The Story: Emmet and Ma Otter live along the river in a tiny shanty. Ma washes and mends neighbors' clothes for money, and Emmet does odd jobs around town with his late Pa's old tool chest. When the opportunity comes to enter a talent contest that offers a large cash prize, both Ma and Emmet enter hoping to win the money and buy the other what they most desire. Will one of them win the contest and save the holiday? Watch and see ;)
What I like: Based on the holiday favorite Gift of the Magi, this Jim Henson movie is a lost gem. This is another one leftover from my childhood. When it came out on VHS, I had to snap it up! Kermit the frog makes and appearance as the narrator and, of course, he's my favorite Muppet. The fantastic band of 'bad guys', The Riverbottom Nightmare Band, are appropriately hilarious, and may have been spoofs of popular musicians of the 60's and 70's. The gift of the Magi has always been one of my favorite holiday stories, and this version doesn't fail to deliver, and even allows children to understand that what matters at Christmas isn't 'stuff' but family.
Little Women (1994)
The Story: The Marches, once a fine and noble family, have fallen on lean times. The mother (Susan Sarandon) does her best to clothe, feed, and educate her daughters while her husband is away at war, and her efforts get her four young women who know their minds and aren't bent on 'frivolous' things. The eldest daughter Meg (Trini Alvarado) is bent on marriage, next in line, Jo, is destined to be a writer, the third daughter Beth (Claire Danes) is happiest at home, and the (Winona Ryder) youngest and fairest, Amy (Kirsten Dunst), is sure that she'll make a rich match. When handsome Laurie (Christian Bale) shows up next door, the Marches know their lives will never be the same. They have their ups, they have their downs, but what they really have is eachother.
What I like: By now, you are all aware of my love for period films. I love the costuming, the manners, and the thought of a 'different time', but most of all I love the sense of family that this film imparts. Like Jo, I do wonder what it would be like to be Belle Gardner with 10 pairs of gloves and 5 marriage proposals. Not that I'm not happy with the one I ended up with, but it never hurts to dream ;) I can't keep away from any movie that involves a strong woman, and this movie has at least 5 of them! Throw in a dose of hottie Christian Bale, and dark and mysterious Gabriel Byrne, and I'm sold.