Tag Archives: family

Top 5+ Fantastic Lesser-Known Family-Friendly Movies to Stream During Spring and Summer 2020

Top 5+ Fantastic Lesser-Known Family-Friendly Movies to Stream During Spring and Summer 2020

When the temperatures begin to rise, some of us look forward to enjoying the great outdoors. However, staying at home is a great way to spend some quality time at home. While many new movies hit the big screen in summer, there are many great, lesser-known movies. Check out some of these lesser-known movies that are a real eye-opener.

1. Angus

With a stellar cast including Kathy Bates and George C. Scott, the title character of Angus (played by Charlie Talbert) follows the antics of a shy, obese teenager. He attempts to win the heart of his childhood crush Melissa (Ariana Richards), a popular cheerleader who is dating Rick (James Van der Beek) the quarterback of their High School football team. For fans of classic underdog tales, don’t miss this touching movie.

RATED PG-13 for mild language and sexual innuendo but worthy of some important lessons on bullying and teasing for teenagers

2. Big Hero 6

Even though it took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year in 2015, many have overlooked Big Hero 6. The anime-style cartoon follows a special bond that develops between an inflatable, health-minded robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) and tech-prodigy Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter). This unlikely duo teams up with a group of nerdy friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

RATED PG for some mild violence mostly during chases scenes and run-ins with villains

3. The Iron Giant

While it flopped at the box office, The Iron Giant continues to support a growing fan base. It quickly became a must-see family favorite with critics and viewers alike. Here’s another tale about the unlikely friendship between a boy and his robot. However, in this case, the mechanical, metal man is an enormous alien. This is one of those tales that’s best left to be unraveled first-hand by viewers unless they’ve already read the book by the same name written by Ted Hughes back in 1968.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense

4. Simon Birch

There’s a big message coming from the small character of Simon Birch (Ian Michael Smith) though his heartwarming friendship with his best pal Joe (Joseph Mazzello). Born with a medical condition making Simon extra-small and fragile, Joe equips his bicycle with a special add-on accessory giving his little best friend greater mobility. Despite his much smaller stature, Simon is convinced he was put on earth for a greater purpose. Thus, their friendship is put to the ultimate test when the pair must deal with an unexpected tragedy.

RATED PG for some mild language and another flick with important lessons and an excellent message

5. Zathura: A Space Adventure

Practically everyone has seen Jumanji starring Robin Williams (or the newer version with Dwayne Johnson) playing a board game gone wrong bringing the terrors of a twisted fictionalized jungle to real-life scenarios. Zathura follows a similar plotline except in outer space. In the author’s book, the space movie plot thrusts a brother and sister (Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart) into perilous parts of the galaxy. They are trapped inside their house while playing Zathura: A Space Adventure. Again, similar to the Jumanji experience, the siblings must work together to finish playing the game before getting destroyed by one unexpected adventure after another.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense

HOLIDAY BONUS: Rise of the Guardians

Although this lesser-known animated movie is set during Christmastime, the Rise of the Guardians showcases almost every major holiday with an associative protector known as guardians of their red-letter dates and traditions. Among the more notable voices, you’ll find characters include Chris Pine portraying Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin as North, Hugh Jackman appears as the Bunny from Down Under, along with Australian actress Isla Fisher playing the flighty Tooth Fairy, and Jude Law as the villainous Pitch.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense. This movie includes a newer, more unique viewpoint, and twists about the holidays and other popular traditions

10 Movies to Watch in 2020

10 Movies to Watch in 2020

Beat the heat this spring and watch movies inside with your friends and family. There are so many amazing movies coming out this year. We have put together a list of our favorite ones.

1. Trolls World Tour

Branch and Queen Poppy discover that other troll worlds exist. There are many clashes between the different tribes. A mysterious threat puts everyone in danger. Poppy and Branch must go on a mission to unite all of the tribes and save everyone from impending threat. Will they succeed?

2. SCOOB!

So many kids love Scooby-Doo. If you have been watching these guys for a while and are ready for a new story, you are in luck. Scooby-doo and his buddies are back. They are embarking on a totally new adventure. The whole family will love this movie.

3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

If you are a SpongeBob fan, this one is for you. This is the third movie in the series. SpongeBob meets the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang during summer camp!

4. Artemis Fowl

If you have ever read the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer, you will know how amazing his stories are. In this particular movie, an Irish criminal kidnaps the LEPrecon officer Holly Short. He needs to fund the rescue of his father somehow and has convinced himself that the ends justify the means. A transaction is made and then they go on a hunt to take down the evil pixie Opal Koboi. They also have to save Artemis Fowl Senior from the Arctic, as soon as possible.

5. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Gru is an evil mastermind, but how did he become so evil? If you are wondering why Gru became such a monster, this movie is for you. Everyone has a story. This is the story of Gru.

6. Soul

This is an inspiring animated film about where your dreams, your passions, your identity, and your goals originate. It takes place partly in New York City and partly in several cosmic realms. It is directed by Pete Doctor, who has won two Oscars to date.

7. Free Guy

bank teller goes to work and fulfills his duties, day in and day out. At first, he seems like he is just an average guy living a run-of-the-mill life. This is not the case however. Life is fairly mundane until he discovers that he is actually part of a video game. When chaos ensues, the world rests on his shoulders. He must save the world from impending doom.

