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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 […]

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat

posted by Nell Minow

I don’t have an embed code, but you can visit YouTube to see an animated version of a Talmudic story in honor of today’s celebration of the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat that gives thanks for trees and other things […]

Alpha and Omega

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and some mild action
Movie Release Date:September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date:January 11, 2011
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and some mild action
Movie Release Date: September 17, 2010
DVD Release Date: January 11, 2011

Two young Canadian wolves representing the extremes of the social scale join forces in the animated “Alpha and Omega,” which keeps them stuck in the bland middle. Though the visuals are in 3D, the film barely manages to register in […]

Gulliver’s Travels: the Animated Feature

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: 2010

In the early days of animation, Disney’s biggest rival was the studio run by the Fleischer brothers, whose Betty Boop, Popeye, and Out of the Inkwell cartoons were very popular. Their first feature, released in 1939, was “Gulliver’s Travels.” While […]

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,” […]

Despicable Me

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date:July 9, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 14, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Movie Release Date: July 9, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010

We usually just take it for granted that the villain wants to rule the world without worrying too much about why. But one of the many charms of this utterly delightful film is that we get a glimpse that is […]

Shrek Forever After

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date:May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date:December 7, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action, some rude humor, and brief language
Movie Release Date: May 21, 2010
DVD Release Date: December 7, 2010

Talk about happily ever after! “Shrek Forever After” is the best Shrek since the first one. After a third episode that proved they couldn’t take it much further by going forward, they’ve found a clever way to reboot the story […]

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 […]

Interview: Glen Keane of ‘Tangled’

posted by Nell Minow

Glen Keane is the man behind some of Disney’s most beloved animated films, including “Tarzan,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Aladdin.” As producer of the latest Disney movie, “Tangled,” he guided the project for more than fourteen years. It was […]

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Thanksgiving!

Disney’s A Christmas Carol

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date:November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary sequences and images
Movie Release Date: November 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 16, 2010

Writer-director Robert Zemeckis wisely chose the most unquenchable of stories for his technological marvel. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, already filmed with everyone from Michael Caine to Patrick Stewart, George C. Scott, Vanessa Williams, and Mr. Magoo in the role […]

‘Cars 2′ — Start Your Engines!

posted by Nell Minow

Disney/Pixar has released the trailer for next summer’s “Cars 2!”

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 […]

Happy Halloween!

posted by Nell Minow

From The Nightmare Before Christmas. Happy trick or treating!

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

posted by Nell Minow

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

Tribute: Alex Anderson, Creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle

posted by Nell Minow

Alex Anderson, who came up with the beloved characters Rocky the flying squirrel, Bullwinkle Moose, and Dudley Do-Right, died this week at age 90. While Jay Ward usually gets the credit, it was his childhood friend and partner Anderson who […]

Monster House

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:October 1, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary images and sequences, thematic elements, some crude humor and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: October 1, 2012

My DVD pick this week is one of my favorites for Halloween. “Honey, I’m home” takes on a cheerfully creepy new meaning in “Monster House,” a fresh, fun, and deliciously scary animated film produced by Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the […]

How to Train Your Dragon

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date:March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date:October 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild language
Movie Release Date: March 26, 2010
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2010

The sheer exhilaration of flying along with our hero on the back of his new best friend, a dragon, is exceeded only by the exhilaration of top-notch film-making with a witty and heartwarming script, endearing characters, dazzling visuals, and a […]

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

posted by Nell Minow

Yabba-Dabba-Doo! Happy 50th to the Flintstones

posted by Nell Minow

Happy anniversary to the Flintstones, who were the first prime-time animated series fifty years ago (and who remembers the anniversary song from the show?) Inspired by “The Honeymooners,” it was a stone-age story of two couples, bombastic Fred and his […]

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date:March 12, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: September 24, 2010
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2011

Zack Snyder tries to do for feathers what he did for abs and biceps in “300” in this 3D animated adventure based on three books from the 15-book series of Ga’hoole novels by Kathryn Lansky. Every snowflake, feather, and talon […]

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:September 21, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010

Tinker Bell has found her voice in a popular series of DVDs that give Peter Pan’s sidekick a chance for her own adventures in her home town of Pixie Hollow. She and her fairy friends Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn and Iridessa […]

A Goofy Teacher

posted by Nell Minow

Happy back to school week!

