There are many films that give us a warm fuzzy feeling inside, as they take us down memory lane. But be cautious, when introducing your children to any new movie on family film night, as it’s probable they'll ask to see that exact same film another 100 times.
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Family films everyone will love
When a film is deemed ‘fun for all the family’, you often know what to expect - a good traditional PG with the perfect mix of imagination, magic and adventure. With many timeless classics (let’s face it, there’s some tough competition), as well as the latest blockbusters to choose from, when it comes to family film nights, narrowing down your selection can be tricky.
One of the most celebrated family films of all time: Toy Story
As the first full-length computer-animated feature film, Toy Story has become one of the most celebrated films of all-time. Setting the standard for CGI animation for years to come, 1995’s Toy Story tells a heart-warming story of friendship. Woody, a kind-hearted toy cowboy who belongs to a young boy named Andy, becomes increasingly concerned after seeing his position as Andy's favourite toy jeopardised when his parents buy him a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Woody attempts to rid himself of his arrogant rival, in order to avoid becoming redundant. But, when Andy's family move to a new house, the duo get left behind and end up imprisoned in the home of the evil boy next door, Sid. Together they make it their mission to escape and reunite with their friend.
The story illustrates how these inanimate objects are brought to life by a child’s imagination, which is something both children and adults can relate to. Even though the main characters consist of a foolish, plastic space ranger and a floppy, pull-string cowboy toy, we begin to care for them as if they were being portrayed on-screen by real actors.
Toy Story’s triumph emerged from its exciting plot, relatable characters and novelty value. After smashing box office records (it made over $361 million), it was only natural that two sequels would follow, both of which surpassed all expectations, with Toy Story 3 remaining in third position as one of the highest-grossing animated films of all-time (after making a staggering $1 billion).
With the upcoming Toy Story 4 set to be released in June 2018, the question is, will it be as successful as its predecessor?
Let it go, Toy Story
When we talk about animated films, Toy Story is no longer the only movie that springs to mind. Inspired by classic fairy tale The Snow Queen, 2014’s Frozen knocked Toy Story 3 off the top spot as the highest-grossing animated film.
Frozen tells the story of orphaned sisters, Queen Elsa and her sister Princess Anna. Unbeknown to Anna, Elsa has magical powers that allow her to create snow and ice from her hands, which is something she struggles to control. After her secret is revealed, she flees, accidentally leaving the kingdom in a state of eternal winter. Princess Anna sets out to bring her sister back, accompanied by the grumpy Kristoff and the friendly snowman Olaf. The focus is on the love and the relationship between the two sisters, which is something that’s not explored all that often in Disney films.
It’s not just the film that smashed box office records (making an impressive $1.2 billion); ‘Let it Go’, the hit song from the accompanying soundtrack, made records of its own and has since had countless parents singing along on more than a few occasions.
With a sequel scheduled for 2018, live shows and theme park ride, this big-screen fairy tale captured the imagination of children and parents all over the world and we've all had Frozen fever ever since.
Our love for family films
Hollywood bosses are well aware that the ultimate film is one that audiences of every age can enjoy. Therefore, there has to be a smorgasbord of appeal to keep the adults interested. This is something that Toy Story films effortlessly achieve.
Toy Story includes grown-up humour that’s lost on children, including references to other films and emphatically adult emotions. We see this in Toy Story 2, when Rex (the dinosaur) is seen in the rear view mirror pursuing the Jeep, imitating the classic scene from Jurassic Park. Or, when Buzz Lightyear discovers he is "just a toy”, making him question his entire existence. The amalgamation of witty storylines, humour and the discussion of serious themes are what make the films relevant to grown-up audiences as well as kids.
And let’s not forget, no matter how old or young you are, everyone loves the Toy Story aliens!
Classic old-school movies
How many times have you wanted to sit back and enjoy some of your old-school family films, but all your childhood VHS tapes have mysteriously disappeared? To help you roll back the years, here’s a roundup of some of the best films to get your movie nights started.
1. Snow White (1937)
2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
3. Mary Poppins (1964)
4. The Sound of Music (1965)
5. Willy Wonka (1971)
6. Star Wars (1977)
7. E.T. (1982)
8. The Goonies (1985)
9. Little Mermaid (1989)
10. Home Alone (1990)
11. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
12. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
13. Lion King (1994)
14. Jumanji (1995)
15. Toy Story (1995)
16. Matilda (1996)
17. Harry Potter (2001)
18. Elf (2003)
19. Despicable Me (2010)
20. Frozen (2014)
We’ll be keeping you updated on the latest family movies set to hit the big screen too, so stay tuned!