CATEGORIES Movie NewsIf you're not heading to see "Oz the Great and Powerful" this weekend, take a chance on these picks to stream your own featured presentation at home. Here's one G, one PG, and one PG-13 pick to keep your kids, tweens, or teens happy on Family Movie Night -- or if you're unlucky enough to live in the path of a snow storm, the next snow day.
G Pick - Family Classic: "Dumbo" (1941, 64 minutes) Netflix Amazon On Demand iTunes
Kids Will Love: Even kids with short attention spans can handle this 64-minute Disney classic about a big-eared circus elephant that finds an unlikely best friend in a little mouse that teaches him to reach his true potential. But be warned, some kids (and parents) find the whole pink elephant hallucination segment a bit freaky.
Parents Will Love: Even 70-plus years later, there's no more touching Disney ballad than "Baby Mine." Dumbo and his mother's relationship is still so heartwarming to witness. Because Dumbo is ridiculed for his looks, the movie even provides an opportunity to discuss the importance of empathy and the impact of bullying with the youngest of kids.
Did You Know? "Dumbo," Disney's fourth animated feature, won an Academy Award for Best Original Score but not for song. "Baby Mine" -- which has been recorded by everyone from Bette Midler to Allison Krauss -- lost to the Jerome Kern standard "The Last Time I Saw Paris," which I bet few parents with young kids know.
PG Pick - Globe-Trotting Adventure: "The Adventures of Tintin" (2011, 107 minutes) Netflix Amazon On Demand iTunes
Kids Will Love: Even tweens completely unfamiliar with the original Tintin comics will love this action-adventure starring brave young Tintin and his beloved dog Snowy. Pirate ships, hidden treasure, and an intrepid, intelligent hero make this a perfect pick for mature 9-year-olds and up, who can keep up with the breakneck speed of story.
Parents Will Love: This is Steven Spielberg's first animated film, and it's filled with humorous bits that adults will appreciate, like British comedic bros Simon Pegg and Nick Frost playing the nearly identical coppers Thomson and Thompson, or the hilarious sequence at the outdoor reception featuring the opera diva (voiced by Renee Fleming) whose voice can shatter glass.
Did You Know? Andy Serkis, who voiced the character of Captain Haddock, is widely considered the king of motion-capture roles. He has famously played Gollum for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" films, Kong in "King Kong," and Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
PG-13 Pick - Jane Austen Reinvented: "Clueless" (1995, 95 minutes) Netflix Amazon On Demand iTunes
Kids Will Love: So much. Even if they laugh at the '90s fashion and the teen slang, teens are bound to fall as hard for this story as the teens of 18 years ago. Like most teen flicks, there are some references to sex and underage substance use, but Amy Heckerling's high-school comedy is still worth watching (and laughing along) with teens (unlike her '80s high-school classic, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," which you definitely do not want to see with them).
Parents Will Love: Those who were in high school or college when "Clueless" came out will love sharing the '90s nostalgia (which is so in right now) with their teens. I know I can't be the only parent who can probably quote the movie line by line. If you're really lucky, kids will want to check out Jane Austen's "Emma" after this fabulously clever adaptation. Did You Know? Other stars who tried out for the cast include Reese Witherspoon for Cher (Alicia Silverstone), Zooey Deschanel for Tai (Brittany Murphy), Terrence Howard for Murray (Donald Faison), Seth Green for Travis (Breckin Meyer), and Lauryn Hill for Dionne (Stacey Dash).