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Family Movie: Because of Winn-Dixie

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Has anyone else noticed that it is a huge challenge to find a movie that is appropriate for a young child and engaging for parents? I know it is harder for me than for others, because I really try to keep the media going into Brother-Bug’s sensitive brain very clean and easy to handle. So we are stuck often with the most basic of films. Papa-Bug is more of an action-adventure kind of a guy, so children’s media often leaves him bored.

At the library I snagged a copy of Because of Winn-Dixie. I haven’t read the book yet, but I am a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo’s writing. Last night we needed a family movie and we settled on this as a thing to watch.

The kids fell asleep pretty early on – but the scene where Opal finds Winn-Dixie at the grocery store elicited lots of giggles from Brother Bug. Papa and I watched it through and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The high points (without any spoilers or plot detail):

*The characters are real and matter-of-fact people. They are the people you do walk by at the grocery store, but because of story magic you get to peep into their lives. No one is a villain, no one is a hero (Opal is a little bit, but really she is mostly kid). These are all just people doing their best.

*The negative situations, references to drinking and alcoholism, loss of a parent, etc. are just there. Part of the story fabric. Nothing is blown up to Scary and nothing is swept under the rug. This is a hard balance to achieve and it is really well done here. Sometimes things in life are hard and we need our kids to know that hard happens. It’s part of the story fabric – real or fictional.

*It has Cicely Tyson in it. Enough said.

*Dave Matthews plays an excellent role. . .and he sings to bunnies.

In my little head I am giving this 4 stars overall, and 5 stars for an all-around reliable choice for anyone older than 2 or 3, and enjoyable for all ages.


You should know that no one tells me what to review or when to review it. These are merely my own thoughts, based on my own experience. Take it for what it is.


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