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 31, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010

Angelina Ballerina: Love to Dance, the first chance to see the new CGI makeover for everyone’s favorite dancing mouse, comes out this week. I have three DVDs to give away and a special prize for everyone who writes to me. […]

Contest: James and the Giant Peach on Blu-Ray

posted by Nell Minow

This is a treat. Before he made “Coraline,” director Henry Selick made the enchanting “James and the Giant Peach,” based on Roald Dahl’s classic book and featuring the voices of Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, and “Frazier’s” Jane Leaves. It’s now […]

Trailer: Rango

posted by Nell Minow

That teaser trailer with the plastic wind-up fish floating across a desert road was intriguing, so I was glad to see more about next spring’s release, “Rango,” starring Johnny Depp.

Tinker Bell Says ‘Happy Summer!’

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a sneak peek from the upcoming “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue,” coming this fall on DVD and Blu-Ray. In this new story, Tinker Bell meets a human for the first time – an 8-year old girl named […]

‘Day & Night’

posted by Nell Minow

Pixar began with short films and it still prefaces each of its features with a short that gives them a chance to try something or someone new. That’s the best place to see the up and coming talent who will […]

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 […]

Toy Story

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1995
DVD Release Date:March 30, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1995
DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010

Celebrate the release of “Toy Story 3″ with another look at the original — Pixar’s first feature release was the first theatrical released animated entirely by computer. It is now available in a pristine Blu-Ray version that pops off the […]

The Quay Brothers: The Calligrapher

posted by Nell Minow

Pioneering animators The Quay brothers created this breathtaking short film for the BBC, which rejected it. That just makes it even more fun to watch.

Avatar

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking
Movie Release Date:December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:April 20, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking
Movie Release Date: December 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010

NOTE: The DVD being released this week is a stripped-down 2D version. Later this year there will be another release with many more extras. Writer-director-producer James Cameron (“Titanic,” “Terminator”) spent a record-breaking $230 million on “Avatar,” and the good news […]

Toy Story 2

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:March 30, 2010
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010

Wow. WOW! “Toy Story 2″ is stunning, witty, exciting, enchanting, and very moving. Amazingly, it is even better than the sensationally entertaining original. The animation is better — the facial expressions of the main characters should qualify the animators for […]

Interview: Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’

posted by Nell Minow

Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders are the writer-directors behind one of the best family films of the year, “How to Train Your Dragon.” It was a very great pleasure to talk with them about adapting the popular books and the […]

Fantastic Mr. Fox

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date:November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date:February 18, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor
Movie Release Date: November 25, 2009
DVD Release Date: February 18, 2014

Today Criterion issues a gorgeous new Blu-Ray edition of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” with lots of great behind-the-scenes extras.  Director Wes Anderson has often seemed more interested in his films’ props and sets than the characters and stories. His last movie’s […]

Astro Boy

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date:October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Movie Release Date: October 23, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

A show of hands, everyone. If you think it’s a good idea to begin a movie for children by killing off a young boy in an industrial accident as his father looks on, raise your hand. Anyone? I didn’t think […]

The Princess and the Frog

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 11, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2010

Disney has cooked up a yummy batch of gumbo with this blend of the past and present. “The Princess and the Frog” is a satisfying and thoroughly entertaining return to the hand-drawn animation that built the studio. Although it is […]

Planet 51

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 08, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: November 20, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 08, 2010

The mood is romantic. The couple is parked in a secluded spot overlooking their charming home town. They lean in for a kiss. And then an alien rocket ship lands. I hate it when that happens. Okay, no I don’t. […]

Ponyo

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 14, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Hayao Miyazaki has produced another trippy fantasia, this time a fish out of water story along the lines of “The Little Mermaid.” A little girl goldfish with magical powers loves a little boy and turns herself into a human, by […]

Glenn Close interviews Pixar’s Bob Peterson

posted by Nell Minow

Actress Glenn Close interviewed writer/director/voice actor Bob Peterson of Pixar about “Up” and especially about dogs, the dogs in his life and the dogs on screen. Peterson provided the voice for the adorable Dug, one of the most popular characters […]

The Women At Disney Studios

posted by Nell Minow

Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue has an article by Patricia Zohn about the “ink and paint” women who worked on Disney’s classic animated films. Much has been written about the prodigiously talented men who brought Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, […]

Louis James Hates School

posted by Nell Minow

I love this short film based on Bill Morrison’s book about the little boy who tried to get a job without knowing how to read.

