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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: June 14, 2019.

Here are the best family movies of June 2019. Theaters continue to show a range of inspiring, redemptive family movies for the third week of June including The Secret Lives of Pets (No. 1 at the box office), Aladdin (No. 2 at the box office), Breakthrough, Dumbo, Penguins, and Tolkien. Further, another top pick movie, Emanuel, comes to theaters June 17 and 21. These movies show how goodness can overcome difficult circumstances, and evil. The following movies present Christian values that enable those who encounter great odds to emerge as victors rather than victims.

‘The Secret Lives of Pets 2’|A Movie About Overcoming Fears

The Secret Lives of Pets 2 It is an entertaining movie (PG) for the whole family that focuses on the secret emotional lives of pets and follows the funny antics and adventures of a cast of amusing pets.  Max, the dog, faces changes and challenges when his owner Katie gets married and then has a child. Then, on a family trip to the countryside, Max meets a farm dog named Rooster, who helps Max overcome his fears. In the meantime, Gidget, the dog, tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment.  Further, Snowball, the bunny, sets out to free a white tiger named Hu from a circus.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is especially appropriate for older children through adults. Consumers should know that it has animal bathroom comedy and a scene at the end of the movie with the credits showing a male dog dressed in a female costume.

New ‘Aladdin’ Teaches Kids About Honesty

Disney’s new live-action, G-rated, Aladdin, is a delightful cinematographic, humorous, and musical treat; but most importantly it presents themes of the importance of honesty and integrity, which outshine magical and deceptive power. Because Aladdin wants to impress the Princess Jasmine, he has the genie of the lamp turn Aladdin into a prince; however, the princess rejects the false prince as she has rejected other suitors. Aladdin learns the value of honestly and humbly presenting himself.

‘Breakthrough’ Affirms the Power of Prayer

Breakthrough is based on the inspirational true story of an adoptive one mother (played by Chrissy Metz) who demonstrates unfaltering and conquering love in the face of impossible odds. This inspiring movie is based on the true story of John Smith, a 14-year-old boy who drowned in Lake Saint Louis in January 2014 and was dead for nearly an hour. CPR was performed on John for 27 minutes to no avail in the emergency room. Then John’s adoptive mother, Joyce Smith, (played by Chrissy Metz), came into the emergency room, praying loudly, and defied the institutional verdict of death. Suddenly, there was a pulse. John was revived and the miracles continued two weeks later as he walked out of the hospital without any brain, lung, or any other physical impairment. Today, John is alive.  He is graduating from high school and preparing to study for the ministry. It is appropriate for young teens through adults. Some of the most influential adoption and foster-care organizations are partnering with Breakthrough to help share the love of this movie. To learn more about these vital issues, be sure to connect with the Dave Thomas Foundation and the National Foster Parent Association.

‘Dumbo’ Teaches Kids About the Value of Charity

Dumbo is another heart-warming, live action remake of a Disney classic. This movie tells the well-loved story of the baby elephant named Dumbo, who can fly with his big ears, and is separated from his mother. Coming to understand the ugly secrets beneath the glamourous surface of the circus, Dumbo helps to save it and his mother. This is a wonderful, well-made movie with themes about the value of family, and about helping others to overcome intense evil lusts for power and greed. It is directed by Tim Burton and features the voices of Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, and Danny DeVito. This PG film is appropriate for older children through adults.

Penguins is another lovely Disney movie. It is an IMAX, nature documentary with themes of persistent love and commitment to family in the harsh environment of Antarctica. Narrator, Ed Helms comically voices Steve the penguin. Annually, the male penguins precede the females to prepare nests. Steve is a little bit behind the other males in this effort. The movie is spectacular and entertaining for the whole family.

‘Tolkien’ Biopic Teaches Christian Virtues

Tolkien is a new biographical movie about his early life and the influences on Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories. It is most appropriate for young to older adults, due to the WWI images, literary elements, and more. This is a lovely inspirational choice for a date-night movie.

Tolkien uses strong cinematography and acting to focus on the formative years of the renowned author’s life, as he acquires and develops friendships, inspiration, and courage among a group of young scholarly artists. Their fellowship strengthens as they grow up and struggle with love and loss together, which includes Tolkien’s challenging courtship of Edith Bratt, until the outbreak of the First World War which threatens to tear their bonds apart.

Tolkien overcomes and surmounts the challenges with classmates, his beloved Edith, his mentors, and WWI to write the profound tales of Middle Earth in which the characters and stories portray Christian virtues and character qualities that overcome intense violence, hostile power, greed, and evil. See my enlightening interview with acclaimed director Dome Karukoski on Sonoma Christian Home.

‘Emanuel’ And The Power of Forgiveness

Emanuel opens in theaters on the fourth anniversary of the devastating tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina that shook the nation.
NBA star Stephen Curry produced Emanuel. He is joined by actress Viola Davis, who executive produced the project. This compelling movie opens in theaters nationwide through Fathom Events on June 17 and 19. Documenting the events of June 17, 2015, Emanuel is a gripping film that examines how faith, hope and forgiveness healed a devastated community after the heinous church shooting at Emanuel A.M.E., carried out by white supremacist Dylan Roof.

This movie is executive produced by Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media, Viola Davis and Julius Tennons’ JuVee Productions and directed by Brian Ivie (The Drop Box). This documentary compellingly weaves the history of race relations in Charleston, the significance and impact of Mother Emanuel Church, and the hope that somehow emerges in the aftermath. Featuring intimate interviews with survivors and family members, it is a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate and examines the healing power of forgiveness.

In our present darkness of national and international strife and threatening evil elements, redemptive family movies are providing refreshing reprieves and hope. Redemptive family movies with Christian values are showing us how to find healing, unity, and a positive way forward in the intense, competing divisiveness of our day.

There are many good, redemptive, family movies due out in theaters in days ahead. 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 family movies, but there are movies that may seem family-friendly that have politically correct themes with subtle messages that you may find disturbing.

Not all seemingly family-friendly movies are equal in terms of family values, including superhero movies! It is critical for movie viewers who want uplifting, entertaining, and wholesome experiences for themselves 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. Don’t just rely on trailers to choose movies because all movies that glitter is not gold, even with cute and 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 media. As audiences continue to see good family and redemptive movies in theaters, more good movies will be made. Even the mainstream media has been amazed at the success of recent faith-based movies, due to consumer interest and support, and has seen that it is possible to produce movies with high production qualities that entertain but also edify and enrich audiences mentally and spiritually.

Look for media that shows what is true, honorable, right, and pure.  “…By their fruit you will recognize them. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.…” Matthew 7:16

Here’s to the family and redemptive movies that are entertaining during the summer of 2019!

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

See Dr. Howard’s top picks lists on IMDb

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