2009 has been an extremely successful year for the movies. When most other businesses have been hurting due to the "recession", the box office has been making MORE money this year. In fact, sales are up 20% from 2008, and 25% from 2005. 2009 has been breaking ticket sales records every single month so far. It isn't too hard to imagine why. With the economy doing so poorly, more and more people are looking for cheap sources of entertainment for themselves and their family. What better way to do that then by going to the movies? $7.00-$10.00 will get you 2 hours of blissful, uninterrupted, air conditioned fun!
I have been thoroughly impressed with quite a few movies this year. There has been a plethora of funny, stimulating and family oriented pictures to pick from. For example; Transformers, Up, Ice Age, Harry Potter, the list is endless. So I thought it might be a good idea to share my top five list of family films of 2009. Here they are in no particular order:
Ponyo is an animated adventure about a 5 year old boy and a goldfish princess. This goldfish, who is the daughter of the king of the ocean and has magic at her fingertips, befriends a little boy who spends time around the sea. A deep bond develops between them and the goldfish princess begins to long to be a human. The movie is extremely sweet and really allows the person watching to delve into the fantasy of it all.
Up is a Disney Pixar film that will captivate any aged audience member. A 78 year old man, Carl Fredricksen finally gets to realize a long time dream of his to see the world. He attaches thousands of balloons to his home and flies away to South America. Carl realizes all too soon that he has a stow away. An 8 year old boy named Russel who has bothered him on more than one occasion. A hilarious bit of humor ensues and I was thoroughly enthralled by the 3D graphics and wonderful story telling.
Coraline is a stop motion animated picture about broken dreams and the quest to repair them once again. A little girl named Coraline moves into a new home with her parents. The home is dilapidated and in desperate need of repair. Coraline who is endlessly curious and very bored, goes on a mission to get to know her new home. In the process she finds a hidden door that leads her to another world. In this world she is confronted by a second set of parents who have evil intentions. She is now forced to defeat her wicked "other mother". It is incredibly visually stimulating and the story is enrapturing.
Partially constructed from the groundbreaking BBC and Discovery Channel television series PLANET EARTH, EARTH is a ravishing and often gut-wrenching tale of natural survival and beauty. Five years... Earth is a stunning tale of real world animals and their quest of survival. Earth is partially constructed from the Discovery Channel television series PLANET EARTH. This brilliant picture was made possible because of 250 days of aerial footage, shot from planes, helicopters, and air balloons. You get to follow the lives of 3 families of whales, elephants and polar bears. I loved how educating the film was and how emotionally attached I become to all the animals.
5. HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE
The sixth installment of the popular Harry Potter books did not disappoint, as I expected. In the interest of not spoiling anything for people who may have not seen this yet I will only say a few things. Voldemort is beginning to threaten the safety and well being of the Muggle and the students of Hogwarts are finding themselves more vulnerable than ever before. Harry is realizing that even within the castle walls there is danger afoot. He seeks Dumbledores guidance but finds no help because Dumbledore is preoccupied with preparing Harry for his final battle. This film is, like all other Harry Potter movies, incredibly moving and quite simply a fabulous story from beginning to end. My time in the theater flew by and I was sad to leave. I cannot wait for The Deathly Hallows!
What are some of your favorite family movies of 2009? Or any year for that matter. I would love to hear them!