Saturday, July 16, 2011

Winnie the Pooh - Dove Family Approved

Dove Review 
The animation is warm and wonderful, like water colors from a Golden Book, and the characters are delightful and the humor is wholesome. What more could you ask for in viewing a summer movie with your family? Pooh ("Oh bother") Bear is back along with Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet and the rest of the gang. Several kids chuckled and laughed at the screening I caught. One part that made them snicker was when Pooh spots a note at his door and says, "Good thing I noticed it or I wouldn't have seen it." Pooh mostly likes to eat honey or search for honey but to his credit when Piglet digs a hole Pooh "supervises".

A Disney short screened before the movie, "The Ballad of Nessie Short", about a sea monster, and it was delightful. Then we got straight to Pooh. When Eeyore loses his tail (or, as the gang posts on a sign, "tael"), Pooh and his friends go off in search of the missing ending. And then the pot is sweetened, literally, when a reward of a pot of honey is offered to whoever finds the tail. Tigger sings and dances (which caused some of the early laughter) and the gang won't stop until the missing tail is found. In the meantime, various tails are tried on Eeyore including an umbrella, a dart board, and a knitted tail. When it unravels Eeyore reminds everyone that "all good things come to an end".

We are happy to award this delightful movie our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for all ages. Parents are sure to crack a smile along with the kids. Take your, someone special with you and your kids will thank you.

Tree of Life - Dove Family Approved

Dove Review

The vivid images of this film portray life in symbolic ways, such as clouds and storms accompanied by sorrowful music to portray the difficult times and then flowers blooming under sunny skies and an uplifting chorus to portray times of restoration. The nature and universe scenes are nicely filmed and showcased here. There are characters too, including a family man played by Brad Pitt and his wife and three sons, seemingly living a suburban life in the fifties. Pitt plays the father as a paradox, at times he is kind to his sons and plays with them, spraying them with a hose, hugs them and yet at other times he is volatile and verbally abusive, riding them about such things as slamming the door or not doing an outdoor job properly. In one particular scene he goes over the top a bit after his son sasses him and he grabs him and slings him into another room.

The film powerfully portrays death as one of the sons die in the story. We see the grief of the mother and father and remaining brothers. A pastor gives a brief message on Job and his trials and suffering. The film points toward the conclusion that people must love one another and that this is the great hope. Although it is not clearly stated in the movie that Christ is the answer scriptures are quoted and love is one of its main focuses. It features an infant baptism scene too. It also nicely features the topic of grace and it's stated that grace doesn't please itself and accepts injuries, insults and being slighted.

The film could have used some editing in my opinion and is a bit long with its runtime of approximately 138 minutes. And it is a bit esoteric. But for the most part it is a film which will claim the audience's attention such as when a few brothers stare at a man who walks funny due to being nearly crippled. The film not only features actor Brad Pitt but Sean Penn as well. It is a film which powerfully examines the theme of "Why, God? Where were you?" We are pleased to award the movie our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal for ages twelve plus.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Family movies have been missing from the scene since December. Not one theatrical release during the entire month of January was awarded the Dove Family Approved seal.  Finally, beginning on February 11th we see a delightful resurgence of films for various members of the family; from animated children’s features to educational documentaries, and from exciting action adventures to inspiring dramas. If Hollywood fails to serve the family audience, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Hollywood is not about “Show Art” it’s about “Show Business.” To borrow from the famous quote from Field of Dreams, “If they build it, we will come, and likewise, if we come, they will build more. At the box office, it’s okay to vote early and vote often. So, enjoy these family films!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Note to Filmmakers

Over the past several years we have been consulting with filmmakers at various stages of their craft. I feel it is important to address one particular issue that comes up frequently, especially from those who are just starting out, or those who have had a hard time getting their finished film to market. The common question is, “What must I do to make a financially successful movie?”
There are plenty of experts available to answer this crucial question. I don’t consider myself among them. But after 20 years of watching thousands of projects come through our offices, my observations might be of some value.
(read more)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Walmart and P&G bring FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT to television.

Walmart and Proctor and Gamble formed an alliance and created FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT, a unique space in the entertainment landscape designed especially for consumers who enjoy sharing a delightful movie experience in the comfort of their homes with every family member regardless of age.
Ben Simon, Wallmart
Ben Simon, Walmart
Brian Wells, Flyover Ent.
Brian Wells, Flyover Ent.

I recently spoke to Ben Simon, head of global family entertainment marketing at Walmart and Brian Wells, creative development director for Flyover Studios in Cincinnati.  These two men share a vision for serving up to the American family regular doses of enjoyable, inspirational television entertainment.