Films for Children

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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domino harvey
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Re: Children's films?

#51 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:58 am

Here's what not to show children: the Peanut Butter Solution

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Re: Children's films?

#52 Post by Caligula » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:21 am

My boys are 6 & 8 years of age.

A few films that were tremendously popular in our household:

1. Thief of Baghdad. Apart from the story (which they throroughly enjoyed) they loved the colours and general appearance of the film.
2. Chaplin (the Circus in particular), Harold Lloyd (Safety Last a big favourite) and Buster Keaton (The Boat and One Week were particularly well received).
3. Being boys westerns are popular and also some war films (although one obviously has to be discriminate about what is suitable viewing). Rio Bravo (the younger one's favourite film), El Dorado, and Reach For The Sky come to mind.
4. The Sci-fi movies of the fifties are also quite popular: This Island Earth, Day The Earth Stood Still, Incredible Shrinking Man and Tarantula come to mind - but the very young might find these scary.
5. The Wallace & Gromit shorts are still very popular - although the trousers in The Wrong Trousers initially scared the youngest one!
6. Mary Poppins they loved - but the Nazis at the end of Sound Of Music consistently scared them.
7. Miyazaki. The younger one likes Totoro and the Castle in the Sky, while the older one prefers Howl's Moving Castle & Princess Mononoke.
8. The older one loved Murnau's Nosferatu (his favourite film at this stage), but the younger one felt it was the most horrible film that he'd ever seen, so approach with discretion!

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Re: Children's films?

#53 Post by bigP » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:25 am

I recently watched Cave of the Yellow Dog by Byambasuren Davaa and thought it was superb, and would be very suitable to children. It's just a lovely film.

I'd also suggest a few films I grew up with and watched repeatedly throughout my childhood (though some may be difficult to track down, particularly outside of the UK):

Mark Hall and Chris Taylor's Wind in the Willow's
Cosgrove / Hall's The Reluctant Dragon
Cosgrove / Hall's The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Norman Taurog's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

EDIT: I'd also throw in Les Triplettes de Belleville which is just incredible.

I'd certanly use personal judgement before showing this or any of the Cosgrove Hall productions to a young child, but, I'm pretty sure I would have been as mesmerized by Les Triplettes de Belleville as I was The Pied Piper of Hamelin when growing up.

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Re: Children's films?

#54 Post by tojoed » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:54 am

Matt wrote:
tojoed wrote:Young children generally like Carol Ballard's "The Black Stallion"
I saw this at the drive-in when I was 8 and was bored to tears by it.
So was I. But, as I say, the children I've shown it to, like it. I wasn't young when it came out, so I don't know if I would have liked it as a child. Probably not.

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Re: Children's films?

#55 Post by jojo » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:04 pm

The "Ray Harryhausen movies" are also worth a shout out if they can watch Thief of Bagdad and not find it objectionable. 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts are the standouts, of course.

Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast.

Errol Flynn's technicolor movies like The Adventures of Robin Hood.

The 5000 Fingers of Dr T.

Forbidden Planet.

As for animation, a few good non-Disney, non-anime ones are:

The Last Unicorn

The Snow Queen (1950s Russian version)

Le Roi et L'oiseau (not available on R1, though)


Re: Children's films?

#56 Post by cinemartin » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:39 pm

Mac and Me

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Re: Children's films?

#57 Post by Saturnome » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:54 pm

jojo wrote:Le Roi et L'oiseau (not available on R1, though)
I'm very positive I saw it in stores (Archambault) in Quebec, page here. But I doubt there's english subtitles. The R2 is preferable though, there's almost everything Paul Grimault ever made.

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Re: Children's films?

#58 Post by Noiretirc » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:49 pm

Alyosha wrote:I didn't know where to put this thread, but I try here. :)

My daughter is 4 years old and I wonder if anyone could recommend films that might be suitable for her?

So far, her favourites are Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro - she could see them again and again. She also liked Kirikou and the Sorceress, but found some parts a bit scary.

Shorter films that she's seen and liked are among others Le ballon rouge and Paddle to the sea.

I've thought of Spirited Away and Iron Giant as well, but I think it might be better to wait with them for a couple of years.
My 8 month old is mesmerized by the early Len Lye works. Seriously! Patterns/colour/music, in a devastatingly entertaining combo......he couldn't (doesn't) ask for more. :D

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Re: Children's films?

#59 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:58 pm

Der Müde Tod wrote:
LQ wrote:Alyosha, since you're from Sweden maybe you can answer this question: Is Bröderna Lejonhjärta a beloved children's film over there? I have no idea why my parents had a copy of this..maybe a halfhearted attempt to keep some Swedish floating around in the house? ..but I sure liked it as a kid. Maybe not a film for 4 year olds, though..
The book with the same name is by Astrid Lindgren, who was one of the most famous
authors of Children's books (world wide, not just from Sweden). Many of her books have been turned
into movies, sometimes not to the advantage of the film. Ronja Robbersdaughter is another one
where I liked the film very much, too. Some of her books have been translated into English, but I am not sure
about the films.
Another Lindgren film I´d recommend is Mio, min Mio, my favourite when I was a kid. The villain, Kato with a heart of stone, is played by Christopher Lee. He scared the living daylight out of me when I was a kid. Next to Shredder he was the guy I loved to hate the most (which reminds me, I also recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles :oops: ). Mio, min Mio also stars a young Christian Bale.

