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Best Films for Children - 2007

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If you were drawing up a list of 2007's Top Ten Movies for Children, what would you include?

Besides Ratatouille, of course.

(Shall we define children as 12-and-under?)

At first glance, it strikes me as having been a particularly bad year for the youngsters at the cineplex.

Full disclosure: I intend to draw from this thread for a blog entry.

 

[Added by SDG] Links:

Edited by SDG

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While films for kids isn't necessarily my beat, I'd agree with your assessment of the year. Was Bridge to Terebithia last year? And I'm not too sure I'd include Ratatouille as a kids film, even though it's animated and Brad Bird. It's ok for kids, but I don't think they will appreciate it all that well.

BTW, is it catty to mention I like your new avatar?

Edited by Darrel Manson

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:)

That's Jonathan Mardukas. Or "The Duke" as we call him 'round the house. He a white-collared criminal.

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Don't know if this is the best thread for this, but it's current, so ...

- - -

Take the Kids, and Don't Feel Guilty

Over the last few years, in the course of many parent conferences and elementary-school curriculum nights, I've become familiar with the concept of the "just-right book." This, my children's teachers patiently explain, is a book that is perfectly suited to a child's reading ability: neither too easy, in which case he or she will grow bored, nor too difficult, which risks frustration and confusion.

I defer to the pedagogical expertise of the professionals, but something in me nonetheless rebels against the idea that the books children choose should always be safely within their developmental comfort zone. There is pleasure to be found in bewilderment, in the struggle to make sense of what is just above your head, and there is wisdom as well. For similar reasons, while I am happy (or at least willing) to take my children to the latest animated or tweener-star-driven "family" movies -- with their singing chipmunks and chirpy Loch Ness Monsters -- we gravitate more and more toward age-inappropriate fare, exploring the grown-up realms of PG-13 and even, sometimes, R. . . .

New York Times, January 11

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Walden had a very good year last year. I think The Water Horse is at least as good as Lassie, and Bridge to Terabithia may be the best thing they've ever done. Amazing Grace, while not a children's movie per se, is a good movie for families.

Mr. Bean's Holiday (not Walden) is both G-rated and underrated.

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DanBuck   
If you were drawing up a list of 2007's Top Ten Movies for Children, what would you include?

Besides Ratatouille, of course.

(Shall we define children as 12-and-under?)

At first glance, it strikes me as having been a particularly bad year for the youngsters at the cineplex.

Full disclosure: I intend to draw from this thread for a blog entry.

My kids (6 and 4) saw Fred Claus in theatres this year and loved it. And it was largely safe, and cute holiday fare.

They also saw The Simpsons Movie and loved it, but that's just me being a bad parent.

They LOVED and I mean LOVED Alvin and the Chipmunks, but it was my parents that took them to that and I trust their critical opinion as much as I trust my four year old's.

I think this was released last year in theatres, but Meet the Robinsons on DVD was a favorite of theirs and ours (the wife and me).

Sorry to think outloud, but I guess I'm concluding that Fred Claus and Meet the Robinsons were the best kids flix we saw (and Rat. of course).

I would think Enchanted would go on many people's lists, but we've not seen it. It's a little to Princess-y for my boys. :)

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I haven't caught up with "Ratatouille" yet, so I can't comment on that one. I found "Bridge to Terebithia" underwhelming, "The Simpsons" unfunny, and "Mr. Bean's Holiday" unwatchable. For me, as an old guy of 45, the best children's film of 2007 was the totally unhip but totally fun TMNT.

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The "just-right book" is a load of crap. They way children grow in their reading (and viewing) abilities is when they have access to material that they think looks interesting, but is presented in a way that is more advanced than their current abilities can easily decode. What happens then is that the child has a strong motivator to expand his or her abilities, and voila! learning!

I can say from my own experience that reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time in fifth grade, even though it was very advanced for me and I didn't get nearly everything out of it, was a great learning experience for me, as was watching Jeremiah Johnson and Ladyhawke when I was about seven or so.

Edited by solishu

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Mr. Bean's Holiday definitely belongs on such a list, although it is too slow for the very young.

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:unsure: Maybe I'm wrong, then. I've never seen either of the two movies you mentioned. And for the record, I was thinking of those younger than, say, six or seven. My then-eight-year-old sister sat without fidgeting through Into Great Silence, even! so I'm not trying to say it has to be some way without actually knowing the kids in question. Edited by David Smedberg

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DanBuck   
:unsure: Maybe I'm wrong, then. I've never seen either of the two movies you mentioned. And for the record, I was thinking of those younger than, say, six or seven. My then-eight-year-old sister sat without fidgeting through Into Great Silence, even! so I'm not trying to say it has to be some way without actually knowing the kids in question.

I couldn't even do that.

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Months later: Out of 2007, my family loved The Water Horse. I've not seen my nine-year-old brother so enthralled by a movie for a while. Ratatouille was more a favorite of the teenage crowd in my house (every year from 13-16; yes, all four of them).

I've not seen Alvin and the Chipmunks, but general family consensus seemed to be on the more fun side of average. Everyone enjoyed Enchanted, though some of the boys' interest waned towards the third viewing (I was the only one who was done by the first, I think).

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