21 July 2006


by Frank Turk

For the sake of bumping Dan's last post, Because Carlos asked and deserves an answer, I'm going to post the last 5 or 6 videos/movies I have watched with my kids which turned out not to be damaging to the hours of Gospel inculturalization my wife and I have poured into them, and if it turns out to be a list of 4 or 10 videos/movies, don't be such a content-accountant.

In no particular order:
  • Nanny McPhee
  • Cars
  • Curious George
  • The various new episodes of Scooby Doo
  • Most of the episodes in the last half of the first season of Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman
  • Atomic Betty
  • The various Barbie animated videos, but especially Swan Lake (note: if you're the kind of person who gets all worked up over magic in kids' programming, rather than stir up a Santa-like controversy here I suggest you avoid the Barbie videos because -- shockingly! -- they have fair tale magic in them)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon (the one from Scholastic which includes the classic "the Mysterious Tadpole" -- not the trashy HBO version)
Now that this post is up here, you can add other titles you think would be a good addition to the list. Think of it as a public service of Team Pyro -- and you don't even have to type long sentences!


DJP said...

Only Frank would follow a post titled "Only 'only'" with one titled "Me! Me!"

Gavin Brown said...


Steve said...

Dan said, "Only Frank would follow a post titled "Only 'only'" with one titled "Me! Me!"

*huge grin*

Craver Vii said...

SKY HIGH (That was great family fun!)

And if you like superheroes, you might enjoy reading Comic Book Character. I started to read it to my kids, but some words were too big and thoughts too philosophical for my 6-yr old. Nevertheless, it's still a good discussion starter.

Comic Book Character

Jon said...

Any of the Pixar films:
- Nemo
- Toy Story(s)
- Monsters Inc.

Also when they are tweens, the Pirates of the Carribean franchise is rife with useful allusions...

and Lord of the Rings - 'natch

C. T. Lillies said...

I thought Iron Giant was a cool movie and had a great message. ('Bout fell off the couch when the 'bot jumped in the lake.) People can be changed, greater love hath no, er, man--all that. Same guy that did Incredibles, BTW.


Learning Grace said...

any of the Thomas The Tank Engine stuff... if you don't mind the very vaguely marxist bend (ie. Everyone just wants to be useful... yada, yada, yada) and The Dark Crystal has wonderful dark/light stuff, anyone with a little imagination can turn that into a pretty good discusion of the seperation of God and Man.

Catez said...

Some of the old classics still go down great with the littlies:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Dick van Dyke is hysterical - whoops, I mean it's great for little kids)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original)
The Lion King

A lot of those classic animated ones are still good.

Catez said...

The Sound of Music.

Imagine the theology discussion you can have on "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"

Mike Y said...

And how did you like Barbie?

A new one, which is out tonight, is Monster House.

And not sure if I saw Over the Fence on the list, but it was hilarious.

Alien vs. Predator (oops, wrong audience)

Greg Linscott said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only one in the blogosphere who has seen the Barbue videos.

Frank- I have three daughters. What's your story? ;)

DJP said...

I think you ALL have ONLY daughters. These movie-names are hurting my brain. Willie Wonka? Barbie? I didn't even know Barbie had videos. Aigh.

I may have to do my own list -- and it'd be a long one.

Mike Y said...

Uh... Dan? Did you see my list?

Just one son-- and he does not watch Barbie, or the Sound of Music.

Jim Crigler said...

The Wallace & Grommit movie from last fall. Two (2) allusions that go over the head of younger kids.

George of the Jungle. (I haven't seen George 2, which wasn't released in theaters.)

Re: Pirates of the Caribbean: If in the next movie Jack Sparrow shows up frozen in carbonite, I'm walkin' out!

Church Dog said...

Any of the Harry Potter movies.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Then new Spider-Man movies are awesome. Both my boys, 5 and 7, loved them. Except for the kissing parts, to which they both responded with "Yuck!", as they made the faces to accompany the sound.
They also loved the Lord of the Rings, especially Smeagol/Gollum.
There's six great boy movies, if you count the Spider-Man that comes out next year.

Stephen Morse said...

What about Hoodwinked? I just about died when we watched that one! It is sooooo funny.

Little Red Riding Hood meets Jackie Chan and Vin Diesal (however you spell the names).

The Spiderguy movies are the choice of the month right now though (my 5 boys just love them!)

Although more often than not the 10 seasons of Little House on the Prairie music makes its way through our house (my 4 girls happen to be incharge of the remote!)

ibcarlos said...

Thanks, Frank.

Either this post was not at all about the content, or your kids must really like watching the same small number of films over and over.

[Uh...and that's a 'no-can-do' on the Barbie flix for my 5-year-old boy.]

And yes, Dan, you simply must produce that list; would appreciate it. Nice, long and useful, I trust(?)


FX Turk said...

Greg: I have one daughter, and when she grows up, she's going to make Barbie look like the cheap mall rat that she is. However, Swan Lake: I got a kick out of the animated adaptations of the actual dances in Swan Lake for the movie. And the score, of course, was cool.

ibcarlos said...

Stephen ~

(Aside from the extreme sport 'Homeys,' which I think were sufficiently toned down so as not to be "offensive", and the find-what-gives-you-personal-satisfaction thing, which was also toned down enough not to niggle at me, too much) I, too, have to give a solid two thumbs up on 'Hoodwinked.'


FX Turk said...


That's just the last half-dozen or so.