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Re: Children's films?

#60 Post by Matt » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:23 pm

jojo wrote:The "Ray Harryhausen movies" are also worth a shout out if they can watch Thief of Bagdad and not find it objectionable. 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts are the standouts, of course.
Good call. I loved those when I was a kid, and throw in Clash of the Titans. All probably too scary for a four-year-old, but perfect for 8 or 9. At that age, they launched me into an obsession with Greek and Roman mythology.

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Re: Children's films?

#61 Post by Der Müde Tod » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:39 pm

Here are some more recommendations. My daughter is 7 right now,
and I'll indicate at what age she liked which movie.

Mouse and Son, animated film after Russ Hoban's book.
The latter truly is one of a kind. The adventures of two wind-up mice.
I don't think there is an english DVD in print, though. 6+

Momo, after Michael Ende's book. The young girl Momo fights the time
thieves who persuade everybody to sell their spare time. 7+

Cleopatra. Yes, that's right, the 4 hour thing. 6+

Azur and Asmar. 7+

Little Polar Bear. There are a few them, actually, ranging from short
episodes to feature length films. The last one, The Mysterious Island,
is not yet out in English, but is by far the best. 4+ for the early ones, 6+ for the
mysterious island.

Among the Astrid Lindgren movies, you can catch Pipi Longstocking in english
in different versions. Then there is Mio, my Mio (as suggested above by Altman). The German DVD has an English language track. I find both the book and the film quite puzzling,
almost surreal. My daughter and her friends love it. 6+

Another German language only are the stopmotion classics by the
Augsburger Puppenkiste, most notably Jim Knopf and Lukas, the engine driver.
A black boy and Lukas travel through the world in their sometimes swimming, sometimes flying railroad engine to discover the secret of Jim's birth. They encounter a vegetarian anti-giant, a dragon that metamorphs into another existence, and many other entertaining creatures.

Charlotte's Web was great, too. 5+

Another Swedish author/illustrator is Sven Nordquist, whose Findus children's
books have just started coming out in English. There are some 10
30 minute animated TV episodes that are absolutely hilarious. 3+

Besides that, we like all kinds of documentaries like Planet earth. 6+

Finally, the film Rivers and Tides about Goldsworthy was a sensational hit. 6+

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Re: Children's films?

#62 Post by HerrSchreck » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:47 pm

If your child can sit thru a silent, I'd H I G H L Y recommend Maurice Tourneur's The Blue Bird... a magical story with magnificent performances by the child leads. You'll probably fall in love with it.

And anything by Pasolini of course, but salo was probably a no-brainer.

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Re: Children's films?

#63 Post by Quot » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:07 pm

Der Müde Tod wrote:Finally, the film Rivers and Tides about Goldsworthy was a sensational hit. 6+
I would have never thought to recommend it, but I can see the appeal for the younger ones. Great pick.

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Re: Children's films?

#64 Post by Noiretirc » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:26 am

HerrSchreck wrote:And anything by Pasolini of course, but salo was probably a no-brainer.
Speaking of Salo, it's distressing how big my Dodgy Box has become. Sigh......

I desperately want a 30s/40s era Looney Tunes collection. (For my son of course. :oops: ) But they keep screwing up these discs, don't they?

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Re: Children's films?

#65 Post by Lino » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:52 pm

Why not try Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Bear? Saw it as a kid and again recently and it still holds damn well.

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Re: Children's films?

#66 Post by Tommaso » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:50 pm

Agnes of God wrote:I'm happy some people came in and beat me to the Powell recommendations, The Red Shoes and Thief of Bagdad were childhood staples for me.
Yes, I remember seeing the "Thief" when I was a young boy of perhaps 9 or so, and I loved it thoroughly. Needless to say, I even love it more now :-)

But talking of Powell, how about his final collaboration with Pressburger, the 1972 TV children's film "The Boy who turned yellow"? It's not available officially on disc, but I was lucky enough to get a good bootleg of VHS origin via ebay some years ago. It's a wonderful film about a boy who due to some extraterrestrial influence gets yellow skin, and then finally meets the guy from outer space who helps him to find his lost pet-mouse in the London Tower, travelling there via the electric current of TV programmes. Truly inventive for its time and genre, and you can tell that P&P had a great time doing it.

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Re: Films for Children

#67 Post by Saarijas » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:40 pm

A personal favorite of mine of around the age of 8 was 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The spectacle of it all was just simply wonderful to me at that age.

