Ah, Hocus Pocus. This film was only mildly successful when it came out in 1993 and to this day it is a very divisive film. However, it is one of my favorite Halloween movies and a great family friendly movie, so I will be presenting it. The story focuses on three witches who were burned at the stake for their evil deed of stealing the souls of children in Salem, Massachusetts in 1693. Right before they died, they cast a spell on a black flame candle that once a virgin lit the candle on the full moon before Halloween, they would rise once again. Fast forward 300 years to 1993 and a young high school boy named Max Dennison lights the candle to impress a girl. The three witches rise again to steal the souls of little children.
Max, his (hopeful) girlfriend Allison, and Max’s little sister, Dani must stop the evil Sanderson Sisters before the sun rises on November 1st in order to prevent the sisters from coming back permanently. Of course, the hard part for Max and company is that it is Halloween night and none of the adults or authority figures believe them! I will not spoil the ending, of course, but you can expect much hilarity, adventure and creepy Halloween spooks.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: Max is every bit the aspiring young hero for middle school aged boys, with just the right amount of disobedience and knowing when to do the right thing. He is also an especially good role model for any big brothers who have little sisters to take care of. Max learns throughout the movie and teaches your kids at the same time. You can be irresponsible and have fun, but there will be consequences. You can hate your little sister for being a
burden, but you’re going to do everything you can to protect her when things turn ugly. And lastly, you can try to impress the cute girl at school all you want, but you’re not going to win her over that way.
The little girls in your family will wish they were in Dani’s shoes from the very beginning. Dani is lovingly portrayed by Thora Birch, who really steals many of the scenes in this film. She is strong-willed and won’t stop tormenting her big brother until she gets her way. Your little girl will be going on the adventure with Dani, reveling in a night of witches, zombies and magic that all seems fresh and real. She even gets a talking cat as her companion through the film. Another plus, just when Dani is getting too scared – and maybe your little girl, too – her big brother swoops in and comforts her. It is a perfect lesson in sibling relationships. Just enough rivalry, but in the end it is compassion that wins the day.
Of course you can’t mention this film without talking about the witches themselves – the Sanderson Sisters. They provide most of the comedy throughout the film, mostly having to do with being from 1693 and being awoken in 1993. The elementary school is deemed a “prison for children” (your kids will
agree with that), a man dressed in a devil costume is mistaken for the real thing, and the entire concept of Halloween being a night of young children dressing up as creatures is quite upsetting to them. Bette , Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker play the creepy yet kooky witches to perfection with just the right amount of terror and humor. If these three witches do not get your kids excited about all things Halloween, then there is not much that will.
There are Halloween decorations abound, zombies, talking cats, creepy cemeteries and picturesque Salem settings, which really bring that cold Fall feeling to the film.
The entire movie itself is one long, grand adventure that never lets up and teaches very important lessons along the way, all the while building your kids’ love of Halloween.
As part of my 31 Days of Halloween festivities I will be holding several contests throughout the month, including a movie giveaway, jack-o’-lantern contest, and costume contest.
Today I will be giving away copies of two fantastic Halloween inspired films, Hotel Transylvania and Monster House. Details below!
Bookmark this post so you can come back all week to edit your entry or tell your friends.
NOTE: Film will be in your country’s Region Code, so everyone from around the globe is eligible!
I am expanding my fantastic adventures series to include games and outdoor activities! Look forward to even more content and exciting things to do with your family.
Today I present Scribblenauts Unlimited, a video game for the Wii U console and PCs. What makes this video game a fantastic adventure? It’s educational, but so much fun your kids will forget they are learning to better use the English language.
A pig needs to be cleaned. Type in any object you can think of. In this case, perhaps a sponge, bucket, hose, soap? You name it, the game creates it. Need to fix a broken car? Just write in ‘Mechanic’ and one will pop right into the game world to fix the car. You can also add adjectives to any character to make them complete a task. For example add the adjective praying to a nun, and well, you’ll have a praying nun. Think of Mad Libs as an interactive video game. You approach different characters, objects or animals throughout the game. Each one needs your help. It is then up to you to use your imagination and knowledge of the English language to help!
You and your kids will have a blast helping out the citizens of Scribblenauts’ world, which is done in a colorful, vivid animation style.
The characters are fun to look at and the detail in the cities and backgrounds is visually pleasing.
Your kids will use their imaginations to create any object their heart desires. (No worries, there are vulgarity filters in place). And this, perhaps, is the strongest case for Scribblenauts Unlimited. Anything that gets your kids to think creatively is a plus. Being creative while also playing a game and staring at the TV? It’s the best of both worlds! Just don’t tell your kids that they are actually learning while playing!
Looking to stay in for the evening with the family? I stumbled upon this ad the other day and wanted to share it, as will be a great opportunity to have a memorable family movie night. Most of the films are from the 1990s or early 2000s, so there is a good chance it has been a long time since your family has seen some of these, if at all. Among some of the films being shown, I would strongly advise watching The Addams Family, Monster House, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Jumanji.
There will be a different movie every night at 8pm Eastern 5pm Pacific. Spend some quality time with the family, pop some popcorn and get ready for fantastic adventures!
Today’s post in my Fantastic Adventures in Family Entertainment brings us to the late 1980s with a prehistoric twist. Denver, the Last Dinosaur was a children’s television cartoon which paired a group of modern California teens with a prehistoric dinosaur, Denver. The teens found a prehistoric egg on a visit to the La Brea tar pits and were surprised when it hatched and out came a dinosaur! The multicultural group of modern teens – Mario, Jeremy, Shades, Wally, Casey and little sister Heather – all sought to protect Denver from concert promoter Morton Fizback, who wanted to exploit Denver at various concert events.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: All of the kids in the group bring something different to the table. You have the jock, the extreme sports kid, the nerd, the jug head, and the annoying little sister. Your kids will quickly find one of the characters to relate to and follow through each episode’s adventure.
Denver, a green rock n roll dinosaur, provides most of the excitement and will get most of the laughs – mostly because he is a dinosaur. Most of the episodes ave great learning moments for your kids in that they deal with issues of responsibility, being environmentally conscious, and they deal with the greed associated with money. All of these topics are woven into the adventure and excitement of the episodes, so it does not seem forced or preachy.
Most importantly and best of all, each episode deals with friendship: how to get along, how to patch things up when someone gets hurt, and all of the joy and responsibility associated with great, lasting friendships.
Denver, the Last Dinosaur is available to own on DVD and available for free on youtube.com
Fantastic Adventures, Writings , and Other Musings