8. Jungle Cruise

This movie is actually based off of one of Disneyland’s famous theme park rides. A group of folks is on a small riverboat floating down a river through a jungle filled with dangerous wildlife. This story documents an incredible, and often very dangerous, adventure.

9. Morbius: The Living Vampire

This is the third chapter in Sony’s Marvel Universe. It is based on Spider-Man characters who coexist with Sable, Black Cat, and Silver Sable. If you are a marvel fan, this movie is definitely for you. You will not want to miss it. It is a great movie to watch with your family.

10. West Side Story

If you have a soft spot for musicals, then this movie is definitely for you. It is a remake of the 1961 film which was about two members from rivaling gangs living in New York City. These two rivals fall in love.

Find More Movies to Watch in 2020

We hope you enjoy these phenomenal films. They are all family-friendly. Whether you are looking for adventure, magic, villains, or romance, we have got you covered.

Giving Thanks Series: The Many Benefits of Practicing an Attitude of Gratitude

giving thanks at thanksgiving and sharing gratitude

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we gather together with our friends and family for a feast. There’s a popular tradition where everyone seated at the table takes turns expressing their gratitude about someone or something in our lives.  Whether it’s something as simple as having plenty of good food to eat, a roof over our heads or assistance that allows us to maintain our independence with a disability, there are actually many benefits to living with an attitude of gratitude throughout our daily lives.

According to experts, recognizing our thankfulness and expressing this gratitude offers many health benefits to those who vocalize their thanks. “It literally breathes new life into us,” stated Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California Davis and the founder of a research lab that studies the effects of grateful living. “It recharges and it rejuvenates,” continued Dr. Emmons.

Benefits of Appreciation in Relationships

Openly showing our gratitude was linked to lowering blood pressure, improving immune functions and decreases stress. Dr. Emmon further suggests our gratitude should go deeper into our family’s roots when he shared, “I think that a reflection of how our lives have been made so much more comfortable by the sacrifices of those who have come before us down through the generations should be the focus of how Thanksgiving should be observed.”

In our current relationships, Sara Algoe, associate professor of social psychology at the University of North Carolina adds, “When couples express gratitude for frequently and descriptively to each other, they are happier in their relationship.” Professor Algoe also delves deeper when she suggests, “It’s putting the ‘you’ in ‘thank you’ that really matters, it’s the little pat where you’re really calling out the person for the thing they did.”

Post Holidays and More

During November, we also show our gratefulness to our servicemen and women on Veteran’s Day. However, we shouldn’t be expressing our thanks during just this short period of time. Dr. Emmons’ study found those who took time weekly to reflect on what they’re thankful for had less physical illnesses and spent more time focusing on their health.

Being grateful doesn’t necessarily mean sharing our thanks verbally, it may also take on a written form that we can reflect on later in life. Author, philanthropist and television personality Oprah Winfrey recommends keeping a gratitude journal and writing in it daily. At one time in her life, the celebrity wondered why she “No longer felt the joy of simple moments.”

Writing and Delighting

At a time in her life when she had accumulated more of almost everything, wealth, possessions, opportunities, it seemed everything had grown exponentially except for her happiness. After returning viewing and writing in her thankful journal daily after a lengthy departure from this practice, she shared the positive aspects she had found. “I just made gratitude a daily priority,” Oprah shared, “I went through the day looking for things to be grateful for, and something always showed up.”

When following Winfrey’s line of thinking, whenever you recognize a grateful moment in your life be sure to jot it down whether it’s on paper or electronically. “You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.”

Daily Recognition

If writing things down either daily or weekly simply isn’t in your wheelhouse, there are still ways to be grateful, recognize and offer thanks on a regular basis. Perhaps you could make a general list of all the things you’re grateful for and reviewing it often. If you’re struggling to find things to be thankful for, consider:

  • Joining a social media group grounded in gratefulness
  • Buying a book of daily or weekly positive, thankful affirmations
  • Signing up on a video channel that delivers these messages daily

Getting Inspiration From RAK

The act of performing RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) has been exploding with popularity on social media sites and other broadcasting channels. There’s even a non-profit with a website (randomactsofkindness.org), encouraging everyone to spread the cheer with unsolicited ways people show compassion in simple unexpected acts.

Performing random acts of gratuity or thankfulness (RAG or RAT) is wonderful. There are many suggestions on ways to keep RAK alive. Further, there’s one way that I have instituted RAG and RAT practices into my life. For example, when I’m at the grocery store, post office, or other outlet and I see someone who is:

  • A first responder in uniform including police officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, etc.
  • A doctor, physician with a smock or person wearing scrubs
  • Dressed in a military uniform or wearing a full set of fatigues and boots
  • Wearing a cap or T-shirt with an insignia indicating they served in a specific branch of the military, etc.

I simply walk up to them and say, “Excuse me, I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for everything you do and want you to know it’s greatly appreciated”. Most often I shake their hand. Then, they respond by saying something like, “I’m just doing my job”. However, it always makes me feel better knowing that I’ve acknowledged them for their service.

Conclusion

In conclusion, think about the many different ways you can live your life with an attitude of gratitude. You’ll be happier and healthier in the long run. Finally, from everyone at AMS Vans, here’s wishing you, your family, and friends a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude. Happy holiday season along with a prosperous New Year. Thank YOU for reading this post!