My Mum is an Airplane

BR My Mum is an AirplaneThis is a fantastic, beautifully illustrated story by the Russian animator Yulya Aronova. There’s a little bit of narration (in Russian with English subtitles) at the beginning, but it’s not too much to read out loud, or can be understood perfectly without the words. It starts out describing an enjoyable diversity of kinds of mums (musicians, carpenters, circus performers, etc.), before getting to the airplane mum (and her little child), and the rest of the film is the airplane mum’s adventures delivering mail. There’s one potentially scary airplane in here, and a storm, but any tension is short-lived, and everything turns out ok. We all love this!

Age: 3+
Child rating: 10/10
Adult rating: 10/10
Running time: 7 minutes
Available for free on Vimeo

Royal Ballet – Beatrix Potter Tales

BR Royal Ballet Beatrix PotterThis is the film version of a ballet version of the Tales of Beatrix Potter, performed by members of the Royal Ballet. The tales are told wordlessly, with lavish scenery and costumes, lush music, and colorful, characterful choreography by Frederick Ashton. We all enjoyed this, and M. laughed out loud a number of times. Our favourite so far is The Tale of Two Bad Mice (perhaps not to be watched if your kid is in the mood to copy what he or she sees on the screen).

Age: 0+
Child rating: 9/10
Adult rating: 9/10
Running time: multiple stories, mostly in the 5-10 minute range
Available for free on Youtube in the UK. (Possibly not elsewhere?)

Pretty Big Dig

BR Pretty Big DigHere is a special treat if you have a toddler who loves construction equipment! Canadian filmmaker Anne Troake has choreographed three backhoe diggers into a surprisingly elegant ballet. M. was delighted.

Age: 2+
Child rating: 10/10 (if the child is into construction equipment!)
Adult rating: 8/10
Running time: 4 minutes
Available for free on Youtube

Mary Poppins

BR Mary PoppinsM. has really been enjoying songs recently, and Mary Poppins seemed like a good first musical to try. M. loved it. He said his favourite parts were the one-man-band, the penguins, and the tea party in the air. There are a few parts, especially towards the beginning, where adults are shouting at each other – if I were more organized, I might skip over them. The overall message is good — do fun things with your family, instead of trying to earn as much money as possible. The songs, by the Sherman Brothers, are enjoyable, though a bit ear-wormish. We watched it a week ago, and I’m still trying to get them out of my head! (Update: we watched this almost three weeks ago, and I still have Let’s Go Fly a Kite stuck in my head!)

Age: 3+
Child rating: 10/10
Adult rating: 10/10
Running time: 139 minutes