Family Movie Night


What is it with stories about fairies and goblins and dwarves that make people want to believe?


We want to believe these things are real, just like we want to believe in ghosts. I have heard people talk about seeing a woman and son walking down Guertin Street, dressed in Victorian clothing. I have heard tales of ghosts hanging around the town pond. Just about every church I have ever visited – in this state and others – has a story of mysterious foot steps or strange noises.


We want to believe.


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I was thinking about this as the kids and I watched The Spiderwick Chronicles the other night. The story is about a boy who finds a special book and reads it, not knowing he is unleashing a world of destructive ogres and captivating wood sylphs. Until he proves what he knows, no human chooses to believe him.


Ah, belief. That special ingredient. In this movie it took a special glass or the spit of a weird creature for the human characters to see the goblins and fairies and other creatures that were all around. No one, even the mom, wanted to believe.




Partially, because it was coming from the kid who caused the most trouble in the family. The other half is that these things seem too mystical, too impossible to exist. Brownies cannot be real until it allows you to see him.


It was a rousing good time with non-stop action. Towards the end, my youngest became a little scared but it was a scary part, I will give him that. I know we will watch this movie again.


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Another movie that asks you to believe in the unbelievable is Narnia. Seriously, through a closet you can go to another world that is always winter but never Christmas? And in this world there are fauns and talking animals and a witch able to turn any creature into a statue?


Perhaps the most amazing part is that four siblings ranging in age from 10 to 16 years of age are the ones who must save this land. That is how C.S. Lewis wrote the story and it is triumphantly put to screen.


Lastly, a movie that we truly love in this house is Peter Pan.  I do not mean the animated version by Disney but the live-action film made in 2003 that stars Jason Isaacs as both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook. Apparently, that is how it is written for the stage play and to me it is a stroke of genius.


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We know the story of the boy who never grows up, who lives in Neverland, spending his days fighting pirates and hanging with a little tiny fairy. Who would not want to believe in such a thing for none of us ever truly wants to grow up and become overly serious.


Well, maybe some people do as there is a need for someone to run things.


Most of us, however, are simply trying to get through each day of going to work and paying the bills and hanging with the kids if you have any at home. Some of it is fun and some of it is drudgery. Yet Peter holds out the hope that life will not stay that way, that a clapping of hands can save a dying fairy.


Remember that scene in E.T. when the mom is reading Peter Pan to a young Drew Barrymore? It was magical because we believed in it whole-heartily like a five-year-old.


That is what makes all of these family friendly movies so perfect. For the time of the movie, we believe in that which is normally hard to believe.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.