Movies for Family

Elizabeth G. asked me about movie suggestions in the comments under Updates and Rambling Talk. So here goes: For Elizabeth G. and anyone else who may care about this!

In our home we have several Disney movies, mostly the “older” ones, Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, and the ones before that. I’ve been alright with it, but mostly do not consider them the BEST to do, since many of them are built on Classic Stories that are far superior to the Disney-ized versions.

That said, I love “Sleeping Beauty” of all the Disney versions of fairytales, it has a sweeping musical score and good triumphs over evil most definitely in a battle of evil vs truth.

Other than that, most of the Disney movies I really think are better suited to adults, really, who have the actual tales in their minds, and can understand them a bit better as Disney versions. I think children should be grounded in the truer versions before seeing adaptations on screen. FWIW

I love watching movies, but have always, since I can remember nearly, have loved to read. Reading filled my childhood and teen years, with little TV compared to most peers. This is something that I’ve failed at to some degree with my family so far, letting them see way too much movie-ism. But I’ve tried to be sure it was certain things only. In the past we had the Dish (satelite) and we watched alot of Babies being born, houses being built, houses being decorated, and food being prepared or talked about. Since September 2001 we’ve been without that, and so it’s these movies mostly, in this post, we’ve spent time with as a family. Russell is reading, but not super duper yet, not devouring, and I’ve not been diligent enough in reading aloud. I read aloud “The Velveteen Rabbit” a few months ago. I’d never read it, nor had it read to me. Oh, I got to the end and started bawling. My children looked at me, like “What’s wrong with YOU?!!!” and Russell asked, “Daddy, why is Mama crying?” \0/ Certain emotional issues are certainly not meant for THEM yet. I must do more reading. πŸ™‚ Joel Chandler Harris is some of my favorite stuff, and it’s kind of over their heads right now too. πŸ™ I do firmly believe that stories are grand for chlildren and adults alike, but that children NEED classic tales and fairy tales. True stuff, the Bible for one, is dry and exciting and firmly on level with any human to read and understand, with the grace of God. But if a child grows with it, it sinks in, the beauty of the drama, and fairytales properly approached add to the wonder.

Other than that, then there are classics that can be read, and films of them viewed:

National Velvet -rated G, 124 minutes 1944 Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor. It’s a classic that can be viewed as a family and discussed. Rights, wrongs, and what drives one and what should drive someone …

To Kill a Mockingbird – not rated, 2 hrs. 10 mins., 1962 Gregory Peck (Oscar winning performance) Not for the very young, but for maturing children with parental guidance, it’s a classic tale of a sleep southern town, Peck defending a black man accused of rape, and Boo Radley … it’s a sweet story, grippingly told, but not for children to watch alone.

Both of the above movies you may or may not want your boys to see at their ages, we have both on DVD, and you are welcome to borrow them and preview them, Elizabeth, if you’d like to.

Then there’s the classic “Quiet Man” John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, 1952, not rated.

I guess what I’m getting at with the movies so far is that fluffy childrens’ stuff is pure candy, and that’s a bad diet. So a good movie to chew on is more in order, IMO.

Then there is a movie that is different, it’s a western type, but really different … “The Rare Breed” is about an Englishwoman (Maureen O’Hara) who brings over a prized English Hereford bull, to America in 1880, he is sold to a wild Scotman, and [O’Hara] hires [James Stewart] to help her and her daughter transport the bull to the new owner. It’s an interesting tale of what one family did to change the fate of the Texas Longhorn. So it’s sort of dry, yet not, very educational, and worth a peek to take a leap into learning about the history of what happened, if one would like to in their home or homeschool.

Then lastly, there’s a sweeping epic with many lessons to learn in it. “Big Country” starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charleton Heston, and Burl Ives. 1958 2 hours, 47 minutes, not rated. It’s about a western ranch and water rights and a sort of feud over them with another ranch. The first rancher, his daughter brings an Easterner home, to marry him. That’s Gregory Peck. He is a different character than the rest, and branded eventually a fool and discarded … but the story is about being honest. And seeing what happens to old men in their folly of feudism. It’s a gripping story … hard, honest work is applauded in this movie. It’s a good tale for boys, IMO.

I like all the above movies particularly. They are for adults, and children with supervision.

Other things then, for children, we have some Pooh Bear stories on DVD, which I like too. And Beatrix Potter “Peter Rabbit” which are classic tales brought to animated life very real like her own drawings. Perhaps your boys are “too old” for this kind of stuff, but maybe not. This is stuff that I really like to watch myself, and if your boys every have read Peter Rabbit or Pooh Bear, they might really like to see these.

As I said before, all these movies we have on DVD and you are more than welcome to preview them.

There’s rather a derth of “decent films out there”. Oh, well one new one “Finding Nemo” by pixar studios, an arm of Disney, is actually sort of cute, and very pretty to see. We have that. The children enjoy it.

That’s a start. Let me know if this is the kind of thing you are looking for, or is there another angle you’d like? I am not recalling the exact ages of your boys Elizabeth, but know they are older than Russell, so … πŸ™‚

Oh, some other reading that has good movie adaptions is Jane Austen. Sense and Sensability, Pride and Prejudice in particular. Good reading for the whole family, read it then see the movies together, yes, we have them. Emma, Persuasion, too. I admit to not have read them before these past months. I love the movies, I love the books so much more. These are written by a woman in the early 19th century, but that’s not stuff just for women. My husband likes S&S, and P&P, the last one the more, the movie that is. Our pastor likes S&S the movie and the book … for one. Really nice character portrayals in word, and in the acting.


1 Comment

  1. Thanks Marysue for your suggestions. I pasted the whole thing into our Family movie and historical novel referral list. (I’ll edit later.) We would love to borrow anything you’d be willing to loan. We have S&S and Finding Nemo. I have not seen most of the ones you mentioned except for “The Quiet Man”. I respectfully don’t share your view on this one. It had some entertainment value, but I thought that it lacked “redeeming value”. (Phil. 4:8)
    I hope you are feeling better!

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