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genre

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quality

  • A+, A, A-
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age range

  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Exclusive Clip: Maya the Bee

posted by Nell Minow

The Adventures of Maya the Bee is a classic children’s book from Germany, originally published more than 100 years ago, about a brave little bee who breaks the rules by leaving the hive but saves the day when she warns […]

Exclusive Clip: Paddington

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the adorable “Paddington,” available on DVD/Blu-Ray April 28, 2015.

Interview: David Milchard of Russell Madness — Plus Copies to Give Away!

posted by Nell Minow

David Milchard stars in “Russell Madness” as the father of a family who inherits a wrestling arena.  But I think he would agree that the real stars of the film are the talking monkey and dog. He took the time […]

Paddington

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date:April 27, 2015
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: January 16, 2015
DVD Release Date: April 27, 2015

Michael Bond’s gentle, charming stories about the Peruvian bear named for a London train station has been brought to the screen almost as gently and charmingly, and certainly far more so than the slapsticky trailer suggested. A generation ago, a […]

Penguins of Madagascar

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 26, 2014
DVD Release Date:March 16, 2015
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 26, 2014
DVD Release Date: March 16, 2015

The most adorable characters from the first three animated “Madagascar” movies were the penguins, the seldom right but never in doubt leader Skipper (Tom McGrath), the often right but never listened to Kowalski (Chris Miller), the literally explosive Rico (Conrad […]

Trailer: Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

posted by Nell Minow

I have to say I thought a Grumpy Cat movie was not a good idea, but this adorably meta trailer has just about won me over.  It will be broadcast Saturday, November 29th at 8/7c on Lifetime, and my prediction is […]

Exclusive Clip! See Jim Davis Drawing Garfield the Cat in Garfield’s Holiday Collection

posted by Nell Minow

We are delighted to have an exclusive peek at a behind-the-scenes bonus clip from Garfield’s Holiday Collection. You can see Jim Davis drawing Garfield, star of the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.

Trailer: Thunder and the House of Magic

posted by Nell Minow

“Thunder and the House of Magic” opens September 5, 2014.

Adventure Planet

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Not rated
DVD Release Date:August 19, 2014
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Not rated
DVD Release Date: August 19, 2014

Jane Lynch, Danny Glover, Brooke Shields, Bailee Madison, and Drake Bell provide the voices for “Adventure Planet,” an animated adventure for the whole family out today on DVD.  Norva and Jorpe are siblings who live in the tropical forests of […]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date:August 8, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 16, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Movie Release Date: August 8, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 16, 2014

Dear Michael Bay, Just because you were able to turn one Saturday cartoon series for children into a PG-13 blockbuster, based on nostalgia on the part of its now-teen and 20-something audience and some world class special effects, does not […]

Guardians of the Galaxy

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
Movie Release Date:August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 8, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
Movie Release Date: August 1, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 8, 2014

This is the most purely entertaining film of the year, a joyous space romp that all but explodes off the screen with lots of action and even more charm. Our recent superheros have been complex, often anguished, even downright tortured. […]

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date:July 11, 2014
DVD Release Date:December 1, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
Movie Release Date: July 11, 2014
DVD Release Date: December 1, 2014

All hail Caesar! The intelligence-enhanced ape from Rise of the Planet of the Apes takes center stage in this sequel, which begins ten years after the last film. The virus we saw infecting the human population has now wiped out […]

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date:May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date:August 25, 2014
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary images and mild peril
Movie Release Date: May 9, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 25, 2014

“Oh, Toto,” says Dorothy (“Glee’s” Lea Michelle), “This doesn’t look like the Oz I remember.” Tell it, sister. Why why why why why take the most beloved family film of all time, based on a cherished book, and make a […]

Rio 2

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 11, 2014
DVD Release Date:July 14, 2014
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 11, 2014
DVD Release Date: July 14, 2014

