There are storylines, Boursaw says, “… that hold up over time, because they’re things that people deal with in real life every day.” The best family films tell these stories in a way that kids and families can relate to.
Boursaw cites some common themes among family films:
•Doing what’s right, even if your peers make fun of you (How to Train Your Dragon)
•Working together to overcome an obstacle or achieve a goal (Toy Story)
•Relying on friends and family to get through life’s rough patches (Happy Feet Two)
•Pushing through, even when all hope seems lost (Arthur Christmas, Kung Fu Panda 2)
•Finding an inner strength to persevere through a tragedy (Soul Surfer)
Taking the “good” path in the good vs. evil storyline (Harry Potter, Star Wars)
“One thing I’ve noticed,” she says, “is that the simpler storylines sometimes get short shrift in the family movie industry. There doesn’t always have to be a big, monumental storyline to make a great movie.” READ MORE...
Writer/director Nick Brennan’s latest film, A Marine’s Guide to Fishing
, focuses on a Marine veteran struggling with both physical wounds and PTSD when he returns to his former life. “I was drawn to the story first and foremost by the realization that I couldn’t count a single close friend of mine that had served in Iraq or Afghanistan. It was a pretty sad realization given how long the wars had been going on.”
Brennan also thought this wasn’t unusual for many civilians today. His insight led him to use his senior thesis film (he attended NYU’s Tisch program) to explore the stories of young veterans.
“I was also interning with the investigative unit at ABC News at the time,” Brennan says, “and ended up covering a few big stories on Afghanistan, which gave me another insight into the war.” After a lot of time spent talking with vets, and with considerable research, Brennan zeroed in on the issues of PTSD and the process of reintegration into society. READ MORE...