Children in Film

Listed below are films with parenting or children as a major theme. These movies are necessarily good or appropriate for children as "children's" or family movies.

The Joy Luck Club (1993): (Rated: R) A film (from the novel by Amy Tan) about three women, their mothers and their grandmothers. Together those mother-daughter relationships make up 16 different stories each of which acts as a parable about parenting with the work saying more on parenting than ten parenting so called "how to" books. "Powerful as Myth'" said the Washington Post Book World of the book. Here is an excerpt from a narration recited at the very beginning of the movie:

The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a ridiculous sum. This bird, boasted the market vendor, was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose, and now look! -- It is too beautiful to eat.

Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean many thousands of li wide, stretching their necks towards America. On her journey, she cooed to the swan: "In America I will have a daughter just like me. But over there nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of her husband's belch. Over there nobody will look down on her, because I will make her speak only perfect American English. And over there she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow. She will know my meaning, because I will give her this swan-- a creature that became more than was hoped for."

But when she arrived at the new country, the immigration officials pulled her swan away from her, leaving the old woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory. And then she had to fill out so many forms she forgot why she had come and what she had left behind.

The War (1994) (Rated PG-13): Set in Mississippi during the summer of the early 1970s, the film centers on a brother and a sister who build a treehouse that they must defend when siblings from a neighborhood family try to take it over. Their father, recently returned from Vietnam and struggling with the effects the war has had on him, attempts to instill a nonviolent, tolerant approach to neighbors and disputes as his family wrestles with poverty and other issues.

Unstrung Heroes (1995) (Rated: PG) This movie is an adaption of an autobiographical novel by sportswriter Franz Lidz. It is the first movie directed by Diane Keaton. The story centers on a young boy christened Steven who is being raised by a mother dying of cancer and a scientist/inventor father. The father, in an attempt to provide his wife with more rest, sends the boy to live with his two brothers, the boy's uncles. His eccentric uncles rename the boy Franz and instill in the boy ideas and feelings contrary to those of his father.

Jack the Bear (1993) (Rated: PG-13 ) A father, struggling with the recent death of his wife, tries to raise two sons and hold down a job after a recent move to Oakland, California where he works at a TV station hosting a Saturday night horror-film showcase. His sons are trying to adapt to the loss of their mother and to understand their father as they deal with a new school and an unusual neighborhood.

Shy People (1987) (Rated: R) A mother discovers that her teen-aged daughter is addicted to cocaine and seeing an older man. She invites her daughter on a trip away from the big city to the bayous of Louisiana to find a mysterious great-uncle. They find the man's wife and stay with her and her sons deep in the swamps. Both mothers, with very different backgrounds and styles struggle with the challenges of being a mother and face new difficulties as their children clash. The movie closes with the following quotation.

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert cold or hot, So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth."  Revalations. 3:15-18

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) This film adaptation of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel takes place in a small Alabama town in the 1930s. The story is portrayed through the eyes of Scout the daughter of  the a local, highly respected, lawyer Atticus Finch. The film got Academy Awards for Best Actor (Gregory Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay. and Best Art Direction.

Children in Music

Home  |  Contribute or Contact