THE BEST MOVIES THIS CRITIC EVER SAW!!
Children

THE ADVENTURES OF MILO & OTIS (1989)
Great adventure starring animals, with Dudley Moore serving as narrator. G

BAMBI II (2006)
After his mother’s death, Bambi is reunited with his father, the Great Prince, who must now raise the young fawn and teach him the ways of the forest.  The proud parent discovers that there is much he can learn from his spirited young son.  Full of life lessons that address the death of a parent, the need for father and son bonding, and a respect for God’s creatures, the filmmakers have given audiences an entertaining film that is both insightful for children and engaging for Mom and Pop. Full of humor, action and pretty pictures, Bambi II, like its predecessor, is a treasure. PREVIEW REVIEW

CHARLOTTE’S WEB (2006)
What an incredible story, completely involving, yet loaded with life lessons for children and reminders for adults. Based on E.B. White’s classic about a spider who befriends a shy piglet, this is a classic – not just one of the best family films of 2006, but of ever. Rated G (there are a few comically perilous situations for the Rat, and there’s the threat that Wilber will be turned into bacon by summer’s end, but the filmmakers managed to tell an involving story without graphic or excessive violence; and although it is a witty, heartwarming story, there are a few flatulence jokes, as well as a few other crudities sprinkled throughout). PREVIEW REVIEW

CURIOUS GEORGE (2006)
From the beloved children’s stories by Margaret and H. A. Rey, George is an inquisitive little monkey, more lovable than Cheetah. And that’s saying something considering the little guy doesn’t seem to have any family to have learned love from. By day he’s pals with everyone in the jungle as he learns how life works. But at night, he covers up all alone in his tree house build for one. Suddenly, an adventurer shows up wearing a silly hat, looking for a lost treasure. He needs to find and bring back the sacred statue or the museum he works for will be turned into a parking lot. Sadly, the treasure is disappointing and all he returns to New York with an adoring, inquisitive baby primate. Aided by a gentle story, highlighted by kid-friendly slapstick, engaging songs by Jack Johnson, and funny vocal assistance by Will Ferrell and Dick Van Dyke, Curious George is a sweet tempered animated comedy. Rated G. PREVIEW REVIEW

THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER (1987)
This creative animated story of household appliances that come to life when no one's home is full of positive messages about friendship, loyalty and self-sacrifice. These kitchen machines share several adventures as they go into the world searching for their owner. The talents of several Saturday Night Live alumni make this silly tale a pleasure for adults as well.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (1993)
Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Daniel Stern. After a fluke accident, a 12-year-old discovers his once broken arm now serves a deadly baseball pitch. He becomes the youngest member of the Chicago Cubs. One has to suspend all connection to reality for this comedy, but it’s a funny, uplifting narrative without condescending to kids. PG (a few “oh my God's” uttered, but I caught no other profanity or obscenity). PREVIEW REVIEW

THE SANDLOT (1993)
Kid's comedy - PG (a few mild expletives, one graphic scene where the kids get sick after chewing tobacco). The new boy in town struggles to become a member of the neighborhood baseball team. A pleasure to view. PREVIEW REVIEW

THE SECRET GARDEN (1993)
Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse. Fantasy - G (one brief scene where the children chant a nonsensical phrase). A Dickens-esque tale of an orphan going to live with her brooding uncle in 1800s England. The classic story of three children discovering a magical garden is a nearly perfect movie with atmospheric direction, endearing performances, striking cinematography, and positive messages of hope, responsibility and the need to be loved. Also worth a look, the 1949 version with Margaret O'Brien and the 1987 British version with Gennie James. All three are 4-star productions. PREVIEW REVIEW

WEE WILLIE WINKIE (1937)
My favorite Shirley Temple film. The curly haired moppet is sent to live on a British outpost in India with her mother and Grandfather. Inspired by Kipling's Gunga Din. Directed by John Ford.

Categories
The Essentials
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Action
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Pets and their People
Religious and Stories Of The Christ
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