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Family Movie Night Reviews

Updated on August 29, 2017

Family Friendly Movies

My family has a regular movie night. Usually it takes place on Sunday nights. It is a great way to spend time with one another as well as enjoy a clean, family-safe movie. We have popcorn, sliced apples, and other snacks while we watch a family-friendly movie.

Our family looks forward to this special time together, especially since we've decreased the amount of time that the television can be on during the rest of the week. I've found that we have fewer arguments about what we are watching since my husband and I choose the movies and stand by our decisions.

Our children are 11 and younger, so we stick to G and PG movies that both of us have already watched. We choose movies that are wholesome and quite often classic. Another criteria for the movies we choose is that they are not movies that the kids would choose on their own either because they've never seen it or it's not the latest, most popular movie among their friends.

Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins Movie Review

another installment of the family movie night reviews

Last night, I chose to have our family watch Mary Poppins. One of my biggest concerns is that the movies I grew up with would have stories or the special effects that my kids find outdated. Though the Mary Poppins musical was released in 1964, you need not worry. My kids spent the evening laughing and in awe. They asked a few times at least, "How did they do that?" They have been exposed to many movies with the latest special effects, so I was surprised they asked.

THE MUSIC

Since Mary Poppins is a musical, there are plenty of songs. My kids, ages 8 months to 11 years, enjoyed the lyrics. Those who were old enough to sing either sang right with the songs as the movie played or after the movie. When you have actors like Dick Van Dyke and actresses like Julie Andrews, the music is usually phenomenal. Such is the case with this musical.

THE STORY

I know many people are familiar with the story. If you are, then this may remind you while informing those who never watched it.

The story is about a family in London during the early 1900s. Mr. Banks insists that his home is run like a tight ship. He works at a bank, but barely lifts a finger while at home. Mrs. Banks is involved in the movement for the women's right to vote.

As the movie begins, the nanny is quitting because the children have run off for the 4th time. When the time comes to post an advertisement in the Times, Mr. Banks dictates his own ad to Mrs. Banks. Meanwhile, the children, Jane and Michael, write their own advertisement. Mr. Banks immediately rips up throws the children's ad into the unlit fire place. When his back is turned, the ripped up ad floats up and out of the chimney.

The next day, a long line of stuffy old nannies looking for a job line up at the gate. Before any are allowed in, all of them blow away. Gracefully, Mary Poppins glides into view with her umbrella. She lands right at the gate and is let into the Bank residence for her interview. She is very slick as she talks her way into the position. Before Mr. Banks knows it, he's reached an agreement with Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins takes the children on outings that will amaze even today's children. They jump into drawings and see people laughing so hard that they float. At one point, Mr. Banks decides he is fed up with Mary Poppins and arranges a meeting to fire her. Instead, she makes him think it's his idea to take the children to the bank on her day off. The kids accompany him alright. When the bank's owner, played by Dick Van Dyke, tries to help Michael make a deposit, Michael gets upset because he wants to feed the birds using his money. He yells that Van Dyke's character, Mr. Dawes, Senior, won't give the money back. That leads to a run on the bank.

The kids run away from the scene and bump into Dick Van Dykes primary character in the movie, Bert. Bert is an artist and chimney sweep. When they find Bert this time, he is dressed to clean chimneys. He tries to help the children see their father's point of view on their way home. Then, they end up dancing on the roof tops. The choreography is amazing, as are the special effects when the fire works go off, courtesy of the Banks' next door neighbor who is a military ship captain. The captain's house looks like it has a ship on their roof.

When Mr. Banks gets home, he learns he must report at the bank where he works. He loses his job. Then, he starts telling the jokes and singing the songs he learned since Mary Poppins became their nanny. Mr. Dawes, Sr., dies that night laughing over the jokes and songs Mr. Banks shared. Since Mr. Dawes, Sr. died, there is an opening in the bank's board. Mr. Banks is invited to fill that position.

Then, the wind changes just as the dysfunctional Banks family has learned how to be a loving family. At the beginning of the movie, Mary Poppins tells the children that she'll stay until the wind changes. So, now she must go. She slips away while the Banks are flying kites.

Recommendation?

Yes, I do recommend this movie. It's pretty obvious that everyone in my house, except my baby who is too young for movies, enjoyed Mary Poppins. The day after watching, my kids were singing the songs and telling me what they remembered. Even though Mary Poppins was released before I was born, my own children enjoyed everything it had to offer.

If you have experiences that are similar or radically different from mine, please share in the comments section below. I can't wait to read how your kids enjoyed watching Mary Poppins with you.

Did you watch this movie as kid or with your own? Please share your experiences, we'd love to know if this movie was a hit at your house!

Liken the Scriptures

Since today is the day after Easter, my first movie review was scripture based. I chose Samuel the Lamanite because he prophesied of Jesus' birth. He also stood up to his enemies because he loved God's word and wanted all, even his enemies, to have His word.

