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Social Distancing Movies: Week 1

Looking for movies to keep your kids busy while also providing educational value or addressing complex emotions? We’re posting one recommended movie each day on Facebook and compiling them here at the end of the week. Movies that provide examples of courage, persistence, and resilience and which address anxiety or other emotions will be highlighted here – as will movies that provide simple comic relief.

Wonder Park This kid-friendly animated movie addresses the anxiety June feels when her mother is hospitalized. With her life turned upside down, June refuses to spend any more time on Wonder Park, the imaginary amusement park she and her mother have created. But when June runs across a real Wonder Park in the forest, she must deal with her complicated emotions. (PG, Grade: A)

Darkest Hour This biopic focuses on the earliest weeks of Winston Churchill’s service as Prime Minister. Britain is on the brink of defeat in World War II and Churchill is dealing with potential disaster at Dunkirk and political gamesmanship in his own Cabinet. A great movie for teens that celebrates courage and resilience when all seems lost. (PG-13, Grade A)

The Biggest Little Farm One of our favorite films of 2019, this beautiful documentary follows the adventures of John and Molly Chester as they try to turn around an ecologically devastated farm. Suitable for almost all viewers (sensitive little ones might be upset at parts), this is a celebration of hope, resilience, hard work, problem solving, and the amazing recuperative powers of nature. (PG, Grade A+)

Frozen II Yes, we know that “Let It Go” drove you insane when the first Frozen movie came out. But we promise there aren’t any ear worms in the sequel. Instead, this is a powerful movie about doing the right thing when it’s hard and when it feels like hope is gone. Best of all, the movie isn’t depressing, despite its heart-wrenching moments, and Olaf provides plenty of laughs for the kids. And, as an added bonus, Disney released the movie onto Disney+ months ahead of schedule so subscribers can watch it for free (PG, Grade: A)

Muppet Treasure Island Who doesn’t need to escape from reality from time to time? If you’re looking for comic relief, you’ll find waves of rollicking laughter in this Muppet tour-de-frog. Kermit as a ship’s captain, Tim Curry as a manic ship’s cook turned pirate, and rats running a cruise on a treasure hunting vessel make for a wild and crazy movie night that could become a family tradition. (G, Grade: B-)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Everyone’s favorite webslinger is back, but with a twist, in this stunningly original animated feature. Miles Morales is just a regular kid until he gets bitten by a spider, witnesses as Spider-Man dies, and discovers that multiple universes are converging on his city. For a movie about finding your courage and adapting to massive change, you can’t go wrong with this one. (PG, Grade: A-)

Fiddler on the Roof If all the togetherness caused by sheltering in place is starting to fray the ties that bind, take some time to step back and appreciate your nearest and dearest. Fiddler on the Roof, with its acknowledgement of the joys and challenges of family life, along with its wonderful musical score, will help you remember just why you love your family members, even when they’re driving you nuts. (G, Grade: A)

More details about the movies mentioned in this post…