Sunday, June 21, 2015

Monsooning. Movie Marathoning.

It was Friday the 19th, 2015.

It was raining beautifully, and I did not have the heart to send Vi to school, simply because... I felt  holidaytory (I googled! That term does *NOT* exist on the internet as of this moment. So I will stake my claim- I have coined it).

We are both pluviophiles 

and petrichor drives us mad and makes us crave for more.
(we are also show-offs when it comes to newly enhanced vocabulary)

More rain, more madness. Hug-kiss-random-strangers-on-the-cheek-Do-the-chicken-dance-on-the-street level of madness! Sit-on-Marine-Drive-eating-ice-creams-against-crashing-waves-while -screaming-Ye-re-Ye-re-Pausaa level of madness. *THAT MAD!* *THAT CRAZY*
The world is a safer place with us rainiacs (this term is already in existence) safely locked up at home in each others' company.

Ideally, but not practically, we would be splashing in the rain or  reading/ doodling and simply whiling time away on the semi-covered terrace. The next best thing would be watching movies while drinking hot chocolate for the perfect self-imposed extended weekend exile. Best of all, we don't have any 'weekly school tests' in the first half of the next week. What more can we ask for?!

So here are some of our all-time favourites. Mostly, but not necessarily, animated. Suitable for everyone aged 3 years and above, with a certain amount of discretion on part of the parents.

The Bot stuff
Vi has been fascinated with robots. I think it has something to do with the 'Little Robots' series that she had watched on CBeebies as a toddler. She draws them. She makes them with clothing clips, building blocks, straws.

  • Wall-E (a lesson in loving and living from a garbage compacting robot! The entire first half of the movie has not a single spoken word. Simply beeps- no, not the objectionable type.)
  • The Iron Giant (A 2D retro classic by Brad Bird, the director and writer of the Incredibles.)
  • 9 (Lesser known. dark! apocalyptic! I was scared the first time we saw it. But she didn't bat an eyelid and has watched a number of times since.)
  • Big Hero Six (I didn't like this one. The kid loved Baymax though)
  • Real Steel (not animated but what the heck! She drools over Atom, and I drool over Hugh Jackman) 
I will at some point make her watch the Bicentennial Man, AI,  Metropolis. Perhaps 5 years later.

The Super Hero series
  • The Incredibles (No school like old school! Superb characterisation, and message in family values. Not to mention the feminist undertones. Elastigirl kicks serious ass, even when she has given herself to domesticity. Vi's favourite line is "Honeyyyyyyy, Where's my syooper syuit?"; that tone that she employees almost every single time that she needs me to find something of hers).
  • The Rise of the Guardians (This little known gem of a movie that features legendary characters like Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, among others. It is based on the Guardians of Childhood book series by Bill Joyce).
  • Megamind (A wonderful subversion of the Super-Hero concept. Just perfect for kids to realise that the world isn't just black and white)

  • Monsters Inc. (One of my all-time favourites. The brilliant concept of monsters scaring children simply because their world runs on 'Screams' as a source of energy. And also the fact that the monsters themselves are so terrified of kids, that those who work as 'Scarers' are glorified heroes in their world)

  • TinTin (She saw this only recently, as she approaches her 6th birthday. And I guess this is the right time for her to understand the complexities of the plot).

The critters and creatures series
  • Finding Nemo 
  • How to train your dragon 1+2 (Based on the eponymous book series by Cressida Cowell. She obsesses over the dragons. We've named a lizard in our room 'Dupliss' which is what she mistakenly thought was the name of Toothless)
  • Madagascar (3- she only likes this part)
  • Horton hears a Who (Based on the book by Dr, Seuss. Slower in pace than most other movies, but lyrical and with the perfect 'environmentalist' message)
  • Dumbo (She sobbed through it. And then asked to see it again. And sobbed again. And then I decided to not let her see again. Absolute tear-jerker for the little ones. But classic Disney animation. The drunk elephants dream sequence is Psychedelic Animation 101).
Tried to get her to see Kung Fu Panda, but she never really got interested,which was surprising given her interest in Karate, Kung Fu and the works, thanks to Japanese animations on TV.
The Princess/ Heroine series. 
Yes, we have seen only these 'warrior princess/ gutsy heroine' movies and no, none of the 'damsel in distress' ones. Vi can blame it on being born to a feminist/ egalitarian mother.
  • Frozen 
  • Tangled
  • Coraline (Yes. Dark, and the kid braves it better than me. I was completely spooked. It scared the daylights out of me.)
  • Brave (She didn't like it. I did. Perhaps for older kids.)
Mulan (I am yet to show this one to her. But it firmly remains one of my Disney favourites).
The gadget/toys/ inanimate object series
  • Toy Story 1+2+3 + That time forgot 
  • Cars 1+ 2
  • Planes
  • The LEGO movie (Again, this one is as she approaches 6. Fascinating animation to support a brilliant concept. A worthy successor to the Toy Story concept, though not from the Pixar stables)

And some Roald Dahl book adaptations as well as others that are hard to 'classify

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
  • Matilda
  • Hugo (Based on the book by Brian Selznick. Again, I love this one more than she does) 
  • Meet the Robinsons (Based on the book A Day with Wilbur Robinson, again by Bill Joyce)
  • Diary of a Wimpy kid (again adapted from the book)

What I intend to make her watch in the near future: 
  • Life is Beautiful ("Buongiorno Principessa!" I had said on the first morning I woke after Vi was born. This is the loveliest, most heart-warming and most heart-wrenching movie, I've seen in my life)
  • ET (Koi mil gaya, she has already seen) 
  • Bridge to Terabitihia ( a few years later, maybe)
  • Amelie (atleast 6 years later)
As is obvious from the laundry list above, a good many of the movies I pick for her are based on books. I have tried, with reasonable success, to make her a book-lover and a lover of visual art, more than just another 'movie buff'.

There is also apna dependable Desi stuff:
  • Chillar Party
  • Stanley ke Dabba
  • Jajantram Mamantram
  • Mr. India
  • Chennai Express (Yes! I certify this as a kids' movie! Beats Krrish 3 by a few light years)
  • Koi mil gaya, maybe Krrish (But not on your life, Krrish 3, though she loves it. I found it gory, and simply hard to digest, with nothing to learn, unnecessarily dark and borderline adult. It deserves a bash-up post of its own)
And no, I do not consider Taare Zameen Par as a kids' movie. It is aimed at the parents. I want her to learn and understand the concept of disabilities and to develop a healthy respect as well as empathy for kids and people different from her. *But* making her watch TZP before she is 12-15 years old, amounts to unnecessarily traumatising her. I will NOT do it.

(All the images used here are boons granted by my merciful, wish-fulfilling God, Google)


  1. Movies with Ri - Despicable me, Lion King (forwarding the Mufasa killing bit as it scares Ri), Wreck-it-Ralph (One of Ri's favourites), Tangled.

    1. Ah yes! I missed adding Despicable Me (1 and 2). How could I? We love it. I loved part 1 more than 2.

  2. Also if you would like to vi to watch British classics then I'd recommend postman pat series. They are awesome. The language control and diction is apt and perfect enough for them to understand clearly. I love watching the classic with Avantika 😊

    1. Teens! Thanks a ton, babe. You are a treasure trove of ideas. I do have a couple of Postman Pat books. And I will be watching the Song of the Sea song enough. The illustration style is simply entrancing. My kind of illustrations!

  3. Correcting grammar 😁 'like vi to watch' & 'classics'


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