Best 2012 movies for your child - Parentune's pick
Created by Neetu Ralhan Updated on Sep 12, 2013
We all grew up in the era of action movies and over-the-top melodramatic flicks. Only once in a while did we get to see movies that were made only for children, and made well! Thankfully, times have changed and today children are spoilt for choice, having access to some truly amazing Indian and international children’s cinema. Good cinema is not just entertaining, it can also be a wonderful audio visual tool we can use to sensitize our children and evoke curiosity and new thought.
Watching a movie, whether at home or in a theater can be a relaxing family event, particularly when no one is in the mood for a lot of action. Here is a compilation of some of the best children’s movies from the year gone by. Take your pick and snuggle in with your child for a fun and entertaining evening if you have missed some from the list.
The first ever-commercial release by the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI), Gattu is the heart-warming story of a nine year old child living on the streets of Roorkee, Uttarakhand. The orphaned boy who works for his scrap-dealer uncle who is obsessed with flying kites. To cut a mysterious black kite called Kali, he must gain access to a high roof, which he does by joining the local school, pretending to be a student. The film brilliantly portrays the street-smart yet innocent thinking that drives the child to lie and steal to get to this goal.
There is a definite undercurrent of sadness about the boy’s way of life but the film does not deliberately burden the viewer by evoking pity or sorrow.
Suitable for: All ages
Positive Message: The importance of truthfulness and honesty in testing times & the value of education.
Ferrari Ki Sawari
A hilarious sports comedy, the movie is the story of a men-only parsi family comprising a young boy (Kayo), his father (Rustom) and the grumpy grandfather who was once a cricket star himself. The story revolves around Kayo’s excellence at cricket and how his father strives to arrange funds for a coaching trip to London. A man of limited means, Rustom is compelled to secretly borrow Sachin Tendulkar’s Ferrari for a day and rent it out to a rich politician. Trouble begins when his conscience awakens and he wants to return the car to its owner. The film is a simple yet thought provoking story of how an honest and simple man wants to do everything he can to fulfill his child’s dream. It is a fine portrayal of a father and son bond and the sacredness of it.
Suitable for: All ages.(Includes an item song some parents may find offensive).
Positive Message: Importance of honesty and being true to oneself, admitting mistakes and never ceasing to dream.
Arjun: the Warrior Prince
Arjun is an animated action film depicting the life of Arjun, one of the five Pandava brothers from the Indian epic, “The Mahabharata”. The story depicts the life of Arjun as a 9-year old prince and how he grows into a courageous warrior prince who will do everything in his might to win back his kingdom from his evil cousins. A must watch for parents who want to familiarize their children with the historical bravery associated with Arjun. The movie does not feature the epic war of Mahabharata and is essentially centered on Arjun’s gradual discovery of his innate strength and courage.
Suitable for: All ages however parental guidance is required. The battle scenes show moderate violence in the form of bloodshed and severed bodies, which may not be appropriate for younger children.
Positive message: Courage, fearlessness and the ability to hold one’s own in adversity.
Delhi Safari is the animated tale of five animals forced out of their natural habitat by builders who have encroached upon the forestland. In an attempt to fight this injustice, the fearless five – a female leopard, her cub, a monkey, a parrot and a bear – decide to land in Delhi and protest the destruction of their natural home. A thought provoking and meaningful film, which can help, sensitize young minds towards preserving the environment and how deforestation affects the life of our birds and animals.
Language: Hindi / English
Suitable for: All ages. Parental discretion is required as there is a brief scene about a human trying to get intimate with his companion.
Positive message: Teamwork and friendship, preservation of the environment and appreciation of fellow living beings.
Sons of Ram
There have been movies, tv series and several children’s books about the life of Lord Rama. Sons of Ram is a refreshing movie depicting the life of Luv and Kush, Ram’s twin sons who were born while his beloved wife Sita served exile in a forest. The storyline revolves around the mischiefs and adventures of the twins who are unaware of their royal lineage. The sequence where the brothers are shown up in arms against Ram`s mighty army particularly delight young children. An interesting watch which chronicles the events that took place after the slaying of Ravana by Lord Rama.
