Tot Five: Movies for After You Gobble

Picture this: Thanksgiving dinner has ended, the kitchen is full of dirty dishes and you need to get them cleaned up and in the dishwasher so you can finally relax.

In the other room, your children are at that point where they are sleepy from the turkey, but also wound up because of the holiday.

What do you do to buy yourself some time to get the kitchen cleaned up?

You pop in a new family friendly flick to keep the Mousekatot’s at bay.

1. “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration”

This special, hosted by the sibling duo of Derek and Julianne Hough will lead the two-hour special starting at 8 p.m. on ABC Thanksgiving night.

What makes this great is first of all it is Disney, pretty much a promotional video for how beautiful their parks are, and second of all it is already on TV which will make it easy to just turn the channel when the time arrives.

2. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”

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This is one of my all time favorites and a must watch every year. (I think Snoopy has the right idea for the Thanksgiving dinner.)

The only downside, beside Peppermint Patty inviting her annoying self to Charlie Brown’s house for Thanksgiving, is that it is less than a half hour long. It won’t buy you too much time to do a massive cleanup.

3. “Garfield’s Thanksgiving”

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If you pair this film with the aforementioned Charlie Brown movie you can have almost an hour to clean the kitchen.

It is a little harder to find, I think we have our copy because we bought a boxed set of all the Garfield holiday movies, but it is really worth it.

Jon’s Grandma, who comes in to save the day and Thanksgiving dinner is an absolute hoot, and the meaning behind the film is full of heart.

4. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

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I have always considered this a Thanksgiving movie because it is right between Halloween and Christmas, which are the two holiday prominently featured in the film.

This stop animated classic film from Tim Burton can be a little spooky for little ones so you will want to make sure it is suitable for your Mousekatots.

The message of being true to yourself and using your strengths in life is one that is really important.

5. “White Christmas”

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Technically this is a Christmas movie, but it is a nice way to usher in the holiday season.

Even though “White Christmas” came out over 50 years ago, it is still a classic that is full of humor and heart and is just beautiful and elegant.

You might get some eye rolls from your Mousekateens, but just give it time and they will be glued to the television.

What films are part of your family’s holiday traditions to kick off the Christmas season? Leave your comments below.

 

Tot Five: Not So Spooky Halloween Flicks

In our house, Halloween is a pretty big deal. We love to decorate with pumpkins, black cats and ghosts, enjoy all the pumpkin spice everywhere has to offer and trying our hand at corn mazes.

Another great family activity is watching Halloween Movies together. I’m not talking “Freddy Vs. Jason” or “Poltergeist,” but ones that are more silly and just slightly spooky.

Here are my tot five family Halloween movies.

1. “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

 

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

This is hands down, my favorite Halloween movie.

Every year it is always on ABC at least once and it always makes it feel like Halloween.

The timeless story follows Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the gang as they spend the holiday in their own special ways, which includes Linus hanging out in the most sincere pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin with Sally, Charlie Brown trick-or-treating and receiving nothing but rocks, and Snoopy’s attacks as the World War One Flying Ace.

2. “Spookly the Square Pumpkin”

 

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Photo courtesy of NewKideo

Based on the children’s book of the same name, the film tells the story of a pumpkin that was of a different shape who wanted to be like everyone else.

Later when something happens, Spookly calls on his unique shape to save the day.

This is a wonderful story about loving who you are and using your unique abilities to help others.

 

 

3. “Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated”

 

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Photo courtesy of Scooby-Doo Wikia

While this isn’t a movie, but a series, the new incarnation of Scooby-Doo is really great. It is entertaining and even funny for parents. There is an underlying story that flows through all the episodes about a “Mister E” and what happened to the former Mystery Incorporated. Plus, the episodes feature all your favorite characters that you grew up watching.

The “monsters” and setting make this a perfect fit for Halloween season viewing.

4. “Hotel Transylvania”

 

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Photo courtesy of IGN

I wasn’t sure how much I would like this movie, but it really made me laugh a lot.

The story is one that parents and children will like about a stranger that falls in love with a girl who in turn wants to go out and explore the world, but her father wants to keep her safe at his castle.

It features lots of different famous movie monsters and like I said lots of laughs. It is lighter on the scary and more on the laughs.

5. “Halloweentown”

 

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Photo courtesy of Halloweentown

This classic from when I was growing up has become a cult hit over the past few years.

This film tells the story of a girl who finds out that she is a witch, a secret her mother has been keeping from her. She ends up following her grandmother to Halloweentown where it is always Halloween.

Do you have a favorite Halloween film that you and your family watch each year? Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

Tot Five: Family Flicks

Summertime is the season for blockbusters. Whether it is action flicks, comedies, horror and animated soon-to-be classics, movies are a big deal this time of the year.

If you are anything like us, the thought of taking your toddler to a movie theater has you on pins and needles. Will they sit still? How much popcorn are they going to dump on the floor? What are they going to yell at the screen?

We found that going to a drive-in was the best bet because she could do whatever she wanted to do in the confines of our car and not bother anyone.

Another way to enjoy a family movie is in the comfort of your own home. You can pause the film for potty breaks (not just for the toddler), load up on snacks and popcorn just a few feet away from your TV and you have the best seat in the house.

Here are our Tot Five picks for Family Flicks for your movie night that might not be on your radar.

5. Sammy the Way Out Seal

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

My mom was a teacher for many, many years. When she would have an end of the year party for her students she would always show them “Sammy the Way Out Seal.”

One time when she rented the video (this is how old school this is) I sat down and watched it and I loved it. I laughed really hard at parts and the retro feel to the film is so endearing.

I have always been a huge fan of the live-action Disney films from the previous generations so this was destined to be a hit for me.

4. The Sound of Music

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

This is a classic! Just seeing the title brings to mind the opening scene of Maria spinning in an open field in the mountains.

The songs are catchy and the tale is timeless.

Just be warned that your Mousekatots will probably end up sing the “Doe a Deer” song for days on end.

3. The Little Rascals (the movie)

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

So, I came across this movie that came out when I was young. It was as cute as I remembered it. There is also a sequel that came out a few years ago that is also really cute.

Both films are currently on Netflix. You could even make a double feature!

2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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Photo courtesy of Disney

We watched this movie for the first time last weekend and I loved it!

It was funny and really entertaining, I laughed quite a bit, and something that parents will enjoy as much as the kids.

It is currently available for free onDemend for Direct TV customers.

1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Photo courtesy of Alabamatheatre.com

This movie earns the number one distinction because it is my all time favorite movie ever since I was little!

My poor grandmother who would babysit me would be subjected to watching this movie on repeat. (To this day I know the whole film word by word.)

Just beware of the tunnel scene in the middle of the film. It is so random and terrifying, and contains some graphic images that should be skipped. (It is often featured in compilations for scariest horror scenes ever.)

In my opinion this version is so much better than the remake that featured Johnny Depp.

What are your favorite films for family movie night? Leave your comments below.