Movie Monday Roundup of 2011

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I have a special Movie Monday this week…today I am featuring some of my favorite movies our family viewed in 2011.  Need a movie suggestion for your next family night? Check out some of the following in no particular order (reviews will open in a new window for convenience).

I have a complete movie listing of mom-approved movies at (with an archive of movies that have been reviewed following the listing) so be sure to check out the list which includes numerous movies not listed here.

End of the Spear


Dolphin Tale

Soul Surfer

The Christmas Card

What If

Beautiful Dreamer

Saving Sarah Cain

Doc Season 1

Drive Thru History Greece is the Word

The Perfect Game

Though None Go With Me

No Greater Love

Pit Pony

The Christmas Card

Friendship’s Field

The Perfect Gift

Velveteen Rabbit


Incredible Creatures (Documentary)


Seven Alone

The American Heritage Series (documentary) American heritage series

Buzby the Misbehaving Bee

While they can be difficult to find, there are some wonderful movies for families, so pop the popcorn and take in a movie!

And be sure to join me next Monday for another movie review and on Thursday when I’ll be hosting one of my favorite authors with a giveaway!

Movie Monday – The Prince and the Pooch – 12/12/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

This week’s family movie suggestion is The Prince and the Pooch

Wishbone, the dog, again debuts in this 30-minute movie based on the book The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Children, especially, will enjoy this short production highlighting the importance of contentment.

Wishbone stars as both the prince and the pooch. Neither are happy with their lives, so when there is a chance to switch places, “both” dogs eagerly jump at the chance. However, the dogs realize that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The story also involves Joe, one of the teenaged residents in Oakdale, who is thrown into the role of coach for a little girls’ t-ball team. The job isn’t as easy as it looks and Joe’s coaching position is met with some laughs, as the girls attempt to successfully learn the game.

This is yet another short Wishbone movie, which like the others we have watched, always includes a great lesson and is short enough to watch after the homework is finished and before dinner is served. A great show for all ages!

Movie Monday – Wishbone – 10-24-11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I had never heard of the Wishbone series until I stumbled across Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West in my church library. The image of the little dog with his cowboy hat and Western-style clothing riding horseback was all it took for me to grab this video off the shelf and sign the check-out card.

Wishbone's Dog Days of the West [VHS]

Wishbone is a spirited dog who, above all else, has determined that leashes should be outlawed. The movie opens with a heroic act on Wishbone’s part, then alternates between present day and the Wild West.  Wishbone is the main character in both time periods, and in both scenarios, he finds himself helping to set wrongs right.

This movie is full of humor, including Wishbone as a banker and the wealthiest man (make that the wealthiest dog!) in his small Texas Town. The movie contains some great discussion points. For instance, is it ever all right for the truth to be twisted to sell a story? Is it ever all right to steal if it means keeping your best friend out of jail?

A little goofy in places, this movie is perfect for children, and adults will enjoy watching it with their children as well. There is nothing objectionable, although there is a gunfight toward the end (but no violence), which might frighten the youngest of viewers.

So if you’re looking for a fun movie for your next family night, this is one I would definitely recommend!

Movie Review Monday – Dolphin Tale

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

IMG_0007 (2)This week’s Movie Monday Movie Review is Dolphin Tale.  When I saw the previews for this movie a while ago, I knew it would be a movie our family would just have to see. Add in the factor that my kids love 3D, and there was no chance we were going to miss it when it arrived at our theater last week.

Dolphin Tale is a movie that will warm your heart (and have your child asking if they please have a pet dolphin at home! 🙂 ) It is based on a true story and begins with an injured dolphin (nothing graphic is shown) who is rescued by a marine hospital. The discovery of the dolphin, named Winter, couldn’t come at a better time for Sawyer, a young boy who has just said goodbye to his beloved older cousin Kyle. Kyle has been called into active duty, leaving Sawyer feeling alone and discouraged. However, it isn’t long before Sawyer and Winter form a special bond.

Without many friends and missing Kyle (who also is somewhat like a fatherly role model to the fatherless Sawyer), the sweet and outgoing Hazel, is a welcome friend. She and her father, Gary, who is a marine hospital doctor, join Sawyer and several others in the effort to save Winter.

I loved the wonderful show of family unity in this movie. Sawyer, his mom, aunt, and Kyle are all very close. Hazel and her dad and grandpa are also close. When Kyle returns home from active duty with a severe injury, his family rallies around him. Friendship plays a huge role in this film and a doctor from the VA not only befriends those trying to save Winter, but also joins in the fight. Another thing I enjoyed about this movie was the positive light shed on homeschooling.

Winter becomes an inspiration to all, but especially those with physical disabilities. A little girl in a wheelchair travels with her mother eight hours to see Winter, thus opening an excellent opportunity for discussion of how we are to show compassion to others. Kyle, struggling with his depression from the life-changing injury he received, is inspired by Winter as well. Another great discussion topic of how we should always be mindful and grateful of what our soldiers endure just to ensure our freedoms.

I would highly recommend this movie for the entire family. It is a movie that will stay with you long after the closing credits!

Movie Monday – The Perfect Gift – 8/22/11

Penny Zeller, Christian Author


My choice for a great family movie for this week is The Perfect Gift

Product Details

The Perfect Gift is a great family film that serves as a timely reminder of the real meaning of Christmas. One of the main characters, a tween named Max discovers that Christmas is more than just the day she celebrates her birthday (she was born on Christmas) and that the meaning of Christmas is more than just seeing how many gifts you can receive and whether or not you’ll receive the fancy birthday cake you want.

The actors were great and work well together (if you’ve seen the phenomenal movie “Clancy,” you’ll recognize some of the key cast members). There was no objectional material and I would highly recommend this movie as a traditional Christmas film for the entire family.  A definite must-see!