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Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 14

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Okay - here we go with some fresh titles for the whole family- kids, parents, grandparents- all ages can sit down and enjoy these together. Check out the numerous other recommendations by clicking on the tag of the same name over on the left.

Meet the Robinsons---Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine. Animated.

Rio---when Blu, a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota, meets the fiercely independent Jewel, he takes off on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro with this bird of his dreams. Lots of holds on this, so be patient. Animated.

Kit Kittredge An American Girl---set in Cincinnati at the height of the Great Depression, Kit Kittredge, a resourceful young girl, helps her mother run a boardinghouse after her father loses his job. This features the talented young Abigail Breslin, who was so good in Little Miss Sunshine. (Little Miss is definitely not an embarrassment free movie- but def worth a look. It is hard to describe this one other than to say you will seldom meet a more incredibly weird but wonderful family. I think I would like to know these people).

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:Rodrick Rules- the sequel to the very popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this one is as good or better than the first. Both of these are available in Blu-Ray.

Howl's Moving Castle---when an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions.

Rango is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. With the vocal talents of Johnny Depp and...Abigail Breslin. Have some fun trying to get all the other voices---there are lots you will recognize.

We have just received a bunch of Charlie Brown specials- these are sweet, funny and gentle fare for the whole family. Snoppy Come Home, A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Peanuts 1970'2 Collection Vol. 2., with 6 remastered TV specials.

by Moe

GEF 13

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I was quite surprised to see it is over 6 months since I have done a Guaranteed Embarrassement Free post. So without further ado, here are some more titles for the whole family to sit down and watch---together.

Flipped---a really sweet story about two eighth graders who start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. Based on the novel "Flipped" by Wendelin Van Draanen. This is really charming.Blu Ray

Despicable Me---another charmer and very funny as well. When a criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better. Animated.Blu Ray

Ramona and Beezus---follows the misadventures of young grade schooler Ramona Quimby from Beverly Cleary's popular children's book series.Blu Ray

Megamind---the supervillain Megamind finally conquers his nemesis, the hero Metro Man... but finds his life pointless without a hero to fight. Animated. Blu Ray

Justin Beiber-Never Say Never---as a parent you probably were quite happy to drop off your tween at the theatre and not have to endure all that Bieber Fever. But the movie is actually kind of fun. CPL has lots of copies coming, but holds are already starting to build.

Tangled---new version of the Rapunzel fairy tale. I am reliably informed by my co-workers 4 year old that 'this is the greatest movie ever made'. Blu Ray

How To Train your Dragon---a hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

CONGRATS to all our lucky KUNGFU PANDA 2 winners-the interest was extremely high and all the tickets are gone. Thanks to everyone who entered and remember to check back regularly for new contests.

by Moe

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 12

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I actually had to take some time to watch some GEF to have some new offerings. So having done this for the past few months, may I suggest the following;

Get Smart- there are a few instances where this strays from guaranteed embarrassment free, but it's a good bet, especially for about 10 and up. The airplane bathroom scene is hilarious and Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway have excellent chemistry. Or try the original series, which if nothing else will either evoke howls of laughter or fond memories over the 60's clothing.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief---I actually liked this one quite a bit- good story with likeable characters, and the best Medusa ever. Based on the very popular book series by Rick Riordan.

Nanny McPhee---this has become very popular again as always happens when a sequel is about to be released. It is a good bet for everyone and Emma Thompson did an excellent job as writer and lead. Blu ray also.

Harry and the Hendersons-an oldie but a goodie from 1987, new to CPL. This is for the entire family---a funny, gentle and kind movie.

Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels in RV---somewhat formulaic but still worth a few good laughs.

Second Hand Lions---nice coming of age story with Haley Joel Osmont, Michael Caine and Robert Duval.

Ice Age--- any of the 1 2 3 releases are good, with Dawn of the Dinosaurs being the best (providing you can stand Ray Ramano's rather whiny voice).

Clash of the Titans is great fun but will be way to intense for young ones. Save this version for a teen movie night. And have a look at the original from 1981---a lot less violent and still lots of fun.

Bridge to Terabithia---friendship abounds in this film version of the popular book.

