No Boys Allowed: Other Recommended Titles

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in No Boys Allowed | 0 comments

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Akeelah and the Bee (2006): If it wasn’t for the predictable and utopian ending, this against-all-odds movie about an underprivileged black girl on her way to Scripps National Spelling Bee would be great.

Bright Eyes (1934): Cutie pie Shirley Temple stars in this feel good tragicomedy where class struggles and custody battles take center stage – along with a hilarious wheelchair-bound old coot and the song I’m the Good Ship Lollipop. It is odd, however, that all her friends are middle-aged male aviators …

Cinderella (1950): Disney’s adaptation of the 17th Century story has cutesy animals (birds, mice, dog, cat), and a few fun songs, but rather aged gender roles. And I’ve always wondered, shouldn’t the glass slippers disappear, too?

Heidi (1937): Another Shirley Temple movie, this is the most beloved adaptation of the classic Swiss story and kids will especially get a kick out of the magical wooden shoes sequence.

Hocus Pocus (1993): Though more Hocusfunny than scary, this Halloween treat features Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as centuries-old witches in search of children to restore their youth.

Little Women (1933 and 1994): Both George Cukor’s version starring Katherine Hepburn and Joan Bennett and the updated one with Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, and Claire Danes are wonderful versions of Louisa May Alcott’s classic and progressive story.

Moana (2016): Disney has tried, and mostly failed (see Pocahontas), to make a culturally progressive movie for decades. Building off momentum from Mulan and The Princess and the Frog, here they mostly get it right. Sure, there’s the obligatory animal sidekick (chicken and pig), anthropomorphism (the ocean), and unexplained magic (grandmother and tattoos). But there’s also a strong female lead and a mostly non-white cast to match the entirely non-white characters (including Jemaine Clement as a Bowie-like crustacean and The Rock as a demigod). It’s not perfect, but it’s progress.

Pippi Longstocking (1969): The feature version of the Swedish/German television series, this film follows the titular Pippi, a horizontal-pigtailed redhead with super-strength, a monkey, and a horse. Hilariously nonsensical plot developments, bad acting, and fighting with pirates – gotta love it.

Princess Diaries (2001): If you like She’s All That and making fun of high society, this movie about an average teen-turned princess (Anne Hathaway) will suffice.

Romeo + Juliet (1996): While high school English teachers screen the standard 1968 version, Baz Luhrmann’s stylized update of the popular tragedy placed Leonardo DiCaprio on bedroom walls and made Shakespeare trendy again among teenage girls.

Secret Garden (1993): This adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel is a delightful, gloomy, beautiful, and dramatic one for young girls to enjoy. “The spores!”

Sleeping Beauty (1959): Sure it’s a now-dated and standard princess tale, but it also boasts the best witch (Maleficent) in Disney’s canon – think Cruela meets Ursula.

Tuck Everlasting (2002): William Hurt and Sissy Spacek star (along with Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel) in this tear-jerking Disney film about a woodland family that discovered the fountain of youth.

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