Families

Here’s how to pick the perfect movie to watch with your children

The Princess Bride, a 1987 fairy tale about a beautiful girl who is to be married to a nasty prince, but who is in love with another is one of the Film Is Truth staff’s top five family movie recommendations.
The Princess Bride, a 1987 fairy tale about a beautiful girl who is to be married to a nasty prince, but who is in love with another is one of the Film Is Truth staff’s top five family movie recommendations. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Finding age-appropriate movies that engage and entertain children can be difficult, because families sometimes have children of varying ages and siblings’ interests and personalities aren’t always alike.

“Every kid is different,” said Bethany Hoglund, head of children’s services at the Bellingham Public Library.

“It depends on the sensitivity of the kid,” Hogund said in an October interview. “Even some G-rated movies have enough peril to disturb young kids.”

Hoglund said librarians don’t usually make recommendations about films, but they will describe the subject and let parents decide if the film is appropriate for their children.

At the Bellingham nonprofit video store Film is Truth 24 Times a Second, co-founder Karl Freske said many children currently are enjoying films from Studio Ghibli, often called the Japanese Disney.

“Once parents discover Ghibli, their kids go through and devour it,” Freske said in an October interview.

“It’s consistently good filmmaking,” he said. “It’s colorful. It often has no antagonist. ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ has no bad guy. A lot of parents really like that.”

Both Hoglund and Freske recommend the website CommonSenseMedia.org, which offers reviews and recommendations, along with articles that address parental concerns and current topics in film.

Freske also said that documentaries, especially ones about nature, are a good choice for most ages.

“(Documentaries) are always popular,” he said. “Anything with Richard Attenborough, like the ‘Blue Planet’ series.”

Top 5 kids’ movies

Film Is Truth staff’s top five family movie recommendations:

“Fantastic Mr. Fox”

“Inside Out”

“My Neighbor Totoro”

“Paddington 2”

“The Princess Bride”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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