Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Classic Festive Family Films

We love to snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn and a festive film.  It is a family Christmas tradition!  

I'm always on the lookout for new films that will appeal to 2 year old Freddy as well as the older kids, so we can watch together.  

I have been sent a range of DVDs that really fit the bill.

Emmett the Otter's Jug Band Christmas, How the Toys Saved Christmas and  the Paul McCartney Music and Animation Collection are all classic Christmas movies.

Emmett the Otter's Jug Band Christmas is a Jim Henson film telling the story of  a poor otter family who risk everything to try to win a cash prize in a talent contest to get some money for Christmas.  Emmett forms a jug band to try to win the $50 prize but the Riverbottom Gang pose some tough (and funky) competition. But they soon learn that there are more important things than winning.  Like family!  The songs are fun in this musical treat and the performing critters delighted my kids.  It's a real Henson gem and bound to become a festive favourite in my house!

How The Toys Saved Christmas follows what happens when Granny Rose, Santa's helper, falls ill.  She recruits Mr Grimm to deliver the toys.  He has an evil plan to sell the toys to children who can afford them.  The toys flee to try to take matters into their own hands and find their true homes with the children in time for Christmas.  The toys' adventure is memorable and the toy characters themselves are very appealing.  Films like this are the forerunners of Toy Story.  It is a lovely film with lovely moments where the toys have to be brave to deliver themselves.  The crayons are cute little characters!  A real sweet movie for little ones.

Paul McCartney The Music and Animation Collection has three classics to enjoy.  Tropic Island Hum, Tuesday and Rupert and the Frog Chorus.  Most of us remember the Frog Chorus featuring Rupert Bear and it is nice to share it with the children and sing "We all stand together!"  I had never heard of the other two projects before.  Tuesday is a magical, musical story of some bored frogs whose lily pads fly into town so they can have some fun.  Dustin Hoffman voices a part it. Tropic Island Hum really appealed to us being vegetarian.  It is the story of an island where animals are free from hunters and abuse.  It was made with Paul's wife Linda, who was a real advocate for animal protection.  Wirral the Liverpudlian Squirrel is at the centre of the story when he is rescued from hunters by a frog in a hot air balloon and taken to the island.  It is done in old school, hand drawn animation and the kids did question the quality of it.  But I think it is nice for them to appreciate the quality of Pixar against cartoons made just 15 years ago.  This is a piece of animation history.

I have really enjoyed watching some old, traditional festive films with my children.  Introducing them to the animation of McCartney and a Jim Henson classic has really expanded their cultural education!  Emmett the Otter was our favourite...a real timeless movie, although as I love the Muppets I am a bit biased towards it!   This year, why don't you introduce your children to some real Christmas classics!


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