Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top ten movies for pre-schoolers

We are big movie fans in out house which is lucky as little M has had more than his fair share of illness over the last four years meaning lots and lots of convalescing on the sofa in front of the telly. The upside to this couch potato lifestyle has been an amazing early film education.
He is at school now and his health is a million times better (touch wood) so his TV time is more limited. I kind of miss our movie marathons and now that chapter of our life is over, it feels like a good time to look back at some of our favourites.

So, here they are in no particular order...

My Neighbour Totoro
Two sisters and their father move to the countryside. They meet a woodland spirit Totoro who helps them through a difficult time while their mother is in hospital. If I have made it sound really boring and depressing, it isn't. It is wonderful and magical. The voice-overs by real live sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning are phenomenal.

A grumpy old man ties a huge bunch of helium balloons to his house and flies to South America accidently taking with him a boy scout who was out on the porch. They make friends with a talking dog and a huge bird, defeat baddies and find the father-son bond that was missing from their lives. Wonderful.
Finding Nemo
Another father son story from Pixar. This time Nemo, a clown fish, is stolen by a deep sea diver. His worrywart father must find him with help from an amnesiac fish. It's funny, exciting and moving and the underwater sequences are spectacular. Some scary bits for little ones so keep your finger poised on the remote.

Jungle Book
Gorgeous animation, fantastic characters, wonderful songs, great story. What is not to love in this classic Disney movie about Mowgli the little boy raised by wolves?
 Kiki's Delivery Service
A young trainee witch moves to a new town to hone her magic skills and starts a cake delivery service on her broomstick. The story is very slight but this film is so lovely and charming I am always happy when the children request it.
This is fast and furious, the antithesis of Kiki. Lightening McQueen an upstart young racing car finds himself in the middle of nowhere just when he should be in California competing in the race of his life. But first he needs to learn about humility and teamwork and make some real friends. Brilliant.

Frankly I find this movie downright scary but it was a favourite with little M for a while. The old style Disney animation is wonderful and the songs are great.
Toy Story 3
There are moments in this that are too dark for under 4s, but it is such a magnificent movie I had to include it and you can always employ the ff button. I saw this at the cinema with the children when little P was just a few weeks old and I wept buckets. I still cry at the end. I'm feeling emotional just thinking about it.

Winnie the Pooh
The classic 1968 version. I never saw this as a child, so this is not a nostalgia pick. It is funny and sweet and still makes us giggle after about one hundred viewings.


Ponyo is a goldfish who turns into a girl and makes friends with a little boy called Sosuki. It is very loosely based on the Little Mermaid. I absolutely love Sosuki's mother. She is brave, strong, loving and very very cool. What a great female role model!

So that is our very personal pick. I think Little P's selection would be quite different. Lion King would definitely be in there and maybe Shrek. I am sure she would try and get a Dora Explorer DVD in even though it's not strictly a movie. WInnie the Pooh and Kiki would probably stay but I don't see Cars or Pinocchio making the cut.

I look forwards to our next stage of movie watching. I'm thinking Wizard of Oz, Star Wars trilogy, Indiana Jones, ET, Stand By Me, Bugsy Malone and Sound of Music

Bring it on!

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