For a few years there, good, clean family movies were hard to come by in the summer, with the exception of the yearly Pixar flick (thank heavens!). This year, however, we’ve been treated to slew of clean, well-crafted movies for people of all ages. Good PG movies, formerly the territory of weak kiddy flicks filled with flatulence and crotch-kicking, have made a roaring comeback.
With the summer of 2009 mostly behind us, here is a list of the top five family summer films you’ll want to go back and watch again and again:
5. Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian – this fun romp through history and pop culture was enjoyed by critics and families alike. Jokes will put a smile on parents’ faces without having to cover the kids’ ears.
4. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – this three-quel to the Ice Age franchise was hailed as the best in the series, taking the Ice Age crew down into a tropical Jurassic underworld to return a clutch of eggs. Oh, and there’s an angry mother T Rex looking for her eggs.
3. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – coming to theaters today, this flick, based on the hunger-inducing children’s book about humongous meals falling from the sky, is already receiving critical praise. Visuals are said to be on par or better than Pixar and jokes are said to be gutbusters.
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – this movie outperformed any Harry Potter predecessor at the box office. More importantly, Harry Potter fans and families loved it. After a couple PG-13 sequels, HP 4 sported a family-friendly but still intense PG rating.
1. Up – easily the best movie of the summer for children or adults, this Pixar masterpiece about an elderly widower who sets off for South America with a young cub-scout stowaway on board is pure drama and movie magic. Don’t miss it!