Monday, November 24, 2008
Oldies But Goodies
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, that can only mean that in a few weeks the kids will be out of school for the holidays. That means a lot of family time, and a lot of evenings in spending time together.
One great family activity that is perfect when the temperatures are hovering below freezing, is watching movies. I'm not talking about the latest and greatest action flicks, but the oldies - the classics. Something about snuggling together on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn and a mug of hot chocolate just seems to go hand in hand with queueing up an old black and white version of Meet Me In St. Louis, or It's a Wonderful Life. It's something the whole family can enjoy together, and feels like a little escape from all the details of modern-day animation (as good as it is, we all need a break). But with so few old movies easily available, how do we know what's going to be best for our kids?
The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together is a great resource for deciding just that. It breaks movies down into genres, as well as offering a Starter Kit: First old movies to watch with your toddler, tweener or teenager. Written by Ty Burr, a former movie critic for the Boston Globe, The Best Old Movies for Families gives some great insight into what movies are appropriate, as well as appealing to kids of all ages. In his description for Meet Me In St. Louis, he recommends it for ages 3 and up, and lists the sell as "How families and little girls lived (and sang) one hundred years ago. Wow. Suddenly it's easy peasy to entice your kids away from that fifth episode of Sponge Bob for the day (is that all Nick shows anymore?).
The Best Old Movies for Families is a well-written and very informative guide that helps families easily embrace the classics that may very well be forgotten by today's generations. With so many great movies from years ago, it's nice to have a little help in selecting one that's right for your family.
Last night my kids (2 and 5) and I got inpsired and headed to the local Blockbuster to find something that wasn't animated or on the recent release wall. After some looking, we ended up with Miracle On 34th St. Not the original version, mind you, but John Hughes' adaptation. It was good, but not the classic version I had hoped for. So if you're going to give this book as a gift, you might want to include a subscription to Netflix. At just $4.99 a month and no late fees, you'll have a whole listing of oldies but goodies right at your fingertips.