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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: January 3, 2019.

Happy new year! Many top pick family movies remain in theaters for the first of the New Year with many more wonderful movies coming to the big screen this year. The top pick family movies in box office order for the first week of January 2019 include: Mary Poppins Returns (PG, for all ages);. animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG), for older children through adults; animated, comedic, Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG) for all ages; animated The Grinch (PG) for all ages; and live-action Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG) for older children through adults. As major Hollywood studios are producing family and redemptive movies in response to consumer interest and as independent studios are producing high quality content and artistry in family and redemptive January opens 2019 with wonderful family and redemptive movies in theaters!

In Mary Poppins ReturnsMichael Banks and his sister Jane are now adults and Michael has children of his own, who are in desperate need of a nanny because they have lost their mother. In addition, Michael is distraught with overdue house payments. The movie is full of delightful entertainment with spectacular dance numbers and sweet, endearing songs. This lovely movie encourages the value of family and the importance of imagination. It features Emily Blunt delightfully as Mary Poppins, along with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, and more.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG), which is suitable for older children through adults, is an animated comic book adventure, various manifestations of Spider-Man from other dimensions team up to stop a crime boss from destroying reality.  This movie is a fun movie with action, heart and faith; but there is intense action violence which warrants caution for young children.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG) for all ages is a hilarious and heartfelt sequel to Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, in which the arcade villain wants to be the hero rather than the villain. In this sequel, Ralph and his best friend Vanellope go into the world of the Internet after a missing piece for Vanellope’s arcade game. The movie has good moral themes about friendship, adoption, family, self-sacrifice, and courage (there are a few intense scenes). The characters and adventures in the movie appeal to all ages.

The Grinch is a charming, innocent movie and more about the true meaning of Christmas and how it triumphs over alienation and materialism. It includes classic Christmas carols and hymns that focus on Christian themes. It gives a sympathetic back story for Grinch. It presents role model family members. It is a sweet movie with delightful humor and funny characters. All ages will enjoy this entertaining movie.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG) is Disney’s version of the Christmas classic. It is spectacular but intense. It is most suitable for older children through adults. In Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic Christmas ballet, young teen Clara (Mackenzie Foy) receives a special gift from her godfather (Morgan Freeman). From there the story departs from the familiar version of the story, Clara receives access to a magical, Narnia-like world, the Four Realms.  Here she meets a brave Nutcracker soldier (Jayden Fowora-Knight), the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley), and Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren).

Clara goes into another world to return a stolen key to help the people of that world. Clara, who is interested in science and invention, develops valuable character traits: courage, perseverance, and learning from your mistakes.  This movie has a strong Christian, redemptive, biblical, moral worldview.

Although dates can change, here is what is known about the “what and when” of some of the most promising family and redemptive movies for a range of ages due in theaters in 2019: 2/1-The Least of These; 2/08– Lego Movie Sequel; 2/10– Heavenly Deposit; 2/11- A Dog’s Way Home; 2/17- My Fair Lady; 2/22– Run the Race; 2/27- Wizard of Oz; 3/TBA– A Promise to Astrid; 3/14- Patterns of Evidence-Moses; 3/15-Faith, Hope, and Love; 3/22- The Islands; 3/22 – Unplanned; 3/29- Dumbo; 4/1- My Brother’s Keeper;  4/12- Breakthrough; 4/18-Pilgrim’s Progress; 4/19-Disneynature’s Penguins; 5/24- Aladdin; 6/7- The Other Side of Heaven 2;  6/21– Toy Story 4; 6/24- Star Wars Episode IX; 6/7– Secret Lives of Pets 2; 7/09– Indiana Jones 5; 7/29– Lion King; 8/2 –Dora the  Explorer; 8/23-Overcomer; 12/31- Finding Grace; and more.

Other promising movies is various stages of development and production for the future include: Passion of the Christ 2: The Resurrection; One Nation Under God; The Penitent ThiefEast Oil TexasThai RescueRoe V. WadeGigantic; CATS; Heavenquest:  Peter Pan;  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair;  In God’s Underground; Palau the Movie;  Do You Believe 2; The Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician’s Nephew; The Ten Commandments; King David; Pontius Pilate; Butterfly Circus; The Adventures of Tintin 2; West Side Story, You are My Friend, God Calling, Walking with Herb; Heavens to Betsy; Let Go and Let God; The Wake of Light; The Breaking Point; The Follower; and more.

Further, many Disney projects are in development:  TinkSnow White (musical); Oliver Twist (musical), and a Jesse Owens project. Some live-action Disney remakes of classic animated family movies continue in development, as well: Pinocchio 1The Little MermaidLady and the TrampFantasiaChip ‘n’ DaleGeniesJames and the Giant PeachNottingham & HoodThe Sword and the StoneXD Big Hero 6 animated series and more. Watch for updates, interviews and insightful stories for these movies on Sonoma Christian Home.

What we see and think about becomes a part of us and affects our mental, physical, and spiritual health. What we see and experience leaves permanent images and memories. It is important that we make good choices in movies and media for ourselves and for those in our care. Look for reviews by those you respect who have screened the movie before reviewing it.

Remember that trailers can be deceiving and may hide some of the movie elements that you would find distasteful and disturbing. With some careful research, it is possible to find good movies that enhance our well-being that are entertaining while also inspiring, uplifting, and edifying, as they show the good consequences of good actions and the bad consequences of bad actions.

The top pick family movies in box office order for the first week of January 2019 include: Mary Poppins Returns (PG, for all ages);. animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG), for older children through adults; animated, comedic, Ralph Breaks the Internet (PG) for all ages; animated The Grinch (PG) for all ages; and live-action Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG) for older children through adults.

Uniquely, each week Sonoma Christian Home publishes the top picks for the best choices in movies in theaters for all ages that are not only entertaining but edifying with quality production elements. Sonoma Christian Home provides valuable reviews and substantive interviews for these top picks in family-friendly and edifying movies.

Please continue to search for and support the best movies for your friends and families. Be aware that the titles and trailers of some movies may make them look family-friendly when they are not. Buyer beware!

The best is yet to come when we continue to support the ongoing reformation in content and renaissance in artistry in media and movies. As audiences continue to see good family and redemptive movies in theaters, keeping them at the top of the box office, more good movies like them are being made. Watch for many top picks this year of redemptive movies that continue to improve in the ongoing renaissance of artistry and reformation of content in movies. Remember that the teams of good family and redemptive movies include consumers, who determine the success and wide global distribution of good family, redemptive movies. We are making good progress in encouraging major Hollywood studios to produce good family and redemptive movies, as well as supporting independent studios to do the same.


Here’s to a blessed 2019!


To learn more about the author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard



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