Just because a South American frog has toxic venom that can cause instant death does not mean she cannot be adorably lovesick.  Broadway belter Kristin Chenoweth (“Wicked,” “Glee”) steals the show right under the Brazil nut-cracking beaks of our old […]

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and brief rude humor
Movie Release Date:March 7, 2014
DVD Release Date:October 14, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and brief rude humor
Movie Release Date: March 7, 2014
DVD Release Date: October 14, 2014

Jay Ward’s irresistibly daffy cartoons of the early 1960’s were charming and witty, with a post-modern meta wink at the fourth wall, wacky puns, and jokes that kids would suddenly remember and understand years later.  This reboot is smarmy, overblown, […]

The Jungle Book

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1966
DVD Release Date:February 10, 2014
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1966
DVD Release Date: February 10, 2014

The last animated film personally overseen by Walt Disney  is “The Jungle Book,” inspired by the Rudyard Kipling story of a boy abandoned in the forest who is raised by the animals.  It has some of the most endearing and […]

Contest: Journey to a Christmas Star

posted by Nell Minow

Norway’s most beloved Christmas story is directed by Academy Award nominee Nils Gaup. It is the story of a courageous girl who sets out on a hazardous journey across a gorgeous winter wonderland to find the Christmas Star in order […]

Walking with Dinosaurs 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:December 20, 2013
DVD Release Date:March 24, 2014
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: December 20, 2013
DVD Release Date: March 24, 2014

Dinosaur movies pretty much all have the same plot.  Unless it is a fantasy like “Jurassic Park,” the story is pretty simple: the dinos have to migrate and there are a lot of encounters and adventures along the way. What […]

Free Birds

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action/peril and rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 2, 2013
DVD Release Date:January 28, 2014
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action/peril and rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 2, 2013
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2014

Maybe it’s just me, but I think this may be the worst idea for a movie intended for children I have heard since the one about the kid bank robber. Does anyone think it makes sense to horrify children just […]

The Snow Queen

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG
Movie Release Date:October 6, 2013
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
Movie Release Date: October 6, 2013

It may be a coincidence that a Russian animation studio decided to make a movie based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of the Snow Queen at the same time as Disney’s big-budget feature, “Frozen,” inspired by the same […]

Win Tickets to See “Wizard of Oz 3D”

posted by Nell Minow

It’s probably the most beloved family film of all time, and now it is bigger and deeper than ever.  “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland, is coming to 3D Imax screens for the first time.  See the Munchkins, the […]

Win a DVD! Adventures of Bailey: A Night in Cowtown

posted by Nell Minow

Win a copy of this third story about the lovable dog Bailey! In this episode, Bailey falls in love with a dog from “the other side of the fence.” When her brother Felix is dognapped, Bailey and his brother Duke […]

Oliver & Company

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1987
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1987
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013

Disney is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this tuneful animated classic loosely based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist with a new Blu-Ray release.  It is the story of an orphaned cat named Oliver (Joey Lawrence) who is befriended by vagabond dogs […]

Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1973
DVD Release Date:August 6, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1973
DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013

Disney is celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of its most beloved animated musicals with a gorgeous new Blu-Ray. It is based on the classic Robin Hood story of the man who robbed from the rich to give to the […]

Turbo

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date:July 19, 2013
DVD Release Date:November 12, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements
Movie Release Date: July 19, 2013
DVD Release Date: November 12, 2013

Who declared this the summer of the animated snails? In Twentieth Century Fox’s “Epic,” a snail and slug duo stole the spotlight from the human characters, even the Beyoncé-voiced nature queen.   The end credits of Pixar’s “Monsters University” features not […]

MVP of the Summer: Animated Snails?

posted by Nell Minow

Are snails the penguins of 2013? For a while, penguins were the adorable go-to, in movies from “Madagascar” to “Surf’s Up” to the record-breaking documentary “March of the Penguins.”  But this summer, the cutest creatures in animated movies seem to […]

The Best Family Movie of All Time: The Wizard of Oz (and Other Versions)

