Family Movies News

Oscar-Hopeful ‘Khumba’ Teaches Kids How to Earn Their Stripes

Bullying is a hot topic these days, and many movie stars will freely admit they felt like outcasts growing up. Cameron Diaz says kids called her Skeletor. Chris Rock says he was beat up nearly every day. Pierce Brosnan’s London schoolmates teased him relentlessly for his Irish accent.
 
But by either embracing or overcoming their “weirdness,” they found success. Tall and thin, Diaz became a model, which opened the door to an acting career. Rock used his bullying to develop his quick wit, and fuel his drive. Brosnan trained himself to speak with an English accent, priming himself to become a dashing Brit on-screen. 
 
There's a perfect animated movie about being different that will appeal to kids who don't feel like they fit in—but you'll have to be quick to catch it as it's only in New York and Los Angeles for weeklong Oscar-qualifying run. It's called Khumba, the story of a zebra born only half-striped who is ostracized by his pack. Khumba wants so desperately to fit in that he sets out on a dangerous journey in hopes of finding a magic waterhole to complete his stripes. 
 
The animation is phenomenal, the 3D is precisely the kind children love and the animals Khumba meets are hysterical, helped considerably by some of the industry's top voiceover actors, including Liam Neeson, Steve Buscemi and Laurence Fishburne. And surprisingly, it's not a Pixar or DreamWorks Animation film. It comes from Triggerfish Animation, located in South Africa, where Khumba has been a top 10 movie for the last six weeks. 
 
The movie plays this week at at the Laemmle in L.A. and the Quad in NYC -- and keep an eye out for it on DVD early next year.
 
Here are other movies to see with your families this week:
 
 
Frozen. A sister story, a princess movie, a catchy musical, a pet reindeer and cinema’s most lovable snowman – there’s something for everyone in this winter tale.
 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Movies often portray killing someone with the same emotional punch as eating a sandwich. Catching Fire shows that taking another’s life is traumatizing and that intelligence is the best weapon of all. Still, it’s incredibly intense so this is better for middle schoolers and teens. 
 
Thor: The Dark World. Hollywood loves movies about redemption, so kudos to this film for diving into Thor’s complicated relationship with brother Loki to show that offering second chances isn’t always so easy.
 
To see what kids think about these films, please go to KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics. 
 
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