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.
Kids don’t watch black-and-white movies. They're right up there with VHS, Pac-Man and MySpace – ancient relics of the olden days. This may present a marketing challenge for Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, a movie whimsically made in black and white in the spirit of horror movies of the past.
However, if kids are to appreciate and enjoy the cinematic greats, they’re going to need to get past this black-and-white issue. The normal way to break through is films like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life – but even those films can be a tough sell due to their lack of color. Wizard of Oz is no help because the black and white portions of the film are the boring parts of the movie – things only get good once Dorothy gets to Technicolor Oz!
Frankenweenie presents a rare opportunity to overcome monochrome prejudice. First, it’s a solidly entertaining film that’s funny and creepy – a great movie for Halloween. The "monsters" are both laughable but scary enough to give it substance (also enough to actually scare children younger than 9, so think tween). Unlike movies of the '50s and '60s, Frankenweenie is told in the fast-paced style that kids are used to today. In other words, seeing Frankenweenie just might light the torch and ignite kids’ interest in seeing history’s most acclaimed and excellent films.
Here are three other films you can see with your family this weekend:
Hotel Transylvania. A humorous daddy-daughter movie disguised as a monster mashup – in color, 3D and not scary.
Finding Nemo 3D. The Pixar favorite gets an upgrade.
ParaNorman. For a movie about dead people and zombies, it’s one of the freshest films of the year.
To see what kids think about these movies, go to www.KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.