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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom's Top Picks for Families Archives

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genre

  • Action
  • Animation
  • Comedy
  • Classic
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Horror
  • Musical
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Spy
  • Thriller
  • War
  • Western

quality

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

who's watching

  • My entire family
  • Just the grown-ups
  • Little kids
  • Big kids

age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
  • 4th - 6th grade
  • Middle school
  • High school
  • Mature High schooler
  • Adult
  • All Ages




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 […]

Chicka Chicka 123… and More Counting Fun

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 28, 2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 28, 2009

First-time preschoolers can get a head start, kids returning in the fall can get a refresher, and everyone in the family can have fun with this terrific new DVD of counting stories from my very favorite series by Scholastic. I […]

Recess Monkey: Great Music for Kids and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Seattle-based teachers-turned-music group Recess Monkey came to Washington DC to play at XM Radio and Jammin’ Java this week and I was lucky enough to see them perform before a wildly enthusiastic crowd of very excited kids and very happy […]

Harry Potter: Looking Back

posted by Nell Minow

As we get ready for the new Harry Potter movie and look forward to the final two, it’s a good time to remember where it all started. Look at how young the stars were in the first film, Harry Potter […]

List: Great Comedy Duos

posted by Nell Minow

As I was watching Year One, I thought about why the Michael Cera/Jack Black teaming does not work very well. They are both very funny guys, and they have that yin/yang element that propels most comedy teams, with one expansive […]

List: Happiness Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I believe that happiness is a choice, and one that requires courage and honesty. And I believe that happiness is a moral choice. We spend so much time thinking that we would be happy if we only had this or […]

Paperclips

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2004
DVD Release Date:2005
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2004
DVD Release Date: 2005

The tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC last week reminds us yet again of the importance of making sure that future generations do not just learn the statistics but truly understand the near-incomprehensible devastation of genocide and […]

‘Billy Elliot’ — Before the Tony

posted by Nell Minow

Last night, “Billy Elliot” and its three young stars won Tony awards. Now is a good time to watch the movie about the boy who wants to dance that inspired it all (rated R for constant very bad language but […]

List: Daddies and Daughters in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Eddie Murphy’s new release, “Imagine That,” Father’s Day, and the two best dads I know, my own dear father and my darling husband, here’s a list of great movie dads and daughters. 1. A Little Princess I […]

Dr. Toy

posted by Nell Minow

Stevanne Auerbach is better known as “Dr. Toy,” and she and her website are great resources for parents on issues of toys and ply. Her book is Dr. Toy’s Smart Play: How To Raise A Child With a High PQ […]

10 Great Movie Moms

posted by Nell Minow

Re-posting from 2008–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 […]

Bedtime for Frances

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The wonderful Scholastic series has a very special new release, Bedtime for Frances, with three animated stories about the beloved little badger. Author Russell Hoban’s Frances stories are filled with gentle humor and perceptive insights about the way children see […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Raising Spiritually Healthy Children

posted by Nell Minow

I am very pleased that one of my favorite people will be talking to parents about raising spiritually healthy children in a Tikkun telephone forum today at 6:00 PM PST (9:00 PM EST). Rev. Debra Haffner has worked with parents […]

Father Does Know Best

posted by Nell Minow

This is what television used to look like. Watch this beguiling episode of “Father Knows Best” where Bud gets into trouble for shirking his chores to play a baseball game. It is impossible not to charmed by the innocent wholesomeness […]

Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2009

The third in the award-winning series of Gustafer Yellowgold is coming out on DVD March 17, featuring guest artists Lisa Loeb and Wilco’s John Stirratt and Pat Sansone. These tuneful treats from artist/songwriter Morgan Taylor are family favorites, with singable […]

List: Black History Month

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. 1. Glory The true story of the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of their own […]

I Have a Dream (Music Video)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Black History Month, I am proud to post this wonderful tribute to Martin Luther King from Little Dizzy films. The song was written by Pat Boone the day he heard the news of Martin Luther King Jr’s […]

Windy Day — Short from John and Faith Hubley

posted by Nell Minow

Writing about the original version of “The Electric Company” reminded me of one of my all-time favorite short films by John and Faith Hubley, who later went on to work on the “Letterman” segments of that show. It is the […]

