|Real family movies: the sequel
Author: Clay Nichols
In the months leading up to the holiday season, parents and kids alike are bombarded with ads for upcoming family films. As is Hollywood’s way these days, most of the offerings will be sequels, remakes or rehashes of familiar stories and themes. Unlike in the past, in this latest round of offerings, the studios have made an effort to produce films more accurately reflecting the realities of today’s family life.
The Hunger Games 2: Bib Chronicles
In this thrilling sequel, children in a dystopic future world are selected to compete in a life-and-death contest based on their table manners. In one heart-pounding scene, an eight-year-old boy must eat an entire tub of yogurt without spilling any on his shirt. And in one unforgettable cinematic moment, two siblings set the table, forks on the left, knives perfectly placed on the right. Chilling!
Spy Kids 5: Beyond Coverage
In this installment of the fanciful Robert Rodriguez franchise, the youthful spooks are forced to put away all their amazing spy gadgets and robot friends, take a break from practicing their ninja-fighting skills and actually have a conversation with mom and dad at the dinner table. In a shocking twist, the young spies then clear their plates. Da-da-dum!
Finding Nemo 3: Feed the Darn Fish
In this touching sequel, Nemo and his dad find themselves again confined to a fish tank, this time in suburban Austin. The unlucky pair is slowly starving to death because nobody ever remembers to feed them or change the water in the tank. Parents strongly cautioned: they get flushed down the toilet again, for real this time.
Kung Fu Panda 3
In this installment of the DreamWorks mainstay, Po (voiced by Jack Black) takes up competitive kick-boxing. His father, Mr. Ping, takes time off from his noodle shop to drive his son all over China for tournaments in the most far-flung reaches of the empire. When the family rickshaw loses a wheel in the parking lot of an Embassy Suites, Po and Ping must cut short the complimentary breakfast buffet to make the repairs. Though Po must settle for fifth place, the pair celebrates the return home from their long voyage by going straight to bed.
Too busy to make it to the movie theaters during the busy holiday season? Never fear because a number of similar titles are coming straight to video. Check out “The Smurfs 2: Dustbunnies Attack,” “Toy Story 4: The Regifting,” “Despicable Me 3: Siblings,” or “Harry Potter and the Study Hall Where He Actually Got Homework Done.”
Clay Nichols is one of the founders of DadLabs.com and co-author of “DadLabs Guide to Fatherhood: Pregnancy and Year One.” He lives in Austin with his wife Kim and three children.