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of the prequel, “Oz the Great and Powerful” is a good reason to take another look at what may be the greatest family movie of all time, the classic MGM musical version of “The Wizard of Oz,” […]

A Valentine’s Day Bella Notte

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Contest: 12 Christmas Wishes for My Dog

posted by Nell Minow

Be careful what you wish for!  Having her dog taken away by an uptight landlord was heartbreaking for Laura (Elisa Donovan of “Clueless”). Willing to try anything to transform her life – and get her dog back – Laura follows […]

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2012

If there’s anything cuter than the Santa Buddies, it is the sequel, the new DVD/Blu-Ray pick of the week, “Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups.”  The puppies stow away on Mrs. Claus’ trip to a Christmas-loving town and have a […]

Gabe the Cupid Dog

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:2012
DVD Release Date:October 23, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 2012
DVD Release Date: October 23, 2012

A dog named Gabe plays Cupid for his newly single master in this sweet family-friendly story.  Gabe belongs to Eric (Brian Krause of “Charmed”) a journalist planning a move to the UK.  But animals have to be quarantined for six […]

Finding Nemo 3D

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:September 14, 2012
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: September 14, 2012

“Finding Nemo” is an ideal choice for a 3D re-release. Its Pacific Ocean setting is majestic, immersive, not intrusive, in evoking the vast sweep of the water and bringing us into the world of the tiny fish characters. Digital and […]

Ice Age: Continental Drift

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril
Movie Release Date:July 13, 2012
DVD Release Date:December 11, 2012
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild rude humor and action/peril
Movie Release Date: July 13, 2012
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2012

The “Ice Age” folks have the formula down very well, and this fourth entry is one of their strongest, with enough of the familiar to be satisfying and enough that is new to keep things interesting.  The real expertise is […]

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:June 8, 2012
DVD Release Date:October 15, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: June 8, 2012
DVD Release Date: October 15, 2012

“Madagascar 3″ is the best of the series, bright, fresh, fun, and funny, with a terrific script from co-director and Eric Darnell, a series regular, and, a bit improbably, “The Squid and the Whale’s” Noah Baumbach. In the first Madagascar, […]

Watch Davy and Goliath on SpiritClips!

posted by Nell Minow

Remember the class television series “Davy and Goliath?”  The stop-motion animation children’s show about the little boy and the dog who spoke to him was owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and produced by Art and Ruth Clokey […]

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 27, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2012

The third in the series about the singing chipmunks and their exasperated but perpetually forgiving human father is a little brighter and sweeter than its predecessors. It tones down the slapstick and potty humor, meriting a family-friendly G rating. The […]

Babar and Father Christmas

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:December 4, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2011

Babar and Father Christmas is a new DVD with a charming holiday story.  The children of Babar and Celeste write to Father Christmas to invite him to their home town.  But the letter is stolen by wicked Rataxes the Rhinoceros, […]

The Muppets

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 19, 2012
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: November 23, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 19, 2012

Let the joy be unrestrained.  The Muppets are back.  It turns out that deep inside Jason Segal, best known for raunchy Judd Apatow comedies and for playing the monogamous Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother,” is at his core […]

The Muppets!

posted by Nell Minow

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

Happy Feet 2

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date:November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date:March 13, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor and mild peril
Movie Release Date: November 18, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012

I loved the original Happy Feet, but five years later only liked this sequel.  It’s still a lot of fun to see dancing, singing penguins, but the meandering storyline never catches hold. In the original, a small Emperor penguin named […]

Puss In Boots

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date:October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor
Movie Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

The popular feline bandit of the “Shrek” series gets his own feature film, one that is less of a fractured fairy tale and more of a swashbuckler.  Antonio Banderas returns as the voice of Puss in Boots, the cat with […]

The Lion King

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1994
DVD Release Date:October 3, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1994
DVD Release Date: October 3, 2011

“The Lion King” finishes its record-breaking theatrical re-release in 3D with its first Blu-Ray in a superpack and I have five to give away!  Details below. One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s […]

