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quality

  • A+, A, A-
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  • Kindergarten - 3rd grade
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Sleeping Beauty — Crafts and Activities

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of the glorious Diamond Edition of Disney’s classic “Sleeping Beauty,” the studio has released some crafts projects for families to enjoy.

The Colors of Pixar

posted by Nell Minow

Watch how Pixar uses the colors of the rainbow to create a mood, tell a story, and delight the eye.

Short Film: My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts

posted by Nell Minow

I love this endearing story about how people in even the most unexpected of jobs can make a real difference.

My Visit to LAIKA and Boxtrolls!

posted by Nell Minow

I’m excited to be able to share a secret I’ve been keeping since April. I got to cross a big item off my bucket list when I was invited to visit LAIKA Studios and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their […]

Where are the Cartoon Moms?

posted by Nell Minow

One of the questions I get asked most often is why parents in movies for children are always dead or otherwise out of the picture.  As I wrote in my book, The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies: This is […]

Trailer: Big Hero 6

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s “Big Hero 6″ will be out this fall, featuring Maya Rudolph.

More About Maleficent

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Leslie Combemale, movie critic and animation expert, wrote a great post about the Maleficent character.  I was so glad she included information about the great character actor Eleanor Audley. who voiced Maleficent and also the evil stepmother in […]

The Top 100 Animated Films of All Time: The Animators Pick

posted by Nell Minow

Time Out New York asked top animators to pick the greatest 100 animated films of all time.  All the Disney, Pixar, and Miyazaki classics are there, plus some surprises.  I have some disagreements, but am entirely in favor of the […]

Contest: The Jungle Book

posted by Nell Minow

I’m thrilled to have one of my all-time favorite Disney classics to give away: The Jungle Book.  The last film personally supervised by Walt Disney himself, this one has brilliant voice talent (Phil Harris, Louis Prima, Sebastian Cabot) and some […]

Watch the Oscar-Winning Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot

posted by Nell Minow

In this charming story, a man finds his life transformed by a robot pet.

This is How They Made “The LEGO Movie”

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s a little glimpse behind the scenes.  It looks like even more fun than you hope — playing with a 15-million brick set of LEGOs! Many thanks to Uproxx/Sploid/CG Meetup

Wait, Disney Animation Villains Got Married?

posted by Nell Minow

Disney is planning something called “The Descendants.”   In a present day idyllic kingdom, the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s iconic Beauty and the Beast) is poised to take the throne. His […]

“Frozen” from Disney — New Clip

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s latest animated release will be out for Thanksgiving.  Here’s a sneak peek:

The Character Dropped from “The Little Mermaid”

posted by Nell Minow

Remember Harold the Merman?  No, you don’t, because he was dropped from “The Little Mermaid.”  But you can see why writer/directors Ron Clements and John Musker were so devoted to him in one of the delicious extras on this week’s […]

Chipotle’s New Ad Has a Haunting Beauty

posted by Nell Minow

This beautiful animated film promoting Chipotle’s new game features Fiona Apple singing a haunting version of the “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” song, “Pure Imagination.”  So, a song that once paid tribute to a candy factory is now being used […]

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 […]

An Animated Gibran’s “Prophet”

posted by Nell Minow

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, first published in 1923, has illuminated the concepts of love, intimacy, and spirituality for devoted readers for generations.  Its wisdom and quiet lyricism are deeply moving.  This passage is quoted in the classic movie, “The Women.” […]

Some of the Best Movie Dads are Animated

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Father’s Day!

“The Emperor’s New Groove” — A Neglected Gem from Disney

posted by Nell Minow

I am really pleased that one of my favorite Disney animated movies, “The Emperor’s New Groove,” will be out on Blu-Ray next week.  It is a neglected gem, colorful and very funny, with wonderfully executed sight gags and action and […]

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 […]

New Clips from “Monsters University”

posted by Nell Minow

In theaters for the 4th of July!

Activity Sheets: “Treasure Planet” and “Home on the Range”

posted by Nell Minow

“Treasure Planet” and “Home on the Range” are not classics, but they are both beautifully animated and a lot of fun.  In honor of their re-release on DVD/Blu-Ray Disney has made available free activity sheets for download.

