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Movies for All

 
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:13 am    Post subject: Movies for All Reply with quote

I thought about putting this under the "Summer Movies" thread, but it's not really about this summer's movies, so here I am.

This evening I re-watched "The Secret of NIMH" (1982) for the first time in years, and it was really good. Not quite as good as I remember it being, perhaps, but that's mostly because I first saw it when I was really little, and it's much easier to fall in love with movies then. But even so, it's a great film, and almost as enjoyable for an adult audience as it is for kids. Makes me want to go read the book it's based on.

So I thought I'd post a list of movies, particularly animated ones, that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. I should add that I was thinking of fairly young children, mostly of the 7-9 age set. The qualities I looked for were:

1) Reasonably high production values, i.e. no super-cheap corner cutting;
2) A coherent plot;
3) Good acting (or voice acting in the case of animated films);
4) In particular, no grotesquely over-the-top performances for cheap gags (*coughEddieMurphycough*);
5) Not "cutesy" in terms of visual style;
6) Not cloyingly saccharine.

Here's what I've come up with, in no particular order:

The Secret of NIMH
The Great Muppet Caper
Kiki's Delivery Service
The Neverending Story (the first one, NOT the sequel)
The Iron Giant
My Neighbor Totoro
The Princess Bride (though the wimpy heroine annoys me)
Fantasia (this one is an exception to the "coherent plot" criterion, since it didn't have a plot per se and wasn't trying to)
The Secret of Roan Inish
The Court Jester
Spirited Away
The Incredibles
Wall-E

There are a few others I'd like to include that don't fully meet my standards. The animated versions of "The Hobbit" and LotR almost made the cut, but their animation wasn't quite up to snuff. Similarly, I would really like to have added "Unico in the Island of Magic", but much though I love it, it doesn't make the cut. Too saccharine -- I mean, the villain is eventually defeated by the hero's willingness to be his friend. Behold the Power of Friendship triumph over all. Oy.

What do you all think?
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Asa



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool list, and I've seen the movie or read the book version of most of those. Thanks!
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Lithrath



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome list, Tinman.

I'd also add "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Laputa", though some children may not understand them fully until they're about ten or so. Ah, Ghibli ^__^
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Squeeself



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eh, Squee wouldn't recommend most of the Ghibli films for younger children. Not because they're inappropriate, but simply due to understanding what's going on...That said, Spirited Away could make this list. Coherent plot kinda doesn't matter on that one cause...well, it's plot is supposed to be really weird. Smile

You could honestly put more (all) Pixar movies up there imho. Also, Fantasia 2000, while overall not up to the same quality as original, is still great. The last piece from the Firebird suite is, imho, one of the best animated sequences of all time. (Helps that Squee loves the music.)

Anyway...for Squee's additions to the list...


  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original. Seasonal, but Dr. Seuss can't be beat)
  • The Wizard of Oz (the frightening witch isn't a bad thing for kids, see below...plus, it's classic! A little cultural learning never hurts)
  • Babe (Yes, the pig one. Yes, it's a bit cheesy. Yes, Squee is weird. But the "That'll do, pig. That'll do." is one of the classic movie lines of all time imho)
  • Peter Pan & Hook (yes, Disney version. Best adventure movie Disney ever did. And Hook is good too)
  • The Last Unicorn (with reservation. Squee recalls the unicorn/prince relationship being...cheesy. And it's...juvenile, for lack of a better word. But honestly better than I expected when I saw it for the first time a year or so ago.)
  • Whale Rider (a more deep & serious film, but an all around solid film...might be aiming a little high on the age bracket though. If you're complaining about wimpy heroines though...This is the opposite. She's young enough, but way mature for her age, making this one a hit-or-miss for your criteria)
  • Treasure Island (the original. Honestly perfect for kids)


Classic Disney can also fit your criteria, though Squee gets the feeling you were avoiding it. We grew up on it, and with a few exceptions, most were pretty good stories. Just gotta stop when Disney followed the trend and began putting to much moralizing for the kids in...A lot of the fairy tales work well, as well as The Lion King, probably Disney's best original...(The Broadway version, btw, was awesome.) If you're looking for ones without cutesy sidekicks like later Disney, go Sleeping Beauty.

