In this holiday season, a good option to spend time with the children is to discover some new movies together, beyond the princesses and the superheroes.
Most of us saw several children’s movies in our childhood, especially from the Disney house. We went to the cinema sporadically, either because there were not the number of cinemas that exist today or because the offer of children’s films was not as large as it is now. I have no idea how many children’s films are produced per year, but there must be many more than what we saw in many years of childhood.
Without a doubt, the big production houses such as Disney and Pixar, have monopolized a large part of the children’s market and almost everything our children see has to do with princesses and superheroes. However, there are other options that, by not having the same advertising reach, often go unnoticed despite the high quality of their stories.
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That is why below I share five children’s films that, in my opinion, show stories of endearing characters who face the same problems as any of us. Surely you can find them online, and if you like them so much that you want to have them in your collection, you can buy them in bookstores, at very affordable prices.
1. Where the monsters live
This film is the film adaptation of the story that bears the same name, by the American author Maurice Sendak, which was published in 1963. The film’s director, Spike Jonze, takes up the story of little Max, who, feeling that nobody understands him, He is very angry with everyone, trying to show that he can behave like a fearsome monster. One night, after confronting his mother, Max runs away from home to later appear in a world where he will meet other monsters, who will help him understand many of his feelings.
I think that the great charm of this film is that the characters give an account of the way in which children often experience the world and how they look at the adults who inhabit it, dictating what is possible to do and what is not possible. For both children and adults, it is an endearing film that, finally, tells us about the search for what makes us feel happy and at home.
2. The fantastic Mr. Fox
This film is also based on a book of the same name, written by Roald Dahl. The film director Wes Anderson adapted the story to present it in an animated film that tells the life of Mr. Fox and his family, who live peacefully in their burrow with other neighboring animals in the community. However, one fine day Mr. Fox, bored with so much monotony and tranquility, decides to listen to his instincts and dares to undertake new adventures. This will lead the Fox family and their friends to abandon the peace of their home and face dangers that will lead them to face many of their fears. Besides being a lot of fun, the movie shows us that when family and friends stick together, they can overcome any difficulty.
3. Nocturnal, a magical adventure
This Spanish production won the Goya award for the best animated film in 2007, and it is a film directed by Adrià García and Víctor Maldonado. This story introduces us to little Tim, who lives in an orphanage and seems to have a strange relationship with the night. While he asks himself many questions about everything that happens when we sleep, he also has a great fear of the dark and its secrets. One night, as he watches the sky and sees a star fall, Tim will start a journey in which he will find the answer to his questions and the relief of his fears.
If your little ones are going through the stage of fear of the dark or sleeping alone in their room, this is undoubtedly a very good option to give the night a flash of magic and security.
4. Kiki, the witch’s apprentice
This is one of the first films of the famous Japanese studio Ghibli Film, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released in Japan in 1989. This story is about a little witch named Kiki, who when she turns thirteen years old, must abide by tradition and abandon her home for a while to become a real witch. The film deals with in a very funny and simple way what the path to maturity and responsibility entails, as well as showing Kiki as a great heroine of her small town.
If there is something I like about Miyazaki’s films (as well as those from Studio Ghibli), it is that practically in all of them, the protagonists are girls, who, beyond the stereotype of Disney princesses, show strong and courageous women following the path they have chosen.
5. Whispers of the heart
Also from Ghibli Studios, this film is directed by Yoshifumi Kondo and released in Japan in 1995. It tells the story of Shizuku, a girl who is entering her teens and who loves to spend time reading. One day she discovers that the same name always appears on the loan card of all the books she takes out of the library: that of a boy named Seiji. Intrigued by that mysterious fact, one fine day she meets a strange cat who will lead her to discover the most tender and sincere love. This is an extremely tender and romantic movie, so if you have older children, I assure you it will make them sigh.
So get ready to enjoy these films, which although aimed at a child audience, I assure you will also make you laugh, cry and long for many beautiful moments of your childhood. Although they all have their fantasy overtones, they portray very well deep and genuine feelings that have invaded all of us in the search to find the meaning of our lives.