Return of ”The Electric Company’

posted by Nell Minow

Hey you guys! The classic 1970’s show The Electric Company taught a generation of kids how to take the letters they learned on “Sesame Street” and turn them into words and sentences. The superstar cast included Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, […]

Make Em Laugh — The (Very Funny) History of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow

There is no better way to strengthen family connections than combining shared laughter and history. So every family should make time to watch the hilarious new PBS series “Make Em Laugh,” the history of comedy on television and in the […]

Middle School Confidential: Be Confident in Who You Are

posted by Nell Minow

Most adults still shiver a little when the subject of middle school comes up. It is a time of the most polarizing extremes as we first begin to question everything we have been told and everything we thought we knew […]

KidThing — Stories, Games, and Educational Content for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Kidthing is a safe and secure place to find games and educational content for children. Kidthing recently won The National Parenting Center’s 2009 Seal of Approval and has been selected to be the sole digital distribution partner for the National […]

Kids’ Inauguration Info

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate the inauguration of the nation’s 44th president with the help of the fabulously rich and engaging resources of Our White House. The non-profit, non-partisan National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance has created a free online presidential inauguration activity guide […]

NatureTech from the Smithsonian

posted by Nell Minow

NatureTech is a terrific new DVD series from the Smithsonian Network that shows us some of the best ideas about energy, flight, and building materials technology come from observing nature. Biomimetics is the new science of looking to nature for […]

Five Children and It

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite books is Five Children and It, the E. Nesbit classic about children who discover a magical creature and have a series of adventures when he gives them one wish a day. The movie, starring Kenneth Branagh […]

The Top 10 Jewish Movie Characters from Esther Kustanowitz

posted by Nell Minow

Esther Kustanowitz posted her list of the top 10 Jewish movie characters on Idol Chatter. Some are a bit of a stretch — Obi-Wan Kenobi? Melanie Griffith in “A Stranger Among Us?” Aside from the fact that she is only […]

My List of Comfort Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery about the best movies to watch when you’re in bed with the sniffles or flu has been posted. The right movies can help you pass the time until you feel better. They can even help you recover faster, […]

Tribute: Eartha Kitt

posted by Nell Minow

Eartha Kitt, who died this week, was an electrifying performer. The warm reminiscences about her incendiary performances on and off-stage are as entertaining as the legendary actress/singer was herself. The Washington Post had Will Haygood’s hilarious recounting of the most […]

Disney Treasures: Dr. Syn, Annette, Donald 4

posted by Nell Minow

The latest set of Disney Treasures really live up to the name with some extra-special treats from the Disney vaults. Annette – 1957-1958 Season Everyone’s favorite Mousketeer was the 1950’s version of Miley Cyrus. The 1957-58 episodes featured here include […]

Two More Neglected Christmas Classics

posted by Nell Minow

We’re No Angels (the original with Humphrey Bogart, not the remake with Sean Penn) is an off-beat Christmas story about three escaped convicts who end up solving the problems of a middle-class French family with the help of a pet […]

Horton Hears a Who

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:March 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: March 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2008

They finally got Dr. Seuss right in this warm-hearted and heart-warming story of the elephant who is “faithful 100 percent” and the world on a little speck of dust that he rescues. Jim Carrey provides the voice of Horton, an […]

Remember the Night

posted by Nell Minow

Preston Sturges wrote and directed some of Hollywood’s greatest comedies, specializing in wickedly sharp satires like “The Lady Eve” and “Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.” But the first of his screenplays to be produced was this bittersweet Christmas romance about a […]

Tribute: Van Johnson

posted by Nell Minow

Van Johnson, one of the best light comedian/song and dance men of the 1940s-50s, died this week at age 92. His boyish, All-American good looks made him a popular choice for musicals, romantic comedies, and some dramatic roles as well. […]

Speekaboos: Stars Read Stories to Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out Speekaboos — storybook recordings featuring Kevin Bacon, Kelly Ripa, Marcia Gay Harden, Minnie Driver, Clay Aiken, Bob Saget, Fran Drescher, Tom Arnold, Chazz Palminteri, Harry Shearer, Nick Cannon and many others reading stories for children. […]

