Five for Families: Films based on toys

Posted December 31, 2016

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

As children play with the new toys they received at Christmas, some of those toys have been made into motion pictures, including the crazy-haired troll doll and the fluff-stuffed Pooh Bear. Here are five films crafted around toys for families to consider.

In theaters: "Trolls"

When the optimistic, musical, fuzzy-haired Troll village is invaded by the grumpy Bergens, two very different Trolls set out on a journey to save their friends from being eaten. The Dove Foundation awarded "Trolls" its "Family Approved" seal for all ages and called the film "a delightful movie about happiness, loyalty and love." With the voice talents of Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, Plugged In said "the music is peppy, the heroes are likable, the bad guys get their comeuppance and nothing is really too scary." The website also notes the "brightly colored felt, sticky sweet temperaments, sparkles and bouncy karaoke tunes from the '80s … adds up pretty well." recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.

Redbox: "The Lego Movie"

A regular Lego construction worker, Emmet, is recruited to save the Lego Universe from an evil tyrant. Catholic News Service praised the film as “a diverting eye-catcher for the young and old,” stating it “sails along toward a format-shifting conclusion that adds another asset to the rich mix: a touching sequence promoting family bonds over selfishness.” recommends the film for viewers ages 5 and older.

Netflix: "Paddington"

A young bear travels to London in search of a home. The Dove Foundation awarded “Paddington” its “Family-Approved" Seal for all ages, stating the "film is filled with laughs and the heartwarming feeling that home is not just a roof over one’s head, but rather being part of a family who cares.” The film is rated PG for mild action and rude humor. recommends the film for viewers ages 5 and older.

iTunes: "Winnie the Pooh"

The "fluff-stuffed" bear sets out to find some honey, but his friends think he has been captured and journey through the Hundred Acre Wood to save him. Common Sense Media called the "faithful adaptation of A.A. Milne's classic tales" as "sweet and gentle as the original Disney cartoons, making it accessible for even the youngest movie-goers," with John Cleese as the narrator. recommends the film for viewers ages 3 and older.

Amazon Video: "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl"

During the Great Depression, a young girl helps her mom run a boardinghouse after her father loses his job. said the movie starts slow but ends with a "big heartfelt wallop" that "is one of the most satisfying in recent memory" and is reminiscent of "It's a Wonderful Life." The website also noted that the film features authentic music and settings and superb casting. recommends the film for viewers ages 3 and older.



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