by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
The big push in libraries in the summertime is the summer reading program for kids. We really want kids to keep reading regularly over the summer so that they don’t lose ground by the time school starts in the fall. But we know that families also like to relax in front of the TV together sometimes on these hot summer days. Our library has some recent DVD additions that your family may want to check out.
Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast is a beautiful reimagining of their animated classic. Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star as Belle and her beast, with extensive CGI animation making the enchanted household objects come alive. New songs are included along with the original songs from the 1991 version, but this isn’t a film adaptation of the stage musical, which is also based on the animated movie. My daughters and I loved this movie so much more than we expected to, but we also know people who didn’t really like it. See for yourself by checking it out from the library, but be warned that it’s in high demand.
Dark Horse is a Welsh documentary that the website Common Sense Media recommends for families and that Rotten Tomatoes gives a 97% positive rating. It’s an inspiring true story of a group of poor workers in a small town in Wales who pooled their money to breed and train a racehorse, entering a world usually open only to the wealthy and high-class. It’s an old-fashioned tale of beating the odds, especially appealing for horse lovers, but really a general crowd-pleaser.
The Eagle Huntress is another documentary that can give people of all ages a glimpse at another part of the world. The film follows a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia as she trains to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her family. If you enjoy falconry or girl-power stories, this highly-rated movie may be for you. Daisy Ridley (Rey in the new Star Wars series) narrates.
Planet Earth II is the new sequel to the BBC documentary made in 2006. This also has Common Sense Media’s stamp of approval for families, and an amazing 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Drone technology plus improvements in cameras in the years since the original have made the visuals even more stunning. The DVD set includes six episodes covering different types of habitat, with an overall focus on environmentalism.
Fuller House is the sequel to the ‘80s-‘90s sitcom Full House. It’s a Netflix show, but we have it on DVD. Almost the entire cast came back to reprise their roles, with DJ Tanner-Fuller now raising her kids in her childhood home with the help of two hapless female roommates. Heavy on nostalgia, the thirteen-episode season is recommended for ages ten and up.
I’m looking forward to watching The Lego Batman Movie once it lands on the shelf at the Litchfield Library, but it’s been too popular to sit there yet. This is a sequel to “The Lego Movie,” which was very fun and extremely popular with all ages. Batman as played by Will Arnett was a strong supporting character in that first movie, and he stars in this new one, learning that he needs to work with others if he’s going to save Gotham City.
Whether you want to go more educational or more toward pure entertainment, these movies can appeal to the whole family. Litchfield Library has over 2000 DVDs available to check out, and many more are available to order from other libraries. Enjoy a free movie night by stopping at the library!