A New “Flintstones” from “Family Guy’s” Seth McFarlane?

posted by Nell Minow

At the SXSW festival, “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane told the crowd he is working on a television reboot of “The Flintstones,” a beloved 1960’s cartoon series that led to a couple of not-beloved feature films.  McFarlane told the audience […]

Interview: Chris Juen of ‘Arthur Christmas’

posted by Nell Minow

It was a special treat to speak to Chris Juen of this week’s release, “Arthur Christmas,” because he also worked on one of my favorite animated films of the past few years, Surf’s Up, as well as the delightful Cloudy […]

Interview: Mark Henn of ‘Winnie the Pooh’

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Henn was supervising animator for the iconic title character in Disney’s new animated feature, “Winnie the Pooh” and for Christopher Robin as well.  He is a Disney veteran, having served in the same role for Princess Tiana in “The Princess […]

Interview: Mike Disa of ‘Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil’

posted by Nell Minow

Director Mike Disa has a terrific piece in the Huffington Post about his new film, “Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil,” with not one but two heroines who are strong, smart, brave, and compassionate. Look at any recent animated movie. Despite […]

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 […]

Behind the Scenes at Pixar

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times has a rare behind the scenes look at Pixar:

Sneak Peek: ‘Gnomeo & Juliet’

posted by Nell Minow

I’m looking forward to Gnomeo & Juliet.  It’s Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed love — with garden gnomes — and an all-star voice cast of classically-trained British acting royalty including James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Dame Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, and….Dolly Parton, […]

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 […]

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 […]

You Can Co-Produce Neil Gaiman’s New Film

posted by Nell Minow

Want to be a movie producer? A new animated film written by superstar author Neil Gaiman (“Coraline,” “Sandman”) is seeking funds. You can contribute as little as $10 and have your name in the online credits. For $5000 you can […]

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 […]

Bruno Mars: Just the Way You Are

posted by Nell Minow

I love this charmingly romantic video from Bruno Mars.

StoryCorps Moves from Radio to Television

posted by Nell Minow

I love StoryCorps, the wonderful NPR series and podcast that lets Americans tell their own funny, touching, inspiring, tragic, stories of love, work, family, war, school, struggle, heartbreak, and triumph. There are stories about world-changing historic events and stories about […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

Disney’s Princess Kisses

posted by Nell Minow

Enjoy these romantic highlights in honor of the DVD release today of Disney’s latest, “The Princess and the Frog.”

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. […]

Trailer: The Secret of Kells

posted by Nell Minow

Here’s the first glimpse of the animated film that came out of nowhere to get an Oscar nomination, The Secret of Kells. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott wrote, “it is only fitting that a movie concerned with the power […]

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 […]

Interview: Norton Virgien of ‘Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!’

posted by Nell Minow

Curious George and his friend, the Man in the Yellow Hat, have a new adventure in a straight-to-DVD feature-length movie, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey, available on March 2. I got to talk to director Norton Virgien about what […]

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, […]

Computer-Generated Short

posted by Nell Minow

I like the way this short film makes use of the latest technology (every bit of it is computer-animated with off-the-shelf software) and yet begins with some very old technology. But then, I love both computers and fountain pens. The […]

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 […]

Pixar Discovers Girls

posted by Nell Minow

Pixar is the most successful movie studio in history, with every one of its 10 films a critical and box office success. But not one of those ten films has featured a female lead. There have been memorable girls and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Disney’s First African-American Princess

posted by Nell Minow

The Disney Princesses, each the star of her own movie, are now a team and something of a marketing juggernaut. They have transcended their individual stories and now appear together in a wide range of merchandise. And now Snow White […]

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!

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 […]

Gulliver’s Travels

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

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

Pinocchio

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

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

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 […]

Coraline’s Special Effects

posted by Nell Minow

Wired Magazine has a fascinating story about the breathtaking special effects in “Coraline.” In an era when we are used to astonishingly “true” images generated by computers, the old-school charms of this stop-motion movie, where everything you see was actually […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wall?E’s Hidden Secrets

posted by Nell Minow

Now that Wall?E is being released on DVD and you can hit the “pause” button, here are some things to look for:

UP — First Look at Pixar’s Next Film

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

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: Jodi Benson of ‘The Little Mermaid’

posted by Nell Minow

It was a great pleasure to speak again with Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid.” Jodi returns to the role for a new DVD called “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning,” in stores this week. Tell me […]

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 […]

Tribute: Thomas M. Disch

posted by Nell Minow

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

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 […]

Where are the Wild Things Going?

posted by Nell Minow

It seemed almost too good to be true. One of the best children’s books of the 20th century, Where the Wild Things Are, written and directed by Maurice Sendak, was going to be made into a movie written and directed […]

Remembering Ollie Johnston

posted by Nell Minow

The people who created the great Disney animation classics were called the Nine Old Men, and the last of them, Ollie Johnston, died last week at age 95. Johnston and his closest colleague, Frank Thomas, was featured in the wonderful […]

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.

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.

Interview: “Jane and the Dragon’s” Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor

posted by Nell Minow

One of the highlights of NBC’s “Qubo” children’s educational program schedule is Jane and the Dragon, created by author Martin Baynton and Oscar-winning animator Richard Taylor, visual effects designer for the The Lord of the Rings series. Jane and the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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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