The Film Mom is a weekly column about family entertainment for parents with kids (and kids with parents) by Tara McNamara, the editor and co-founder of KidsPickFlicks.com.
I’m no Lord of the Rings fan but it was really exciting to see The Hobbit with my teenage son last night. I’d never seen Peter Jackson’s original trilogy, but my son watched every one. And so, in a unique reversal of roles, my son was able to share a film series that he loves while we enjoyed a brand-new movie in the series together.
Usually, parents are sharing a beloved childhood movie/toy/TV series with their kids through a "reboot" – just look at some movies coming out next year: The Lone Ranger (July 3), The Smurfs 2 (July 31) and Mr. Peabody and Sherman (Nov. 8). And for many, The Hobbit likely fits into that category as well. When your child has the opportunity to share characters and stories they love with you, it can be enlightening for the parent and empowering for the child. In fact, 2013 offers a few chances with the release of movie versions of young adult novels Beautiful Creatures (Feb 13), The Mortal Instruments (Aug. 23) and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Aug. 14).
Aren’t we always looking for ways to get our kids, especially teens, to talk to us? Educating mom about what kind of creature Gollum is exactly and debating the pros and cons of the viewing experience in 48 frames per second were just some of the topics that transformed my son into a legitimate chatterbox.
On the other hand, my 11-year-old daughter prattles on about everything from the latest Nigahiga YouTube video to whether or not Justin and Selena broke up again. Getting her to talk isn’t a problem but she gets incredibly frustrated that she doesn’t know as much as her parents and older brother. But when she marathoned The Twilight Saga series before going to the theater to see Breaking Dawn Part 2, SHE got to be the one in the know. Not many moments exist where kids can feel like they are peers with their parents – but every once in a while the movies can provide them that special, fulfilling experience.
Here are three other films to see with your family this weekend.
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.
Lincoln. Apparently, the Great Emancipator should’ve been called Honest-ish Abe. What’s definitely true and perhaps surprising: some tweens and teens are calling this historical re-enactment their favorite movie of the year.
Ice Age: Continental Drift. No films have been released for little kids in some time, so parents looking for some solid, safe entertainment should go to Red Box. The fourth edition of Manny, Diego, Sid (and Scrat!) is brand new on BluRay/DVD.
What do kids think about these films? Find out at www.KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids can be movie critics.