted by Nell Minow

Can’t wait for spring? Check out my gallery of spring movies I love.

St. Patrick’s Day Movies: Eireann go Brea!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here are five great movies from or set in Ireland to enjoy: 1. The Quiet Man John Wayne plays American Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to in Innisfree, the small, beautiful Irish village where he […]

Contest: DVDs for Purim and Passover!

posted by Nell Minow

There are two great new Shalom Sesame DVDs to celebrate the spring Jewish holidays and I have one of each to give away. It’s a wonderful way to help introduce children to two of the year’s most important festivals. This […]

List: Movies for Women’s History Month

posted by Nell Minow

For Women’s History Month, try some of these feature films about women of extraordinary courage, intelligence, determination, and achievement. 1. Erin Brockovich Julia Roberts won an Oscar for this story about a clerk in a law firm who helped win […]

Great Figures in African-American History

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2011
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2011
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Another one from my favorite series that arrives in time for Black History Month — Duke Ellington… and more stories to celebrate great figures in African American history from Scholastic Storybook Treasures. The DVD includes gently animated and beautifully narrated […]

Big Sale on National Geograpic DVDs

posted by Nell Minow

National Geographic is having an amazing sale on their outstanding series of DVDs, with prices as low as $3.95 for “March of the Penguins” and $5.95 for “The Dog Whisperer.” It’s for a limited time only. Be sure to check […]

List: A Tribute to Ronald Reagan

posted by Nell Minow

As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan this week, most of the focus will be on his years in politics. But it is also a good opportunity to take another look at some of his best performances as […]

Black History Month Treat: Lincoln and Douglass

posted by Nell Minow

My very favorite series for kids, the Scholastic Storybook Treasures, has a new gem out for Black History Month and President’s Day. It’s a collection of DVDs based on four superb history books for children including Lincoln & Douglass: An […]

Turner Classic Movies Salutes the Oscars

posted by Nell Minow

Every year, Turner Classic Movies salutes the Oscars with a month full of classics and rarely-seen gems that were nominated for or won Oscars, not just for the acting and directing awards but for costume design, cinematography, and more. Today […]

Contest: Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow

I am overjoyed to have two copies of one of my very favorite Disney classics to give away. This is the Blu-Ray/DVD 60th anniversary edition of “Alice in Wonderland.” I have loved this film since we watched it at my […]

Remembering JFK

posted by Nell Minow

Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of John F. Kennedy with a look at these films: JFK – A Presidency Revealed The History Channel’s balanced view is candid about the President’s shortcomings and mistakes but also captures his optimism […]

Contest for Teachers Only: DVDs on Presidents and Martin Luther King

posted by Nell Minow

I have two DVDs to give away — for teachers only, this time. These are from my very favorite series for kids, Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures and they are perfect for celebrating Martin Luther King Day, Black History Month, Women’s History […]

Johnny Belinda

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1948
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1948
DVD Release Date: 2006

Celebrate the birthday of Jane Wyman with her Oscar-winning performance in the classic Johnny Belinda. Belinda (Jane Wyman) lives with her father and aunt on a farm on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Her father, Black McDonald, […]

Movies to Ring in the New Year

posted by Nell Minow

Rotten Tomatoes has a list of New Year’s Movies. Here is my list, which I first posted in 2007: When Harry Met Sally… is a sweet, funny love story starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal as two people who took […]

Twelve More Great Christmas Movies Without Santa, Tiny Tim, or A Message from Ovaltine

posted by Nell Minow

I love the classics, but if you’ve seen them all and want to try something new, take a look at these holiday gems: Desk Set Before smart phones and Google, there were people like the character played by Katherine Hepburn […]

The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: 2010

My very favorite DVD series for families has a wonderful holiday treat: The Night Before Christmas…and More Classic Holiday Tales. Twelve beloved family classics come to life, including the Christmas stories “The Night Before Christmas,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” […]

