This season we’ll be paying a visit, several visits in fact, to The Orangery in Wakefield to host a series of family friendly film screenings during October, November and December. Over five afternoons we’ll be showcasing a selection classic childhood favourites and underrated gems that offer something for all the family, kids both big and small.
While on the surface these films may be dismissed by many as ‘just kids films’, they actually offer a lot more than big bangs, bright flashes and zany characters. Their stories have depth, the explosions have purpose and the relationships between characters are peppered with complexity. They’re also a lot of fun!
The Iron Giant (1999) dir. Brad Bird
The Iron Giant tells the story of a lonely boy named Hogarth Hughes, raised by his mother (Jennifer Aniston), who discovers a giant robot who fell from space. With the help of a beatnik artist named Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.), they have to stop the military and a no-good FBI agent from finding and destroying the Giant (Vin Diesel).
Directed by Brad Bird (Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille), the film opened to wide critical acclaim and has become a much loved animated classic, filled with humour, humanity and an engaging story for all to enjoy.
Fairytale: A True Story (1997) dir. Charles Sturridge
Set in rural Yorkshire during World War I, cousins Frances and Elsie are two young girls with vivid imaginations. After photographing a group of fairies by the local beck they are chastised by the media and soon their small town is besieged by those wishing to see the fairies for themselves. Not everyone, however, is convinced the sprites actually exist.
Featuring performances from the great Peter O’Toole as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harvey Keitel as Harry Houdini, Fairytale is loosely based on the real life story of the Cottingley Fairies in which two young girls staged photographs of themselves alongside what were long believed to be real fairies.
The Neverending Story (1984) dir. Wolfgang Petersen
Bastian Bux (Oliver Barrett) is a quiet boy who loves to read. One day, while been chased by bullies on his way to school, he hides in a bookstore and winds-up stealing one particular book – ‘The Neverending Story’.
Skipping class and hiding in the school attic, he begins to read about the tales of Atreyu the Warrior, the gigantic Rock Biter, Falcor the luck dragon and the sinister wolf Gmork in the land of Fantasia.
If you grew up during the 80′s chances are this German production was a big part of your childhood. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen (A Perfect Storm, Troy), The Neverending Story in an epic fantasy film full of personality and spectacle.
Chicken Run (2000) dir. Peter Lord and Nick Park
Chicken Run is a comedy escape drama with a touch of passion set on a sinister Yorkshire chicken farm in 1950s England. Made by Aardman Animations, the studios behind Wallace and Gromit, the plot centres on a band of chickens who see a smooth-talking Rhode Island Red named Rocky (Mel Gibson) as their only hope to escape their farm and from becoming pot pies.
Also featuring voice-work from Julia Sawalha (Absolutely Fabulous), Timothy Spall (Auf Weidersehen Pet, The King’s Speech), Phil Daniels (Eastenders, Quadrophenia) and Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake, the Harry Potter series), Chicken Run really is fun for all the family – with plenty of slapstick for the kids and many a reference to classic war movies for the grown ups too.
Home Alone (1990) dir. Chris Columbus
To welcome the run-up to Christmas with open arms, our final film in this series is a timeless comedy classic. When 8-year-old boy Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left at home, while his family flies to France for Christmas, he must defend his home against a pair of idiotic burglars.
Audiences flocked in droves to see Kevin’s anarchic antics, making a megastar of child actor Culkin, and the film has become a staple of family Christmas movie viewing ever since. So please join us in grabbing a hot cup of coco from the Orangery café and settle in wearing your best knitwear.
So whether you’re looking for something to entertain the kids this season or you fancy entertaining yourself with a warm dose of nostalgia we hope you’ll join us at The Orangery for what is shaping up to be a great programme.
Tickets for all screenings are available now from our online ticket office.