Great family movies to enjoy this Easter weekend

11 mins read

What better way to spend the Easter weekend than snuggled up on the sofa with your favourite chocolate egg and a great movie. So join us as we dive into the Cinerama archives, exploring some fabulous family movies from the past, each available to rent or buy now.

Top Picks

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Based on the William Joyce book series ‘The Guardians of Childhood,’ this 2012 animated feature is a highly underrated treasure. Many critics of the time not fully appreciating the sheer imagination and fun Rise of the Guardians offered. However, despite this, it has gone on to achieve a dedicated fan base. Bringing together Jack Frost, Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, and The Easter Bunny in fighting evil world domination in a blaze of colour, creativity and art. And as movies go, this one is best enjoyed with copious amounts of chocolate, a mug of tea and those you love sitting right beside you.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

First, we may love Tim Burton, but on this occasion, we advise you to look no further than 1971 for the best adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastic book. Here, the Wizard of Oz‘s artistry is coupled with Roald Dahl’s delightfully dark edge while never losing its family credentials. Financed by the Quaker Oats Company, Mel Stuart’s film exudes love for the source material. Treating its target audience of children with intelligence while equally embracing the darker tones of childhood imagination and wonder. The result; one of the most beautiful children’s movies ever produced. But, it’s Gene Wilder who truly steals the show, his performance embodying the light and dark of Roald Dahl’s famous chocolatier in a manner never equalled on screen.

Ben-Hur (1959)

While musicals and thrillers dominated 1950s film, financial pressure mounted on studios to find new movies that could draw a broad cinema audience. All major studios, including MGM, found themselves floundering under the challenge posed by the new medium of television. But for MGM, this was compounded by musicals that no longer pulled in the desired cinema crowd. The once king of studio filmmaking slowly sinking as Hollywood and cinema exhibition changed.

However, after Paramount’s The Ten Commandments, MGM was encouraged to look back to its origins in silent film to answer its problems; its 1925 adaptation of Ben-Hur ripe for a remake. This decision ultimately led to the most expensive film of the 1950s; a financial gamble and artistic risk. And while it may seem dated to a modern eye and at times overly long, Ben-Hur remains a sight to behold to this day. A tour de force from a slowly dying studio in a rapidly changing Hollywood.

Bugsy Malone (1976)

Splurge guns at the ready for Alan Parker’s gloriously unique kids mobster musical. A film that not only makes you endlessly smile through a haze of shaving cream and sublime art deco sets; but equally grabs your attention with toe-tapping musical numbers from Paul Williams. Each song is a classic in its own right; while also becoming a mainstay of school theatre productions worldwide. Wrapped in a delightful gangster tale, we follow the intrepid Bugsy through a mythical gang-land feud in 1929 New York City. His loyalties split between trying to impress city newcomer Blousey Brown and protect business owner Fat Sam.

Unlike anything seen before or since, Bugsy Malone is delightfully cheesy, deliciously mad and undeniably brilliant. Director Alan Parker paying homage to the classic gangster movie’s of old through a child’s eyes. So get yourself down to Fat Sam’s, it ain’t humble, but it’s your home sweet home.

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