Dumbo

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

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

The Lion King 3D

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1994
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1994

One of Disney’s most popular animated features (and the inspiration for one of Broadway’s biggest blockbuster) has been re-issued in 3D.  “The Lion King” is sort of a cross between “Richard III” and “Hamlet,” the story of Simba (voice of […]

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D

posted by Nell Minow
B-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 21, 2011
B-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date: November 21, 2011

Jessica Alba was dressed for her role in Robert Rodriguez’s ultra-violent “Machete” when, on a break from filming, she stopped to change her baby’s diaper.  Rodriguez says he saw her performing this most domestic of tasks in her action-movie attire […]

Zookeeper

posted by Nell Minow
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date:July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date:October 11, 2011
D
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor and language
Movie Release Date: July 9, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011

This is a movie about how Kevin James can do so much better, but Kevin James can do so much better than this movie.  In the film, he tries to change his life to be worthy of a woman he […]

Rio

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date:August 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: April 15, 2011
DVD Release Date: August 1, 2011

A South American setting and striking animation lend freshness to “Rio’s” otherwise much-traveled storyline about a pampered pet who has to learn to survive in the wild.  We’ve seen this tale many times — “Madagascar,” “Bolt,” “The Wild,” “Beverly Hills […]

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date:December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date:April 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Movie Release Date: December 10, 2010
DVD Release Date: April 5, 2011

A gallant warrior mouse and a dragon with a secret join the two youngest Pevensie children for a voyage and a quest in the third and best so far in the Narnia series. War has come to England and Edmund […]

Yogi Bear

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:December 17, 2010
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: December 17, 2010

Yogi Bear (voice of Dan Aykroyd) is genuinely perplexed by the suggestion that he might want to forage for food and catch fish with his paws. “Isn’t that kind of unsanitary?” He may live in the woods, but for Yogi, […]

Rango

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date:March 4, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for rude humor, language, action, and smoking
Movie Release Date: March 4, 2011

“Rango” is a deliciously demented and slyly satiric take on westerns, which means it takes on America’s deepest myths about our identity. It is wild and strange and blessedly idiosyncratic, with a witty and heartfelt performance by Johnny Depp in […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Search for Santa Paws

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:November 23, 2010
B
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2010

The Search For Santa Paws is the latest in the wildly popular series of “buddies” films from Robert Vince (watch for an interview with him posting later today). When Santa (Richard Riehle of “Office Space”) loses his memory, he will […]

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 […]

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 […]

Alice in Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date:March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date:June 1, 2010
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar
Movie Release Date: March 5, 2010
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010

Almost 150 years ago Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson published his wildly imaginative story about Alice’s adventures down a rabbit hole. And now the wildly imaginative director Tim Burton has brought Wonderland to the 3D movie screen. It is less faithful […]

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 […]

Where the Wild Things Are

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date:October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date:March 2, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language
Movie Release Date: October 16, 2009
DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Maurice Sendak’s spare, poetic, and deeply wise book has been lovingly unfolded into a movie about the child who lives in all of us, brave and fearful, generous and needy, angry and peaceful, confident and insecure, adventuresome and very glad […]

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 […]

The Wizard of Oz

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: 2009

The 70th anniversary of this all-time classic is being celebrated with a beautiful new DVD release, a great chance for the family to sit down and watch what is probably the all-time greatest family film again. Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) […]

G-Force

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date:July 24, 2009
C
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Movie Release Date: July 24, 2009

Top voice talent and good 3D computer graphics cannot make up for the fact that this film is utterly synthetic as well as crass, loud, and vulgar. Even at a brief running time of under 90 minutes, it overstays its […]

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 […]

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 […]

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date:October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date:March 3, 2009
C-
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements
Movie Release Date: October 3, 2008
DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009

A pampered pooch goes on an unexpected adventure but just about everything else in this movie is only too predictable. Drew Barrymore provides the voice for Chloe, a cashmere couture and diamond collar-clad chihuahua. She enjoys the high life with […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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