Captain Blood---I do like my pirate movies and long before Johnny and Orlando were swashbuckling across the big screen, the best of the best was Errol Flynn. This is a great movie (black and white of course) and stands the test of time. While you're at it have a look at the Sea Hawk. And why not make it an Errol Flynn trifecta and watch the Adventures of Robin Hood---the fight between Basil Rathbone and Flynn is still regarded as one of the greatest sword fights ever put down on film.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 11

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Wizard of Oz---I am probably one of the few people on the planet that doesn't like this movie, so why would I recommend it? Because it turns up on every list imaginable as a must see children's classic. I will grant you that Judy Garland is amazing, but the rest of the characters just annoy the heck out of me. Watch it anyway, chances are good you will like it.

Karate Kid--- with the release of the new blockbuster starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (Will Smith's son), why not skip the lineups and revisit the original from 1984. This stands up well and is full of meaningful life lessons without beating you over the head with these meaningful life lessons. We also have KK 2, which is not as good as the original, but still worth a look. Wax on, wax off.

The Yearling---this has been on my radar forever, but I only just saw it for the first time 3 weeks ago. It is a lovely tender story of a boy and the yearling deer he takes under his protection. Features an unbearably handsome 30 year old Gregory Peck as the father. The cinematography is breathtaking, and in fact won an Oscar.

National Velvet---speaking of unbearably beautiful people, 13 year old Elizabeth Taylor takes the lead in this movie about a young girl who prepares a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes (steeple-chasing). Another Oscar winner.

The Court Jester from 1956 with Danny Kaye. This is good old fashioned silly fun- especially the sword fight.

The Kid---one of Charlie Chaplin's silent masterpieces.

Spirited Away---Don't avoid it because of what you think you know about animation from Japan. This is a beautifully crafted movie, and an Oscar winner from 2003. It is seemlessly dubbed into English.

Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit---two of the most lovable animated characters ever attempt to solve the mystery of what plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 10

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I was originaly going to call this post Dead Dog Movies, as this almost seems to qualify as a sub-genre of the classic animal movie. What is it about our faithful companion that we continually make movies about him only to bump him off ? I guess it is a testimate to how much we love our dogs that we mourn them so fiercely. After all, who would cry too much over the death of a pet tarantula? (and to anyone who has recently lost a pet tarantula, no offence intended!). But good taste has prevailed and I am reviewing live dog movies as well and throwing them all under the banner of Guaranteed Embarrasement Free.

Marley and Me

Shiloh

Where the Red Fern Grows

Sounder

Homeward Bound

Lady and the tramp

Benji

Eight Below Beethoven 1 & 2 102 Dalmations Shaggy Dog with either Fred McMurray 1956 or Robert Downey 2006.

Have a look at some previously recommended dog movies---My Dog Skip, Dog of Flanders and Old Yeller. Or check out the other 9 installments of this thread by clicking on Embarrassment Free on the left hand side of the page under TAGS. We also have many dvd's on dog training, grooming and tricks, including the popular DogWhisperer by Cesar Milan.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 9

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Trying to recover from a hectic Christmas? Too much noise, too much activity, too much everything? Put away all those solitary new toys like your Nintendo DS' and IPod's, and kick back and reconnect with the whole gang. Here are my latest choices for worry-free family viewing---no bad language, no inappropriate themes, no embarrassing moments. If you enjoy them, there are sequels for Anne of Green Gables, Toy Story, Black Stallion and Babe---and in the case of Heidi, Dog of Flanders, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth, several different versions, some considerably better than others. As always I have indicated my faves. And if you want to find even more selections, go to the tags on the left side of the screen and click on family-oriented. It will bring up all 8 previous posts and many, many more offerings. Enjoy.

Heidi---we have four English versions (featuring some big names) and a three part animated Chinese series of this beloved tale. From 1937 we have Shirley Temple as the irresistable moppet, from 1968 Maximilian Schell and Jean Simmons, from 1993 Jason Robards and Jane Syemour and from 2005 Max Von Sydow and Diana Rigg. For my money go with Shirley as the adorable orphan sent to live with a reluctant grandfather high in the Swiss Alps.

Black Stallion--- this was a very popular movie back in 1979, and deservedly so. The cinematography is beautiful and the story is timeless. The opening with the fire and resulting ship wreck might be a little intense for younger ones, but once you get to the boy and the horse on the island it is watchable for all ages.

