Merry Christmas Eve MMT Fam! I decided to curate this month’s picks with the holidays and winter break in mind, so I have chosen selections that would be safe viewing for the family.
My first pick this month is a good choice for the little ones (under 13) and one of my 2015 faves, the animated film HOME – featuring the voices of Rihanna, Jim Parsons, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez. You can read the quick review I posted back in March here, but I’d also like to share a few additional reasons why I loved this movie so much:
- The diversity – this film is filled with beautiful human characters of various colors and traits. And the main character, Tip (Rihanna), being a girl of color with a natural hairstyle was EVERYTHING!
- The lessons – the Jim Parson-voiced character, Oh, has to be one of the most unaccepted, unpopular characters in child film history! But, HOME follows Oh, along with Tip, as he learns valuable lessons on acceptance, trust, and love – and as his alien kind, the Boov, learn a lesson or two regarding truth and acceptance.
- The music – the movie includes a fun soundtrack and really cute character dance scenes.
HOME is rated PG for mild action and some rude humor; however I took MMT’s youngest contributor, and my littlest bestie, Jayla – who was two and soon turning three – to the advanced screening. She was engaged during the film, and there weren’t any parts that I felt were inappropriate for her viewing. And if I’m not mistaken, that rude humor involves a couple potty jokes (apparently Boov’s have number one, two, and three’s, LOL) – so there is nothing too raunchy that would make me not recommend this film for the little ones.
My next picks both are composed of amazing casts and are great stories for pre-teens and up. Down in the Delta was directed by the late, great Maya Angelou and boasts an all-star cast – including Alfre Woodard, Mary Alice, Loretta Devine, and the late actors Esther Rolle and Al Freeman, Jr.
“Down in the Delta” tells the story of a struggling mother (Woodard) who takes her children to her family’s hometown in the Mississippi Delta and learns some key lessons on her heritage and building a future. The film is rated PG-13 for some drug related material; however it is an uplifting family story, rich with lessons on family bonds and cultural appreciation.
Life of a King is a movie I reviewed back in January of last year. The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., with a supporting cast that includes Dennis Haysbert (Dear White People, LUV) , LisaGay Hamilton (Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: SVU), Richard T. Jones (Concussion, Why Did I Get Married Too). Based on a true story, “Life of King” highlights Eugene Brown (Gooding Jr.), an ex-felon who created a chess club to teach inner city teenagers to “envision the end game” and prepare themselves to meet future goals. This movie is also rated PG-13 for some drug related material and brief violence – both involving teenagers.
Oh, and I’ll throw in one more for good measure! I watched a very cute movie with my 8-year-old nephew and 6-year-old niece called The Mistle-tones! – starring Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tori Spelling. The film tells the story of a young singer (Mowry-Hardrict) who starts her own group after being rejected for a spot in a legendary Christmas group founded by her late mother. Filled with good comedic moments and fun music, my niece and nephew absolutely loved watching this film. It’s rated TV-PG, and is really safe viewing for the entire family.
Alright MMT Family, let me know if you watch any of these recommendations – and leave your thoughts in the comments! And have a safe and blessed holiday! 🙂
Until next thought, Thomasena