At my house, we have "camp out night" every Friday where we sleep on the floor of the living room and watch videos; one week the kids get to pick (albeit filtered picks which my wife and I have veto-power over), and the next week Grown-ups pick. Almost all the flicks here in the meta were picks we have made over the last 2 years (except for Spiderman, which is too violent for kids.

When my Boy turns 8, he and I are going to go on a "a vacation" one weekend and watch all the Star Wars movies in the right order (4,5,6,1,2,3).

C. T. Lillies said...

Actually if you're a serious Star Wars fan its 4, 5, 6 then the evil 4, 5, 6 THEN 1, 2, 3.

Yes, I'm STILL ticked about the Greedo thing.


Hessel-Man said...

I'm trying to figure out what the evil Star Wars 4,5,6 are... I guess the first two must be "The Ewok Adventure" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087225/) and "Ewoks: The Battle for Endor" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089110/).

Did they do a Jar-Jar Binks Adventure in between the first and second trilogy as well? :)

Catez said...

Point of clarification. Kids love watching the same few movies over and over and over again. And over again. And again.

How about "Barbie goes to the Chocolate Factory" in which she meets a gruesome (but not shown in detail, rated G) demise in the gobstopper bubblegum machine while Ken looks on surrounded by oompa loompas. Soon to be released I believe. Should be a hit with girls and boys.

Meanwhile, there's Mary Poppins.

donsands said...

I watched Old Yeller with my grandson the other night, BUT I stopped it right after the fight with the wolf. Felt the ending may be a little too intense for a 6 1/2 yr. old. I told him how it ended.

Great old flick.

Enjoyed this post and the comments. Thanks.

Taliesin said...

(Links appear to be on the fritz, so without pointing you to the IMDB)

Let me suggest "El Dorado" and "The Cowboys" with John Wayne. Also good is with Robert Mitchum.

More up to date and for slightly older pre-teen and up) would be "Eight Men Out" about the Chicago Black Sox. Good lessons about avoiding all appearance (and association with) evil.

Taliesin said...

Oops. Also good is "The Enemy Below" with Robert Mitchum....

Pecadillo said...

What about the old G.I. Joe Saturday morning cartoon show? That was a staple of my childhood. Not only did children learn from the folly of Cobra's greed and hatred, we also learned that it's not a good idea to stick forks into our home electrical sockets. "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle."

philness said...

Here you go. Land of the Lost. The Sleestacks...now that was quality TV at its finest.

FX Turk said...

Is G.I. Joe available on DVD -- the old ones? My son would go completely chicken-pot-pie over that.

Pecadillo said...

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!

Yes they are. And thanks to the unmatched generosity of the C-train, I own every episode, every public service announcement, and the GI Joe movie featuring the voice talent of a one Burgess Meredith.

FX Turk said...

What scares me, officer Pecadillo, is that you knew exactly what I was talking about.

Kay said...

*inserts 'Han shot first' deep geekiness here*

Robin Hood: Prince of thieves, for when they're a little older, but under advisement - and certainly not the new extended version, which, though it does have tons more Alan Rickman hilarity, is also darker and makes no continuity sense at all.

A Bugs Life is good fun, too.

*shakes head at the horror of watching Barbie movies*

We like Snow White, though the wicked Queen is very scary, because Snow White is, unlike most modern Disney heroines, a jolly good role-model who actually prays before bedtime.

Photon McJehu said...

How about Captains Courageous with Spencer Tracy?
I never quit looking for good old movies after that one.

The Borg said...

Has no one said Shrek (1 & 2)? Sure it has allusions aplenty that will sail over their little heads, but that makes it genuine family entertainment.

How about we make a list of movies your kids don't want to see with you? ;)

ibcarlos said...

Thanks for all the input, gang!

Your turn, Dan.

[(Sigh)...I am soooo culturally clueless. Guess my wee Immanuel is in for a dull future with his pops...}


Heidi said...

The best kids movie I've seen recently is Corpse Bride.

Of course that has magic in it too. But then so does Winnie the Pooh. (Where does that bear get his unnatural ability to talk and make up chanting rhymes? It can only be from the dark side.)

I also love Monsters and Mulan. My husband would say The Incredibles is the best. I have to vote for Ernest Goes to Jail.

étrangère said...

No-one's yet said The Princess Bride?!?

William Dicks said...

I had to go watch AquaMarine this weekend with my 11-year old daughter. It had a different kind of magic. In fact, one of the human girls told the mermaid that "love is the closest thing we have to magic."

Won't go see that one twice; however, I saw Cars with my son and thought it was good and I laughed a lot in it.

Matt Gumm said...

Hessel: I'm going to guess that evil 4,5,6 are a reference to the "Special Editions, where Lucas puts in a bunch of special effects that ruin the movie. You can't get the originals on DVD, but my brother just gave me his VHS ones that were remastered in THX, and I refuse to buy the new ones. One or two nice suprises (like Han Solo meeting a garrison of Stormtroopers instead of just a handful), but most changes were for the worse.

Yet they were still better than 1,2,3, if I further get Josh's meaning.

Cars was downright hilarious. Yes, it had the typical Disney self-absorbed main character who must learn that the world doesn't revolve around themselves, and I would have rather they left out "stupid," "idiot," and "moron," as words of choice, but very clever. Also quite long--2 hours, for those of you with squirmy kids (which is to say, I'm sure, most everyone with them).