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Published April 15th 2015
Choose the right film for your youngsters with this guide
Remember childhood days, and of the excitement of an adult taking you to the cinema. Films of yesteryear were full of adventure, and stories of lands afar. They made us want to grow up quick and go there. They made us cry and laugh, and we discovered a little more about life. We all wanted a dog like Lassie, and a magic carpet ride. There were baddies in black hats, and giants who we were so scared of. Most films for children were portrayed by real actors expressing real emotions that children could relate to. I have searched hard, but alas cannot find one real life non-animated drama.
It is in a sorry state I bring you this selection of current films on offer for children. Cartoons have always been fun, but I feel there is a real lack of balance in what is available to kids these days. Computer generated animation must be cheaper to produce. If you decide on taking your children to a movie these holidays, do look around for some live theatre or puppets shows where they can see and learn some real emotion. Having said that, don't think kids are immune to feeling anything because it's only a cartoon. Many a time I have had a little one snuggle up to me and say something is so scary, but it remains a very simple funny picture to me. Please choose wisely and for the age of the child. There is still a lot of sexist rubbish out there in movie land, and as a society we insist on forcing on our kids. A good quality film needs to be entertaining yet also educational, stimulating the mind, the emotions and to promote discussion with adults.
Here is Out and About's holiday movie guide of current release films for kids:
Sponge Bob Square Pants: Sponge Out of Water. Rated G. Also in 3D This animated character hasn't really caught on in Australia, however the antics may appeal to upper primary children.
Adults and children adore this cute little sheep and the funny things they get up to on the farm in front of the blind as a bat farmer. In their first feature movie the sheep decide to make a movie. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to go with my grandies as they say I laugh too loud at the TV shows at home. Have a look at the trailer here
The Book of Life. Rated PG. Also in 3D Some parental guidance may be needed here to explain the hidden life issues of facing your fears and making life choices. A good choice though for over seven year olds.
Book of Life. A fun movie with some subtle life messages.
Tinkerbell: Legend of the Neverbeast. Rated G. Yet another Tinkerbell film has been churned out of the Disney studios. Another tale with a creature that seems to be borrowed from the Never Ending Story, which was a great kids movie back in the 1980s. This one will surely delight both boys and girls from over 4 years.
Tinkerbell- Legend of the Never Beast- wiki image
The Wiggles: Rock and Roll Preschool. Rated G. The Wiggles have finally made their first feature movie. There is a saying about when you are on a good thing, stick to it. This isn't it. Audience participation is what they do best, and is such a big part of their appeal to tiny tots. How can you get up to boogie in the cinema? I don't know how this one will work. The target of pre-schoolers cannot sit still for long during a film screening. The whole movie going process is a bit daunting for very young children and this film will be boring for the older ones. My guess is it will be a flop and will soon be out on DVD.
The Wiggles doing what they do best, but no dancing in the aisles at the movie "rock and roll preschool"
Home. Rated PG
This one gets my overall choice for best kids movie. A sweet tale of an earthling who finds an alien. They team up in a united cause to save the planet. The Dreamworks team do it again with bright tecnicolour and a little adventure in this animated flick. The kids will like this one.
Home- this looks a winner for kids these holidays.
Fireman Sam: Heroes of the Storm. Rated G. Another cutesy character the little boys seem to like. He does stereotyped adventurous boys stuff like rescuing kittens and damsels in distress. Only runs for 60 minutes so a good choice for the very young. Maybe a good choice for a first movie day for 3 to 4 year olds and above.
Big Hero 6. Rated PG. This film has recently won favourite animated film at the Kid's Choice 2015 awards. It may have screened in cities during the summer, but may come to regional areas for April holidays. From Disney animation studios this movie has robotics and superheros and lots of action. A good choice for over 8 year olds. Screening time is 108 minutes.
Many cinema chains are offering special kids prices, as some films have a short running time. Look also at independent cinemas in your town, who may be offering an older film or something alternative. Enjoy the holidays people.