Guest Author - Caitlin D Neely
When the turkeyís all eaten and the football game is over pop in one of these family comedy movies to keep everyone entertained. They wonít disappoint!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (directed by Mel Stuart) is a 1971 film based off of the book written by Roald Dahl. It stars Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, an eccentric man that owns a chocolate factory. He hides five golden tickets in Wonka Bars and the winning children are allowed to visit his factory for a day and, even better, get a lifetime supply of chocolate. Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum), a poor boy, luckily wins and brings along his Grandfather (Jack Albertson). We soon discover that Willy Wonka isnít merely giving a tour of his factory but attempting to find something much more complicated.
I may be a 90s kid but this is one of my favorite movies from childhood. Wilder is absolutely genius in his role as Wonka. I enjoyed Deppís portrayal but he doesnít hold a candle to the 70s Wonka. Wilder is crazy, hilarious, real and childlike. He truly brings the factory to life before our eyes. This is a beautiful film with a compelling storyline. It will bring laughs to everyone in the family.
Monsterís Inc (directed by Pete Doctor) is one of my favorite Pixar movies. Sulley (John Goodman) is at the top of his game at Monsterís Inc. The monsters scare children and use their screams to power Monstropolis. With the help of his best friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) he is the top scarer. The monsters, however, are deathly afraid of being contaminated by the children. When a little girl nicknamed Boo (Mary Gibbs) escapes into their world and is discovered by Sully and Mike, they must do all they can to help her get back to her parents and her home.
This film will have you laughing and crying. Itís incredibly heartwarming. Goodman and Crystal were the perfect choices for the main characters. They have very expressive voices and emotions that make us believe for a few moments that these monsters may actually exist somewhere. It also brings a great message about friendship to the table and the storyline is superb. This is Pixar at its best. They prove once again that they can produce a film that is innocent yet also has a mature and powerful message. Children and adults will come away from Monsterís Inc learning something about the world and themselves.
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (directed by Patricia Rozema) is a newer film and probably not as well known as the two above. It is still, however, a great family movie. Kit Kittredge (Abigail Breslin) is a young, aspiring journalist that lives in Cincinnati during the Great Depression. Her father (Chris OíDonnell) is forced to temporarily relocate to Chicago so he can find a job and provide for his family. Kit and her mother (Julia Ormond) open up their home to boarders. After neighborhood homes are robbed and friends are accused, Kit sets out to find the real burglars, and clear names.
Breslin once again shines. Based on her performance in Little Miss Sunshine it isnít any surprise to me that she does another superb acting job. She exudes innocence, determination and confidence. Kit refuses to believe that the person being accused of robbing could have done it. She never wavers. The supporting cast including the names already mentioned and also Madison Davenport, Jane Krakowski, Joan Cusack and Stanley Tucci give great performances also. They all bring their own unique touches to the film. Kit Kittredge is a movie with an uplifting message and will have you rooting for Kit the entire time.