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The Top 10 Family-Friendly Movies of 2017

Top 10 Family Movies of 2017

Movie night is a family tradition. Everyone sprawls around the TV with popcorn! It’s fun and can be the start of heated conversations. But what can you watch? As a new year begins, let’s look at some of the family movies that were made in 2017. Maybe one of these should be the next show for your movie night.

This top ten list is not numbered on purpose. We are all different and like different things. Watch these good movies. Make your own rank. Then compare your ranks to your friends’ lists. You’ll have lots to talk about.

Links to the movie trailers open in new windows/tabs so you can watch the trailers as you read about each movie. Enjoy!

LEAP!

Dreams need people to make them come true. This story, set in the 1800s, shows us an orphan girl struggling to become a ballerina. Her dear friend Victor joins in her fight. There’s dancing, action, adventure and people working together to make dreams come true. Watch Movie Trailer: LEAP

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

An orphaned child is befriended by a policeman who takes him to his foster home. Kids—you’ll find your mind filled with new and difficult thoughts, which is why you should watch this with your parents. The stop-action animation is a refreshing change from the usual animated movies, but it hits hard at the heart.
Watch Movie Trailer: MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

What silliness! What slick moves and eye-rolling giggles. Kids of all ages will be drawn into this odd twist on superheroes. Adults will enjoy watching this unusual take on a classic action legend. Best of all, you’ll get to watch Batman relax and enjoy himself for a change. Watch Movie Trailer: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

KEDI

Love cats? Love exotic locations and seeing the world with fresh eyes? Enjoy documentaries? Okay, you might not think of a documentary as a good family movie, but KEDI will change your mind. Tour the city of Istanbul with some of the hundreds of thousands of cats that live there. It is thoughtful, beautiful and fun. KEDI is also a great introduction to documentaries. Be sure you get a version with subtitles.
Watch Movie Trailer: KEDI

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

Enter the quirky, zany world of world-class pranksters and a dimwitted hero. Readers of the infamously funny book series will be delighted. Grown-ups will be thoroughly entertained by the dialogue and action. This movie is a funfest for everyone who can handle a few—ahem—poop jokes. Watch Movie Trailer: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

WONDER

Movies can make you feel. WONDER is one of those movies. It shows you what life is like for a boy with facial deformities. You’ll cheer the heroes, swallow lumps in your throat and see the power of kindness. This is a real-life story with stars you’ll recognize. WONDER proves the power of movies. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER

CARS 3

Sequels rarely match the quality of the original, but CARS 3 comes close. Kids will be drawn into the story of a familiar friend. They may not understand the scenes about McQueen’s aging, but many adults will understand his feelings.
Watch Movie Trailer: CARS 3

FERDINAND

Children have loved the book for years and now will love the movie. The world’s most famous bull fights against unfair judgement and bullying. Is “bulls” where the term for being mean comes from? Kids, you’ll enjoy this inspirational movie about friendship and true strength. Watch Movie Trailer: FERDINAND

THE BREADWINNER

This is an animated story about telling stories. But be ready. THE BREADWINNER tells the tale of a girl in Afghanistan. The Taliban arrests her father and she is left to care for her family. She survives by hard work—and escaping into a fantasy world. The story is moving and difficult, but rewarding. Be ready for a deep family discussion. Watch Movie Trailer: THE BREADWINNER

WONDER WOMAN

Greek mythology talks about strong, independent warrior women. Now, a new generation watches as a real-life female soldier acts in a movie about World War 2 and facing evil. This is a gorgeous movie that may not appeal to very young children, but will have everyone else enthralled. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER WOMAN

So when is your next movie night?

Movie night is a family tradition. Everyone sprawls around the TV with popcorn! It’s fun and can be the start of heated conversations. But what can you watch? As a new year begins, let’s look at some of the family movies that were made in 2017. Maybe one of these should be the next show for your movie night.

This top ten list is not numbered on purpose. We are all different and like different things. Watch these good movies. Make your own rank. Then compare your ranks to your friends’ lists. You’ll have lots to talk about.

Links to the movie trailers open in new windows/tabs so you can watch the trailers as you read about each movie. Enjoy!

LEAP!

