Based on the popular book series, Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoolea brings Kathryn Lasky's epic story to the big screen with a fast-paced film in glorious CG animation. The movie varies some from the books, but stays true to the core story of Soren the owl. As a young owlet, Soren and his brother are snatched from their home by a group of owls who call themselves "The Pure Ones." These owls are intent on taking over the owl kingdoms, and they are training soldiers to help them do it. Soren makes a daring escape, and along with a few friends, he goes in search of the legendary Guardians of Ga'Hoole in hopes they will help save owlkind. (Rated PG, for some sequences of scary action)
Now 19 years old, Alice remembers the Wonderland she once visited when she fell down the rabbit hole, but to her, it is all just a dream. In the real world, Alice has grown up and is now trying to find her place in it amid societal rules and the expectations of her friends and family. Just as Alice is put on the spot with an unwanted marriage proposal, who does she see but a white rabbit in a waistcoat. Alice does not resist the urge to follow the funny bunny, and before she knows it, she is right back in Wonderland, but this time, things have changed. A Tim Burton movie, Alice in Wonderland provides a fantastic adventure that tells a new story yet retains the whimsical charm of the Lewis Carroll classic.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, the first in the Percy Jackson series, tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who finds out he is the son of Poseidon. The book is fun for kids not only because of the adventurous story, but also becuase kids get to read about Greek gods and famous mythical creatures. The movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief doesn't follow the book exactly (and the Percy in the movie is a teenager), but the action-filled fantasy flick does stay true to the book's general storyline. The Percy Jackson book series is aimed at kids ages about 9-12, and the movie is generally targeted toward kids of this age group as well, although there is some added innuendo that is not in the book.
Inkheart, written by Cornelia Funke, is a book of 500+ pages! Recommended for kids ages 9-15, the tale is a richly detailed story within a story. The book offers a great challenge and an opportunity to introduce older kids to a series which might pique their interest and entice them to read the two sequels, Inkspell and Inkdeath (parents may want to pre-read the books, however, as there is some content that may be too much for some kids, even if they are within the recommended age ranges). The movie stars Brendan Fraser and is rated PG, for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.
The City of Ember is based on the best selling novel by Jeanne Duprau. Written for a young audiences (about ages 10-14), the book tells the story of how twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and his friend Lina Mayfleet work to save Ember and find a city of light. The novel is actually part of a four book series called The Books of Ember, so kids who love the movie may want to check out the books and learn more about the story. The movie is rated PG, for mild peril and some thematic elements.
The books in the series are recommended for the 9-12 year-old range, but it is a fun series for parents to read to kids ages 6-8 as well. The books (Compare Prices) do contain some scary parts, so you may want to read one of them first to get an idea of the wording and imagery.
Based on the timeless Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is only the first installment. The second movie in the series,Prince Caspian, is also available on DVD (rated PG, for epic battle action and violence).
10. Harry Potter
11. War Horse (2011)
The Golden Compass is a fantasy adventure movie about young Lyra, who finds herself in the position of having to save her world. The movie is based on the novels by Philip Pullman, and The Golden Compass sparked considerable controversy among religious groups and others. Some groups claim that the trilogy has the distinct agenda of promotingan an atheist cause. Mr. Pullman, however, has said that in his books, God and the church represent any totalitarian organization and not God specifically. (See his remarks from the Today Show posted on the official movie website.) For those who care to, the books and movie offer an opportunity to discuss and analyze the story and the strengths or flaws in the underlying meaning. (Rated PG-13)