Category Archives: Family Films

Movies recommended for families and children.

Jumanji: The Next Level

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As I mentioned in the first remake – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – you can in no way compare these modern day films to the 90’s Robin Williams Jumanji masterpiece. Nor are these parody movie intended to be.

With that said, let’s begin:

Jumanji: The Next Level was everything that I expected it to be. It was clearly capitalising on the success of the first one, with the story being an after thought. However, if you didn’t see the first movie then you’d still enjoy this second instalment… Continue reading

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The Lion King (2019)

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We had such a wonderful night out to see the remake of The Lion King!

While the original 1994 Disney version wasn’t my absolute favourite movie as a child (Sleeping Beauty will always be number 1), it was certainly a movie that was ingrained in my childhood.

I used to sit close to the TV with my Simba, Narla and Scar plush toys in front of me, and act out all the scenes alongside the movie.

It was a real treat to watch The Lion King for the first time again. However, its realistic live-action animation didn’t always work in its favour because it meant that the animals couldn’t physically do what the cartoon characters could do… Continue reading

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Mary Poppins Returns

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Well, I thought this was a scene-by-scene remake. That’s what the rumours said anyway.

However, as the title does actually suggest, this is a sequel. It follows the lives of Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) as adults – the brother and sister in the first film.

After the death of his wife, Michael’s repayments on the house lapsed. The bank demanded that he now pay up in full – which he can’t possibly afford. 

Thankfully, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives just in time!

I have been looking forward to see this movie for ever! So as part of my hen do, we all went to watch it. It was such a magical day… Continue reading

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Incredibles 2

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I recently wrote that I was excited to see this film, but I do wonder if I was perhaps influenced by other people’s enthusiasm because I was never really a massive fan of the first film. I liked it of course, but it ain’t no Toy Story.

Nevertheless, I do love a Pixar animation, and I am very interested in the voice acting scene, so I was more then happy to see Incredibles 2.

This second instalment picks up exactly where the first one left off where the Incredibles are attempting to save the city from a giant mole super-villain. Unfortunately despite their best efforts, they do not catch the culprit and superheroes are condemned and remain illegal… Continue reading

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Brave

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I was so certain I had written a review on this film…

Anyway, it’s a medieval, Scottish-based Disney Pixar animation film about a young fiery red-headed princess named Merida (Kelly Macdonald). Her youth and freedom is threatened when her parents organise suiters to win her hand in marriage. She rebels and enlists a witch to change her mum (Emma Thompson) in order to change her fate.

While the dodgy witch (Julie Walters) did make her mother change, she changed her into a bear. This did change Merida’s fate but not in the most ideal way. Therefore, Merida has to find a way to break the spell… Continue reading

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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The 1991 Disney animation of Beauty & the Beast is a movie that I love dearly. So while I had major reservations about this remake – mostly because of Emma Watson – I was quietly optimistic about it. Perhaps today’s technology will enhance the magic…

But no. It doesn’t. This remake was appalling, and my reluctance to watch it was proven understandable.

The casting was totally wrong. Right off the bat Emma Watson – or should I say Hermione Granger – was a problem. While she fits the physicality of Belle, her same-old expression of open-mouthed, furrow-browed facials were tiring to say the least… Continue reading

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Parental Guidance

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Previously titled Us & Them, this is a whole-heartedly, all-American family film. Therefore, you will either laugh from beginning to end, or you won’t be able to avoid cringing at the cheese.

I personally enjoyed Parental Guidance – I could appreciate the family-fun.

It’s about grandparents Artie and Dianne (Billy Crystal and Bette Midler)… Continue reading

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Maleficent

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I had disregarded Maleficent as a boring and unnecessary retelling of a well-known fairytale. But I asked around and heard such positive reviews about it, so I decided to give it a chance especially because Sleeping Beauty is one of my favourites and Maleficent is about the ‘baddie’ of that tale.

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a powerful fairy who lives in a land adjacent to a town. One day, she meets a human man called Stefan (Michael Higgins (child), Jackson Bews (teen)) and they fall in love. Unfortunately, they drift apart because Stefan is all like, ‘I want power, money and control; I’m going get a job in our local castle’. But she’s like, ‘oh no, I’m heartbroken’… Continue reading

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The Devil Wears Prada

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This film is so underrated. It is funny, sensitive, sassy and stars Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt.

