Roll out the red carpet leading to your family room couch, the 69th Annual Academy Awards are finally upon us! This year’s Oscar celebration looks to be the most kid friendly yet, with nominees like Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda 2 and Hugo. It’s logical to assume that if films made for kids are considered the best of the year by the industry, then these are the films kids will most enjoy, right? Maybe not so much.
The Year of the Most Kid-Friendly Oscar Movies? Hmm…Maybe Not
KidsPickFlicks.com, the movie site for kids that I run with my own children, has its own awards voted on by kids 7-17. It’s officially called the PICK Awards but is casually referred to as "the Kids Oscars" since it asks kids to vote for the best in cinema rather than just their favorite. How kids voted this year surprised even me.
Surprisingly, the winner for PICK Movie of the Year went to under-the-radar Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, beating 2:1 its closest competitor, behemoth Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. PICK Kid Actor was awarded to the star of Rodrick Rules, Zachary Gordon. PICK Kid Actress went to Jordanna Beatty, star of another small film, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Judy Moody films both tell stories about an incredibly imperfect child in a funny, relatable way. Want to know what kids like? Study these movies.
On the other hand, kids also vote on the ICK Movie of the Year (the year’s biggest disappointment) and – this is going to surprise you too – the recipient was best picture Oscar nominee Hugo. Here’s why: the kids voting on KidsPickFlicks called it "boring," citing issues like the movie is really about film restoration and silent movies and differs from the source material, the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
The PICK Awards have one more winner. For PICK Scene Stealer, Boo Boo Stewart from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 took the trophy. Stewart plays “Seth” who breaks from the wolf pack to join Jacob in protecting Bella. Kids are often the predictors of pop culture, so take note: if Boo Boo Stewart in his quick appearance can steal attention from a shirtless Taylor Lautner, then start pinning the posters on the walls of daughters now.
What do you think—where do your kids stand on Hugo?
In the meantime, here are three great choices for movies to see with your family this week:
The Secret World of Arrietty. A likely nominee for NEXT year’s Academy Awards, Arrietty is from animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. It’s the movie version of the classic children’s book series "The Borrowers," about tiny but capable people who live by "borrowing" things that humans will never miss.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. A teen boy and his stepdad go in search of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island where the family pus their love of reading and science to practical use. Plus, it features 3D the way kids like it – coming at you!
Big Miracle. The big miracle isn’t just the herculean efforts to try and save the lives of three California gray whales trapped in the Alaska ice, it’s that a true, heartwarming story can be told in a comedic way.
To read what kids think about these movies and more, go to www.KidsPickFlicks.com , where all kids are movie critics.
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Tara McNamaraFandango Bloggers
Tara is the editor-in-chief of KidsPickFlicks.com.