Welcome! Christmas is fast approaching and even those of you whose children have January exams ahead of them should be building in “down-time”. I can’t stress how important balance is for all of us. Find time to put those feet up … and put those school books down. Spend time with your children and recharge your batteries too. The past papers and revision packs can wait - with careful planning you definitely have enough time to watch these films.
Once again, I have chosen films for the whole family which will help your children to learn about real life events without having to try too hard … and all this from the comfort of the living room. The list includes films that will teach you about history, politics and sport; great stories about people who triumph in the face of adversity. This is stealth learning at its best!
Mostly, the films are PG, but three of them are rated 12 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). PG is the rating for “general viewing”, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children especially those under eight years old. The bottom line with this list: you have to call the shots depending on the age of your children and what you think is suitable.
Bear in mind that what's OK in one house may not be in another. So, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS read the Parent’s guide on IMDB for information about nudity, sex, sex references, violence, gore etc…It’s all too easy to miss some shocking details because your father, sister or best friend who doesn’t have children recommended a film they thought was great. They didn't watch it through the eyes of a Junior School child.
Now, plump up the cushions, settle down with a mince pie or some popcorn and get ready to escape to another world.
7 Fantastic Family Movies to Watch with your Children this Christmas
1. Eddie the Eagle - PG
Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards, an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
2. Gandhi - PG
This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi, the much loved Indian leader who stood against British rule over his country. Dedicated to the concept of nonviolent resistance, Gandhi is initially dismissed by English officials, including the influential Lord Irwin, but eventually he and his cause become internationally renowned, and his gatherings of passive protest move India towards independence.
3. The Madness of King George - PG
Ageing King George III of England is exhibiting signs of madness, a problem little understood in 1788. As the monarch alternates between bouts of confusion and near-violent outbursts of temper, his hapless doctors attempt the ineffectual cures of the day. Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger attempt to prevent the king's political enemies, led by the Prince of Wales, from usurping the throne.
4. Amazing Grace PG
In 18th-century England, William Wilberforce and his close friend William Pitt, the future prime minister, begin a lengthy battle to abolish the British slave trade.
5. Catch Me If You Can - 12
A teenage con artist manages to convince people at various times that he is an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, while making and cashing forged cheques all over the world. Just a few years later, the FBI, who have been pursuing him from nearly the beginning, track him down in France.
6. Invictus - 12
After his 27-year imprisonment and subsequent election as President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela faces the task of unifying a country divided by race. Only months since the end of apartheid, divisions still exist between the country's whites and blacks. Believing he can bring his people together through the universal language of sport, Mandela rallies South Africa's rugby team as they make their historic run to the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final.
7. The Imitation Game - 12
Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.
And finally, a bonus film .... because it’s Christmas:
Jesus Christ Superstar - PG
This "rock opera" tells the story of the final days in the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyes of Judas Iscariot. This is not a simple retelling of the biblical story. It is an incredibly powerful and engaging musical.
I LOVE the 70s spin … clothes… hairstyles… hippies and a scene that is a personal favourite with Simon Zealotes and a chorus of incredible dancers.
Dance scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOMgCUcmJkI
I have recently been watching Strictly on BBC One on Saturday nights - if you didn't catch it, you might enjoy this from a few weeks ago... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aunQVvEQyw
That's it for this week... or "That’s all folks", as they say in the movies. Enjoy the Christmas break with your little ones and please share this list with your friends and relatives. I believe there is something here for everyone. And if you missed Part I, here it is: https://www.jumpingyak.com/blogs/gems-of-wisdom/inspiring-movies-to-watch-with-your-children-part-1
Next week, a quick run-down on some essential Christmas etiquette for your children. I'll see what I can do to make it "stealth"....
Joyeux Noël to one and all!