Before They Were Movies...

Amy Rees
March 11, 2009

We absolutely love taking in a flick with our little ones. Whether on the couch in the den or in the theater with one knee reaching over (uncomfortably) to hold the folding seat down, give us our kiddos, some popcorn and a screen with a story, and we're content. 

But our love for movies can't hold a candle to our ardent adoration of a great book. Cuddling up with a story? Well, that beats out even family movie night. 

And where do these two loves come together? Well, of course in the great books that are also good (sometimes great) movies. Looking ahead, we are eagerly anticipating some upcoming adaptations of classic stories. Screen versions of both Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox are coming to the big screen next fall

Before then, consider these best-in-paper-but-still-fun-onscreen choices:

Curious George -- The classic Margret and H. A. Rey stories have charmed little ones for six decades, and their popularity today is stronger than ever.  George and his antics are perhaps even more dear to our little ones' hearts than the much beloved Thomas the Train and his cronies -- and the books are infinitely better.  The movie is also great fun, with one of the best soundtrack in ages.

Cinderella -- If you've got a preschool-aged girl, there's a good chance that she's fluent in the minute details of the Cinderella story.  Even if she's never seen the classic movie.  Preschool osmosis, it seems.  But before you say yes to the movie, consider a truly classic version of the book.  Disney revived Mary Blair's original story board illustrations from the making of the Cinderella movie and paired them with a gorgeous retelling of the tale by Cynthia Rylant, to great effect. Magical effect, even - without the twin sledgehammers of neon and glitter.

Horton Hears a Who -- We found the big screen version wonderful for a while, but the end was quite scary for wee ones.  If your little ones are of a braver sort, the DVD is available now for pre-order for a December 2008 release.  But the story is a tale for the ages, with winning characters and a powerful social justice moral told as only Dr. Seuss could.

From the Parents

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