Horton’s Lessons

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to look at the wonderful gallery of “Twelve Lessons Horton Taught Me” by Hillary Fields. Inspired by the upcoming release of the DVD, Fields describes the spiritual lessons of the Dr. Seuss classic from “a person’s a person, […]

Great Books for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia project offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. WETA, Washington DC’s PBS Station, has worked with the U.S. Department of […]

Movie Alphabet Soup

posted by Nell Minow

Christian Toto’s participation in the movie blog alphabet soup meme started by blogcabins inspired me to create my own alphabetical list of movie titles. My theme is “the second 200″ — these are movies that may not be in my […]

Wall•E

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 27, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008

700 years after the last humans left the planet they had made uninhabitable through environmental degradation, one small robot is still continuing to crunch the mountains of trash. He is a Waste Allocation Load-Lifter Earth-Class, or Wall•E. His eyes are […]

Still Leaving it to Beaver

posted by Nell Minow

The Washington Post has a poignant tribute to Leave It to Beaver from a man who found his favorite childhood show unexpectedly comforting when he was struggling with serious illness. “Leave It to Beaver” rejuvenates me. I need its gentle […]

Boomerang Explains the Financial Crisis for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Do you want to find a way to help children understand and the financial crisis? (Could you use a little help understanding it yourself?) Do terms like “sub-prime” and “bailout” make your eyes glaze over? Boomerang, the brilliant audio magazine […]

Interview: Phylicia Rashad of ‘The Cosby Show’

posted by Nell Minow

One of my all-time favorite television moms was Phylicia Rashad as the ever-capable, ever-glamorous, ever-wise, and ever-beautiful Clair Huxtable, lawyer, mother of five, and wife of the ever-bemused Cliff Huxtable. It was a joy to speak with her about this […]

Dana Stevens on the Melancholy Beauty of the Charlie Brown Specials

posted by Nell Minow

Slate’s Dana Stevens has a lovely essay on “Why I love the melancholy Peanuts holiday specials,” in honor of a new holiday collection dvd set. Those specials–at least the big three: the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas shows that were recently […]

Alice Upside Down

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades

Based on the popular series of books by Phylis Reynolds Naylor, this understated but sensitive and warm-hearted film is funny, touching, and wise. Middle school is miserable enough, but for Alice (Alyson Stoner) there are complications that are even more […]

List: Election Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of one of the most exciting elections in American history, here is a list of ten classic documentaries about elections and politics. 1. Primary This pioneering political documentary from Robert Drew, the first in a trilogy, shows candidate […]

Please Vote for Me

posted by Nell Minow

There is no better way to make elections real to kids than this award-winning documentary about the first-ever election in a third-grade classroom in China. In Please Vote for Me , the children are completely unfamiliar with even the concept […]

Baby Book Series: Clean-Up Time, Bye-Bye Time

posted by Nell Minow

There are zillions of books to teach children the alphabet, colors, and numbers, but this lovely new series of board books from Free Spirit Publishing helps toddlers learn important skills like listening, going to sleep, saying good-bye, and cleaning up. […]

Talking to Children about Poverty

posted by Nell Minow

Families may find that their children have picked up some of the concerns about the economy from the news or overheard adult conversations. They will need to be reassured that even if their families have suffered some financial setbacks, they […]

McCain and Obama for Children

posted by Nell Minow

There are very fine illustrated biographies of both candidates for children, a good way to begin a conversation about how we select our leaders and the importance of being able to disagree in a respectful and honorable manner.

Being Dad: Inspiration and Information for Dads to Be

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008

40 dads, 6 experts, 9 months, and 80 minutes. Being Dad is a sort of “what to expect while SHE’s expecting,” a man-to-man welcome to fatherhood from “a guy’s point of view.” This guys talking to guys about the stuff […]

Home Movie Day

posted by Nell Minow

Home Movie Day is October 18, and everyone from Martin Scorsese to John Waters is urging all of us to participate. The Center for Home Movies collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes understanding of home movies and amateur motion […]