Ask Amy’s ‘Book on Every Bed’ Project

posted by Nell Minow

Amy Dickenson has a wonderful idea for Christmas, “A Book on Every Bed.” Take a book. Wrap it. Place it on a child’s bed so it’s the first thing she sees on Christmas morning (or whatever holiday you celebrate). That’s […]

Giveaway: ‘Flipped’

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of one of my favorite family movies of the year to give away. Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner has wonderful performances by Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in a story set in the […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Twelve Great Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature Clarence the Angel, Bing Crosby, Tiny Tim, or a Leg Lamp

posted by Nell Minow

Reprising from 2007: I love It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, and A Christmas Story as much as anyone. I love the bittersweet struggles of George Bailey and never get tired of seeing him try to resist falling in love […]

In Honor of William and Kate: Royal Wedding

posted by Nell Minow

Cheers to Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton! Celebrate with a classic Fred Astaire musical that features glimpses of his grandparents’ wedding back in 1951. Fred Astaire and Jane Powell play a brother-and-sister act (inspired by Astaire’s real-life vaudeville […]

Happy 40th Birthday, Sesame Street!

posted by Nell Minow

40 years ago today, I watched the very first episode of “Sesame Street” and I have been a big fan ever since. My dad, Newton Minow, helped the show’s creator, Joan Ganz Cooney, get the funding for its first season, […]

Toy Story 3

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 18, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 2, 2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 18, 2010
DVD Release Date: November 2, 2010

You won’t just forget you are watching an animated movie; you will forget you are watching a movie. That is how completely we enter this wonderful world, and how reluctantly we leave it. “Toy Story 3″ has more honest, acutely […]

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

posted by Nell Minow

This Halloween classic is temporarily available on Hulu. Happy Halloween!

List: Movies for World Habitat Day

posted by Nell Minow

Today is the United Nations’ World Habitat Day, dedicated to the principle that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere. Take a moment today to be grateful for your home, for the warmth and comfort it provides for you […]

List: Movie Mom’s Favorites for Halloween

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jennifer Kachler, Adam Donald, Daniel Sheppard, Brian Gonzalez, my homegirl Laine Kaplowitz, and everyone at the fabulous Bethesda Row Theatre.

Exclusive Clip from Veggie Tales’ ‘It’s a Meaningful Life’

posted by Nell Minow

Tribute: Tony Curtis

posted by Nell Minow

Today we mourn the passing of one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, Tony Curtis. He was born Bernie Schwartz to a very poor and troubled family in the Bronx and became determined to make it as a movie star. He […]

Contest: Babies! (and check out the Grand Prize!)

posted by Nell Minow

I loved “Babies” and I am very honored to be able to give away three copies of the Blu-Ray/DVD. As I said in my review, Until they make a movie entirely consisting of raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, Hallmark […]

Remembering 9/11/01

posted by Nell Minow

As we remember the unspeakable losses of September 11, 2001, we also remember the immeasurable gallantry, courage, and devotion it inspired. “Metal of Honor” is a heart-wrenching documentary about the iron workers who arrived as the World Trade Center buildings […]

You Can Watch A Century’s Most Inspirational Moments — on YouTube

posted by Nell Minow

Every family should share these ten moments of courage, dedication, awakening, and inspiration. Thanks to Mashable for putting this together.

Great Movie Teachers, Part 3: Grade and Middle School

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the first day of school, I am reposting my list of some of my favorite movie teachers in elementary and middle school. Note that not all movies about kids this age are intended to be viewed by […]

My Most Inspiring Film-Makers

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jennifer Kachler, Adam Donald, Daniel Sheppard, my homegirl Laine Kaplowitz, and everyone at the fabulous Bethesda Row Theatre.

Star of the Day Month on TCM

posted by Nell Minow

I love Turner Classic Movies. When I was invited, with a small group of film critics, to meet with Martin Scorsese, I was delighted to hear that he keeps it on a lot of the time and frequently calls out […]

The Winner Twins at Comic-Con

posted by Nell Minow

I was thrilled to have a chance to catch up with Brittany and Brianna Winner, now 15, to hear about their Strand book series, their school appearances, and their dream of making their story into a movie. One of the […]

Beliefnet Gallery: The Best Movie Weddings

posted by Nell Minow

Dena Ross has put together a gorgeous gallery from my list of great movie weddings. It makes me want to throw some rice!

