Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


Can I admit that I have not kept up with movie viewing as much as I should?


I have been watching some movies. The other week a friend and I went to see Les Mis. But let’s be honest, the movie that is the most grand at being sad is the one that will win the Oscar. The one that tries to state the most about the human condition and its actors will be the one that wins.


This year I have tried to focus more on the animated features with the thought that I have seen those.


Once I looked at the list I realized I had seen just one – Brave.


Judging an animated movie means I am not looking at just the story and how well it is told and portrayed. I am also looking at the animation. What about the animation of a particular film makes it better than any of the others out there?


This year, the big feat was creating the curls of Merida’s hair in Brave.


Poster Image from

Poster Image from

I assume that most animated characters have straight hair or a helmut of hair because it is very detailed work to make curly hair. Even the Japanese anime have hair that is a consistent collection of angles and sharp points. This way, hair does not have to change very much.


With curly hair, the story is different. Strands move with every tip of the head. You don’t have to merely move the shadow on the head, you have to move over 100 strands of corkscrew curls. That takes effort.


We did rent Frankenweenie after the nominations came out. The story is about a boy named Victor who re-animates his dog, Sparky, after the pet is hit by a car. But as competition for the upcoming science fair heats up, the other kids want the secret to Victor’s success. But problems occur, monsters are created, and only Victor and Sparky can solve the problem.


I like the stop action-animation, it worked smoothy and integrated well with the storyline. I also liked the black-and-white color palate which was a reference to every monster movie that would have inspired director Tim Burton.  This movie had many references that the parents or movie buffs would have recognized more readily than the kids for whom this movie was aimed.


I found the story to be very sweet, how actual love of a project makes it successful in terms of ending up the way you want it. But overall, I was under whelmed by Frankenweenie. It is a good movie, it is not a great movie. While that is good enough for deciding what to watch at home, is it enough for the grandest award in the film industry?


I would love to see Wreck-it Ralph before it completely leaves theaters. It is possible to rent The Pirates and ParaNorman but to be honest, neither of those movies appeal to me or my kids. Every time I say “Let’s get The Pirates,” they say “let’s not.”


When it comes to family viewing, sometimes what you want more than an award nominated film is something everyone wants to watch.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.