Family Movies News

When What's Old Is New Again

Amazing advances in cinematic technology are creating great spectacles at the multiplex, but I find irony in the disparity of what’s deemed quality entertainment. While audiences will be oohing and ahhing over Sandra Bullock falling through space in Gravity this weekend, kids seem just as content to watch blurry, shaky-cam clips of schlubs falling off skateboards, bikes and tables. IMAX or iPhone – quality or style doesn’t seem to be an issue to today’s youth; entertainment is entertainment except for one category: kids shun anything old-timey.

Instead of just accepting this, Hollywood’s been taking a stab at modernizing the classic by making the old stuff new again. In the last few weeks, The Wizard of Oz was remastered into The Wizard of Oz: The IMAX 3D Experience. Cinematic blasphemy?

Nope, cinematic brilliance: even the most skeptical cinephile is praising the makeover. Then, there’s The Little Mermaid: Second Screen Experience where an app and an iPad brings Ariel out of the 1989 and into 2013, making the movie interactive. My family and I gave this a whirl and we were all smiles – it’s not how I want to enjoy new films but playing games during a beloved favorite did add to the fun.

In November, audiences going to see Disney’s Frozen will be treated to the new, yet “classic” Mickey Mouse short Get a Horse. Mickey starts in black and white, rudimentarily drawn in 1928 but he soon finds himself ripping “through" the screen and into today, rendered in 3D CGI. As Mickey jumps back and forth from 2D to 3D, from pen and paper scratching to fully developed and formed, from silver screen into the colorful theater, Get a Horse becomes a five-minute representation of animation’s history as well as Hollywood’s tussle with honoring the past while making way for the future.

Here are three movies to see with your family this week:

Gravity. Through Sandra Bullock’s solitude in floating through space, viewers are able to put themselves in her spacesuit and wonder how they would react.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. No big messages in this movie, but this sequel about an island overrun with “foodimals” is a whole lot of silly fun that will get everyone in the family laughing.

Planes. Little kids really respond to these friendly faced planes and for parents, the breathtaking location animation is a site that should be seen on the big screen.

But, what do kids think about these movies? Go to www.KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.

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