Dreams need people to make them come true. This story, set in the 1800s, shows us an orphan girl struggling to become a ballerina. Her dear friend Victor joins in her fight. There’s dancing, action, adventure and people working together to make dreams come true. Watch Movie Trailer: LEAP

MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

An orphaned child is befriended by a policeman who takes him to his foster home. Kids—you’ll find your mind filled with new and difficult thoughts, which is why you should watch this with your parents. The stop-action animation is a refreshing change from the usual animated movies, but it hits hard at the heart.
Watch Movie Trailer: MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

What silliness! What slick moves and eye-rolling giggles. Kids of all ages will be drawn into this odd twist on superheroes. Adults will enjoy watching this unusual take on a classic action legend. Best of all, you’ll get to watch Batman relax and enjoy himself for a change. Watch Movie Trailer: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE

KEDI

Love cats? Love exotic locations and seeing the world with fresh eyes? Enjoy documentaries? Okay, you might not think of a documentary as a good family movie, but KEDI will change your mind. Tour the city of Istanbul with some of the hundreds of thousands of cats that live there. It is thoughtful, beautiful and fun. KEDI is also a great introduction to documentaries. Be sure you get a version with subtitles.
Watch Movie Trailer: KEDI

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

Enter the quirky, zany world of world-class pranksters and a dimwitted hero. Readers of the infamously funny book series will be delighted. Grown-ups will be thoroughly entertained by the dialogue and action. This movie is a funfest for everyone who can handle a few—ahem—poop jokes. Watch Movie Trailer: CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS

WONDER

Movies can make you feel. WONDER is one of those movies. It shows you what life is like for a boy with facial deformities. You’ll cheer the heroes, swallow lumps in your throat and see the power of kindness. This is a real-life story with stars you’ll recognize. WONDER proves the power of movies. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER

CARS 3

Sequels rarely match the quality of the original, but CARS 3 comes close. Kids will be drawn into the story of a familiar friend. They may not understand the scenes about McQueen’s aging, but many adults will understand his feelings.
Watch Movie Trailer: CARS 3

FERDINAND

Children have loved the book for years and now will love the movie. The world’s most famous bull fights against unfair judgement and bullying. Is “bulls” where the term for being mean comes from? Kids, you’ll enjoy this inspirational movie about friendship and true strength. Watch Movie Trailer: FERDINAND

THE BREADWINNER

This is an animated story about telling stories. But be ready. THE BREADWINNER tells the tale of a girl in Afghanistan. The Taliban arrests her father and she is left to care for her family. She survives by hard work—and escaping into a fantasy world. The story is moving and difficult, but rewarding. Be ready for a deep family discussion. Watch Movie Trailer: THE BREADWINNER

WONDER WOMAN

Greek mythology talks about strong, independent warrior women. Now, a new generation watches as a real-life female soldier acts in a movie about World War 2 and facing evil. This is a gorgeous movie that may not appeal to very young children, but will have everyone else enthralled. Watch Movie Trailer: WONDER WOMAN

So when is your next movie night?

How to Have the Happiest Holiday Break!

School Holiday

Winter break is full of fun, food, friends and folks. AND of course – brightly wrapped gifts! It can also feel awkward. You could be spending time with people you don’t know very well. To make the time even worse, YOUR PARENTS WILL TELL YOU TO PUT YOUR SMARTPHONES AWAY! HORROR!

How do you spend time with these people — especially when you haven’t even seen their social media profile? What do you talk about? What do you do?

Relax. Here are some helpful ideas to make awkward real-life moments easier.

Ask your guests the same questions that you answer on social media. Remember when you made your social media page? You posted details like your favorite singer, your favorite movie, what books and sports you like. Talk to your guests about these topics. You will probably find out that you have a lot in common.

Being stuck in a house with your phones turned off can feel weird. Before your guests arrive, think of three things you can do with your company outside of the house. Skating, snow ball fights, walking to a near-by attraction, even showing your company your school.

Don’t worry about sounding lame. Your guests will probably feel relieved to be away from the adults for a short time. If you are going to be in a strange town or location, take time to look up sights in the area. Then, if time together starts to feel weird, you can come to the rescue.

Learn some magic tricks. With a plain deck of cards you can have people scratching their heads and in awe. You never know—you might have real talent for magic. Even if you don’t, you’ll have fun with the challenge.

Even if you aren’t allowed to use your computer or phone, you can still play games. You probably have a stack of board games hidden somewhere in a closet. Dig them out and learn the rules. Or get that deck of cards you used for magic tricks.

Before you hand your phone over to your parents, look up games you can easily teach your guests. There is something fun for every age and skill level.

Remember that no one is perfect. Everyone feels awkward from time to time. When you are together with relatives you don’t know very well, they are probably feeling like you are.

Time without your phone will feel funny. Just be yourself and let yourself have fun in the real world.

Winter break is full of fun, food, friends and folks. AND of course – brightly wrapped gifts! It can also feel awkward. You could be spending time with people you don’t know very well. To make the time even worse, YOUR PARENTS WILL TELL YOU TO PUT YOUR SMARTPHONES AWAY! HORROR!

