Wednesday, 25 September 2013

3 NON-DISNEY Family Movies You Should Watch

We have A LOT of movies. We don't have Foxtel and I limit the amount of commercial tv the kids watch and to make up for it, we have a great library of movies. I tell myself that it's better for their concentration to focus on one story line but maybe [probably] it's better for MY concentration as it occupies them for nearly 2 hours.

There are some movies that I can't stand like The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks. CAN'T. STAND. THEM. But there are some that I find myself stopping to watch even when they're on for the 700th time. Some are really obvious like Happy Feet and to this day my all-time favourite scene in a kids movie is this one...

I CANNOT watch that without putting up the volume and singing. Every time. Which has only been about 350 so far.

But some of the movies are a bit more obscure and if you haven't, I encourage you to watch them. Here are 3 that you may not have considered

Arthur and the Invisibles
This movie features the voices of David Bowie, Madonna, Snoop Dog, Jimmy Fallon, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Emilio Estevez, Jason Bateman, Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow as the grandma. Have you even heard of it? It's absolutely STAR STUDDED and it's a winner in this household. 

The Story
Arthur is ten years old and is staying with his grandmother while his parents are away looking for work. His eccentric grandfather has been missing for years and the house his grandmother is living in will be repossessed, torn down and turned into a block of flats - unless his grandfather returns to pay off the family debt. Arthur discovers a way to enter the world of the Minimoys, gorgeous tiny people living in harmony with nature... in their own garden.

Why I love it
The characters are gorgeous, the animation is fantastic and the world in the garden is enchanting. There is romance and a villain and a hero. There's action and fun and I love hearing all the famous voices!

Suitable for ages 4+

Real Steel
Starring Hugh Jackman

The Story
Set in the near future, where robot boxing is a top sport, a deeply in debt, ex-boxer [Hugh] discovers he has an 11 year old son, Max, who wants to know his father. Their relationship develops as they bond over a discarded, old generation sparring robot called Atom that Max found. 

Why I love it
The development of the relationship between father and son gets me every time. There's no swearing and, though boxing is an aggressive/violent sport, the fact that it's robots fighting means there's no blood or anything gory like that. There is one scene that involves a real fight between men which does involve blood and is a little unpleasant. But, there's the whole underdog can win message and Max teaches the robot to dance. Strangely, it's an incredibly feel-good movie which my boys love. Also, Hugh Jackman.

Suitable for - it's rated PG 13+ but my 6 and 8 year old boys watch it. I wouldn't recommend it for kids who are sensitive to any kind of fighting or violence - regardless of age.

Fantastic Mr Fox
Featuring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Defoe, Owen Wilson

The Story
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, it's the story of Mr. Fox and his wild-ways of hen heckling, turkey taking and cider sipping, nocturnal, instinctive adventures. He has to put his wild days behind him and do what fathers do best: be responsible. But he is too rebellious and too wild so he tries "just one more raid" on the three nastiest, meanest farmers that are Boggis, Bunce and Bean. A tale of crossing the line of family responsibilities, midnight adventure and friendships.

Why I love it
The animation of this movie is so different to most of what my kids watch and that in itself is engaging. It's a quirky movie with a grown up feel wrapped in kids' fun that has won a stack of awards.

Suitable for - kids who don't need a lot of bright colour on the screen to keep them engaged. This movie is PG rated but again, my 6 and 8 year old boys love it. It's purposely quite subdued in colour, resting on the sophistication of the animation and dialogue which would make it unsuitable for young kids [and adults] who like a bit more going on. 

So there you have it. 3 movies that you may never have considered [or even heard of]. 

What are some of your obscure favourites?


  1. Alexandra Polischko26 September 2013 at 13:24

    Seen all 3 and I agree these are all great although we haven't let our 6 year old daughter watch Real Steel yet, will leave this one for next year when she's a little bit older

  2. I'm sorry but - Sound of Music. Corny I know, but it is amazing how children connect with this movie... And Free Willy, Mr (6yr old) Jonas had such a powerful understanding of the mixed emotions at the end of that movie :-( Don't know if they're Disney or what, but great kid movies