by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
The holiday season can bring some downtime to families, if major traveling isn’t involved. If that’s true for your family, or if you’re looking for some entertainment for the cold days of January, these new DVDs at the Litchfield library might be right for both the kids and the grownups in the house.
The animated film “Abominable” has a “Common Sense Selection” seal of approval from Common Sense Media and a “Certified Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes. That adds up to it being a quality movie that’s recommended for families, specifically kids ages 8 and up. Reviews say the general storyline about a kid finding an unusual creature and teaming up with friends to protect it isn’t anything new, but it has the interesting element of being set in Shanghai with Chinese teen characters. The animation is also supposed to be beautiful. The movie is called “Abominable” because it’s about a yeti.
“Dora the Explorer” is a popular animated series that has been airing for many years. It was a staple at my house in the early 2000s. The new movie “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” is a live-action feature film starring the same character. Like “Abominable,” it’s certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, meaning the reviews are very good. Dora has left the jungle where we usually find her adventuring in the cartoon, and now she’s learning about the adventure of high school. But when her parents disappear, Dora leads a group of her new high school friends into the jungle to find them. Common Sense Media recommends the movie for ages 8 and up.
The “How to Train Your Dragon” series of movies is beloved by many. “How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming” is a holiday television special that aired this year. It takes place just before the last scene of the last movie of the trilogy. Viking Hiccup puts together a holiday pageant to celebrate dragons and has an adventure with his beloved Toothless the dragon.
An interesting documentary can sometimes appeal to the whole family. “Maiden” is a documentary about the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World sailboat race. Reviews say it’s an exciting and inspiring movie even for those who don’t otherwise care about sailing. Common Sense Media gave it its seal of approval but recommends it for ages 11 and up because of profanity plus sexist language. Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 98% positive rating.
“Life from Above” is another family-friendly documentary, this one from PBS. Footage taken from space shows the earth from a new perspective, allowing us to see patterns, colors, and movements on a large scale.
Mister Rogers is getting renewed interest these days, with a beloved documentary last year and a feature film this year. If you’d like to revisit the original show, you could check out “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers and Making Mistakes,” a newly-released collection of episodes about how everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
Other recent DVDs that your family may enjoy include the TV series “Fuller House,” “The Angry Birds Movie 2,” “Descendants 3,” “Harry Potter: A History of Magic,” and “Toy Story 4.”
Pioneerland libraries will close at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, for New Year’s Eve, and will be closed on Wednesday, January 1, for New Year’s Day. Happy New Year!