Summer Camp Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Nametapes ironed on? Bugspray and sunscreen packed? As kids depart for camp, it is fun to watch some classic movies about the joys and terrors of life among the bunk beds and color wars. 1. Meatballs Bill Murray was the […]

Free Download of Shows for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Just in time for summer vacation, Front Row Fun has a free download of more than three hours of selections from children’s programming including Sid the Science Kid, Pocoyo, Hopla, Hermie and Friends, Hurray for Huckle, WordWorld, Will & Dewitt, […]

While You Wait for ‘Glee’s’ Second Season: Try ‘The Choir’

posted by Nell Minow

Gareth Malone is a choir director who brings music to people who never thought they could be a part of something so purely glorious. This award-winning series comes to American television on July 7. Guaranteed to produce laughter, goosebumps, and […]

Teacher Giveaway: The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve got something very special for the first teacher to write me — directions below. At the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington DC last weekend I attended a reception in honor of The Cat in the Hat and […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1972
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Great Movie Dads for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Father’s Day! 1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” The last line of the movie says it all: “He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night and he […]

Great Dads on Film and TV

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery of great movie dads and list of daddy-daughter movies include wonderful films for families to watch together and talk about the great fathers in their own families. Some of the best dads on film appear on television, which […]

Original ‘Karate Kid’ Marathon on Encore

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the new film with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, Encore is running a “Karate Kid” marathon tonight. Enjoy! The Karate Kid

Spellbound

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:2003
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 2003

In honor of this week’s Scripps Spelling Bee finals, every family should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s movie about the national spelling bee because it is about so much more. It is about the strength of American diversity and the commitment of […]

When I Was 17 — on MTV

posted by Nell Minow

One of the best shows on television right now for teens and their families is MTV’s “When I Was 17.” It’s as simple as the title. Celebrities talk about what they were doing when they were 17 years old. Participants […]

Movies to Salute Our Armed Forces

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting from 2008: In honor of Memorial Day, take a break from picnics and sales and share one of these great films about American soldiers, sailors, and Marines. And be sure to take time thank the military and veterans in […]

The Oracle of Omaha’s Lessons for Children

posted by Nell Minow

The greatest investor in history is Warren Buffett, the only man ever to become a billionaire only through investing. He is giving the vast majority of his fortune to charity through the Gates Foundation. Mr. Buffett’s investment advice has produced […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

Go Green With Kids’ TV Favorites

posted by Nell Minow

Get ready for earth day with new DVDs that help kids understand how to care for our planet. Nick Jr Favorites: Go Green. Dora, Diego, Blue, Kai-Lan and more share information and ideas about respecting our environment. And WordGirl uses […]

List: Movies About and for Spring

posted by Nell Minow

My beloved spoke, and said unto me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing is […]

Oscar Classics for Families

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks very much to the Chicago Tribune for asking me which Oscar-winning classics I’d recommend to families. “It’s never too early to teach children what is possible in terms of quality of performance, writing, direction and cinematography,” says Nell Minow, […]

List: 10 Favorite Podcasts

posted by Nell Minow

I love podcasts! I listen to them in the car and on the metro and even while cooking or cleaning the kitchen and they keep me entertained and engaged. And they all meet one of the other top requirements for […]

Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates Jr.

posted by Nell Minow

Families should make a point to watch “Faces of America,” an engrossing new television series on PBS. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. sits down with celebrities like Stephen Colbert, Meryl Streep, Mario Batali, Eva Longoria, and others to use […]

A Valentine Story from Dave Shmave of Boomerang

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Dave Shmave of my beloved Boomerang for sharing this valentine story. Boomerang, the audio magazine for kids, is one of our family’s favorites, funny, smart, and touching, and inspirational. Try it!