Veggie Tales: Silly Little Thing Called Love

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2010
DVD Release Date:January 19, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2010
DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010

The Veggie Tales gang give us three stories about love in this characteristically bright and tuneful treat, covering love for your family, love for your neighbors, and love of God. And of course it has time for the always-adorable silly […]

Happy 20th Anniversary Simpsons!

posted by Nell Minow

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date:September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 5, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for brief mild language
Movie Release Date: September 18, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 5, 2010

When things go very, very wrong in this movie, as they so often do, we get to see a series of television news broadcasts from around the world showing the destruction of various iconic monuments, as we so often do. […]

9

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for violence and scary images
Movie Release Date:September 9, 2009
DVD Release Date:December 29, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and scary images
Movie Release Date: September 9, 2009
DVD Release Date: December 29, 2009

An award-winning animated student film has been turned into a full-length feature with intricately-designed visuals but a story-line that feels stuck together with chewing gum and Scotch tape. Tim Burton protege Shane Acker has proven a better student of the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Up

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some peril and action
Movie Release Date:May 29, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some peril and action
Movie Release Date: May 29, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2009

Pixar movies are beautiful to look at, but what takes your breath away is the story. They don’t rely on fairy tales or best-selling books with pre-sold stories and characters we are already attached to. And, as if challenging themselves […]

Aliens in the Attic

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date:July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 3, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence, some suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date: July 31, 2009
DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009

Back in the era of Saturday matinées, “Aliens in the Attic” would have been just fine sandwiched between a couple of cartoons and a newsreel, especially if about half an hour was lopped off and there was a bit more […]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date:July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:October 27, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and peril
Movie Release Date: July 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009

This third in the Ice Age series is a bit sweeter and gentler than the first two, perhaps less ambitious in scope than the first but much more engaging than the second. The 3D animation is beautifully immersive and the […]

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. […]

Astro Boy (old school)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of next week’s release of the new version of “Astro Boy,” here’s the opening of the 1980’s television series (English version).

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 […]

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1937
DVD Release Date:2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1937
DVD Release Date: 2009

Disney’s 70th anniversary release of its first animated feature film on Blu-Ray is gorgeously restored and filled with behind-the-scene extras and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the one that is still “the fairest of them all.” Snow White […]

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 […]

Monsters vs. Aliens

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date:March 27, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 29, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language
Movie Release Date: March 27, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 29, 2009

An expert blend of silly fun, action that is mostly more exciting than scary, a few clever barbs, and some wow-worthy visuals make “Monsters vs. Aliens” the best family film in months. “You’re glowing,” says the groom to his bride […]

Battle for Terra 3D

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date:May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date:September 22, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements
Movie Release Date: May 1, 2009
DVD Release Date: September 22, 2009

The animation may be three-dimensional but the story is one-dimensional in this dull saga of humans invading an alien planet — from the perspective of the aliens. I suppose it is actually the humans who are the aliens in this […]

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: 2002

“Jonah’s” production company, Big Idea, promises “Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun,” and in my opinion they have more than delivered on both, with a series of videos that are right up there with the best in entertainment and humor […]

If the World Were a Village

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2009
DVD Release Date:September 8, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2009
DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009

Based on David J. Smith’s best-selling and award-winning book If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People, this is an animated story about global culture that helps families understand our differences, our commonality, and our connections. […]

Trailer: Fantasic Mr. Fox

posted by Nell Minow

This movie, opening in November, looks wonderfully cool. Owen Wilson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Houston, and Bill Murray star in this animated film based on a book by Roald Dahl, author of “Charlie […]

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 […]

Coraline

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date:February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor
Movie Release Date: February 6, 2009
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009

In the grand tradition of Alice, Dorothy, Milo, and the Pevensie children, Coraline enters a portal to a magical world that is both thrilling and terrifying, one that will both enchant her and demand her greatest resources of courage and […]

Happy Birthday SpongeBob!

posted by Nell Minow

VH1 has a 10th birthday tribute to SpongeBob Suqarepants that premieres tonight. VH1 TV Shows | Music Videos | Celebrity Photos | News & Gossip I like this tribute to SpongeBob’s innocence and sincerity. The Washington Post has an article […]

Toy Story 3 (Coming in 2010)

posted by Nell Minow

Oh, boy!

