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.

 

 

 

 

 

New kids program from Julie Andrews and Henson Company

 

 

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Photo courtesy of Netflix

Today Netflix announced they will be the home of a new original children’s program, “Julie’s Greenroom” featuring Julie Andrews.

 

In this new show from the Jim Henson Company, this all-new puppet cast of kids will learn about the performing arts.

“Julie’s Greenroom,” targeted at preschoolers, was created by Andrews with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and Judy Rothman-Rofe.

According to a press release from Netflix, “Ms. Julie and her devoted assistant Gus (Giullian Yao Gioiello) bring the performing arts to a new generation of kids known as the “Greenies,” played by original puppet characters built by the renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The Greenies are a diverse group of kids who are mesmerized by all that the arts and creativity has to offer. Over the course of the season, with Ms. Julie’s guidance and inspiration from the visiting guest artists, the kids create an entirely original new show, that is a mashup of all the performing arts including mime, music, dance, improv, circus arts, voice and more.”

The show will also feature guest stars including Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Tituss Burgess, Carol Burnett, Chris Colfer, Josh Grobin, Ellie Kemper, Idina Menzel and more.

The show began shooting this May in Long Island, New York. The 13, 30-minute episodes are scheduled to premiere early next year.

Are you looking forward to watching “Julie’s Greenroom” with your Mousekatots? Leave your comments below.