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Re: Films for Children

#68 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:43 am

My kids (five and three) are surprisingly fond of the Lotte Reiniger fairytale films - "surprisingly" because their usual reaction to anything in black and white is to scream full blast until I switch to something that they consider watchable. But Reiniger's stuff is so distinctive and stylised that they may simply not have noticed.

My son found them particularly intriguing because he can read well enough to recognise the titles on the menus - and once he'd got over his surprise that they didn't lead to the familiar Disney Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty etc., I think he was quite intrigued by the prospect of watching a radically different take on familiar material.

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Re: Films for Children

#69 Post by FerdinandGriffon » Tue Feb 10, 2009 4:34 am

Fleischer's 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, is thrilling and beautiful to watch as a child. Also there is a dancing seal.

Stevenson's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is an obscure Disney film that really deserves a much higher profile, one of those half live action-half animation ones like Mary Poppins (also great.)

Both of Lester's Beatles movies, Help! and A Hard Day's Night, as well as Yellow Submarine. You kill two birds with one stone with these, taking care of musical education as well.

It's already been mentioned, but The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is one of the most gorgeous, strange and wonderful children's films ever made. It's absolutely vital to your child's development into a healthy, productive adult.

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Re: Films for Children

#70 Post by MichaelB » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:12 am

A totally left-field suggestion: Geoffrey Jones's Snow (1963).

My three-year-old daughter discovered it last week when she saw me watching it on YouTube, fell in love with it instantly, and insists on watching it at least once a day. Because her brother is rather less enamoured of it (he's older, and more interested in narrative), I ended up ripping it to my iPhone and just handing it to her whenever she brings up the "snowy train film".

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Re: Films for Children

#71 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:05 am

For some reason (probably some onerous Freudian deep rooted trauma and body related self loathing ) the film from my childhood that still haunts my skull is Tom Thumb. So much so that I quite often find myself humming or whistling the 'Do-dee-do-dee Dum Dum' theme quite often.
It's got Terry Thomas too and so ranks it in stellar status.
I also defy anyone to withstand the stop frame animated Yawning Man scene which for errant insomniac kids is better than a couple of Mandrax and a whiff of the gas ring.

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Re: Films for Children

#72 Post by jguitar » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:38 pm

My just-turned-three daughter is nuts about (in no particular order): Meet Me in St. Louis, The Bandwagon, Palm Beach Story, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, and the Met performance on DVD of Das Rheingold, among some other things (like some Miyazaki). She also likes silent Ozu. Her toddler tastes--which bear some resemblance to mine, if you hadn't guessed-- led to an awkward social situation recently at a kids birthday party. A propos of nothing, in a silent moment, she shouted out "Who's been drinking? I've never had a drink in my life!" It took me a moment to recognize it as coming from Morgan's Creek. The other thing that's funny is finding out what she focuses on. For instance, we were watching Stagecoach; you'll remember the scene where Lucy Mallory is about to have her baby, and Dallas offers to make coffee. Then a bunch of dramatic stuff happens, including the suggestion of an impending Indian attack (sorry my memory is being a bit sketchy right now), but all of a sudden my daughter asks "where's the coffee?"

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Re: Films for Children

#73 Post by nd » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:57 am

A recent hit with the little one: Michel Ocelot's Kirikou & the Sorceress. It's such a relief to get away from the visual conventions of American animated films--this one has a wonderful use of bold silhouettes & also an interesting combination of different speeds--the main characters are animated fluidly but the robot-like fetishes are done in a deliberately clunky style with fewer FPS.

Even better is the companion DVD with it, Princes and Princesses, which is animated entirely out of silhouettes.
Last edited by nd on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Films for Children

#74 Post by Poncho Punch » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:47 pm

Sit your kid in front of the computer and put on those youtube videos of The Adventures of Milo & Otis recut to Sigur Ros.

Cocteau's Beauty & The Beast gets a vote from me, also.

Oh, and Felix The Cat (the movie or the shorts) and Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland are favorites, as are most of the (traditionally animated) cartoons based on Dr. Seuss' books (esp. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Horton Hears A Who, The Lorax, and The Butter Battle Book).

Jungle Emperor Leo/Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor could also work.

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Re: Films for Children

#75 Post by starmanof51 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:12 pm

My six year old and I watched Dr. Cyclops together a couple weeks ago and had a great time - best joint viewing we've ever had I daresay. I was proud as punch when he asked me "When's he gonna kill someone else?" I think lots of stuff is about to open up for him. Watched The Rocketeer on Saturday, that went down well too. I almost showed him The Scarlet Claw but held back.

Amongst older films, he had a surprisingly positive reaction/attention span last year to Bride of Frankenstein and Tarzan and his Mate. I'm not particularly trying to turn him into some kind of horror/genre nut, everything else he's watched have been of the standard animated/modern kid's adventure variety, but if I want to throw something black and white or particularly old at him, that's the sort he's been receptive to. Thief of Bagdad next, for sure.

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