Just an aside on The Secret of Nimh...that movie scared Squee half to death as a kid. Not that it's a bad thing, kids can enjoy being scared and it didn't scar Squee for life or anything (well, debatable Cool ). Squee saw it again a year or so ago, and had fond memories of it.

Before anyone DARES suggest it, no Labyrinth. That movie DID scar Squee for life. Creepy puppets + David Bowie trippy music video == dead brain cells for Squee. Squee STILL hates David Bowie to this day...

Funny that Squee suggested more non-animated movies than animated, when Squee is an animation lover...
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thespaceinvader



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not seen many of these, I have to say. But those I have, I agree with heartily.

I can't add any more that i think would make Tin's cut, though... Mainly cus I don't see what's so bad about Eddie Murphy =P
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... I was considering suggesting "Watership Down" till I saw the 7-9 tag. I think I was ten when I read the book, and I probably saw parts of the film on television at holiday time, but it was a bit scary. I'm also personally not that keen on Wall-E, but I'm not a massive Pixar fan in all honesty.

Would "Willow and "The Dark Crystal" likewise be considered too 'mature' or 'dark'? I know "Willow" is extremely cheesy, but it's got rip-roaring yarn feel to it and probably more acessible than the 1938 Robin Hood for the kiddies.
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Tinalles
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought about "The Dark Crystal", but it seems to me that you need to be at least ten to really appreciate that one. It's too dark and complex for the younger set. Ditto for Willow.
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Asa



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By 'Laputa', do you mean 'Castle in the Sky'? Or are they related? Because that and 'Howl's Moving Castle' were the ones I was going to add, but ended up not for fear of Tinman's rebuttal.
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TheBritishInvasion



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laputa: Castle in the Sky was realeased simply as Castle in the Sky in America, so they're the same thing.

And I can't think of any movies to add to the list right now, which is strange because I love kids' movies.

/Edit: Actually I have thought of one film, Hercules. I love that movie, it stood out from the other Disney films some how, in fact it's how my fascination with all things ancient Greek first began.
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unimportant



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hercules was my favorite Disney movie as a kid, but being older now I have more trouble appreciating it, largely because it strays so darn far from real Greek mythology.


I'd like to add James and the Giant Peach, the one produced by Tim Burton, to the list. I watched that again a few months ago and was as delighted as I had been when I first saw it, when I was eight or so.

Other than that, I think your list is pretty spot on Tin!
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinalles wrote:
I thought about "The Dark Crystal", but it seems to me that you need to be at least ten to really appreciate that one. It's too dark and complex for the younger set. Ditto for Willow.


To be honest, at age 7 I liked "Terminator" and Marx Brother movies, but I can understand that there is some mild dark peril in both films. On the flipside, I was terrified of Terminator 2 at age 8, and my mother HATED Snow White at the cinema as a little girl, because she found the Wicked Queen transforming into the witch far too scary - go figure.

The list is good thus far, but I think more can be added to it, or I may just compile my own. XD

EDIT: I loved Hercules as well, but more for its gospel soundtrack and the fact it made for an EXCELLENT skive on a Friday afternoon during Latin. Often would we con our teacher into letting us watch it. XD
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Dark Mirf



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

w00t! There's some of my favorites on the list along with Secret of Roan Inish and Whale Rider.

There's a few that I remember, but it has been so long. I remember Pippi Longstocking and the movie adaption of Dennis the Menace and Home Alone.

EDIT: Thought of another one... Homeward Bound, the movie based on book The Increadble Journey. I'm a sucker for talking animals.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Squeeself wrote:

Before anyone DARES suggest it, no Labyrinth. That movie DID scar Squee for life. Creepy puppets + David Bowie trippy music video == dead brain cells for Squee. Squee STILL hates David Bowie to this day...


Gasp! You have something against tight pants, and David Bowie being in them? On THIS forum?!

My picks are movies that had such a big impact on me when I was little that I actually cried at the end.

The Land Before Time <sniff>
The Fox and the Hound
The Velveteen Rabbit
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Ravenna



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with PCP as regards Labyrinth. But I finally remembered one of my suggestions!

Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave
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