Shaun the Sheep: Sheep on the Loose

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:June 9, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009

The latest Shaun the Sheep movie is “Sheep on the Loose” The people who created “Wallace and Gromit” are behind this wonderful new series about a sheep who does not follow the flock — but sometimes gets the flock to […]

Mole and Fish

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Dana Stevens of Slate for recommending this heartwarming little film:

A Bug’s Life

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

Pixar is the must successful studio in movie history, with every single one of its releases earning over $100 million. Even more impressive, every one of them is entirely original, not based on a book or classic fairy tale. I […]

Interview: Pete Docter of ‘Up’

posted by Nell Minow

The first thing I saw when I walked into the room was — of course — a bunch of beautiful helium balloons. And then I saw Pete Docter, the lanky and affable director of Pixar’s new film, “Up,” about an […]

Animated ‘Lord of the Rings’ — last 600 copies!

posted by Nell Minow

Peter S. Beagle, who write the novel and screenplay for this week’s DVD pick, The Last Unicorn, also wrote the screenplay for the animated version of “Lord of the Rings,” the movie that inspired a kid named Peter Jackson to […]

Contest: Tale of Despereaux

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to have four copies of Tale of Despereaux to give away to the first four people who send me an email at moviemom@moviemom.com with Despereaux in the subject line. Good luck!

The Tale of Despereaux

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2009
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2009

The visuals are rich and inviting but a complicated three-part story makes an uneasy transition to screen for the well-loved book by Kate DiCamillo. Sigourney Weaver narrates the story, beginning with the description of a hero we will not meet […]

Bolt

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and peril
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and peril
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2009

Bolt (voice of John Travolta) thinks he is a super-dog. He and his “person,” Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus) spend their days battling the evil, green-eyed Dr. Calico (voice of Malcolm McDowell), who has captured Penny’s scientist father and has […]

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 […]

Interview: Morgan Taylor of ‘Gustafer Yellowgold’

posted by Nell Minow

Morgan Taylor is the illustrator, animator, and musician who created Gustafer Yellowgold, the pointy-headed little yellow guy from the sun featured in DVDs and live concert performances. Gustafer is a friendly creature who came to Earth from the sun and […]

Interview: Michael Landon, Jr. of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’

posted by Nell Minow

Michael Landon Jr.’s new film is The Velveteen Rabbit, based on the classic book by Margery Williams about the stuffed toy bunny loved so dearly that it becomes “real.” The movie opens in select cities this Friday, February 27, and […]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date:November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date:February 6, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor
Movie Release Date: November 7, 2008
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2009

The rare sequel that improves on the original, “Madagascar 2″ keeps the silliness and steps up the heart. In the first film, four zoo animals run away and after a series of adventures are sent to live in an African […]

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 […]

Igor

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date:September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date:January 20, 2009
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some thematic elements, scary images, action and mild language
Movie Release Date: September 19, 2008
DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009

In the town of Malaria, anatomy is destiny. Boy babies get their assignments at birth. Those without hunchbacks become evil scientists. Those with hunchbacks become Igors and spend their days saying, “Yes, master,” when ordered to “Throw the switch!” Malaria […]

‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ Trailer

posted by Nell Minow

Take a look at this adorable trailer for “Monsters vs. Aliens” from DreamWorks, featuring the voices of voices of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Hugh Laurie, Seth Rogen, Will Arnett, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, and Kiefer Sutherland: It’s currently scheduled to […]

The Snowman

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not Rated
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:1982
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: 1982

Cold winter days are just right for curling up with some hot cocoa to watch DVDs filled with the pleasures of winter. And it is always wise to have some on hand for those days when it is too cold […]

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 […]

Delgo

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date:December 12, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of fantasy action violence
Movie Release Date: December 12, 2008

The good news is that animation software is so widely available these days that just about anyone can make an animated film. That’s also the bad news. It is now too easy to produce a professional-looking film without the same […]

Space Chimps

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 25, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: July 18, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 25, 2008

This genial animated sci-fi comedy about astronaut chimps is an unpretentious summer pleasure, an entertaining mix of adventure and comedy that even manages to find some heart. Ham III (voice of “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg) is a chimpanzee circus […]

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 […]

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 11, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sci-fi action violence throughout, brief language and momentary smoking.
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008

Oh, George Lucas. Please stop diluting the franchise. This latest all-animated iteration of “Star Wars” has a relationship to the original somewhere along the lines of the relationship of a homeopathic ingredient to the ultimate concoction. It has been diluted […]

Kung Fu Panda

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action
Movie Release Date:June 5, 2008
DVD Release Date:November 4, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for sequences of martial arts action
Movie Release Date: June 5, 2008
DVD Release Date: November 4, 2008

Po (voice of Jack Black) is a soft, sweet-natured cuddly panda. He works as a waiter in his father’s noodle shop but dreams of being a kung fu champion. He studies kung fu history and cherishes his action figures of […]

Tinkerbell Speaks!

