I always liked cartoons like the old ones from Warner Brothers. I could take or leave Mickey Mouse at Disney, but there was nothing like a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I never thought though that I would watch as many cartoons as I do now that I have young children. Amazingly some of them are quite good, and some have a lot of elements that appeal to adults and parents as well. Here are my five favorite children movies that I have seen in recent years:
5. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (2000)
It is hard to believe that this movie is nearly 15 years old, so I guess it it hardly considered a recent children's movie. In actuality, I saw this movie in the theater even before I was married or had children. I saw it with two other friends. Jim Carrey was the perfect grinch, and although I am not a huge Carrey fan, he made you forget he was Jim Carrey. Directed by Ron Howard, there is a lot of adult comedy in the movie, and I remember in the movie theater laughing more than the children there did. I thought my son would be afraid of the movie, but he loved it.
4. FINDING NEMO (2003)
This was another movie I saw with my children well after the movie came out. My son wasn't into the film as much as my wife and I were. The story of a father and son always tugs at my heartstrings. Not only are my happiest moments now spent in doing things with my son, but I also reminds me of my childhood and everything my father never did with me. I will admit many moments in the movie were tear jerkers for me, but it was a great movie.
3. HAPPY FEET (2006)
This is another movie that my wife and I like more than my son does. It is a little long for my son's attention span, but there is just something so cute about cartoon Penguins. I loved the voices that the late Robin Williams provided for the film. I haven't watched the movie since Williams' death and Brittany Murphy also is gone, but the movie is fun to watch. The topics in film - saving the habitat for the Penguins is a very adult issue, but the film was done in a way that it appeals to both adults and children.
2. THE CAT IN THE HAT (2003)
Here is another live action version of a Dr. Seuss book. The movie was not as successful as the Grinch movie, but lately this movie is all my son wants to watch. The Cat is played by Mike Myers, whose schtick gets a little old sometimes. A lot of times, it feels like The Cat is just Austin Powers in disguise, but the movie is well done. There are some really surprising adult jokes in the movie that thankfully pass over the heads of our children. The movie is short so it holds my son's interest, and I actually really love Alec Baldwin's role as the sleazy boyfriend of the Mom. Unlike the Grinch again, you don't get the backstory for the Cat, but it's just a fun movie.
1. FROZEN (2013)
This movie had to be on this list, I can not see how I could avoid it. I was laughing because the cartoon won an Oscar. My son went to see it in the movie theater with his grandmother, and I told my wife that our son saw an Oscar winning movie before we did. The film has everything for children, from peppy musical numbers to cute unsual second banana (like the talking snowman). There are some surprising adult themes when the princesses parents were killed when their ship was lost at sea, but luckily my son always seems to be doing something when that part comes on. Disney set the bar pretty high with this film, and although I have seen the film countless times now I never seem to get tired of the movie and neither does my children. I guess that is the most important thing!