Family Movie Round-up for These Early Nights

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We lived through several years of marriage and parenting with neither a TV nor a video player. Let alone cable. It was fine all through the spring and summer months. There was so much to do outside that we didn’t really want to be inside watching something.

Then the days would shorten and I would pine for a video player. Yes, video player. This was back in the Dark Ages before live streaming, DVD, or even DSL. A VHS player was what I dreamed of on those cold winter nights.

Today we’re all tooled up with a movie player and a great sound system. Honestly? We probably need to get out more often, at least during daylight hours. But, come night fall, it’s nice to curl up on the couches together and watch a movie. We are a movie family.

In early fall we watched The Avengers together. You know how much I love that movie. I did it up big, complete with an Avengers pizza, movie theater candy, and popcorn. My kids had a blast. Heck, I did, too.

This type of intentional movie night was so much more fun that the drift that can sometimes happen when you’ve got nothing better to do.

I was surprised to see that out of the five animated films that received Oscar nominations, we’ve seen four of them. (I’m voting for Brave. Wreck-It Ralph was cute. That pirate movie was awful. I have no idea about Paranorman.)

Here are some recent movies that we’ve enjoyed over the past few months:

The Secret of the Wings* – I was not a huge fan of the previous Tinkerbell movies, but I love this one. Love it. I cry every time. I know, weird. But, I really do love this movie. And my girls do, too. And some of my boys, if they were honest.

Madagascar 3 – We watched this with friends via Redbox a few months ago. I had low expectations. Imagine my surprise when the kids were rolling with laughter. This film, a sequel to the sequel of the first Madagascar has received requests for a repeat performance from my brood.

Fantastic Mr. Fox – I first heard about this movie from Tsh, so I requested it from the library. When it came on cable, we watched it again. Last month I bought it for one of the boys’ Christmas presents. It’s a quirky movie with an all-star cast of fabulous actors. And every time I watch it I find something new and funny that I hadn’t noticed before.

Frankenweenie* – I received a review copy of Frankenweenie earlier this week. The kids and hubs watched it the first night. The girls requested that I watch it with them on a following day. It’s a very cute riff on the classic Frankenstein story, except that Frankenstein loves, instead of repels, his creation. It’s quirky and weird as all Tim Burton films are. The boys didn’t love it, but the girls, FishPapa, and I all liked it. Go figure.

What’s a favorite family film at your house?

Disclosure: This post does include Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees. Some of the movies listed here* are those that I was sent to review. However, I wouldn’t mention them if they weren’t good. Others we rented or purchased on our own. All opinions are my own.


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  1. WE all loved that Tinkerbell movie too, the boys did too but won’t admit it. Lately the kids really like The Lorax that they got for Christmas and the older movie The Bee Movie. My kids really enjoy this movie, although my friends all say their kids didn’t care for it, mine love it. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Home Alone movies are also still being watched on Friday and Saturday nights here.

  2. We are NOT movie people. Well, at least a few of us are not– I do not possess the ability to sit still for that long, apparently. 😉 Anyway, we all loved “Secret of the Wings”, too! (I also cry during it, though certainly not during any other Tinkerbell film.) I received an early release copy of it to review well before it came out and all my kids were super sad when I had to send it back! Much joy around here when it was actually released and we got a copy. 🙂

  3. We love movie nights, and we’re big fans of the Miyazaki movies like Spirited Away, Totoro, and Ponyo. They’re Japanese animation dubbed into English by Disney, and they’re wonderful.

  4. We are big movie people and have a number of family favorites around here (the Avengers is one of our absolute fave!) Thank you for letting me know about the Fairy of the Wings – I’ve been waiting patiently for Blockbuster to finally stock it so we could rent it and watch 🙂 Saturday evenings are our standard popcorn and movie night. Tonights choice was Second Hand Lions, which we have watched over and over again. I’m reminded again tonight, while watching, what a great movie it is and how many invaluable lessons there are (obvious and subtle one’s) and how much we really just love this movie 🙂

  5. I love Tim Burton. Can’t wait until my kids are a little older to enjoy all his movies. I know Kate will be the one to love those movies. She already idolizes him for reasons unknown.

    We’re obsessed with Doctor Who and Merlin.

    of course, we love The Avengers. and IronMan. and Thor.

    And Madagascar 3 is by far the best. Everything is better with a rainbow Afro.

    And we love the Ice Age movies.

    Wallace and Gromit are awesome.

    I could go on and on…I’ll stop now. 😉

  6. Was it your blog where I read you need to let go, let go and let go some more? I am looking for that post because it was very inspirational to me and I can’t remember if it was here or linked from here. Can you help? Btw, I love, love, love your blog. So inspirational, informative and encouraging to me. Thank you.