List: Movie Weddings

posted by Nell Minow

Ann Hornaday has a marvelous article in the Washington Post about one of the most popular themes in movies: weddings. And why shouldn’t Hollywood love a good wedding? With its swirl of heightened emotions, its simmering leitmotifs of love and […]

The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2012

As we prepare for the London games, I highly recommend: The First Olympics: Athens 1896, one of my very favorite sports movies ever, is a made-for-TV miniseries about the first modern-day Olympics. We take the Olympics as a given now, […]

Once Upon a Mattress

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a musical version of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorites. Carol Burnett became a star for her portrayal of the kind-hearted but rather loud princess when it premiered on Broadway and she […]

Heartwarming Movies for Chilly Weather

posted by Nell Minow

Too cold to go outside? This is a great time of year for families to spend some quality time together with some stories to warm the spirit. These are some of my favorite movies when I need some cinematic vitamin […]

More from the Muppets

posted by Nell Minow

The Wrap reports that the Muppets are having a comeback. After being put to pasture a few years ago following a string of disappointing films and a ho-hum return to TV, the Muppets are a pop culture phenomenon once again. […]

50 Most Important Religion Movies: Film Snobbery

posted by Nell Minow

Take a look at Phil Hall’s great list of the most important religious films of all time from website Film Snobbery. My favorite film about the life of Jesus, “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” is number 2 on the […]

Plato’s Pond — Middle School Kids Can Solve the Mystery

posted by Nell Minow

Plato’s Pond – US Edition is a great new mystery book for middle schoolers that lets them solve the crime as they learn something about science. Watson and Crick (those names are a tribute to the scientists who discovered the […]

List: The Most Inspiring Movies of the Decade

posted by Nell Minow

The first decade of the 21st century has given us many great films. Here are a dozen I found especially inspiring. From documentaries to fantasies, from real-life heroes to an animated fish, these are the stories that help to show […]

Hannukah on DVD and video

posted by Nell Minow

When all the world is caught up in Christmas, it can help to have some DVDs on hand to explain that some people celebrate a different holiday at this time of year, especially when the stories and songs are told […]

Harry Potter Blu-Ray Special Event with Sneak Preview!

posted by Nell Minow

“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and director David Yates will answer viewer questions during a live community screening event for purchasers of the Blu-ray DVD on December 12th, 2009. This audience will also be the first to see footage from […]

Scholastic: A Night Before Christmas (with Hannukah and Kwanzaa)

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2009

My very favorite series has a special family treat for the winter holidays. Clement Moore’s classic poem about Santa Claus is read by Anthony Edwards. Theodore Bikel reads “In the Month of Kisley,” a delightful Hannukah story about a poor […]

Rosa Parks Changed History on This Date

posted by Nell Minow

On Thursday December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a seamstress and a volunteer secretary for the NAACP, was sitting in the section of a public bus reserved for black passengers. As she rode, the seats designated for white riders were filled […]

A Thanksgiving Treat

posted by Nell Minow

One of my very favorite movies begins with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the original Miracle on 34th Street. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Best wishes to you and your families, and please know how grateful I am for the chance to be […]

Rocky and Bullwinkle Celebrate their 50th Anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Bob Elisberg has a marvelous salute to the sensational Rocky and Bullwinkle, “from the maniacally clever mind of Jay Ward,” who yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first broadcast. My parents were very strict about television, but […]

Five ‘Shorts’ DVDs to Give Away!

posted by Nell Minow

This is exciting! The fantasy/adventure/comedy “Shorts” is about to be released on DVD and thanks to the wonderful folks at Warner Brothers I have FIVE copies to give away to my beloved readers. In my review for Beliefnet and the […]

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

In honor of the World Series, take a look at this documentary about baseball star Hank Greenberg. Brilliant documentary-maker Aviva Kempner has created a gem of a movie to lift the spirit of anyone who cares about baseball — or […]

