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Family Friendly Movie Guide

Film Mom: Hollywood Holds Back on Family Fare for the Holidays?

By: Tara McNamara on November 21, 2012 at 12:00PM Comments (17)

Family Film Mom is a weekly column about family entertainment for parents with kids (and kids with parents) by Tara McNamara, the editor and founder of KidsPickFlicks.com.

This year at the movies, Santa is making an appearance but not leaving many gifts. Rise of the Guardians is the lone holiday kids’ film from now until the end of the year. The only other solid children’s fare available is December’s Monsters, Inc. re-release in 3D.

Not cool, Hollywood. Parents rely on kid-appropriate films to endure weeks of no school and entertaining grandparents and cousins. Last year, Hollywood presented families with no less than six PG films including Arthur Christmas, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and Hugo.

Once kids are old enough to be able to go places with friends unsupervised but not old enough to drive themselves, the movies become a lifeline. My 11-year-old has already seen Wreck-It Ralph three times with various groups of friends. Yet, it’s hard to imagine a group of 7th graders gathering at the Cineplex to line the back row of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.  More likely, PG-13 entries like Red Dawn and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will benefit.

Actually, options do exist but are less obvious than last year’s The Muppets.  For Thanksgiving, multigenerational families can enjoy the spiritual Life of Pi. Billy Crystal will lighten up Christmas with the grandparents-know-better comedy Parental Guidance. But with the relative absence of kid-friendly movies this holiday season, don’t be surprised if you see a 6-year-old slurping an Icee in Les Miserables.

Here are three movies some families will see this week:

Rise of the Guardians. Jack Frost joins Santa, the Easter Bunny and other magical holiday creatures to protect children from the Boogeyman. The mechanism is dark but it’s a fantastic lesson on how kids can cope with fear.

Life of Pi. My tween pleaded with me to not “make her” attend this movie about a boy stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. During the realistic shipwreck scene, she whispered, “Why did you take me to see this?” Two hours and five minutes later, she proclaimed Life of Pi the most beautiful movie ever.

Red Dawn. Thanksgiving is an exclusively American holiday – and as parents remember from the Patrick Swayze/C. Thomas Howell version, Red Dawn bleeds red, white and blue. Hopefully, parents should also remember Red Dawn is a violent teen empowerment movie and not intended for elementary-school age audiences.

Find out what kids think about these movies at www.KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.

Comments (17)Leave a Comment

  • Nov 23rd 2012 12:15AM

    x-JAZZ-x  said...

    Well, maybe parents will have to also rely on books and sports and music and day trips and friends and art projects and discovery channel and museums and romping around playing with sticks & snow this holiday season... Maybe having only a handful of kids films is healthier for our youngsters... And maybe Hollywood is right to not give a **** about crap parents who stick their kids in front of a screen for two weeks.

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  • Nov 21st 2012 8:51PM

    fandad1960  said...

    I want to see cirque du solei

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 10:52AM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Good luck Fandad

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 10:54AM

    fandad1960  said...

    You seeing it matt

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 11:17AM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Maybe, if you see Madagascar 3 its a lot like a animated Cirque du Solei and features Firework by Katy Perry during the circus scenes. But I might see it since it looked like it has great 3D

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 11:19AM

    fandad1960  said...

    No thanks I'm not into the franchise anymore. But great 3D great like you said

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 1:54PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Ok

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 2:02PM

    fandad1960  said...

    Anyhow well see next month Happy Thanksgiving

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 4:15PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Happy Thanksgiving! Make sure to eat lots of turkey!

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 4:25PM

    fandad1960  said...

    You too and let me know of anything retro you watch

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 4:32PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Ok

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 4:33PM

    fandad1960  said...

    By the way like I said Hubie being favorite character both suckers yet again

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 7:01PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Guess were both suckers forever

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  • Nov 22nd 2012 7:11PM

    fandad1960  said...

    Like Bruce and Selina

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  • Nov 21st 2012 1:30PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    According to Rotten Tomatoes and Imdb, The Hobbit is unrated so far so you can't say its PG-13 if its unknown what its rated is yet.

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  • Nov 21st 2012 3:49PM

    tylermason  said...

    Yeah but it probably will be PG-13

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  • Nov 21st 2012 5:24PM

    mattfan12059  said...

    Probably since The Lord of The Rings was rated PG-13

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