To suggest that I am not a fan of winter activities is an understatement of gross proportions. I blame my Californian childhood and inherent lack of coordination for my urge to hibernate. In my defense, I don't think winter likes me either. I don't have the luck for obstacle-free tobogganing and my last family skate ended with a passerby offering to call the paramedics.
On a post holiday ski trip this season a rather intense fall caused the snap of my snug ski pants to pop open triggering the zipper. The resulting sensation of both my body and pants sliding down the mountain in unison was really the final straw.
To be truthful, movies are really my favourite winter activity and perhaps the only one I actually enjoy doing as a family. As my kids neared their tweens I excitedly began rolling out some 80s classics only to discover, with horror, that most are completely inappropriate for modern children or anybody familiar with the Human Rights Act.
My friend Erin Anderssen, Feature Writer at The Globe and Mail, wrote about the same pitfalls of nostalgic viewings with her two sons. “Watch the movies and television of your childhood through their eyes and the racism and sexism rises to the surface like scum on a pond.”
So this winter, I set out to find ten family movies that would provide the great nostalgic feeling of my old faves but packed instead with positive modern messages and teachable moments. Delighted with this project, I actually justified my work as important research. Sadly, many potato chips lost their lives in the process.
Disclaimer: As my standards of appropriateness are terribly low, it might be wise to screen most of these movies before showing them to your family. Most contain at least one bad word and mature moment (such as Matt Damon’s bum).