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s new Tinkerbell DVD will let us hear Tinkerbell’s voice for the first time in her first-ever feature film. Get a sneak peek behind the scenes from this clip.

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 […]

Interview: Mary Costa of Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’

posted by Nell Minow

I spoke to Mary Costa, who played the title role in the animated Disney classic “Sleeping Beauty,” about making the film and the new 50th anniversary DVD release. As Ms. Costa told me the story of her favorite scene, she […]

Fly Me to the Moon

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:August 13, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: August 13, 2008

Don’t try to swat that enormous insect buzzing a few inches above your popcorn. It’s a hologram-like image hovering in front of you and it is part of the movie. Yes, you have to wear the clunky glasses, but within […]

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 […]

The Spiderwick Chronicles

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date:June 24, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: February 14, 2008
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008

The best-selling series of books about children who find their mysterious old house surrounded by magical creatures has been turned into a visually sumptuous treat for fans of fantasy and imagination. Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) plays twins […]

Moviefone’s top 25 animated films

posted by Nell Minow

Movie maven Glenn Kenny has put together a list of the 25 top animated films for Moviefone. Lots of Disney classics, of course, like “Lady and the Tramp,” “Dumbo,” “Fantasia,” “Cinderella,” “Snow White,” “Little Mermaid,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” […]

Interview: Nina Paley of “Sita Sings the Blues”

posted by Nell Minow

Nina Paley, who bills herself as “America’s best-loved unknown cartoonist” is the artist/writer/director behind a smart, funny, visually stunning new animated film called “Sita Sings the Blues.” Paley’s cartoons include “Fluff” (Universal Press Syndicate), “The Hots” (King Features), and her […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Movie Release Date:December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date:April 7, 2008
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor.
Movie Release Date: December 14, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 7, 2008

Novelty songwriter Ross Bagdasarian noticed that speeding up the audio recordings creatd a high-pitched sound in 1958, and used that technique in his song “The Witch Doctor.” It was a hit. And so, he created the singing chipmunks, Simon, Theodore, […]

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 […]

Enchanted

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo
Movie Release Date:November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 18, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images and mild innuendo
Movie Release Date: November 21, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 18, 2008

Fairy tales and modern-day Manhattan find a way to live happily ever after in this adorable Disney story about the adventures of a prince, an almost-princess, and an evil queen in New York City.

Bee Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:PG for mild suggestive humor.
Movie Release Date:November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date:March 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: PG for mild suggestive humor.
Movie Release Date: November 2, 2007
DVD Release Date: March 11, 2008

Jerry Seinfeld will always be remembered for creating a brilliant and beloved television show about…nothing. His unbreakable rule was “no learning, no hugging.” Popular sitcoms had always been about learning and hugging and “very special episodes.” But Seinfeld created four […]

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 […]

Beowulf

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity
Movie Release Date:November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date:February 26, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sexual material and nudity
Movie Release Date: November 16, 2007
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008

One of the oldest surviving stories is retold through one of the most modern of technologies in a thrilling 3-D adventure from director Robert Zemeckis.

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything-A Veggie Tales Movie

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:January 11, 2008
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: January 11, 2008

The Veggie Tales have produced a series of popular computer-animated videos for children and their families, with fruit and vegetable-inspired characters in engaging and funny stories with gentle moral overtones. Their new feature film does not mention God, as the […]

Persepolis

posted by Nell Minow

Marjane Satrapi brings her award-winning graphic memoir to the screen in a powerful story of growing up in Iran as the Shah was ousted and hopes for democracy were crushed by the rise of the fundamentalists. Named for the legendary […]

Shrek the Third

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 18, 2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: May 18, 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Did you ever wonder what happens to the villains while the hero and heroine are living happily ever after? We get to find out in this third chapter in the saga of Shrek. In the previous episode, Prince Charming failed […]

