Today’s Fantastic Adventure in Family Entertainment brings us to an old children’s favorite: Alvin and the Chipmunks.
In this full length feature, Alvin becomes obsessed with monsters and pranks, especially when a creepy neighbor moves in.
At the same time, Theodore is looking to be in the school play production of Jekyll and Hyde, along with the Chipettes.
Why doesn’t anyone believe Alvin when he sees a wolfman running around the city? And why has Theodore begun acting so strange? Find out when Alvin and the Chipmunks meet the Wolfman!
Why it is a Fantastic Adventure: Any Halloween themed movies immediately catch my attention. This one is above average, but not the greatest. Like any entry in this series, there is always a lesson to be learned. As usual, Alvin goes overboard and scares too many people which gets him grounded. A good teachable moment and reminder that sometimes play can get out of hand.
But, it is not all lessons and mischief! There are some great Chipmunk songs for your kids to dance and sing and burn a few calories. They will love the comic interactions between the Chipmunks.
The animation style is hand drawn animation, which I always prefer over CG. It gives the entire cartoon a familiar, friendly feel. A few Fall elements appear, such as orange leaves, dark skies, a yellow moon and a creepy werewolf imagery! Start this one early in September and get your kids in the mood for the Fall.
Last year, I wrote about the first Costume Quest game. A rare gem that perfectly encapsulates the experience of Halloween. This year, Costume Quest 2 has been released and looks to continue the amazing Halloween spirit.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: Differing from the first game, Costume Quest 2 takes place in various eras of time. Not only will you and your kids get to virtually trick or treat in a familiar neighborhood setting, but you’ll get to visit Ancient Egypt, the Louisiana Bayou, a future where Halloween is illegal, and more!
There are multiple costumes to try on, lots of creepy cards to collect, and tons and tons of candy to collect and spend.
It is a fun adventure for the entire family. So gather round the computer or TV and spend some quality family Halloween time together.
Costume Quest 2 is available on PC, PlayStation or Xbox.
First off, I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. December is in full swing, my daughter’s birthday party is coming up this weekend, and then Christmas celebrations begin! It is always a whirlwind this time of year, but it is fun and such a great few months to spend with friends and family that it is all worth it. How do you feel about this time of year?
Seeing as how my viewership is nearly double that of last year, I thought I would point you all in the direction of my Fantastic Christmas Adventures posts from last year. So today you get not one, but multiple Fantastic Adventures. Best of all, I’ll only charge you for one! Oh wait, I don’t have a tip jar on this blog. Well, lucky you, you get them all for free! Happy Holidays!
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.
Today’s Fantastic Adventure in family Entertainment brings us to the Neitherworld with the cartoon version of Beeteljuice. In particular, the Halloween episode “Laugh of the Party.”
When snobby Claire Brewster excludes Lydia and her friends from a popular kids’ Halloween party, Lydia decides to have one of her own. But when Delia takes over the planning, it looks like disaster is imminent until Beetlejuice — as Mr. Beetleman — offers his catering service. Armed with party supplies from the Neitherworld, he’s ready for anything…except the discovery that one of his decorations, Party People in a Can, shouldn’t be used during a full moon. He and Lydia must hunt down the missing Party People before they wreak havoc on all of Peaceful Pines.
Why it is a fantastic adventure: Your kids will obviously love the zany antics of Beetlejuice and will be able to relate to mom taking over the planning of a party (sorry, moms!). As in most children’s cartoons, there is a message to teach the kiddos. In this case, the message is one that you will enjoy as a parent. You see, Beetlejuice ends up getting on over his head (another good lesson) and Lydia has to help him clean it up (lesson number two). But the big lesson is that it is usually for the best when your bumbling but helpful parents plan your party because they know what they are doing.
Another fun aspect of this show is the animation. There is something very comforting about hand drawn animation from the late 80s and early 90s. Maybe it’s just the overload of horrible CGI in cartoons these days, but seeing hand drawn animation is very inviting. Plus, the animation style of this show is very unique. Your kids will hopefully appreciate the old animation style, as it is creepy, colorful and fun all at the same time.
There is nothing quite like a Halloween party. Whether its bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins or eating caramel apples, there is never a dull moment for kids and parents. Here are a few spooky ideas for a hauntingly great Halloween party! (How many more Halloween clichés can I post this month? I think I’m running out!)
Halloween Music Collection by Midnight Syndicate. Put on this CD and get ready for some of the creepiest music you will ever hear. Midnight Syndicate is a band that plays nothing but creepy music for Halloween. This CD is sure to send some chills down your spine.
Jack-o’-lantern…lanterns. Okay, the name leaves a little to be desired. But hey, these paper lanterns are a very easy way to add Halloween flair to your backyard or front porch. They are also practical in that they provide light! How about that?
Jack-O’-Lantern Chair Covers. I’m sensing a jack-o’-lantern theme here. Apparently I really like them. These are a clever way to add some Halloween to your otherwise boring and bare dining room table chairs.
Little Monsters Photo Door Banner. What happens every time you go to a fair or theme park and your kids see those wooden cutouts to stick their face in? They run to it every time. And demand lots of pictures to be taken at every single one they encounter. Now you can have one in your own home! Seriously, kids love this and your house will forever be known as the photo house.
Skeleton Butler with Tray. Place this guy jus outside of your kitchen, bar, or wherever it is you serve your drinks for the party. Place a few drinks on here and you have your own skeleton butler holding drinks for every one. The parents will love having easy access to drinks and the kids will get a kick out of a 5 foot skeleton greeting them (and they can’t reach the drinks).
Frankenweenie Stand Up. Okay, I’m putting this one in here because I love Tim Burton and I think this is a great idea. What kid wouldn’t want Sparky to attend his Halloween party?
Fantastic Adventures, Writings , and Other Musings