Coming up with interesting activities to keep the kids amused during the school holidays is always a challenge, especially as the time to return to school draws near and you’ve exhausted all your ideas. Fear not, SBS On Demand has a selection of family friendly films that’ll keep the kids happy and you free to get on top of all their back-to-school needs. Or you could just flop on the couch alongside them. No judgment.
‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’
This crowd-pleaser from Kiwi director Taika Waititi pairs Sam Neill’s cranky old man, Hec, with hip-hop-loving foster kid Ricky (Julian Dennison) in a comedy-adventure that ranges from touching to silly to darkly hilarious. As the pair go on the run in the New Zealand bush, it prompts a massive manhunt – and much personal growth for the unlikely duo.
The film airs Friday 26 January at 8:30pm on SBS, streaming at SBS On Demand straight after.
‘Moomins on the Riviera’
When Moomin (voiced by Russell Tovey) and his family and friends head to the Riviera for a holiday, they quickly realise just how different life is among the wealthy and well-to-do. While a couple of the travellers fit right in, others find the extravagance overwhelming. Based on the long-running Swedish comic strip, this charming animated film will introduce the hippopotamus-like creatures to a whole new audience.
Older kids (and their tech-savvy parents) will enjoy this Japanese animated film from 2009 about a cyber-attack that threatens to destroy the world and the attempts to defeat it by a pair of high school students, Kenji and Natsuki. There’s also a love story in the mix, as Natsuki invites pal Kenji along to her great-grandmother’s birthday party – and then announces him as her fiancé. Awks.
‘The Boy and the Beast’
Like Summer Wars, 2015’s The Boy and the Beast comes from director Mamoru Hosoda, and tells the story of a human boy, Kyuta, who finds himself in an alternate world inhabited by beasts. There, he’s taken on by warrior Kumatetsu as an apprentice, with the relationship between the two helping each of them become the best version of themselves.
An animated adventure for the climate change era, Adventure Planet follows boy scout Sam – who also happens to be the son of the president of “the Capital States” – as he becomes lost in the Thailand jungle. Along with a couple of local villagers, he attempts to correct the harm done by global warming in this film which balances educational content with entertainment.
‘Miniscule the Movie’
In case you needed more proof that sugar is bad for you, this French-Belgian animated film depicts the all-out war that erupts between a tribe of black ants, who find a box of sweet delights left behind by picnicking humans, and the tribe of angry red ants that want in on the sugary action. Hey, wars have fought over less…
‘Long Way North’
When her inspirational explorer grandfather goes missing on his most recent expedition, 15-year-old Russian aristocrat Sasha breaks away from her family’s controlling influence to go in search of him. Set in the late 19th century, Long Way North is an adventure that’s as epic as they come, with Sasha traversing harsh terrain and facing all manner of perils to prove her grandfather is still alive.