List: Great Movie Coaches

posted by Nell Minow

The athletes have worked harder than they ever imagined, pushing themselves to the limits of their endurance. They’ve learned how to run faster and hit, kick, or shoot harder. They’ve watched tape of the other team, the champions, the ones […]

List: Halloween Movie Tricks and Treats!

posted by Nell Minow

Halloween gives kids a thrilling opportunity to act out their dreams and pretend to be characters with great power. But it can also be scary and even overwhelming for the littlest trick-or-treaters. An introduction to the holiday with videos from […]

Maurice Sendak on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2008

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are this week and loved it — or if your children are too young for it but want to enjoy Sendak on film, try the Sendak collection from my favorite Scholastic Storybook series. […]

A Very Brave Witch

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2009

Here’s a great new DVD from my all-time favorite series, just in time for Halloween — A Very Brave Witch…and more Halloween stories. In the title story, a little witch who has been taught that humans are scary decides to […]

Reading Rockets: Where the Wild Things Are Family Kit

posted by Nell Minow

Get ready for the release of “Where the Wild Things Are” by reading the book! Reading Rockets has a great site with resources including an interview with author Maurice Sendak. Did you know he originally wrote it as a story […]

Two ‘Toy Stories” in Three Dimensions!

posted by Nell Minow

In anticipation of the release of Toy Story 3 in 3D, Disney is issuing the first two as a 3D double feature. The original Toy Story was the first computer-animated feature film but what make it successful was its heartwarming […]

List: Movies About Courtesy

posted by Nell Minow

As I noted last week in my discussion of the recent outbreak of rudeness, courtesy is a neglected virtue, often dismissed as tangential or even hypocritical. But courtesy is sincere, based on a recognition of the dignity deserved by all […]

A Movie With A Prayer for Peace: ‘Friendly Persuasion’

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe today’s International Day of Peace and A Million Minutes for Peace, an initiative to get 1 million people to pledge to pray for peace, I would like to recommend a film called Friendly Persuasion, set in the […]

Beany and Cecil

posted by Nell Minow

Parents and some grandparents will remember the old “Beany and Cecil” show about the boy with the propeller hat and his friend the sea-sick sea serpent and their adventures in outsmarting the dastardly Dishonest John. I’m very pleased that these […]

Back to School Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Last year, I made lists of great movie college professors, and high school and grade school teachers. In honor of the first week of school, here are some of my other favorite and family-friendly classroom classics: 1. The Magic School […]

Murder Mystery Classics on Film

posted by Nell Minow

TCM has come out with a terrific collection of four of the all-time best classic murder mystery movies, the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries, featuring: “The Maltese Falcon” Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Astor are […]

List: 12 Movie Heroes

posted by Nell Minow

Humanity’s earliest stories were about heroes. I’m sure that the same people who created those breathtaking cave paintings up to 25 thousand years ago sat around the campfire telling stories of people who triumphed over charging sabertooth tigers or assaults […]

Angels in Movies and Television: Before 1970

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Leventry’s list of post-1990 angels on movies and television got me thinking about some of my favorites from the old days. Hard to believe that performers from Jack Benny to Cary Grant to Donald Duck have taken on an […]

Pete’s Dragon

posted by Nell Minow

“Pete’s Dragon,” a warm-hearted Disney musical fantasy combining live action and animation, is out on DVD today. It stars Helen Reddy (singing the Oscar-nominated song, “Candle on the Water”), Mickey Rooney, and Jim Dale (narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks). […]

Sid the Science Kid

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date:August 4, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 4, 2009
DVD Release Date: August 4, 2009

Preschool programs focus on words and numbers and there has not been much about science. But all children are inherently scientists, endlessly curious about the world around them and constantly performing experiments and asking “why.” The Jim Henson company introduces […]

Super Why!

posted by Nell Minow

I am very pleased to see this delightful DVD re-issued. I love the way it encourages kids to read by bringing them inside the stories. Meet Jack and the Giant, the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Ridinghood, and the Princess […]

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