If you could pick one movie to show a young person so that they would fall in love with cinema, what would you choose?
One of the best film events in the city is coming right up, and with it will come dozens of opportunities for the next generation to fall in love with the movies. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle takes place January 25-February 10 at Northwest Film Forum. You can see the full lineup of feature films, amazing animation, special events that involve pancakes, guests from around the world, and much more here.
We asked members of the Children’s Film Festival Seattle jury to share their favorite movies for young people. Here’s what they chose (all available to rent from Scarecrow, of course!).
The film that has continued to engage and enchant me for years is Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It is a film set in the far future after an apocalyptic event that left all of civilization in ruins. Thousands of years afterwards, humanity has developed in a somewhat different direction and a toxic jungle filled with what appear to be giant insects spreads across the world, destroying towns and giving off spores that if inhaled will kill a human. However, the beautiful and mysterious toxic jungle and the ferocious insects are not completely as they appear at first, as Nausicaä, princess of a small kingdom that runs on wind comes to discover. Furthermore, it is not so much the jungle that is the largest threat to the Valley of the Wind. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is inventive and completely unlike any other film I have ever viewed. — Eliot Aguera y Arcas (age 11)
Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of my all-time favorite movies, for its wonderful story and its great one liners. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a story about a young witch (age 13) named Kiki and her cat Gigi. The two of them leave home to begin Kiki’s training as a witch and soon find the challenges of living on their own. This is a classic from the world renowned directer Hayao Miyazaki. This is a very relatable movie and every time I watch it there’s a new meaning, from the first time when I was seven to the most recent time about ten minutes ago. I would recommend this to any age especially if you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s other work.” — Arthur Deranleau, (age 14)
Chicken Run is the story of prison a campesque chicken farm in 20th century England owned by the evil, greedy Mrs. Tweedy and her dimwitted husband, Mr. Tweedy. The protagonist is a smart, plucky hen named Ginger who makes it her goal to break out her and her fellow inmates- I mean chickens. The crew includes sweet but clueless Babs, boisterous Bunty, fast talking genius inventor Mac, and elderly Royal Air Force mascot T.I Fowler, the only rooster in the farm. Even after many failed attempts to break out, landing her in solitary confinement Ginger refuses to give up. The hopelessness of the situation is compounded by the fact that a pair of thieving rats named Nick and Fetcher refuse to give her any materials unless she gives them her eggs. Ginger thinks her prayers have been answered when an American “professional flying rooster” named Rocky Rhodes “flies” into their farm to escape from the circus and reluctantly strikes up a deal with them. They’ll hide him if he teaches them to how to fly.
Ginger becomes aggravated by Rocky’s “training” methods, nicknames for her, overly laid back attitude and deal makings with Nick and Fetcher, as her suspicions of Mrs. Tweedy grow. On one inspection day Babs stops laying eggs but isn’t killed as a punishment. Ginger finds out that Mrs. Tweedy plans to fatten up the chickens and turn them into pies using a pie making machine which sends the chickens into a panic. Rocky berates her for telling the chickens that they are going to die and decides to buy a radio from Nick and Fetcher to throw a party for the chickens. At the party Rocky and Ginger dance and form a bond that is later strengthened by him saving her from the Indiana Jones obstacle style pie making machine and breaking so the Tweedys can’t use it on the others. Rocky soon after realizes that he will have to demonstrate flying for them and leaves to avoid being accused of fraud. The chickens wake up the next morning to find out Rocky has abandoned them and never knew how to fly at all. Things seem hopeless until Fowler’s rambling about the RAF gives Ginger the idea to make a plane. Ginger and the other chickens build the plane out of materials that the rats stole from the Tweedys. Meanwhile Mr. Tweedy tries to repair the pie making machine. Rocky regrets leaving Ginger and the others when he sees a billboard advertising “Mrs. Tweedy’s Chicken Pies” and immediately goes back. Back at the farm Mr. Tweedy fixes the pie making machine and the chickens decide they need to leave the farm fast or they will get turned into pies. Rocky returns and reconciles with Ginger. The rest of the film includes safety scissors, Christmas lights, philosophical arguments, baby chicks, a very happy ending and several others plot twists that I will not reveal so you can enjoy this movie with your family.
I have loved this movie since I was two years old. When I was little the reason I loved it so much was because I love animals and I have been a vegetarian my entire life. I just always thought it was inhumane to kill animals for food. It wasn’t until I was older that I saw all the parallels to the Holocaust concentration camps and other prison camps. As a teen I still love it for the comedy and heartwarming moments as much as the film’s bigger message. — Beezus Murphy (age 13)