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Bad Weather? Watch 5 Films for a Rainy Day

Bad Weather? Watch 5 Films for a Rainy Day

Bad Weather? Watch 5 Films for a Rainy Day

Summer is in full swing. Now that school’s been out for a while, I’m wondering how long it took for some of you to get the “I’m booooored” cry from the kids. When the sun is shining you can kick them outside, but what to do when it’s a rainy day?

Have no fear! The NFB once again comes to the rescue with this handy selection of films. Intended for the young, but enjoyable for the whole family, these 5 kids’ films will unlock the imagination and provide temporary respite from the bad weather outdoors. Enjoy!

Blackberry Subway Jam

Robert Munsch books and kids go together like… peanut butter and blackberry jam. If you’ve got kids, then no doubt you’ve worked your way through Mortimer, Put Me in a Book, and The Paper Bag Princess. You’ve possibly even sobbed your way through I’ll Love You Forever.

This film is based on the story of a young boy whose mother has one simple request – keep the house clean. In theory, that shouldn’t be too much trouble. However, if you’ve got a kid like mine (who we lovingly refer to as Pig Pen), you’ll know that this can present a challenge.

In this film, our young hero, Jonathan, has every intention of keeping the apartment clean, but this proves impossible when he discovers it’s being used as a subway stop. I mean, how else would you explain the utter and complete mess that’s waiting for his mother when she returns home?

But no worries! Jonathan knows just what to do. He heads down to city hall to meet the man who runs the city and discovers first-hand the joys of bureaucratic red tape. It’s a good life lesson for when you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day….

Blackberry Subway Jam, Robert Doucet, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Trout That Stole the Rainbow

When you want to get a message across, especially to young minds, there’s no better route than the fable. The fable is a classic literary device that uses animals, which have often been imbued with human-like traits, to tell a story that teaches us a moral.

In this film, we meet a trout who’s envious of all the colour found in the world, especially in the rainbow after a storm. The little trout feels he’s led a grey existence and is tired of watching all the beautiful colours from afar. Determined to possess some of that beauty, he makes a giant leap after the storm and swipes the rainbow from the sky.

But now what? While the trout gets to lay at the bottom of the river, wrapped in his technicolour robe, the rest of the world must suffer the consequences. Turns out, when you take the rainbow from the sky, you essentially run off with all the colours in the world.

This is an important lesson for kids – the difference between appreciating beauty and possessing it; the line between enjoying something and using it selfishly. This is a gentle film that manages to convey its point without being too preachy. And the resolution at the end is sure to stay with young minds for a long time.

The Trout That Stole the Rainbow, Eva Szasz, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Magic Flute

Gayle Thomas has a knack for making mesmerizing films. Have you seen Quilt? This film is no different. The animation and the colours, and the fact that it looks like the whole thing was done with crayons, are just spectacular. It’s a perfect kids’ film.

The film starts with a young boy, stuck inside on a bad weather day, when he finds a flute. A magic flute, as it turns out. Because when he plays the flute, the world around him is transformed. He shares this discovery with a friend, and together they experience the joy of discovering the world around them when the flute sings.

But things go a little awry when a jealous neighbour gets his hands on the flute. When he plays it, it’s not exactly rainbows and unicorns. Turns out, it’s not necessarily the flute that’s able to transform the world around you…

The Magic Flute, Gayle Thomas, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

The Sound Collector

In this film, two brothers are stuck inside on a rainy day. The younger one collects sounds, and the older one is just annoyed. He hates spending time with his brother and thinks he’s weird. Those of us with siblings know how difficult those relationships can be.

But Leonard is able to teach his brother a thing or two, and through the power of their imagination, a rainy day turns into a grand adventure.

This is a great kids’ film, teaching tolerance and the importance of relationships in addition to the overall story of a creative young boy. The perfect distraction on a rainy summer day.

The Sound Collector, Lynn Smith, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Big Drive

Apparently, the importance of a good imagination is a strong theme in these kids’ films.

This gem of a film is about a family road trip during a 1970’s summer. Having spent my own summers from 1977 – 1980-something doing the exact same thing, this film resonated hard with me. Just swap a couple of the sisters for brothers, and bam! That’s my family in the back of the station wagon.

The four sisters in this film sit together in the back seat as their parents drive across the prairies. They go through the typical stages of road-tripping but being amongst siblings amplifies everything four-fold. Or 16-fold. My math is terrible. They go from mere boredom to outright antagonizing until that old sister bond kicks in and they manage to salvage a potentially disastrous situation.

Big Drive , Anita Lebeau, provided by the National Film Board of Canada


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