A Dog of Flanders---this might be a little slow compared to what children are used to these days, but stick with it. It is a lovely, heart warming story of a boy, his grandfather and the mistreated cart dog they take into their lives.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth---again,we have several versions of this popular Jules Verne story. I would go with the big release from the summer of 2008, starring Brendan Fraser. The CGI's in this are very impressive, and you should find yourself pretty freaked out by the T-Rex chase.

Anne of Green Gables- hard to believe it is 25 years since this first aired on television. You would be hard pressed to find a better way to spend time than with this multi-award winning Kevin Sullivan production. Beautifully filmed on location in PEI and starring Megan Follows as the irrepressible Anne. Both of the sequels are equally engaging.

Toy Story---join Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr Potato Head and others in this delightful Disney offering from 1995. The story is very engaging, many of the characters are toys you will recognize and there is plenty here for the adults. Toy Story 2 is every bit as much fun as the first. Avoid reading the credits and see how many real life actors you can match to the toys voices.

Babe---Farmer Hoggett wins Babe at the local fair, and the little pig soon befriends all the other creatures on the farm. He becomes special friends with one of the sheepdogs and soon Babe embarks on a career in sheepherding. You'd swear the animals are really talking-the film took home an Oscar for best visual effects.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 8

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As the days get colder and the nights get longer, snuggle up with the whole family with any of these embarrassment free suggestions. Need more ? Check out embarrassment free under TAGS on the left hand side of our blog and you will find the seven previous installments.

Ratatouille---Pixar just seems to keep getting it right. Academy award winner for best animated feature for 2007, this is a story about a French rat who wants to be a chef. As always the animation is brilliant and realistic---but don't let the thought of a rat in a kitchen put you off---this is great fun.

My dog skip---1940 rural Mississippi coming of age story. Sweet but not gaggily (? is this a word) so. Starring Frankie Muniz from Malcolm in the Middle--- I always enjoy this young man's performances.

Sandlot---this 1993 offering spawned a lot of sequels but as is often the case, the original is still the best. Baseball, best friends, beautiful summer days--- but whatever you do, don't hit the ball over the back fence.

Muppets treasure island ---I have always been a big Muppets fan, and this one from 1996 is good and goofy. A retelling of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale complete with all of your favorite muppets and real-life Tim Curry as the villian. Boom-shaka-laka-laka.

While we are on the topic of Robert L Stevenson try the 2005 Masterpiece Theatre/BBC production of Kidnapped. Better for older children-about 10 and up.

Ladyhawke---1985 with a very young Matthew Broderick. Combination romance, adventure and fantasy story that actually stands up fairly well even twenty two years on. With lovely Michelle Pfeiffer and handsome Rutger Hauer as the love interests.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 7

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Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 7

This post has proved consistently popular, so here is another round of movies for everyone--- grab the kids, the grandparents, and everyone in between and check out some of these for freedom from bad language, inappropriate sexual content and otherwise embarrassing moments. Want to see what else has been recommended in this category? Click on the family oriented tag on the left and the six previous posts will come up.

The Witches - 1990. Based on the popular Raold Dahl story and featuring Angelica Houston, this might be a little intense for the under 8 crowd, as the witches are really quite scary. Especially in the big 'reveal' scene towards the end. But all-in-all a very good retelling of a good story.

Peter Pan- Three to recommend here. Of course we all know the original 1953 animated Disney version which still holds up well.

But also try Hook from 1991, with Dustin Hoffman trying his hand as the nefarious Captain, playing opposite a grown up Peter, as portrayed by Robin Williams. Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell rounds out this all-star cast.

And last, but in my opinion the best of the three, is the 2003 Peter Pan; with Jason Issacs (Lucias Malfoy from the Harry Potter series) as a very menacing Hook. The actions scenes in this are especially good. As is the crocodile.

Enchanted - 2007. A twist on the classic fairy tale, Princess Giselle is sent to modern day New York by an evil witch, and must arise to the challenges she encounters. This one is a lot of fun with some wonderfully catchy tunes.

Brother Bear - 2003. A young Inuit hunter seeking revenge against a bear, is magically changed into a bear. A classic ' walk a mile in my shoes' story, this movie will really appeal to the younger crowd. Nice message, nice animation, overall a nice look to this movie.

