Well of course it’s sunny and beautiful today as I am writing this post, but the inspiration for it came on Wednesday—gloomy, rainy Wednesday—when a patron asked for a particular film and remarked that it was her favorite “go-to” rainy day film. So since we’re bound to have our share of rainy days in the future, I shall channel my inner Boy Scout motto and offer up a list of possibilities:
This was my patron request and I heartily agree. Take two sweet but troublesome kids, put them together with a “practically perfect” nanny and set them loose about town. Seriously, could anyone watch this movie and not dream about getting pulled up a chimney for a dance across the rooftops, or floating to the ceiling with laughter? This film contains one of the best jokes ever told, and the songs are fun and catchy.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Recommended by a co-worker and we both agree that this version, despite the lower-tech effects, is the better one. I think “Pure Imagination” has to be one of the loveliest movie songs ever, and the Chocolate Room is a dizzying feast for the eyes. There’s one mildly creepy scene during the boat ride, but overall this is a fun romp for the whole family.
Probably the best feature that Pixar has ever done. You’ve probably seen this a dozen--if not a hundred--times already; I know my son practically wore out the VCR playing this one over and over. The “what if” idea behind this film--what if toys come to life when we’re not looking?--spawned a genius of a film. There’s plenty of adventure and laughs for the kids as well as clever asides and extras (like the Binford tool box!) to keep the grown-ups entertained.
The Land Before Time.
Sweet, nostalgic, and avoids a perfect, sugar-coated happily-ever after ending prevalent in so many children's movies today. This movie brings home the important messages of friendship and cooperation--and hey, if you were getting hunted by a T-Rex, wouldn't you want your best friends by your side? This movie was followed by many sequels and even a short-lived television show.
Sound of Music.
This film has it all! Nuns! Mischevious kids! Bad guys! Catchy songs! Clothes made out of curtains! But seriously, this film is a true testament to love and family and endurance. The lighthearted daily adventures of the Von Trapps and Maria are played out against the imminent threat of Nazi Germany knocking at Austria's back door. If you've only seen the pared down version on television, check out the unedited dvd version and discover a richer, more complex story waiting for you.
The Wind and the Willows.
This lovely, gentle film is perfect for younger children--and may even find a fan or two in your "too cool" older kids as well. There are several versions out there but this particular one--my personal favorite--stars Vanessa Redgrave as the narrator and comedy legend Michael Palin lends his voice to the River Rat. You'll be laughing at Toad's crazy antics, cheering the gang on when they take on the weasels and feeling a tug or two on your heartstrings as Mole discovers the Wide World then re-discovers the pleasures of his own home.
What's your perfect rainy day film? What's your "go-to" that you'll watch over and over, by yourself or with the kids? Comments welcome!
We'll see you next time!
Pass the Popcorn