From September to April, the ducklings attend AWANA at Their Majesties' church. This gives us one night a week during the long winter evenings in which they are bouncing off walls elsewhere.
With the end of AWANA, that evening is free, and we don't miss it because now we can send them outside after supper. However, we decided it was time to remedy a large gap in their life. See, we don't have an easy movie setup. We never had gotten around to purchasing a TV and we don't have the supporting furniture or space in the living room, and crowding six people, four of them small and squirmy, around a laptop has never been a very appealing option. And DOB and I have a low tolerance for child-oriented media.
Thus, through sheer inertia, the ducklings just hadn't seen that many movies. But now they have arrived at an age where there are many movies of general interest. So we decided non-AWANA night should become Movie Night. We make homemade pizza and popcorn, reserve something at the library, hook up the laptop to a borrowed screen, and actually watch a movie with them. Yup, that's high excitement around here. (The really nice thing is, with the new living room layout, the ducklings pile on the couch, DOB sits in his favorite office chair, and I sit in my armchair all by myself. Most of the time.)
So far this year we've seen The Never Ending Story; Star Wars: Episode IV; It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; and Captain Blood. I was rather excited to realize that Captain Blood, an Errol Flynn movie about (fairly restrained) pirates, ties in directly to our current history lessons. I never thought to encounter the Monmouth Rebellion on movie night. The kids were more interested in the obligatory sword fight.
The ducklings have quantified what they want to see in a movie: it should have chasing, sword fights, buildings falling down, or kids. So far they've all been hits. We do plan to do some Pixar at some point, too, but more modern movies tend to have the longer wait times at the library, plus they're more likely to see those while visiting someone else.
What's your favorite family movie?