disney princess

Family Review: Despite Huge Budget, ALADDIN Looks Cheap

Family Review: Despite Huge Budget, ALADDIN Looks Cheap

Republished with permission from The Movie Mom.  By Trina Boice WHAT'S ALADDIN ABOUT? It’s been about five minutes, so what does that mean? Time for another Disney live-action remake!  (Wink.) This version of the 1992 animated musical Aladdin was directed by Guy Ritchie, who wanted to make a children’s film for his five kids. He admits he’s always been compelled by stories about street hustlers. A ...[Read More]

beauty and the beast

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST ABOUT? Disney updates their 1991 animated classic about a bookish beauty who falls for a monstrous beast. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B+) It won't be nominated for Best Picture like the original, but what this new Beauty and the Beast does right makes up for its flaws. Let's get the negative out of the way. Emma Watson stru ...[Read More]

MOANA Family Movie Review

MOANA Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT’S MOANA ABOUT? A Polynesian girl sets out to save her dying island, enlisting the help of narcissistic demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson). IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A+) Perhaps my favorite film of the year thus far, Moana is a refreshing, visually-stunning, musically-charged delight. The tropical animation is lush and vibrant, the characte ...[Read More]

the huntsman winter's war

THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) WHAT'S THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR ABOUT? This spin-off of Snow White and the Huntsman finds the titular warrior battling the wicked Ice Queen. IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B-) Just as a food columnist might slam McDonald's while the masses fill up the drive-thrus, The Huntsman: Winter's War is being justifiably lambasted by critics but offers quick-fix ...[Read More]

brave

BRAVE Family Movie Review

BRAVE REVIEW (GRADE: B+) There is only one thing that keeps Brave, the new film from Disney-Pixar, from being a “grade-A” movie: it copies its main narrative device wholesale from another recent Disney movie (click here only if you want to know). This lack of originality distracts from Brave‘s quality and bogs down its second act a bit, but the film is ultimately redeemed by taki ...[Read More]

TANGLED Family Movie Review

TANGLED Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy Tangled here.  Easily the best non-Pixar Disney animated film of the past decade, Tangled instantly joins the ranks (alongside The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and The Emperor's New Groove) of modern animated classics from the studio and represents a return to form for the Mouse House. This update of the Rapunzel s ...[Read More]

pixar gender

What Do Your Kids Learn About Gender from Disney-Pixar?

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) In 2010 I performed a rigorous content analysis of gender role portrayals in Pixar films. It was actually a lot of work, with the resulting thesis being published internationally. For advancing the research on gender portrayals in media it was selected for the Auburn University Dean's List of exemplary theses that year. If that sort of thing inter ...[Read More]

princess and the frog family movie review

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG Family Movie Review

By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic) Rent or buy The Princess and the Frog here.  After TIME magazine called The Princess and the Frog “the best film of 2009” and my folks sang its praises, perhaps it was only natural that the bar would be set too high. Then again, it’s possible that I have been spoiled for so long by the brilliant originality displayed year after year by Pixar that ...[Read More]