Hot off the heels of 2010’s smash animated hit, Toy Story 3, 2011 has had a hit-and-miss year for family films. For every Winnie the Pooh, there was a painfully off-color Gnomeo and Juliet. Still, this year had a few classics in the making. From the comeback of some furry friends to the final moments of an iconic series, children had a handful of inspirational movies to flock to. If you’re a kid at heart or have a little tyke on your hands, check out Buzzine’s top five family-friendly flicks.
5. Winnie The Pooh
2011 was a big year for childhood memory revivals. Winnie the Pooh returned in its '80s and '90s style animation, with Tigger, Eyore, Rabbit, and Owl in tow. While most remakes and reboots of kid favorites try to match the times, Pooh retained that humble innocence that made him Pooh. Big kids were able to enjoy the nostalgic factor of their old pals, while younger tots met the gang in proper form. More details on the Official Site.
4. Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D)
Jack Black’s hyperactive, playful attitude has found a cuddly niche in the Kung Fu Panda movies. As the rotund Dragon Warrior, Black brings a welcome silliness to vivid animation. Po faces a bitter enemy and the birth of gunpowder in this sequel. With the Furious Five by his side, he struggles to find inner peace and seek his roots. Gary Oldman joins the star-studded voice cast as Lord Shen -- a furious peacock prince hell-bent on reclaiming his throne. Kung Fu Panda 2 not only boasts plenty of character development but also supplies enough kung fu battles to keep the kids entertained. More details on the Official Site.
3. The Muppets
The Muppets faced a decade of silence and a generation of kids who missed the boat, but Jim Henson’s witty creations returned to welcome applause. The film reaffirmed the universe’s unabashed adoration of Jason Segel (or is that just me?) and made its timeless stars relevant again. Though Billy Crystal usurped them as Oscar hosts, the Muppets are back on the grid again, better than ever. Check out their comeback, still in theaters worldwide. More details in our Buzzine Review.
2. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was an enchanting sight to behold. Fans from their 60s to mere toddlers dressed up to watch a modern literary underdog save the day. Harry Potter was not only an action-packed adventure but the end of an era. Even those of us who consider ourselves adults also considered this film the end of our childhoods. Easily the best adaptation of the series, the Deathly Hallows films included the overreaching themes of redemption, heroics, and friendship that made J.K. Rowling's novels so wonderful. The Harry Potter films and novels are integral to any child's repertoir, and adults alike. If you missed out on the craze, there's always time to catch up. More details in our Buzzine Review.
It should come as no surprise that Hugo makes the top of this list, though it was only released this month. Hugo is Martin Scorsese's surprising venture into new territory -- a 3D spectacle set in 1930s France. Starring Ben Kingsley, Sascha Baron Cohen, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Asa Butterfield, Hugo is Scorsese's love letter to cinema. More details in our Buzzine Interview.