Helping your child choose the right movie can be difficult. While many parents find themselves sifting through titles to find age-appropriate entertainment, it can be challenging to select movies that children will actually find interesting and enjoyable. Luckily, Relativity Media has made multiple forays into family entertainment, offering movies with unique and engaging story lines, experienced filmmakers, and talented casts that will have children of all ages reaching for the popcorn.
Classic fairy tales are a popular form of children’s entertainment. However, in this 2012 family comedy, Relativity Media and director Tarsem Singh flips the script on one of history’s most well-known children’s stories. Mirror Mirror is a creative and colorful retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which puts a unique spin on several of the tale’s main characters. The film’s largest deviation from its source material is its modern characterization of Snow White, who takes charge of her own destiny in order to thwart her evil stepmother’s plot against her and take back her kingdom.
Lily Collins takes on the coveted role of a fairy tale princess in her first starring performance, following up noteworthy roles in films such as The Blind Side (2009) and Abduction (2011). The dedicated young actress trained for months to perform her own swashbuckling action scenes with costar Armie Hammer, who is also seen in films including The Social Network (2010) and The Lone Ranger (2013). In addition, Collins had an opportunity to act alongside one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading ladies. Julia Roberts subverts her traditionally sweet persona to play the jealous and conniving Queen, delivering a performance that earned her a Kids’ Choice Awards nomination for Favorite Villain.
Along with its all-star cast, Mirror Mirror features stunning visuals created in part by director Tarsem Singh and Academy Award-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka, as well as a fanciful soundtrack composed by four-time Oscar winner Alan Menken.
Earth to Echo
On July 2, 2014, Relativity Media and Panay Films invited viewers on a found footage adventure featuring some of Hollywood’s most noteworthy young artists. A kid-friendly science fiction film, Earth to Echo follows three Nevada teenagers who find their close friendship threatened by an impending construction project, which will force their families to leave their neighborhood. It seems that best friends Alex, Tuck, and Munch have little left to do but say goodbye. However, when each member of the group receives a text message containing the same mysterious map, the trio embarks on a mission to find its source. The digitally encoded map leads them to the truly unexpected: a small extraterrestrial being in dire need of their help.
With its sci-fi flair, adventurous spirit, and a cast of talented young actors, Earth to Echo calls to mind 1980s classics such as E.T. (1982) and The Goonies (1985). At the same time, the film’s use of technology offers a modern edge that will resonate with children of the 21st century. As the heroes of this found footage film carry out their mission, they document their adventures with tools ranging from cell phones to spyglasses, creating opportunities for unique camera angles and immersive storytelling that pull viewers right into the action.
Earth to Echo’s up-and-coming cast features Teo Halm, Reese Hartwig, Brian “Astro” Bradley, and Ella Wahlestedt. The movie is the first feature-length directorial effort of filmmaker Dave Green.
Released on November 1, 2013, this Thanksgiving-themed film is sure to delight families year-round with its imaginative story, quality animation, and a cast of recognizable Hollywood voice actors. Free Birds tells the story of Reggie and Jake, two turkeys from very different sides of the barnyard who band together to take themselves off the holiday menu. With the help of the United States government’s time-travel machine, the duo embarks on a zany adventure back to the year 1621, where they recruit their colonial ancestors to help change their role in American history.
Presented by Relativity Media and the Academy Award-winning producer of Shrek (2001), Free Birds is the debut feature-length project of the Dallas-based Reel FX Creative Studios. Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson provide the voices of the animated comedy’s feathered protagonists. The movie features additional voices by Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Dwight Howard and director Jimmy Hayward, a former Pixar animator who is known for films including Jonah Hex (2010) and Horton Hears a Who! (2008).
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
Megan McDonald has written more than a dozen novels in her best-selling Judy Moody series, and in 2011, Relativity Media and director John Schultz brought the precocious third grader’s adventures to the big screen. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer takes place during an exciting time in any child’s life—summer vacation! The adventurous Judy Moody presents her best friends with a fail-safe system for having the best summer ever. However, as it turns out, they’re going on vacation and won’t be around to help her collect any “thrill points.” Instead, Judy finds fun in unexpected places with the help of her Aunt Opal and little brother Stink, embarking on a series of fun-filled missions that impart worthwhile lessons about the benefits of keeping an open mind.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is an original screenplay by author Megan McDonald and Emmy Award-winning children’s screenwriter Kathy Waugh, who is known for long-lived television hits such as Arthur (1996) and Zoom (1999). The movie features the talented Jordana Beatty in her first starring performance, which earned her a nomination for “Best Performance in a Feature Film—Leading Young Actress” at the Young Artist Award ceremony. Additionally, children can follow Judy Moody’s summer adventures on both the page and screen, as McDonald has adapted Judy’s big-screen shenanigans into a novel.