Sleeping Beauty

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1958
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1958
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Disney’s gorgeous “Sleeping Beauty” is out in a magnificent new Diamond edition this week. This classic should be in the library of every family and every animation fan. The King and Queen happily celebrate the birth of their daughter, Princess […]

Thank You

posted by Nell Minow

The two most powerful words I know are “thank you.” A simple statement of acknowledgment and gratitude transforms the person who says it as well as the person who hears it. If every one of us just added five “Thank […]

Election Collection: Schoolhouse Rock

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

Even grown-ups are having a tough time staying on top of this year’s historic Presidential election. So we won’t tell anyone if some of the parents sit down with their kids to get a refresher on electoral politics with the […]

Contest Reminder: Faerie Tale Theatre

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t forget that Tuesday the 30th is the deadline for entering the contest for a full DVD set of Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. The series has just been re-released on DVD and I have FOUR copies to give away! […]

Tribute: Paul Newman

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Newman died yesterday at age 83 after a long struggle with cancer. This tribute from Slate by Dahlia Lithwick describes Newman’s unassuming generosity in contributing a quarter of a billion dollars, 100% of the profits from his food companies, […]

‘Gabriel Over the White House’ — The President Finds God

posted by Nell Minow

A little-seen 1933 film called “Gabriel Over the White House” has some themes that are particularly resonant in this time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and this historic Presidential campaign. Walter Houston (father of director John Huston and grandfather of actress […]

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Arrrrrrrrrrr! Avast me hearties, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! If you have not read the classic Dave Barry tribute to this most wonderfully silly of holidays, you are in for a treat. And what better way to celebrate […]

Contest: Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre

posted by Nell Minow

From 1982-1987 actress Shelly Duvall produced and hosted a series of fairy tales on Showtime, starring some of Hollywood’s top performers. Christopher Reeve and Matthew Broderick played very charming princes, and princesses included Bernadette Peters as Sleeping Beauty, Susan Sarandon […]

Apostles of Comedy

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:September 9, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008

Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, […]

Interview: Ron Pearson of ‘Apostles of Comedy’

posted by Nell Minow

Ron Pearson of the new DVD Apostles of Comedy answered some of my questions about his tour. Pearson starred for several years on “Malcolm & Eddie,” guest starred on “The Drew Carey Show,” “Two Guys and a Girl,” “The George […]

Jim Henson’s ‘Unstable Fables: Tortoise Vs. Hare’

posted by Nell Minow

Set 15 years after the classic Aesop fable about race between the over-confident Hare and the slow-but-steady tortoise, this updated version from The Jim Henson Company out on DVD this week has the two creatures planning a rematch, this time […]

Online Audio and Video Resources

posted by Nell Minow

With not much new in theaters this week and next week, it’s a good time to investigate some of the great online resources for entertainment. I was delighted to find out that there is still a way to see Joss […]

Interview: Travel With Kids

posted by Nell Minow

Robert Benchley famously said that there are two kinds of travel: first class and with children. But family trips are often among the most beloved memories and inspire many permanent family references, in-jokes, and traditions. The Travel With Kids series […]

Yes to Running

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

Grammy-award winning singer-storyteller Bill Harley has a great new concert performance DVD for families called Yes to Running: Bill Harley Live. Harley is best known for his funny and clever songs and stories for kids (with some parent-friendly lessons about […]

Adventures in Faith, Honesty, and Courage

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

The great “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” animated series has three new releases today: Adventures in Faith, Adventures in Honesty and Adventures in Courage. These are classic stories that have thrilled audiences through the ages because they are about […]

Contest: The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow

I am thrilled to have FIVE copies of this week’s DVD pick of the week, The First Olympics, one of my all-time favorites. This two-part television miniseries an outstanding family film about the first modern-day Olympics in 1896, exciting, touching, […]

Wired’s 25th Anniversary Tribute to ‘Wargames’

posted by Nell Minow

I recently included War Games in my list of great movie computers. Wired Magazine has a fascinating salute to the movie’s 25th anniversary and the way it influenced a generation of proto-geeks in the current issue, featuring interviews with the […]

Interview: Christine Frisbee on Healthy Siblings of Disabled Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The healthy siblings of disabled or sick children are often “the forgotten ones” as understandably pre-occupied parents devote their attention to the child whose needs seem most pressing. Author Christine Frisbee lets these siblings tell their own stories in Day […]

