Now that winter is here (yes, we realize that technically it’s not till the 21st, thanks), the opportunities for children and teens to get their exercise outdoors are fewer. There’s skiing and snowboarding if you can afford it, but that requires a trip to the mountain, which can be quite a production. Sledding is always good, along with wintertime hikes and runs, and a spontaneous snowball fight will get the blood going, but the truth is, with shorter days, a blanket of snow, and temperatures that can chill you to the bone, sometimes the best way to spend the day is with a movie marathon.
This Saturday, the 17th, the Portland Public Library offers a place to curl up and get lost in the story, with Family Friendly Film Day. Starting at 10:15 a.m. and running till 5:30 p.m. in Rines Auditorium (in the library, 5 Monument Way), kids and families are welcome to go see one, some, or all of the following four movies:
At 10:15 a.m., Despicable Me, with the voice of Steve Carrell as the super-villain Gru, who adopts three orphans to help him steal the moon. The film was nominated for a 2011 Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, and won a Kids’ Choice ‘Blimp’ Award for Favorite Animated Movie that year. Revisit the Minions, or get to know them for the first time.
At noon, Born Free, the true story of Elsa the lioness, who was adopted and raised by game warden George Adamson and his wife Joy in northern Kenya after Elsa’s man-eating father and his mate were killed. Elsa spends years as a pet, but then has to learn the skills of a wild lioness in order to be released back into the wild, as George and Joy cannot stand the idea of her being locked up in a zoo.
At 2:00 p.m., The Jungle Book. Jon Favreau directs this combination live action/CGI film that breathes new life into the old Rudyard Kipling tale about Mowgli’s journey to adulthood. With the list of voice actors including Ben Kingsley and Bill Murray, parents will be just as entertained as youngsters by this 2016 film.
Finally, at 4:00 p.m., a blast from the past with the classic Marx Brothers movie A Night at the Opera. Watch Groucho, Chico and Harpo help two opera singers achieve success, mostly by humiliating their rivals in hilarious ways. A fine introduction to the comedy of pre-WWII America, and a chance to see the original eyebrow-bounce-and-cigar-tap maneuver in context.
So let it snow outside. Relax, sit back, and enjoy.
Portland Public Library: 207-871-1700 or https://www.portlandlibrary.com/