How do you spend time with these people — especially when you haven’t even seen their social media profile? What do you talk about? What do you do?

Relax. Here are some helpful ideas to make awkward real-life moments easier.

Ask your guests the same questions that you answer on social media. Remember when you made your social media page? You posted details like your favorite singer, your favorite movie, what books and sports you like. Talk to your guests about these topics. You will probably find out that you have a lot in common.

Being stuck in a house with your phones turned off can feel weird. Before your guests arrive, think of three things you can do with your company outside of the house. Skating, snow ball fights, walking to a near-by attraction, even showing your company your school.

Don’t worry about sounding lame. Your guests will probably feel relieved to be away from the adults for a short time. If you are going to be in a strange town or location, take time to look up sights in the area. Then, if time together starts to feel weird, you can come to the rescue.

Learn some magic tricks. With a plain deck of cards you can have people scratching their heads and in awe. You never know—you might have real talent for magic. Even if you don’t, you’ll have fun with the challenge.

Even if you aren’t allowed to use your computer or phone, you can still play games. You probably have a stack of board games hidden somewhere in a closet. Dig them out and learn the rules. Or get that deck of cards you used for magic tricks.

Before you hand your phone over to your parents, look up games you can easily teach your guests. There is something fun for every age and skill level.

Remember that no one is perfect. Everyone feels awkward from time to time. When you are together with relatives you don’t know very well, they are probably feeling like you are.

Time without your phone will feel funny. Just be yourself and let yourself have fun in the real world.

Can Social Media Make You Sad?

Can Social Media Make Kids Sad?

Are you feeling sad? Lonely? Even though you have hordes of friends on social media do you feel alone? The problem might be your social media. A study in the United Kingdom learned something you should think about.

Just one hour a day on your social media can make you feel worse about your life.

That wasn’t the only study. The University of Michigan found that the more young people use social media, the sadder they were. The Brown University of Public Health had the same findings. Other studies litter the Internet.

Why does time on social media make kids sad? No one knows for sure, but there are a few ideas:

1) Cyberbullying.

Not all kids are bullied online, but when they are the damage can be deep.

2) Thinking that everyone else has a better life.

Some people believe that when you see friends with exciting pictures and posts, you will think that they have more fun than you do. You’ll then feel bad about yourself. Jealousy is a tricky emotion, but it’s even more complicated when you think about online posts.

Remember, people upload posts that make them look good. They do not post pictures that show them looking bad. You could be jealous of a life that isn’t how it looks online.

3) Time spent online gives you less time in the real world.

The real world makes you move your body, which makes you feel better. That is partly because of “happy” chemicals your brain kicks out when you exercise.

Also, people feel an incredible amount of satisfaction when they reach a goal in the physical world (like making a lay-away or sitting with a friend who needs a buddy or discovering a great new view after hiking to the top of a hill or experiencing the thrill of sledding down that hill).

When you spend time online, you miss out on all the benefits of living in the real world. That can make you feel sad.

Before you say that these studies are just another way adults try to control what kids do, think about this: everything bad that happens to children because they spend time on social media happens to adults, too. You could be a positive role model to your parents. When your dad seems bummed out after a hard day on the job or your mom has problems with a project she’s working on, get them to take a break.

Let’s be honest here. When you are old and crouched over and rolling your eyes over what your grandchildren are doing, there will still be studies about why you are sad. Some of those studies will blame computers and whatever new technology is in your hands. One hundred years from now, the best advice will still be the same: Put down your phone and go tell someone.

Are you feeling sad? Lonely? Even though you have hordes of friends on social media do you feel alone? The problem might be your social media. A study in the United Kingdom learned something you should think about.

Just one hour a day on your social media can make you feel worse about your life.

That wasn’t the only study. The University of Michigan found that the more young people use social media, the sadder they were. The Brown University of Public Health had the same findings. Other studies litter the Internet.

Why does time on social media make kids sad? No one knows for sure, but there are a few ideas:

1) Cyberbullying.

Not all kids are bullied online, but when they are the damage can be deep.

2) Thinking that everyone else has a better life.

Some people believe that when you see friends with exciting pictures and posts, you will think that they have more fun than you do. You’ll then feel bad about yourself. Jealousy is a tricky emotion, but it’s even more complicated when you think about online posts.

Remember, people upload posts that make them look good. They do not post pictures that show them looking bad. You could be jealous of a life that isn’t how it looks online.

3) Time spent online gives you less time in the real world.

The real world makes you move your body, which makes you feel better. That is partly because of “happy” chemicals your brain kicks out when you exercise.