Corduroy…and More Stories About Caring

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2008
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008

My very favorite DVD series for kids is saluting the 40th anniversary of the classic book Corduroy with a beautiful new DVD version. It is the story of a toy bear who goes off in search of his missing button […]

Lists: Great Sports Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

10. The Heart of the Game A dedicated girls’ basketball coach and a talented player with some daunting challenges make this an unforgettable story. 9. 16 Days of Glory Bud Greenspan’s documentary series about the Olympics give you a front-row […]

List: The Top 25 Law Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all […]

Country Sings Disney

posted by Nell Minow

Some of country’s brightest stars sing some of Disney’s most hummable tunes on this new release. It’s a pleasure to hear soundtrack hits like Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” from “Cars” and Tim McGraw’s “Wherever the Trail May Lead” […]

Tribute: Thomas M. Disch

posted by Nell Minow

Science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch, who died on the 4th of July, wrote one movie for families, the wonderful animated film, The Brave Little Toaster. It is the Toy Story-style tale of a group of appliances left behind by […]

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 […]

Shipwrecked

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

A Norwegian boy named Hakon (Stian Smestad) is being pushed around by some bullies. He warns them that his father will take care of them when he gets back from sea, and they tell him his father owes so much […]

American Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR

Get ready for the upcoming release of the first American Girls feature film, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” starring Abigail Breslin, with the DVD series, The American Girl Movie Collection, including “Samantha – An American Girl Holiday,” “Felicity – An […]

Schoolhouse Rock

posted by Nell Minow

Just after the Children’s Television Workshop realized that if children could memorize advertising jingles they could learn the alphabet and numbers and other important lessons through lively short films for PBS, a group of advertisers and educators got together to […]

Prince Edward Island and Anne of Green Gables

posted by Nell Minow

This week we are visiting Canada’s Prince Edward Island, well known to fans of classic children’s books as the home of Anne of Green Gables and the author who created her, L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery. When I was in […]

The Sword in the Stone

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

Based on the book by T.H. White, this is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed “Wart,” the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on […]

Summer Reading for Kids and Their Families

posted by Nell Minow

Happy longest day of the year! And happy summer. Long summer days are a wonderful time to rediscover the pleasures of reading. Families should make sure that everyone age 7 and older has a library card and make a point […]

Movies about Values

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet has posted my gallery of movies that illustrate important values like integrity, courage, courtesy, learning, and peace. Movies are our sagas, our myths, our touchstones, and our collective cultural heritage. They are also one way that we teach ourselves […]

Tribute: Cyd Charisse

posted by Nell Minow

USA Today’s Jim Cheng said it best: “Talk about a career with legs.” The beautiful dancer from Hollywood’s golden age died today at age 86. Born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas, she was a professional ballerina at age 16 […]

Diary of a Spider

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:May 27, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008

As I have said many times, my very favorite DVDs for kids are the Scholastic Storybook Series of great children’s books. The latest is Diary of a Spider… and More Cute Critter Stories. The title story is just what it […]

The Best Fathers in Movies and Television

posted by Nell Minow

Check out my Gallery of 10 of my all-time favorite movie dads. And check out Idol Chatter’s list of the best TV dads. I love all the fathers on all the list and in the comments, especially Andy Griffith. I […]

Five Movie Computers

posted by Nell Minow

Computers can sometimes be full characters in movies — they play an important part in stories of all kinds — adventure, science-fiction, even romance. The one thing movie portrayals of computers seldom are is accurate and people who actually work […]

Thomas the Tank Engine Gets a New Narrator

posted by Nell Minow

Lionsgate/HIT Entertainment announce a new narrator for this fall’s upcoming feature-length Thomas the Tank Engine DVD release, “Thomas & Friends: The Great Discovery.” Following the wonderful voiceover work from Ringo Starr, George Carlin, and Alec Baldwin is this glamorous leading […]

Turner Classic Movies for Families

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite childhood memories was a weekly television series in my home town of Chicago called Family Classics, hosted by local children’s TV star Frazier Thomas. My family watched it together each week, and that made it extra […]