The company that produced this movie is not affiliated with any religious group or church. They have made many movies from the Bible and a few from the Book of Mormon. Each is a musical with songs the whole family will enjoy.

Samuel the Lamanite (Liken Gold Series)
Samuel the Lamanite (Liken Gold Series)

Amelia uses her imagination to bring to life the story of those who believe in Samuel's prophecy. The whole family will enjoy this fun, yet deeply moving musical retelling of the first Christmas in America.

 
Esther and The King
Esther and The King

When a modern-day girl named Amelia faces a big challenge in her life, her mother teaches her about the power of fasting by sharing the story of a heroine from the Bible. Esther, an orphan raised by a relative named Mordecai, is chosen from all the maidens in the land to become queen. While becoming a queen is where most fairy tales end, this is just the beginning of the true story of this courageous woman who must risk her life to save her people from a treacherous plan of the charmingly wicked prince Haman. Through reliving the story of Esther, Amelia gains an understanding of the power of fasting and how it can help her learn courage.

 

Pete's Dragon

My family enjoys this movie so much that it is my kids' first request when they get to go to their grandparents' house. All of my kids, with the exception of my baby, sit through the movie, which lasts 129 minutes. If you'd like to read my full review, click here.

Pete's Dragon (High-Flying Edition)
Pete's Dragon (High-Flying Edition)

Get ready for a magical adventure filled with friendship, fun and heartwarming songs in the new Special Edition DVD of Walt Disney's classic family film Pete's Dragon, now with dazzling new bonus features! It's a Brazzle Dazzle Day when an orphan named Pete and his best friend, Elliott, an invisible dragon, wander into the seaside village of Passamaquoddy. Although Pete befriends the lighthouse keeper, Nora and her salty old father , the townspeople think he is behind the hilarous accidents that keep happening. But after a daring rescue, everyone believes in Pete's fire breathing buddy. Featuring an all-star cast, Pete's Dragon is a timeless classic every member of your family will love.

 
Mary Poppins (Two-Disc 45th Anniversary Special Edition)
Mary Poppins (Two-Disc 45th Anniversary Special Edition)

Experience the extraordinary animation, dazzling special effects and award-winning music of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins in this restored and remastered 2-Disc 45th Anniversary Edition! Join the practically perfect Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) for a Jolly Holiday as she magically turns every chore into a game and every day into a whimsical adventure. Along the way, you ll be enchanted by unforgettable characters such as the multitalented chimney sweep Burt (Dick Van Dyke). Unpack Mary's magical carpetbag full of bonus features, including all-new bonus from the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Broadway production of Mary Poppins. You won't need a Spoonful Of Sugar to love every moment of this timeless Disney classic!

 
Bedknobs And Broomsticks Special Edition
Bedknobs And Broomsticks Special Edition

Experience the extraordinary animation, enchanting music and Academy Award-winning special effects (1971: Best Effects, Special Visual Effects) of Disney's beloved classic BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS -- now fully restored and remastered in this Enchanted Musical Edition with dazzling new bonus features! Hold on tight for a magical, musical, fun-filled journey! When young Charlie, Carrie and Paul move to a small village during World War II, they discover their host, Miss Price (Angela Lansbury), is an apprentice witch! Although her early attempts at magic create hilarious results, she successfully casts a traveling spell on an ordinary bedknob, and they fly to the fantastic, animated Isle of Naboombu to find a powerful spell that will save England! All-new fun is brewing in this Enchanted Musical Edition, including "The Wizards of Special Effects" feature. Also starring David Tomlinson (MARY POPPINS) and Roddy McDowall, BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS is a heartwarming adventure your family will love sharing again and again!

 
Pollyanna (Vault Disney Collection)
Pollyanna (Vault Disney Collection)

Hayley Mills received a special Academy Award(R) for her performance as Pollyanna in this timeless Walt Disney tapestry of small-town Americana. Here you'll meet Pollyanna, the orphan who brings sunshine into the lives of everyone she meets. But her Aunt Polly (Jane Wyman) is too concerned with appearances, propriety, and local politics to appreciate her effervescent niece. It isn't until the town almost loses their "Glad Girl" that Aunt Polly realizes the power of love and lightheartedness. Featuring an impressive all-star cast and a story filled with fun, laughter, and tears, POLLYANNA will inspire your entire family and prove that the art of positive thinking is just as delightful today as it was at the turn of the century!

 
Robin Hood (Most Wanted Edition)
Robin Hood (Most Wanted Edition)

A long time ago, in a faraway land, legend tells an extraordinary tale of courage and friendship. Get ready for swashbuckling adventure, unforgettable characters, memorable music, and lots of laughs in Disney's Robin Hood. Heroic Robin Hood -- along with his trusted companion Little John and his devoted band of merry men -- conjures up one famously funny and daring deed after another to outfox greedy Prince John and bring happiness to the residents of Sherwood Forest. THE MOST WANTED EDITION also features a never-before-seen alternate ending, all-new games, and Disney Song Selection, plus a new digital transfer, 5.1 Surround Sound, and much more!

 

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