It’s about Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) who is an aspiring journalist, but can only land a job as an assistant at a fashion magazine. While ‘millions of girls would die’ for this position, it’s a far cry from the journalism job she was after.

At the fashion magazine, Miranda (Meryl Streep) is a terrifying boss and manipulates people well. Andrea soon finds herself desperately trying to keep up with Miranda’s impossible standards, with no help from fellow assistant Emily (Emily Blunt), and her family life is soon neglected… Continue reading

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Cinderella (2015)

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Speaking of Disney live-action remakes and royal weddings, I remembered that I never wrote a review about Cinderella. There are so many Disney princess films and wedding movies on the tellie at the moment, so I thought I’d join in.

As with every Disney princess movie, one must take it with a pinch of salt. It will be a little cringe, over-dramatic, a little too perfect and very girly. But isn’t that what princess films are all about?… Continue reading

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Saving Mr. Banks

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I think Saving Mr. Banks is a brilliant take on the Mary Poppins story. It’s not a remake or a sequel, it’s more of the ‘behind the scenes’ of the classic Mary Poppins story. It’s the story behind the story.

It follows Pamela Travers (Emma Thompson) who is approached by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) himself regarding her children’s book series, Mary Poppins. #disney #savingmrbanks Review: Continue reading

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Top 7: Live-Action Disney Remakes Coming Soon

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Disney has been creating films since 1923, beginning with an Alice in Wonderland cartoon series. But it wasn’t until 1937 that the memorable Snow White and the Seven Dwarves animation was released. Ever since then, Disney Studios has had a fairytale film career with many major successes.

I’m sure everyone holds a Disney animation close to their hearts because of its influence on our childhoods. (Mine is Sleeping Beauty (1959), which I grew up watching on VHS throughout the nineties.) Even today, children are still growing up watching Disney films.

Disney is continuing with its successful films about princesses and magic, but more live-action remakes of the classics are in development rather than brand new animated tales.

It seems we can’t stop loving the old stories. Or, perhaps the old-fashioned animations don’t fascinate the iPad-savvy kids of today… Continue reading

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Tangled

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Based on the Brothers Grimm classic, Rapunzel, this modern tale Tangled brings the comedy back.

A notorious thief called  Eugene Fitzherbert AKA ‘Flynn Rider’ (Zachary Levi), finds a tall tower to climb and hide in while being chased. But he soon realises he’s not alone. Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is energetic and naive, but well-trained in self-defence. Skills that come in handy when Flynn intrudes… Continue reading

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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After 20 minutes of watching this Harry Potter spin-off, I realised it was not going to get any better.

A story of a man (Eddie Redmayne) who was expelled from Hogwarts goes to America to save and conserve magical beasts that have been wrongly accused of being dangerous within the magical community.

Unfortunately, this gets out of hand and his magical beasts escape into New York city and interact with Muggles – or as the Americans call them, No-maj. (Non-magical people.)

I had hyped myself up to see it because I had recently had a Harry Potter movie binge-watch, and had read one of the Potter books. So I thought, to be a real Harry Potter fan, I really ought to see Fantastic Beasts before it ‘disapparated’ from the cinemas.

Unfortunately, it was everything I feared… Continue reading

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Finding Dory

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I was more keen to see BFG if I’m honest, but mostly because I thought Finding Nemo was so good that ‘Finding Dory’ was just going to be a cash-in. But due to a particularly over-excited boyfriend, we ended up seeing Finding Dory. Sharing a small cinema with about 50 people – some of them peculiar, some of them creepy, and only a couple of them under the age of 13 – we unabashedly cracked open a couple of ciders and the movie began. And I was pleasantly surprised… Continue reading

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Arthur Christmas

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Only just came across this animated festive feast. I had ignored it when seeing it in the bargain bin for sometime, but with a ‘buy two get one free’ deal on, I found myself struggling to pick the third and free DVD. Stuck between Alvin and the Chipmunks and Barbie in A Christmas Carol, I reluctantly decided on Arthur Christmas as my free movie…
I got my ticket. I was ready to be a passenger on this one-horse open sleigh ride of festive fun. I was ready to deck the halls with wonder and joy. I was ready to let it snow with good tidings, tinsel and turkey.

It was time to bring Santa back to town… Continue reading

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Inside Out

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What a fantastic premise!