DVDs for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Dad does not need a new tie! Make him some breakfast in bed and a hand-made card and then how about some DVDs the family can share and enjoy together? If Dad is in his 50’s, he’ll enjoy some of […]

Great Movie Teachers, Part 2: High School

posted by Nell Minow

As promised, here is my follow-up to the list of great movie professors, great movie high school teachers. Another list of grade school teachers is in the works so stay tuned. 10. Dead Poets Society Robin Williams inspires his students […]

The Great Race

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
Movie Release Date:July 1, 1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
Movie Release Date: July 1, 1965

Dedicated to “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy,” this movie is both a spoof and a loving tribute to the silent classics, with good guys, bad guys, romance, adventure, slapstick, music, wonderful antique cars, and the biggest pie fight in history. […]

Meerkat Manor returns!

posted by Nell Minow

“Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation” starts on Animal Planet June 6. And tonight, families can prepare by watching “Meerkat Manor: The Story Begins,” a feature film narrated by Whoopi Goldberg about the early story of Flower, before she became the […]

Thanks for the Memories: Bob Hope memorabilia auction

posted by Nell Minow

Bob Hope’s daughter has announced that some of the memorabilia from her father’s collection will be auctioned off for charity. All of his papers will go to the Library of Congress and much of his collection is being given to […]

Happy 100 Jimmy Stewart!

posted by Nell Minow

Jimmy Stewart, number 3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 male movie stars of all time, was born 100 years ago today in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The Oscar he won for The Philadelphia Story was on display […]

Sesame Street’s TLC Series for Military and their Families

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR

Sesame Street salutes the members of the United States Armed Forces with a series of DVDs and other educational materials and resources to help friends and families cope with absence, loss, and change. This bilingual (English and Spanish) multimedia outreach […]

Gregory’s Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 26, 1982
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: May 26, 1982

Gregory (John Sinclair) is a gangling but amiable Scottish teenager who is mildly befuddled by just about everything, especially Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), who takes his place on the soccer team. In contrast, the girls he knows, including his ten-year-old sister, […]

I Remember Mama

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1948
DVD Release Date:2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1948
DVD Release Date: 2004

Kathryn Forbes’ memoirs of her Norwegian immigrant family are lovingly brought to life in this classic, often found on television on Mother’s Day. Mama is played by the luminous Irene Dunne, far from the sophisticated comedies and glossy romances she […]

Great Characters: Eve Arden

posted by Nell Minow

You know the character of the leading lady’s wisecracking best friend? No one ever filled that role better than Eve Arden (real name: Eunice Quedens), whose birthday we celebrate today. Seen-it-all but not cynical, she was the ideal sidekick for […]

The Red Balloon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Two recent films showed the influence of this classic French film about a little boy befriended by a red balloon and now the original is available on DVD for the first time. “CJ7″ from China and “The Flight of the […]

Astaire and Rogers: La Belle, La Perfectly Swell Romance

posted by Nell Minow

They said she gave him sex and he gave her class. In eight heavenly movies from the 1930’s at RKO Studios and then with one more — their only one in color — at MGM, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers […]

The Pixar Story: tonight at 10 on STARZ

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 27, 3007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 27, 3007

The most successful movie studio in Hollywood history is Pixar, which created the first computer-animated feature film, Toy Story. Every one of their films has not only made money, but every one has made over $100 million. What is even […]

The Miracle Worker

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:May 23, 1962
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: May 23, 1962

Today is the 142nd anniversary of the birth of one of the most extraordinary teachers in American history, Annie Sullivan, who gave a little blind and deaf girl the power of language. William Gibson, who wrote two plays about the […]

PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go movies available for download

posted by Nell Minow

Episodes of Boohbah, Caillou, Cyberchase, and Liberty’s Kids are now available for free download from public library patrons’ home computers. The award-winning series are designed to enhance child development with age-appropriate, diverse content focusing on social-emotional development, math skills and […]

Interview with Hugh Welchman of “Peter and the Wolf”

posted by Nell Minow

Peter and the Wolf,” this year’s Oscar-winner for best short animated film will be shown on PBS this Wednesday from 8-9 Eastern Time. It is a brilliantly imaginative film and well worth setting aside some family time to watch it […]

