The children are home on school break. Family is in town visiting. Shopping is done. It’s a perfect time to make a trip to the movies for a good family film.
There are many good family movies for a range of ages and groups available in theaters through the rest of the Christmas Season. Many are about finding the richest love of family, friends and most importantly of our Lord.
Currently, Box Office Mojo ranks these top family movies in the following order: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13, teens and adults), Moana (PG-13, older children through adults), The Secret Life of Pets (PG. all ages), Believe (PG, older children through adults), Queen of Katwe (PG, older children through adults), and Priceless (PG-13, teens and adults).
Fandango reports that Sing (PG) comes to theaters Dec. 21. Sing, an animated musical comedy, is about a Koala Bear named Buster Moons who puts on a singing competition at his failing theater. Sing is appropriate for all ages. It has positive themes that include the value of the following: hard work, perseverance, using one’s passions and gifts, positive family relationships, and overcoming fear. (It has a few light crass elements.)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PG-13) that has no immoral language or behavior, is most appropriate for teens and adults due to battle violence, monsters, evil villains, as well as some New Age elements. It has worthwhile themes: repentance, redemption, sacrificial love, hope, doing what is right, and finding a greater purpose. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a prequel that precedes the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope when rebels stole plans for the Death Star from the Imperial Empire.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana continues at the top of the box office this week. It is an amazing animated, action-packed movie with realistically fast-moving water in an ocean adventure story. Most importantly, Moana is also about love for and commitment to family, friends, and community. A significant theme is about social responsibility. Moana is a good role model for young people.
The sweeping CG-animated fantasy adventure based on Polynesian folklore and legends, follows the heroic journey of a Polynesian teenage girl to save Polynesian life and culture from annihilation.
Drawn to the ocean (which guides and protects her as an anthropomorphic character), Moana (voiced by Auli’i Cravalho) convinces the comedic demigod (half god, half human) Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson-Fast and Furious 6, The Tooth Fairy) to join her with her comedic side-kick on her mission.
Reluctantly Maui helps Moana on her quest to be a master wayfinder as they voyage across the open ocean encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds to save the Polynesian Islands.
This is a delightful, entertaining movie for all ages. Read the interview with key animator, Mark Henn, on Sonoma Christian Home about the latest in the meticulous animation process Disney uses for this movie.
The Secret Lives of Pets is an animated comedy about what pets do alone at home and in their adventures when they are lost. It is an entertaining, redemptive family movie with moral themes.
Believe is a faith-based movie about Christmas miracles. It is about love in community and most importantly about love for our Lord. The producers of this film are partnering with The Salvation Army for their holiday Red Kettle Reason campaign that includes fundraising to shelter the homeless. The movie reflects the power of faith in the face of insurmountable hardships. Believe is about redeeming a broken community through compassion, kindness, service and love.
This movie with its powerful message of hope, encourages moviegoers to serve alongside The Salvation Army to help make a difference in their local communities this season. More information about the partnership can be found at their site. The filmmakers and their partners believe that stories of faith, hope, and love will make a huge difference in our nation this Christmas season.
Disney presents Queen of Katwe. It has received many good reviews. It follows a Ugandan slum girl’s rise from a hopeless future to that of an international chess player. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Robert Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda’s civil war who as a chess teacher sees potential in 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) plays her mother. It is about love for family and young people.
Priceless is another heroic movie based on true events. It is about a down-on-his-luck man who drives a truck all night to earn some fast money, not knowing it contains human cargo for sale. When he discovers that his “cargo” is two sisters being sold into human trafficking, James must decide whether to walk away or stay and fight for these girls. This movie exposes the evils of the sex trade. Again, the movie is about sacrificial love.
Many good movies for various ages are in movie theaters for the fourth week of December. The top pick family movies are the following: Believe; Priceless; Queen of Katwe; Rogue One, A Star Wars Story; Sing, Moana; and The Secret Life of Pets.
Continue to check out movies before seeing them. Especially during the holiday season, there are many movies that look appropriate but are not. There are many good movies and some that, upon closer inspection, aren’t family friendly. Choose carefully and have a Merry Christmas full of the love of friends, family, and mostly, of our Lord!
To learn more about the author, visit Dr. Diane Howard