The Simpsons Movie

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for irreverent humor throughout.
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for irreverent humor throughout.
Movie Release Date: 2007

“I can’t believe we’re paying to see something we get to see on TV for free. Everyone in this theater is a giant sucker, especialy YOU.” And thus, Homer Simpson lets us know that he’s onto us, as he has […]

Ratatouille

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2007

Pixar’s latest release is brilliantly animated, and a lot of fun. But it does not have a clear sense of who its audience is, and families with children who are looking for the next Finding Nemo may find themselves puzzled. […]

Surf’s Up

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and some rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Every so often an unpretentious little charmer like “Surf’s Up” darts ahead of the pack of big, over-hyped, over-long, resistance-is-futile summer blockbusters lumbering into multiplexes. This one is as refreshing as an ice cream cone after a hot day. The […]

Shrek the Third

posted by jmiller
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some crude humor, suggestive content and swashbuckling action.
Movie Release Date: 2007

Did you ever wonder what happens to the villains while the hero and heroine are living happily ever after? We get to find out in this third chapter in the saga of Shrek. In the previous episode, Prince Charming failed […]

Meet the Robinsons

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

At times, all of us feel like strangers in the world. In Disney’s bight, colorful, CGI animated film (available in 3D in some locations), Lewis (voice of Daniel Hansen) is left on the steps of an orphanage as a baby […]

TMNT

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

They’re teenagers, they’re mutants, they’re ninjas, and they’re turtles. Up from the sewers by way of some handy toxic waste, those Renaissance-named, three-fingered, ninja-fighting, pizza-eating turtle siblings are back in their first all-CGI adventure. They say funny-tough things like, “I’m […]

Arthur and the Invisibles

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action and brief suggestive material.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action and brief suggestive material.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

Director Luc Besson is known for his striking visuals and his mash-ups of sentimental, even corny moments with intense, graphic violence. At his best, in films like The Professional and The Fifth Element, these juxtapositions work well. But here, in […]

Happily Never After

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2007

As an Empress of Evil announces that she is in charge and from now on it will be “happily NEVER after,” the film appears to jump off the sprockets of the projector and a narrator interrupts with an important announcement. […]

Happy Feet

posted by jmiller
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

It’s official. The cutest thing on the planet is penguins singing “Boogie Wonderland.” Especially if one of them is tap-dancing. This movie is a straight shot of sunshine. I defy anyone to watch it without smiling. Just as important, I […]

Open Season

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor, mild action and brief language.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

I love CGI. I love the textures, the way every single hair and feather, every leaf and raindrop, every shiny, fuzzy, smooth, rough, soft, hard surface is perfectly perfect. But I realized, as I watched this movie, that one of […]

Everyone’s Hero

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

The indomitable spirit of Christopher Reeve shines through this little story of a boy who will not give up his quest to retrieve the baseball bat belonging to the greatest player ever, Babe Ruth. Ten-year-old Yankee Irving (that’s his name) […]

Barnyard

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild peril and rude humor.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

In this movie, the cows are boys. They have big pink udders and manly male voices. In fact, head cow Ben has the manliest, malest, deepest voice imaginable, that of quintessential cowpoke Sam Elliott. Our hero, Otis has the voice […]

The Ant Bully

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor and action.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

A boy beset by bullies turns bully himself, going after the ants in his family’s back yard. But the ants shrink him down to their size and he learns something about ants, about empathy, about himself, and about how to […]

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

posted by jmiller
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some off-color elements.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some off-color elements.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This is lowest common denominator movie-making. Why not, it’s based on a lowest-common denominator comic strip. Garfield’s lighter-than-air comic strip is utterly generic because its motivating force is not art or comedy but commerce; the less distinctive the character or […]

Cars

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Look closely at the little flying bugs buzzing and bumping in the hot light of the desert. They are, of course, Bugs: VW Bugs with wings. In the world of this story, all of the characters are cars and all […]

Over the Hedge

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and mild comic action.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild comic action.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Computer technology has always had the advantage in animation when it comes to texture and three-dimensionality, and it is superb for physical properties like “shiny” and “bouncy,” but it has lagged behind hand-drawn when it came to expressions. “Over the […]