Trevor Romain’s DVDs about Kid Problems

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Trevor Romain knows how to talk to kids about the problems they think no one understands. His DVDs are a great way to begin conversations at home, in school, in Scout troops, religious groups, or in other community gatherings. They […]

God Bless Anita Renfroe

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see a terrific article about the fabulous Anita Renfroe in the New York Times. It is especially gratifying to see the mainstream media embrace a performer who is frank and upfront about her Christianity. It is […]

One Hundred and One Dalmatians

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1961
DVD Release Date:February 9, 2015
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1961
DVD Release Date: February 9, 2015

“One Hundred and One Dalmatians” is one of the best-loved Disney classics (and the first of its animated films to take place in a contemporary setting). There is nothing more irresistible than 99 frisky spotted puppies and there has never […]

Interview: Paul O. Zelinsky

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to have a chance to talk to illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky, who was given the Caldecott award highest honor for children’s book illustration for his work on Rapunzel. Paul talked with me about working with animators to […]

Top Picks: Yo Gabba Gabba

posted by Nell Minow

Is there a more adorable television show ever than Nick Jr.’s “Yo Gabba Gabba?” I love this mash-up of movie star, viral pioneer “Numa Numa,” and good old-fashioned silly dance fun.

Andy’s Airplanes: Interview with John Pierre Francia

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to producer/creater John Pierre Francia, who was inspired by his experience as a flight instructor to create a new DVD series about a boy who flies a different airplane to a new place every week, learning about geography, […]

Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas

posted by Nell Minow

Judy Barber wrote a wonderful comment about this neglected gem: One of THE sweetest movie or video is Emmet Otter Jugband Christmas, a muppet video. I make everyone watch it at Christmas. And the funnest thing about it is the […]

The Best Years of Our Lives

posted by rkumar
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1946
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1946

Three men are returning home from service during WWII. Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), a bombardier, Al Stephenson (Frederic March), a middle- aged footsoldier, and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell), a sailor who has lost both hands, fly back to their home […]

Holiday

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2006
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2006

After a whirlwind romance at a ski resort, Johnny Case (Cary Grant) is on his way to meet his new fiancée, Julia Seton (Doris Nolan). Overwhelmed by the mansion at the address she gave him, he assumes she must be […]

Chariots of Fire

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date:1981
DVD Release Date:July 9, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adult situations and language
Movie Release Date: 1981
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2012

In honor of the 2012 Olympics in London, this 1981 classic and winner of the Oscar for Best Picture has been reissued. This is the true story of two athletes who raced in the 1924 Olympics, one a privileged Jewish […]

Singin’ in the Rain

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1952
DVD Release Date:July 16, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1952
DVD Release Date: July 16, 2012

The 60th anniversary of one of the best-loved movies of all time is being celebrated with gorgeous new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is paired on screen with Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan), who would […]

Lady and the Tramp

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1955
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1955
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2012

Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day, Disney’s romantic animated classic “Lady and the Tramp” is out this week for the first time in a Diamond DBD/Blu-Ray combo. Lady is the pampered cocker spaniel of a couple she knows as “Jim Dear” […]

The Court Jester

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1956
DVD Release Date:1999
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1956
DVD Release Date: 1999

“Life could not better be” than the pure cinematic joy of this movie from the first frame to the last.  Danny Kaye has his best role as Hawkins, a follower of the Black Fox, a Robin Hood- style rebel who […]

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Slate's Compilation of Movie Scenes With Teenagers Climbing Through Bedroom Windows
Slate has a very funny supercut inspired by a scene in "Paper Towns," where Cara Delevingne climbs through the window of her next door neighbor, played by Nat Wolff. Apparently every movie about teenagers features someone climbing through a window. ...

posted 8:00:50am Aug. 03, 2015 | read full post »

A "Star Wars" Superfan Breaks Down All the Changes and Tweaks
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The Oldest Living Movie Stars
The Film Experience has a put together a list of the 200 oldest movie stars, from age 82-105.  It includes two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland ("Gone With the Wind"), John Wayne c0-star Maureen O'Hara, and century-old Norman Lloyd, who ...

posted 8:00:53am Aug. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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