Children’s Film Reviews (So Far)

As Elsa grows older she’s getting into more and more films and I’m actually starting to appreciate kids’ movies for the first time ever. I always thought that anyone who watched cartoons when there were no children about was wasting an opportunity to take in something much more highbrow and grown-up; like a Carry On film, for example. Aside from the obvious Frozen, here’s the best of the children’s films we’ve watched recently:

Despicable Me & Despicable Me 2

These are on high rotation on our iTunes, having both been downloaded to help cope with long car journeys. They are both funny (for adults and kids), smart and, best of all, last the exact length of time it takes to drive from our house to my parents’ place, providing there is minimal traffic disruption. Well done to the team at the Illumination studio for sorting this out on our behalf, you are life savers.

Elsa is also very excited at the prospect of the forthcoming third movie in the series, although that is set for release this summer, proving the producers didn’t get the memo from the makers of Frozen that explained all follow-ups must be timed so that the original audience is collecting their pension before they find out what happened to their heroes.

Despicable Me 3

That’s obviously a joke, our children will never be able to retire. (Satire).

The main problem with the Despicable Me films is the catchiness of the soundtrack. It is physically impossible to watch them and not find yourself muttering, “I’m having a bad, bad day…” to yourself as you amble down the street. When you are inevitably overhead and some kindly soul enquires as to what ails you, you have to admit you are a man in his late 30s, quoting a Pharrell Williams song from a cartoon and you risk being placed on a register somewhere.

The Boss Baby

The current US presidential administration has been responsible for many eye-opening moments in its first 100 days or so in control of the West’s biggest superpower, but the fact that it is so obviously behind the attempted smear on this cartoon as way of revenge for Alec Baldwin performing a less-than flattering impression of Donald Trump on TV shows exactly how thin-skinned the Prez is.

No sooner had this fairly-innocuous and mildly-entertaining film been released than all sorts of right-wing  blogs and news sites started questioning whether it was trying to subvert capitalism as we know it today.

Spoiler – it’s not.

Yes, there’s a couple of mean business-type characters, one of whom finds the love of his family, one of whom doesn’t and pays the price, but that is essentially the plot to hundreds of other kids’ films throughout the history of the silver screen. If you want to sketch out an easily-recognisable baddie for an audience of young people, someone who values money over their close relatives fits the bill every time.

This has to have been fuelled by those close to the White House; who else is out to get Baldwin and how better to demean him than by suggesting he is a dangerous pinko leftie trying to brainwash your toddlers? Perhaps it hit a nerve with the commander-in-chief, we already know what Donald Trump thinks of families and parenting.

Anyway, here’s Elsa’s review of the film:

Like a mini-Mark Kermode.

Moana

The church hall in our village runs a monthly kids’ cinema showing, where they screen a reasonably recent film and charge the princely sum of £1 per person for the privilege. I nearly asked whether children qualified for concessionary prices, but I thought better of it as it seemed a little churlish. Due to the terms of their licence, they’re not allowed to advertise the name of the film they’re showing next, but they can give clues. However, if you’re no good at quizzes, you’re stuffed.

We managed to decode the fact that Moana, the latest Disney princess film, was to be the most recent feature so we thought we’d venture down. Other parents came prepared, armed with iPads and laptops to keep them entertained whilst their kids were enthralled in the movie action, but I’m a novice, so I watched the actual film.

I’m glad I did, though, as it turns out it’s pretty decent. The songs are still running round my head four dos later, but that could be something to do with the fact that Elsa has demanded I stream the soundtrack constantly on Apple Music ever since we returned home.

Moana Soundtrack

Yes, that really is a song by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – he can almost sing!

This is the story of my life at the moment; I signed up to the service to keep up to date with decent tunes, but it’s been completely highjacked by the three-year-old. If anyone is analysing my streaming habits, they will have to deduce that I’m a freaky man in his late 30s who’s obsessed by Disney films. And, if I tell them it’s for my daughter, who’s called ELSA, that won’t make it sound any better.

What are the favourite kids’ films in your house? Leave a comment to let me know.

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