Language: Hindi and English
Suitable for: All ages
Positive message: Family bonding, courage, togetherness and fighting for one’s rights.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Dog Days
The film is the third masterpiece in a series of hilarious comedies based on children’s novels of the same name. The books have been an international success and much loved because of the easy and humorous take on the (mis) adventures of a young boy named Greg Heffley through middle school. Greg is far from the ‘perfect’ kid that his parents and teachers want him to be but he learns as he grows. The earlier releases include Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Roderick Rules (2011). “Dog days” is essentially about Greg’s sweet struggles in trying to bond with his father during the summer vacation and how he tries his best to evade this bonding time.
Suitable for: 7 years and above.
Positive message: Family bonding, Learning from mistakes and being honest and true to one’s own self.
A very funny 3D animated flick, Hotel Transylvania is the story of a Dracula who lives with his daughter Mavis in a castle hotel built only for monsters. Humans are considered nasty and it is the Dracula’s life mission to protect his daughter and fellow monsters from troublesome humans. All is well until one fine day Jonathan; a lost traveler lands up at the hotel. Trouble begins when Mavis falls for Jonathan and wants to leave her overprotective father to live in the human world. The movie will be available on DVD by the end of January 2013.
Suitable for: 7 years and above. There is a flirtation and a kissing scene between Mavis and Jonathan.
Positive message: Parental love, the significance of being open to new experiences and adventures.
Wreck- it Ralph
An animated comedy film, Wreck-it Ralph is the story of a bad guy from the world of video games who leaves his arcade game to prove to the world that he is not a villain. Ralph is tired of being treated like the odd one out by his peers and wants to shed his bad-guy image and adorn a new avatar that will earn him respect and appreciation. The movie brings video game characters to life and has been equally loved by children as well as parents who have grown up playing arcade games.
Suitable for: 7 years and above. Some scenes show drinking and kissing. The sight of zombies and monsters may scare younger children.
Positive message: Qualities of selflessness, being nonjudgmental and being proud of who we are.
Brave is the story of a young princess Merinda but is far from the usual princess stories. Merinda refuses to do things that are expected of a princess and runs away to the forest to escape being married against her wish. There she bumps into a witch who promises to transform her strict mother, the Royal queen into a nicer person. Instead the witch’s magic spell turns the queen into a giant bear. It is now up to Merinda to break the spell and get her mother back.
Suitable for: 7 years and above. Includes some scary scenes and humor some parents may find rude.
Positive message: Mother and child bonding, the will to win and speaking up when things are unfair.
Thneedville is a town of plastic. Everything is artificial in this town, including the trees, the grass and even the air is not freely available. When a young boy named Ted sets out to win the heart of his crush Audrey, he learns that all she wants is to see a real tree. To fulfill her wish, Ted begins a challenging journey where he encounters the greedy troublemakers who are responsible for the town’s downfall. Ted must expose the truth to the people of Thneedville and help undo the damage inflicted upon it over the years.
Suitable for: 6 years and above.
Positive message: Protect the environment, fight injustice and do not give in to greed and corruption.
Life of Pi
This larger than life adventure flick is adapted from a best-selling novel published in 2001. The story revolves around Pi Patel, a young boy who loses his family in a shipwreck while on a journey to Canada from India. Pi survives the wreck but now finds himself alone on a lifeboat in the middle of Pacific Ocean. Only, he is not alone. For company he has a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a huge tiger named Richard Parker all on the same boat. The party must now figure out how to stay alive in the face of constant danger.
Suitable for: 8 years and above. There are some scenes that younger children may find disturbing – sea storms, shipwrecks and some bloodshed when zoo animals attack and kill each other.
Positive message: Perseverance, kinship, out of the box thinking and the spirit of survival.'
Other notable children’s movies you may have missed in 2012
Ice Age 4 – Continental Drift, Madagascar 3, The Three Stooges, Chimpanzee, Paranorman, Snowwhite and the huntsman, Frankenweenie, The Avengers, Big Miracle, Mirror Mirror and The Pirates – Band of Misfits.
Children’s movies to look out for in 2013
Dorothy of Oz, Jack the Giant Killer, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz The Great and Powerful, The Crudes, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Frozen and The Smurfs 2.