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Reel Life: Family Movie Night

Winter is in full swing and activities tend to run short when it comes to having fun with your kids indoors during these dreadfully cold months. When you have children that are infants or toddlers, being confined to four walls can feel like a prison. Finding ways to create a fun family atmosphere can be beneficial. One of these ways includes movie nights; nights like these work well for all ages and family dynamics and can be a fun, affordable way to endure the cold months. Renting or buying a couple of family movies can be a refreshing way to enjoy some family time and bond with your children.

Movie nights have been known to leave reminiscent childhood memories of cuddling on the couch with mom or dad, munching on homemade popcorn and enjoying sing-along songs. Winding down after a long work week can be relaxing and help you stay connected to your children in the midst of an already speedy economy. Movies are also an excellent way to keep children occupied before they drift off to sleep.

Ben Charlton, the very friendly and helpful General Manager at Casablanca Video, shares the top 10 current family movie picks.

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid.The movie follows Greg Heffley, a middle school student that devises a series of schemes and then documents them in his journal. This movie is rated PG for some rude humor and language.

2. Marmaduke. A man moves with his family and dog to California for his job. Once there, the family dog befriends a group of mutts at a local park, and a series of events take place. The moral of the movie ends with the importance of family and friendship. This movie is rated PG for some rude humor and language.

3. Alice in Wonderland. Alice returns to wonderland and reunites with her childhood friends who help her find her true destiny. This movie is rated PG for scary situations, scary images, fantasy action violence and a smoking caterpillar.

4. How to Train Your Dragon. A Viking teenager doesn't exactly fit in with his tribe's longstanding traditions; he then meets a dragon that shows him the world from a new point of view. This movie is rated PG for some scary images, mild language and sequences of intense action.

5. Karate Kid. 12-year-old Dre Parker relocates with his mother to China where he immediately develops a crush on a girl in his class. He then becomes enemies with the class bully, which leads him to befriend a maintenance man who teaches him the art of kung fu and prepares him to defend himself against the bully. This movie is rated PG for bullying, martial arts action and some mild language.

6. UP. A 78-year-old balloon salesman struggles to deal with the loss of his wife and embarks on a journey when he ties thousands of balloons to his house. He unfortunately discovers that an expressive eight-year-old has tagged along for the ride. This movie is rated PG for some peril and action.

7. Where the Wild Things Are. After a fight with his mother and being sent to his room, Max decides to escape to a land where he meets some fierce creatures known as the Wild Things. This movie is rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language.

8. Tooth Fairy. Derek discourages a six-year-old girl when he tells her that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist. Derek then becomes a tooth fairy himself and is left to save the tooth fairy kingdom in a series of humorous events. This movie is rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action.

9. Furry Vengeance. A real estate developer relocates with his family when his job calls for him to manage a major housing development. But, when the local animals are threatened by the new houses, they seek revenge. This movie is rated PG for some rude humor, mild language and brief smoking.

10. Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of school when the gods of Mount Olympus begin to walk off the pages of his Greek Mythology book. Percy and his friends must embark on an adventure to bring misunderstandings to an end. This movie is rated PG for action violence, some scary images, peril, mild language and suggestive material.

“All of the PIXAR stuff is excellent for families because everyone can enjoy them, which is important,” suggests Charlton.

There are also classics that almost everyone can relate to and can become new again for younger generations. Movies such as Toy Story, Harry and the Hendersons, The Last Unicorn, The Land Before Time, The Goonies and ET can be fun to watch and share with your children.


Stacey is a full-time student and mother to her two-year-old daughter. She plans to graduate from the Journalism program at SAIT, travel the world and hopes to leave a legacy with her writing.

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