My Favorite Kid-Related Movie Experiences Of 2017

Over on my pop culture blog, UnitedMonkee, I’ve been running down lists of my favorite movie-watching experiences of the year. While going over everything I watched last year, I realized that I had a great deal of fun watching movies with my kids, and not just the repeated viewings of Moana and Barbie Video Game Hero!

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 100

pop poppa nap cast logo

Hi Gang, welcome to the 100th episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast. I have an awesome guest with me this time and it’s my amazing wife Emily! This episode follows a brand new format and I think it’s pretty snazzy! If you want to compare this episode the first one, you can listen to it here.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the outline we were working on off of the big board:

ppnc 100 big board

And this is a picture of what my wife calls a Boyfriend Pillow, but what Target calls a Bed Rest Pillow.

boyfriend pillow

Meanwhile, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is far more entertaining than Babes In Toyland.

bedknobs and broomsticks posterPAW Patrol continues to entertain the kid and, literally the day after recording, I saw that they have another female dog who shows up every now and then called Everest, so that’s something.

paw patrol everestI thought Adventures Time Season 5 was parentally informative, but Em’s still not a big fan of our 4 year old watching it. We’re both not sure about Monster High.

jake the dadBook-wise, I’m a big fan of all three of these, even if Jack thinks books should all have touchscreens. Frozen Fever: Anna’s Birthday Surprise, Joy’s Greatest Joy/Simply Sadness and Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! are aces in my book.

When it comes to toys the Funko Mystery Mini Kyle from Despicable Me 2, DC Collectibles’ Krypto, Doc McStuffins Mobile Cart and the Little Tikes Big Dog Truck have all been big hits in our house.

Unfortunately, these two have seen better days, so I’m going to try cleaning them up with some Clearasil Stayclear Vanishing Acne Cream as suggested on this site. I’ll let you know how it goes.

blemished barbies

This week’s Pop Poppa Seal Of Approval goes to Jack’s favorite toy, the Kid O Hide and Seek Discs!

Drive-In Fun Times: Minions (2015)

minions

I remember watching Despicable Me with my wife back before we had kids and enjoying the movie, but not thinking much of it after that. By the time the sequel came out, our daughter had basically taken control of the television and it was nearly guaranteed that we watched the DreamWorks film on a regular basis. So, when Minions came out earlier this summer, we wanted to get her to the theaters to see it. Luckily, my dad was up for the task and took her a few weeks ago. But, they weren’t the only ones who wanted to catch it on the big screen, so when my wife and I saw that one of the local drive-ins was doing a Minions/Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation double bill, we jumped at the chance (my M:I 5 can be read here if you’re interested).

minions poster 2I’ve got to admit, though, I had no idea what this movie was about thanks to the commercials. I knew from covering movies for a living that it was some kind of prequel to DM, but that was about it aside from some odd scenes of a trio of Minions running around what looked like a British palace.

So, here’s the deal: the Minions evolved to serve the most despicable thing around. They did alright for a while, but after a series of dead masters, they found themselves holed up in some frozen mountains yearning for leadership. Three of their number — Kevin, Stuart and Bob — set out to find a new overlord and eventually come to find Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock) who wants the British crown for herself. From there you get accidental betrayal, Minions in a palace and an epic fight at the end.

minions poster Minions did an excellent job of continuing on the fun and tone of the DM movies — which both feature a good deal of heart along with the out-there, sci-fi-tinged antics that come from classic movies and cartoons. I love how they were able to take those elements and portray them through a historical context that ties back into the main films by the end. In other words, this is one of the better prequels around because it didn’t get too caught up in the specific gags and events that made the first two movies popular, but instead carried on the tone and heart to its logical conclusion.

All that being said, I now hope that SPOILER Gru & The Minions becomes an animated series that I can watch with my kids on Netflix or something because that dynamic right there — mad scientist boy with nearly unlimited help — is perfect for ongoing antics.