The Wild

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

“The Wild” is more like “The Mild.” But it is pleasant enough; its the timing that’s rotten. Like last year’s suprisingly successful Madagascar, this is an animated film about zoo animals who have to learn to fend for themselves in […]

Ice Age: The Meltdown

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Once again, as in the first Ice Age, wooly mammoth Manny (voice of Ray Romano), sloth Sid (John Leguizamo), and saber tooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary) set off on a journey. This time, they have to lead their friends out […]

Doogal

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This tiresome animated quest story starts out uninspired but quickly becomes irritating. Half an hour into its 80 minute running time, the child behind me asked hopefully, “Is that the end?” If only. Has anyone behind this movie ever met […]

Curious George

posted by jmiller
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:Rated G
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: Rated G
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

This gentle little film about the monkey whose curiosity gets him into trouble and the man who befriends him will make 4-8-year olds very happy and give their parents a chance for a nice nap. Generations of children have loved […]

Hoodwinked!

posted by jmiller
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements.
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2006

Adorable Little Red Riding Hood opens the door to Granny’s charming cottage in the woods and walks into the bedroom with her basket of goodies. But Granny looks a little different. It is the wolf, in disguise. He lunges toward […]

Finding Nemo

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2003
DVD Release Date:2004
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2003
DVD Release Date: 2004

Pixar Studios may have the most advanced animation technology in the world, but they never forget what matters most in a movie: story, characters, imagination, and heart. “Finding Nemo” has it all. It is an epic journey filled with adventure […]

James and the Giant Peach

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1996
DVD Release Date:2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1996
DVD Release Date: 2010

This movie may be too scary for kids under six, but older children and their families, particularly fans of the Roald Dahl book, will love this spectacular musical fantasy from Tim Burton and Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”). James […]

Muppets From Space

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: 2000

Like all Muppet movies, this latest entry has plenty of jokes to keep the parents happy while the kids are enjoying the story. This time, the story focuses on a question that has intrigued Muppet fans for years: exactly what […]

Treasure Planet

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for adventure action and peril
Movie Release Date:2002
DVD Release Date:July 3, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure action and peril
Movie Release Date: 2002
DVD Release Date: July 3, 2012

If “Treasure Planet” is not Disney at its best, it is still Disney at its still-pretty-much-better-than-anyone else, and well worth a look with this 10th anniversary re-release. It is based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story “Treasure Island,” filmed […]

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” […]

Peter Pan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1953
DVD Release Date:February 4, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1953
DVD Release Date: February 4, 2013

Disney’s latest release is a beautiful Blu-Ray of one of its animated classics, the Disney version of the Victorian classic about the boy who would never grow up. Wendy, Michael, and John Darling, three London children, meet Peter Pan, a […]

An American Tail

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1986
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1986

Feivel Mousekewitz is a little Russian mouse who emigrates to the United States with his family, after they are told that “there are no cats in America and the streets are paved with cheese.” He becomes separated from his parents […]

Recess: School’s Out

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:2001
DVD Release Date:2001
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 2001
DVD Release Date: 2001

Disney’s latest release, “Recess: School’s Out!” should have a brief life in theaters before moving on to a more fitting format on video. It is not “based on” the popular television series as much as it simply is an episode […]

The Little Mermaid

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:September 30, 2013
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: September 30, 2013

After some lackluster years, Disney came back into the top rank of animated features with this superbly entertaining musical, based loosely on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen (but with a happier ending). Ariel was the first in a […]

Hercules

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:June 14, 1997
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: June 14, 1997

According to Disney, Hercules was the adored son of gods Zeus and Hera, stolen by Hades, ruler of the underworld, and made mortal. He must become a true hero to become a god again, so he can live with his […]

Ice Age

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild peril
Movie Release Date:2002
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild peril
Movie Release Date: 2002

Ice Age” is a clever, funny, and touching story of an unlikely trio of animals who band together to return a human baby to his family. The story is set when glaciers covered much of the earth, 20,000 years ago. […]

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Movie Release Date: 1999

Parents may think that nothing can be more outrageous than the “South Park” television show, with its macabre humor, strong language, and singing poop. They need to understand that this theatrical release is much, much more outrageous and inappropriate for […]

The Iron Giant

posted by rkumar
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1999
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1999

It draws a lot from E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, The Indian in the Cupboard, and, for that matter, from Lassie, but this story of a boy who befriends an enormous robot from outer space is told with so much humor and […]