I am fascinated by psychology and why people behave they way they do, and this film has simplified our complex behaviours into an entertaining and interesting animation.

It’s about a young girl… Well, more like the emotions that make up a young girl. We see inside her head and see who controls her moods, decisions and feelings:

Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear… Continue reading

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Big Hero 6

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2015’s new year animated film, Big Hero 6, is a perfectly adequate gate-way film to the Superhero genre.

It’s about an orphaned boy – because it would unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe (BttF2) if it was a hero who had parents.

This orphaned boy is called Hiro, and his brother made a robot, who is essentially a nurse, named Baymax.

Anyway, one thing leads to another and Hiro has to get a super team together to catch the bad guy. The rest, I’m sure, you will be able to figure out. Continue reading

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Julie & Julia

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I can NOT believe I haven’t reviewed this! I was so certain I had because this movie was the inspiration behind me starting this very blog!

So! Julie & Julia, it is a typical rom-com drama, with a twist! The twist being the gorgeous, wonderful, classic Meryl Streep.

It follows two story lines – both of them based on true stories:

One is about Julia Child (Meryl Streep), an American living in France during the 40s. (That means trilling accents and beautiful dresses). She is struggling to adapt to French culture, so we follow how her love of food provided a comfort, and her plans to write a cookbook.

The second story is of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) in the modern day, a government worker by day who starts a cooking blog as an outlet. She uses Child’s cookbook as a guide: 524 recipes in 365 days… Continue reading

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Frozen

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I’m not a huge fan of the cheese-covered conservative Disney films in general. I avoided watching Frozen until just last week, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

This was a modern story where the main characters are not searching for true love for once. In fact, it was based around friendship and family.

The trailer includes all of the cheese, targeting the younger audience with the shallow humour.

However, the humour in the movie is actually quite funny and target toward an older audience too. Continue reading

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The Lego Movie

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I feel silly thinking this kids’ movie could be anything but a shallow cartoon.

Animation aimed at children but also being entertaining for adults, such as The Lion King and the Toy Story trilogy, have been and gone.

Perhaps it’s just going to be a string of cheaply made kids movies from now on. With famous voice actors dragging it to the cinema.

I thought it had a blatant moral of “be yourself”. But then I realised it’s a bit deeper than that – it’s about breaking out of the mould created by society. Liking the same songs as everyone else and told to be happy by staying in the same job for the rest of your life is the lifestyle the protagonist breaks out of.

The Lego Movie was bizarre and silly… Continue reading

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The Way Way Back

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The Way Way Back is a funny, feel-good film, similar to Little Miss Sunshine and Juno. It’s an uplifting tale about Duncan (Liam James) who has to endure a summer with his mum Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell).

Struggling to withstand Trent’s subtle bullying, Duncan goes out as often as possible. He soon gets a secret job at the local pool, where he gains a lot more confidence and gets a good reputation… Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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An inspirational fable to say the least. I have been waiting for a movie like this for a long time.

“Having a Walter Mitty moment”, you’ve probably heard the phrase. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty explores the ‘what if’ situations in life.

It is sort of similar to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, because it is the story of a man’s dreams and epic adventures.

Coincidently, there is a hilarious reference to Benjamin Button in the movie.

Everybody can relate to Walter Mitty. Dreamers, travellers, photographers, bored office workers… Anybody who fantasises about running away or doing something crazy… Continue reading

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Jack the Giant Slayer

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What an exciting cast! Bill Nighy, Stanley Tucci and Ewan McGregor! *drool*

I first saw the advert on the back of the bus, and quite frankly I thought it looked a little.. Lame.

I mean starting from Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland, we have had remake after remake of these fairytales and fables; Beauty and Beast, The Wizard of Oz, Mirror, Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman… So to see Jack and the Beanstalk being remade was not a surprise, and I expected it to have similar disappointments with all of the other remakes.

Namely the fact that the violence has to be toned down so that it can be suitable for the younger audience. Despite the storyline being 100 times better if it went the full hog and making it an M.

I was right. But it didn’t stop the story being enjoyable.

I do think the writers… Continue reading

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Oz: The Great and Powerful

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Oz is a young children’s movie. Something I was quite unaware of until I was sitting bored brainless in the theatre.

It was an okay movie with a fantastical world of colour and mystery. But essentially no surprises or twists at all. The happily-ever-after ending was inevitable and the actions of the characters predictable… Continue reading

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