Tag Archives: The Nightmare Before Christmas

My top 10 movies for kids

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am not a great one for kids’ movies. I don’t like the cheesy happy endings, the lousy way the female characters are dealt with (for the most part) or the heavy handed morals and I particularly don’t like Disney… however… I do have exceptions, and these are them. (Please note for this blog I am focusing on films predominantly made for preteen audiences, which is why things like Harry Potter haven’t been included.)

alice-with-caterpillar-2Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Starring (voices): Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn
Why?: It’s like one giant acid trip, which really captures the essence of the novel (let’s just pretend it wasn’t written by a a dodgy older man for the underage object of his affection).
Best character: The Cheshire Cat
“Cheshire Cat: If I were looking for a white rabbit, I’d ask the Mad Hatter
Alice: The Mad Hatter? Oh, no no no…
Cheshire Cat: Or, you could ask the March Hare, in that direction.
Alice: Oh, thank you. I think I’ll see him…
Cheshire Cat: Of course, he’s mad, too.
Alice: But I don’t want to go among mad people.
Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can’t help that. Most everyone’s mad here.
[laughs maniacally; starts to disappear]
Cheshire Cat: You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”

snowflakeThe Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Starring (voices): Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara
Why?: Because it’s really creepy and dark and kids love dark, creepy stuff. They’re macabre little buggers.
Best characters: Lock, Shock and Barrel
“Santa: [from in the bag] Me on vacation? On Christmas Eve?
Barrel: Where are we taking him?
Shock: Where?
Lock: [removes his mask] to Oogie Boogie, of course. There’s no where in the whole world more comfortable than *that*. And Jack *said* to make him comfortable, didn’t he?
Barrel, Shock: Yes, he did.
Santa: Haven’t you heard of peace on earth, and goodwill towards men?
Barrel: NO!”

my-neighbor-totoro1My Neighbour Tortoro (1998)
Starring (voices): Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Toshiyuki Amagasa
Why?: Because it brings the imaginary friends so common to small children to life.
Best character: Catbus!
“Mei Kusakabe: To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

Matilda-matilda-4452227-640-480Matilda (1996)
Starring: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mara Wilson, Embeth Davidz
Why?: it’s a great intepretation of a great story, plus it glorifies reading which is always a good thing.
Best character: Mrs Trunchbull
“Harry Wormwood: A book? What do you want a book for?
Matilda: To read.
Harry Wormwood: To read? Why would you want to read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There’s nothing you can get from a book that you can’t get from a television faster.

How to Train Your Dragon movie imageHow To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Starring (voices): Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Why?: Because it’s really funny and it has a lot of heart
Best character: Snotlout
“Snotlout: Watch out babe, I’ll take care of this.
[Throws weapon at Deadly Nadder but misses; Astrid glares at him]
Snotlout: The *sun* was in my eyes, Astrid! What do you want me to do, block out the sun? I can do that, but I don’t have the time right now!

Horton-hears-a-who-pics-horton-hears-a-who-19717311-1109-529Horton Hears a Who (2008)
Starring (voices): Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett
Why?: Because music saves the day and because Jim Carrey is perfect as the utterly silly Horton
Best character: Katie
“Katie: In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies.”

despicable_me_1Despicable Me (2010)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
Why?: Every little detail is just perfect. I have seen it countless times and it still cracks me up.
Best character: Agnes
“Agnes: [singing] Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. Uni uni unicorns, I love them. Uni unicorns, I could pet one if they were really real. And they are! So I bought one so I could pet it. Now it loves me, now I love it. La lala la la…

despicable-me-2-paradiseDespicable Me 2 (2013)
Starring (voices): Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Benjamin Bratt
Why?: As funny, if not more funny, than the first one. Also more Minions and god knows I love Minions!
“Best character: Minions
Silas: I am the league’s director, Silas Ramsbottom.
Minion: [giggles] Bottom.
[laughs]
Silas: Hilarious”

booMonsters Inc (2001)
Starring (voices): Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Why?: The idea of seeing behind the scenes of the “monsters” under children’s beds is genius.
Best character: Boo
“Sulley: Mike, this isn’t Boo’s door.

Mike: Boo? What’s Boo?
Sulley: That’s… what I decided to call her. Is there a problem?
Mike: Sulley, you’re not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attached to it. Now put that thing back where it came from or so help me…
[Mike pauses, realizing that they suddenly have the attention of the entire scare floor]
Mike: Oh, hey. We’re rehearsing a – a scene for the upcoming company play called uh, Put That Thing Back Where It Came From Or So Help Me. It’s a musical.
[singing]
Mike: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me… so help me, so help me and cut. We’re still working on it, it’s a work in progress but, hey, we need ushers.”

673952-finding_nemo1Finding Nemo (2003)
Starring (voices): Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Why?: It’s like an aquarium come to life… and I love an aquarium.
Best character: Dory
“Dory: [about the humpback whale] Maybe he only speaks whale.
[slowly and deeply, imitating the whale]
Dory: Mooo… Weeee neeeed…
Marlin: Dory?
Dory: …tooo fiiind hiiis sooon.
Marlin: What are you doing? Are you sure you speak whale?
Dory: Caaaan yoooou giive uuuus direeeeectioooons?
Marlin: Dory! Heaven knows what you’re saying! See, he’s swimming away.
Dory: Cooome baaaaack.
Marlin: He’s not coming back. You offended him.
Dory: Maybe a different dialect. Mmmmoooooowaaaaah…

My top 10 movie couples

The top tens continue and this time the topic is lurve. I’m not really much of a traditional romantic but every now and then I’ll watch a film and find myself getting caught up. These are the couples that did it!

