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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: April 11, 2019.

With the continuing Reformation and Renaissance in movie production in recent years, good family and redemptive movies continue in production, distribution, and screenings. The last weekend of March we have a top pick family movie and a top pick redemptive one.

The top pick family movie is Dumbo, which a live action remake of the 1941 animated classic. This movie tells the well-loved story of the baby elephant who can fly with his big ears and is separated from his mother.  Dumbo helps to save a struggling circus but learns there are ugly secrets beneath the glamourous surface. This is a wonderful, well-made movie with themes of about the value of family and of helping others. It is directed by Tim Burton and features Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito. This PG movie is appropriate for older children through adults.

The top pick redemptive movie for the last weekend of March is Unplanned. It is a film based on the true story of Abby Johnson, who works for Planned Parenthood because she thinks their goal is to prevent pregnancies. It is a well-made movie. It starts with Abby, who is now the director of the local Planned Parenthood office, asked to go into the operation room, where she has not gone before, to hold the ultrasound device so the doctor can suck out the baby. Running to the bathroom, she vomits. The movie then cuts back to how Abby as a young woman at Texas A&M from a Christian home, becomes involved with Planned Parenthood. From there, she becomes more and more involved until the movie is back to the opening scene. She eventually leaves her job and Planned Parenthood takes her to court.  Although this movie has been rated R due to its content, it is appropriate for older children through adults. Sonoma Christian Home has an interview with Ashley Bratcher who portrays Abby.

Other good, award-winning, family movies in theaters the last weekend of March also include the following:

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG), which is suitable for older children through adults, is an animated comic book adventure where 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. It has been awarded the 2019 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the year. Further, at the recent Movieguide ® Gala it has earned the award for one of the Ten Best 2018 Movies for Families.

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. It has been nominated for the 2019 Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the year. Further, at the recent Movieguide ® Gala it has earned the award for one of the Ten Best 2018 Movies for Families.

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. awarded the 2019 Oscar for Best Animated Feature film of the year. It has been nominated for the 2019 Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Production Design of the year. It also at the recent Movieguide ® Gala, earned the award for one of the Ten Best 2018 Movies for Families.

Some other top pick 2018 family movies now available on streaming and DVD that have also earned Oscar nominations include: Black Panther for Best Picture and Best Sound Mixing, At Eternity’s Gate for Best Leading Actor (Willem Defoe), Incredibles 2 for Best Animated Movie, and Christopher Robin for Best Visual Effects, and Solo: A Star Wars Story for Best Visual Effects.  See my articles and interviews for these movies and more top pick family and redemptive movies on Sonoma Christian Home.

There have been wonderful family movies in theaters in 2018 and many can be now be found in on various streaming platforms and/or on DVDs: The Grinch, Peter Rabbit, Buttons, Christopher Robin, Black Panther, Show Dogs, and Incredibles.  See this list on IMDb. See their descriptions and awards on Sonoma Christian Home.

Beginning largely with the impact and success of The Passion of the Christ, in recent years we have seen an ongoing Reformation and Renaissance in movies produced for theaters and then available for home use. In 2018 there have been also many fine redemptive movies for families of older children through adults, like Patterns of Evidence: The Moses Controversy and more. They have included the following top picks: I Can Only Imagine; Unbroken:  Path to Redemption; God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness; Samson; Paul, Apostle of Christ; The Miracle Season; Beautifully Broken; God Bless the Broken Road; Indivisible; and An Interview with God. Many of these good movies are now available on DVD or through various forms of streaming. They are excellent picks for libraries: personal, church, public, and more. See this list on IMDb. See their descriptions and awards on Sonoma Christian Home.  See other top pick lists by year on IMDb. See reviews, interviews, trailers and more for my top pick family and redemptive movies on Sonoma Christian Home.

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 yet due in theaters in 2019:   4/1- My Brother’s Keeper; 4/9, 11, 13- Noah, 4/12- Breakthrough; 4/18-Pilgrim’s Progress; 4/19-Disneynature’s Penguins; 4/22- Bright Ones;       4/29, 30 – Kingdom Men Rising; Tolkien- 5/10; 5/24- Aladdin; 6/7- The Other Side of Heaven 2;  6/21– Toy Story 4;  6/7– Secret Lives of Pets 2;  7/29– Lion King; 8/2 –Dora the  Explorer; 8/23-Overcomer; 9/12- The Islands; 12/31- Finding Grace; and more.

Other promising movies in 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 PointThe Follower; Our God is Good; 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 & HoodLilo & Stitch, The Hunchback of Notre DameThe 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.

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 make them appear to be family-friendly when they are not. More and more Hollywood studios and independent ones are making better and better family movies, but there are also movies that may seem family-friendly that have politically correct themes with subtle messages that you may find incorrect or blatant language and situations that you find disturbing.

Some movie publicity makes some movies seem family-friendly; but when they are seen at a theater end up marred by foul language and other crass, inappropriate elements. All seemingly family-friendly movies are not equal in terms of family values, including superhero movies! It is critical for movie viewers who want uplifting, entertaining, and wholesome experiences for themselves and those they love to research movies written by trustworthy sources before they see them. Further, all movie review and recommendation sources are not equal. Make sure you read reviews by those you respect who have previewed movies you are considering. All movies that glitter are not gold even with cute, seemingly innocent characters or with light humor.  Buyer beware.  Make careful, informed choices. The best family movies can be entertaining, educational, and edifying.

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 this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard

See Dr. Howard’s top picks lists on IMDb.

Edited, laid out, and published to site by Melanie Pickett

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