Also, people feel an incredible amount of satisfaction when they reach a goal in the physical world (like making a lay-away or sitting with a friend who needs a buddy or discovering a great new view after hiking to the top of a hill or experiencing the thrill of sledding down that hill).

When you spend time online, you miss out on all the benefits of living in the real world. That can make you feel sad.

Before you say that these studies are just another way adults try to control what kids do, think about this: everything bad that happens to children because they spend time on social media happens to adults, too. You could be a positive role model to your parents. When your dad seems bummed out after a hard day on the job or your mom has problems with a project she’s working on, get them to take a break.

Let’s be honest here. When you are old and crouched over and rolling your eyes over what your grandchildren are doing, there will still be studies about why you are sad. Some of those studies will blame computers and whatever new technology is in your hands. One hundred years from now, the best advice will still be the same: Put down your phone and go tell someone.

Zombies Invade the World

Yes! There is a worldwide outbreak—of zombies. Germans calls these shuffling, bent creatures “Smombies,” a word made by joining two words: zombie and smartphones. Smombies are the people you see walking around with their eyes on their smartphones and not on the road ahead.

Each year, hordes of people are hurt by bumping into objects, falling into pools and getting hit by bikes and vehicles.

Innocent drivers who can’t avoid these zombies suffer from the trauma of hurting others. Older and disabled people walking down the street don’t move fast enough to avoid zombies and are commonly bumped and injured.

And this isn’t just taking place in your neighborhood. Zombies are a problem around the world.

In Seoul, South Korea, the city’s transportation department put up signs that show people using smartphones walking into cars. The signs are meant to remind people how dangerous walking can be when they don’t pay attention. The problem is that people must look up from their smartphones to see the signs.

Germany officials put bright strips of LED lights right in the sidewalk. This was done to keep people from walking into city trains. These lights have also been used in sidewalks in the Netherlands. Many people don’t like this idea, because it makes zombies feel that they don’t have to pay attention to the world around them.

In Austria, officials put airbags around lampposts to keep zombie tourists from smashing into them as they walk through the streets looking at their phones.

The city of Chongqing in southwest China has tried to solve this problem by making two walking lanes. One is for people who are not using smartphones as they walk. The other is for people walking with their heads down.

Honolulu, Hawaii, has passed a law making it illegal to enter a crosswalk while you are looking at your smartphone. People who step out into traffic with their eyes on their phone face huge fines.

Because of all the traffic accidents caused by zombies with their phones, Brazil has older ladies helping young smartphone addicts cross the street safely.

All around the world, zombies—or smombies, if you prefer–put themselves and other people in danger. You can help stop the invasion. Remember this: a smartphone weighs about 4 ounces. A car can weigh about 80,000 ounces. When they hit each other, who do you think will win?

Now, look up.

Yes! There is a worldwide outbreak—of zombies. Germans calls these shuffling, bent creatures “Smombies,” a word made by joining two words: zombie and smartphones. Smombies are the people you see walking around with their eyes on their smartphones and not on the road ahead.

Each year, hordes of people are hurt by bumping into objects, falling into pools and getting hit by bikes and vehicles.

Innocent drivers who can’t avoid these zombies suffer from the trauma of hurting others. Older and disabled people walking down the street don’t move fast enough to avoid zombies and are commonly bumped and injured.

And this isn’t just taking place in your neighborhood. Zombies are a problem around the world.

In Seoul, South Korea, the city’s transportation department put up signs that show people using smartphones walking into cars. The signs are meant to remind people how dangerous walking can be when they don’t pay attention. The problem is that people must look up from their smartphones to see the signs.

Germany officials put bright strips of LED lights right in the sidewalk. This was done to keep people from walking into city trains. These lights have also been used in sidewalks in the Netherlands. Many people don’t like this idea, because it makes zombies feel that they don’t have to pay attention to the world around them.

In Austria, officials put airbags around lampposts to keep zombie tourists from smashing into them as they walk through the streets looking at their phones.

The city of Chongqing in southwest China has tried to solve this problem by making two walking lanes. One is for people who are not using smartphones as they walk. The other is for people walking with their heads down.

Honolulu, Hawaii, has passed a law making it illegal to enter a crosswalk while you are looking at your smartphone. People who step out into traffic with their eyes on their phone face huge fines.

Because of all the traffic accidents caused by zombies with their phones, Brazil has older ladies helping young smartphone addicts cross the street safely.

All around the world, zombies—or smombies, if you prefer–put themselves and other people in danger. You can help stop the invasion. Remember this: a smartphone weighs about 4 ounces. A car can weigh about 80,000 ounces. When they hit each other, who do you think will win?

Now, look up.

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