Kat&PatKaterina Stratford and Patrick Verona
Played by: Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger
Film: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Why: Because they bring out the absolute best in each other and because they’re two very independent individuals who have chosen to close themselves off from the world but learn to reengage their softer sides through each other.
“Patrick: Someone still has her panties in a twist.
Kat: Don’t, for one minute, think that you had any effect whatsoever on my panties.
Patrick: Then what did I have an effect on?
Kat: Other than my upchuck reflex, nothing.”

The-wedding-singer-the-wedding-singer-6290338-2560-1727Julia Sullivan and Robbie Hart
Played by: Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler
Film: The Wedding Singer (1998)
Why: Because they’re perfect for each other and don’t realise it until it’s almost too late… and because they save each other from ending up with a pair of utter twats.
“Julia: May I ask what happened with Linda?
Robbie: She wasn’t the right one, I guess.
Julia: Did you have any idea she wasn’t the right one when you were together?
Robbie: I should have. Uh, I remember we went to the Grand Canyon one time. We were flying there and I’d never been there before and Linda had, so you would think that she would give me the window seat but she didn’t and… not that that’s a big deal, you know. It’s just there were a lot of little things like that. I know that sounds stupid…
Julia: Not at all. I think it’s the little things that count.”

The-Princess-Bride-0061Westley and Princess Buttercup
Played by Cary Elwes and Robin Wright
Film: The Princess Bride (1987)
Why: The separation, the angst, the secret identity and of course Westley’s endless devotion.
“Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well… you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need.”

natural-born-killers-1000highMickey and Mallory Knox
Played by: Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis
Film: Natural Born Killers (1994)
Why: There is no denying that Mickey and Mallory are a pair of depraved, sociopathic murderers but somehow that makes their ability to love each other so intensely that much more touching.
“Mallory: Wherever we go, whatever happens, Mickey, when I look up at the stars, I’ll know you’ll be lookin’ up at the same ones.
Mickey: Same ones, baby
Mallory: You make everyday feel like kindergarten.”

Jack-and-Sally-nightmare-before-christmas-17658813-720-440Jack and Sally
Voiced by: Chris Sarandon and Catherine O’Hara
Film: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Why: Because they’re so weird that neither of them could never be with anyone else. Also because Sally is Jack’s heart and the only thing that keeps him from going completely dark.
“Jack: My dearest friend, if you don’t mind… I’d like to join you by your side. Where we can gaze into the stars…
Jack and Sally: And sit together, now and forever. For it is plain, as anyone can see. We’re simply meant to be.”

Its-a-wonderful-life-jimmy-stewart-donna-reedGeorge Bailey and Mary (Hatch) Bailey
Played by: James Stewart and Donna Reed
Film: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Why: Because they’re best friends as well as husband and wife and they demonstrate what really being there for someone else means. Also at the time showing such an equal partnership between husband and wife was pretty inspiring and they have great banter.
“George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair… am I talking too much?”

brokeback-mountainJack Twist and Ennis Del Mar
Played by: Jack Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger
Film: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Why: Because they are the light of each others’ lives. It’s also the ultimate forbidden fruit/star-crossed lovers pairing, burning with intensity but also incredible tenderness.
“Ennis Del Mar: This is a one-shot thing we got goin’ on here.
Jack Twist: It’s nobody’s business but ours.
Ennis Del Mar: You know I ain’t queer.
Jack Twist: Me neither.”
before-sunriseJesse and Celine
Played by: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Films: Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset 2004, Before Midnight 2013
Why: Because their chemistry and banter is so good that we couldn’t resist coming back three times to revisit their connection. Also because if you’ve ever had in instant overwhelming, unexpected connection with someone, you’ll be able to identify with them.
“Jesse: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we’re in, y’know.
Celine: Yeah, it’s so weird. It’s like our time together is just ours. It’s our own creation. It must be like I’m in your dream, and you in mine, or something.
Jesse: And what’s so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn’t officially be happening.
Celine: Yeah, I know. Maybe that’s why this feels so otherworldly.”

arnacoeurAlex and Juliette
Played by: Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis
Film: L’Arnacoeur (2010)
Why: Because watching all of Alex, the supposed king of seduction, actually fall in love and fall apart is hilarious and beautiful and because Juliette is just so cool.
No quote because it’s in French. Nightmare!

stardustTristan and Yvaine
Played by: Charlie Cox and Claire Danes
Film: Stardust (2007)
Why: Because they paint such a heart-warming and engrossing portrait of two people gradually realising that they’re falling in love.
“Tristan: Did you really mean what you said in the caravan?
Yvaine: What I…? But… You were a mouse! You were a mouse… you wanted cheese! You didn’t… I asked you to give me a sign!
Tristan: And risk you being too embarrassed to keep saying such lovely things? You want to know what the Captain really whispered to me that day? He told me that my true love…was right in front of my eyes. And he was right.”

Who are your favourite cinematic lovers?