Tarzan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1999

Disneys latest animated epic owes as much to The Lion King and the tale of the ugly duckling than to the Johnny Weissmuller live-action series or the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels. Like The Lion King, it begins with a brief […]

Mulan

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1998

Disney’s 1998 animated feature is based on the legend of Mulan, a Chinese girl who helps the Chinese army defeat the Mongols. After the Mongols invade, led by Shan-Yu (voice of Miguel Ferrar) every family is called upon to send […]

Kids for Character

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1996
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1996

Tom Selleck and many of preschoolers’ favorite TV figures like Barney, Miss Frizzle of the Magic Schoolbus, the Puzzle Place kids and Sheri Lewis explain concepts like trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship in this entertaining and enlightening video. It comes […]

Babe: Pig in the City

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:1998
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 1998

Families who loved the adorable and heartwarming “Babe” need to know that this sequel, co-written and directed by “Mad Max’s” George Miller, is a much darker and more unsettling movie, not suitable for most small children. Once again, Babe is […]

The King and I

posted by rkumar
F
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1999
F
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1999

Don’t waste your time on this animated version — rent the classic version with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr instead. Some of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein songs remain, but second-rate animation and massive plot changes (mostly of the dumbing-down […]

Wallace & Gromit – The Wrong Trousers

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1993
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1993

Oscar-winner Nick Parks’ claymation masterpieces are thrilling, witty, and enormous fun. In this one, dim inventor Wallace has created mechanical trousers designed for walking his wise but silent dog, Gromit. They are rewired by a wicked penguin who turns out […]

The Tigger Movie

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2000
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 2000

What is a family? Is it people who look like us? People who like the same things that we do? People who always have time for us? Tigger learns something about what family really means in this pleasant animated musical […]

The Prince of Egypt

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1998

Dreamworks SKG’s first animated feature is a respectful retelling of the story of Moses, from the time he was found in the bullrushes and adopted by the Pharoh to the time he led the Hebrews out of Egypt to freedom. […]

Antz

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1998
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1998

The technological mastery and all-star cast all but obscure the one real problem of this movie — it does not know who its audience is. The computer animation — and the ad campaign — suggest that it is directed toward […]

Cats Don’t Dance

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date:1997
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Movie Release Date: 1997

A singing, dancing cat named Danny goes to Hollywood to become a star in this colorful and energetic animated musical suitable for all but the very youngest toddlers. He finds, however, that no one in Hollywood thinks that animals can […]

Stuart Little

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1999
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1999

E.B. White’s story of a family whose son happens to be a mouse is lovingly Hollywood-ized. In other words, it bears very little relationship to the book but has a lot of great special effects. Fans of the book will […]

Quest For Camelot

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1998
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1998

A young girl named Kayley dreams of being a knight like her father, who was killed defending King Arthur from the brutal Ruber. When Ruber steals Excalibur from Camelot, Kayley goes into the forbidden forest to find it. There she […]

Pokemon: The First Movie

posted by rkumar
C+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1999
DVD Release Date:1999
C+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1999
DVD Release Date: 1999

Human scientists have figured out a way to create a bigger and stronger clone of the most powerful Pokemon ever, Mew. The result is a sort of Maxi-Mew called Mewtwo. Mewtwo decides to go after that goal of all movie […]

Fantasia 2000

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2000
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2000

Almost sixty years ago, the original “Fantasia” was released and hard as it may be to believe it now, the response was unenthusiastic. Today, images like Mickey as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the little black Pegasus getting some extra help learning […]

The Rugrats Movie

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1998
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1998

Fans of the television series will be happily at home with this movie, which takes its toddler heroes through two terrifying adventures — getting lost in the woods and having to share parents with a new baby. The children around […]

The Thief and the Cobbler

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:1996
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 1996

This neglected but absolutely delightful animated musical (released in theaters as “Arabian Knight”) is a must for family viewing. A shy cobbler and a plucky princess save ancient Baghdad in this fairy tale, put together by the Oscar-winning animator from […]

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1989
DVD Release Date:1990
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1989
DVD Release Date: 1990

In this technical marvel of a movie, human and animated actors interact seamlessly. It begins with a cartoon, loveable Roger Rabbit taking care of adorable Baby Herman, despite every kind of slapstick disaster. Then, as birdies are swimming around Roger’s […]

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