Anne of Green Gables I'm sure no one needs too much of a synopsis for this classic Canadian coming of age tale set on Prince Edward Island. This mini-series was made for television in the 80's and has several sequels, all equally engaging, all available at CPL. It is worth revisiting if you haven't seen it in awhile, and is definetely worth introducing your children to.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 6

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I've gone into my movie memory banks to pull out a few of the following titles. Little older, and they don't turn up on television too often, so they might have escaped your movie radar.

The Flintstones ---1994 A live action film based on the 60's cartoon, this is a lot of fun. Many recognizable faces including John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Kyle MacLachlan, Halle Berry, Rosie O'Donnell and even a cameo by Elizabeth Taylor. The sets are quite ingenious, and there are many cultural references for the adults to enjoy.

Fern Gully---now here is an old one from 1992 that was one of my favorites to watch with my children. Timely then, and even more so now, it tells the story of a rain forest under seige from a lumber company.

Black Knight is great fun, but does have 2 very brief scenes that are a little suggestive. Given that this post is supposed to be embarrasment free I momentarily hesitated adding this title; but it works so well and has such good overall value that I thought I'd add it and just give you a heads up. A modern day theme park attendant is transported back to medieval England.

If you are one of the few people who hasn't yet seen Wall E, treat yourself to this 2008 release from Pixar. This is an absolute joy of a movie---you will fall in love with Wall E and EVA. We have dozens of copies and the number of holds are way down from where they were a few months ago.

Freaky Friday--- we have both versions of this; the 1976 with a very young Jodi Foster, and the 2003 with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. I'm not too much of a Lohan fan, but she does a good job here, and Curtis strikes just the right note when she plays the teenage daughter. Mom and daughter exchange bodies and really get to understand what it's like to be in someone elses shoes.

City of Ember from 2008---story of a civilization that has been forced to live underground for the last 200 years and is now trying to regain the surface as their power supply starts to fail. This movie has a great look to it- muted colors that capture the feel of their failing light source; rag tag clothing where everything has been mended and remended; hobbled together contraptions that display the inhabitants ingenuity.With Bill Murray and Tim Robbins, I quite enjoyed this.

Guaranteed Embarrassment Free 5

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It has been two months since I have added any titles to this particular group of posts, so grab the popcorn, corral the kids and sit down to watch something with the whole family. The first 5 titles are for an older group (8-15 or so) as they can be a little intense and scary in spots, but having said that, they are still embarrassment free.

Jumanji 1995

Starring the ever versatile Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst of the Spiderman triology. This movie is loads of fun, and even though the CGI are almost 15 years old, they still stand up well.

Holes 2003

With a strong cast featuring Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Shia Lebeouf and based on the very popular story by Louis Sachar. Wrongfully convicted, a young boy is sent to a detention camp, where for some unexplicable reason he and the other detainees are set the task of digging holes all day long. Why? Watch and see the reason unfold.

Rabbit Proof Fence

Now that the poster has caught your attention, settle in with this true story of courage, defiance and unbelievable determination. From 2003 this tells the story of three Australian aboriginal girls taken by the governement (circa 1931) to be trained as domestic servants. Parents- the next time you think that your kids are standing on your last nerve, or kids, when you can't believe how annoying your parents are, remember this movie. What they go through to be reunited is the stuff that love is made of.

Oliver 1968

This musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic story was a multi nominated, multi winner in its day---winning Oscars, BAFTAS and Golden Globes, to name a few. It has wonderful music and lyrics, great sets and Dicken's trademark panoply of characters, including a very evil and menacing Bill Sykes as portrayed by Oliver Reed.

Stardust 2007

Somewhere in a little English town there is a wall---that no one in the town has ever crossed. Until one night when a young man sees a star fall and vows to the town beauty that he will retrieve it for her. And thus he enters the magical kindgom of Stormhold.

Now for the the younger crowd (but maybe you can entice the older kids as well), consider:

Chicken Run2000 - this claymation story is about a barnyard full of chickens who begin to realize that when the farmer comes to take them away they aren't necessarily going to a better place. They devise a plot to escape their fate.

Honey I shrunk the kids and Honey I Blew up the Kid- lots of fun from Disney and Rick Moranis. The titles pretty much say it all.

Shrek 1-2-3 is there anyone out there who hasn't seen this marvelous series? If it somehow escaped your movie radar, pick up any of the three (although the first two are the better) and be prepared to be royally entertained.

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