'Let 'em go!' Westport Library family film fest starts with 'Frozen'
Wondering how to keep kids occupied during that after-Christmas period before schools reopen? The Westport Library has an answer.
A series of six family-friendly films will be screened at the library on afternoons between Sunday, Dec. 28 and Jan. 3. Each screening will be from 2 to 4 p.m. in the McManus Room. There is no admission fee.
Films include the science-fiction classic "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," action fantasies, stories of a princess and a queen, plus a Muppets favorite. Among them are a pair of 2014 releases that were issued on DVD in recent weeks.
The schedule follows:
Sunday, Dec. 28
The animated Disney musical "Frozen" was a box-office smash last year, and library officials said the audience would be encouraged to sing along with its nine original songs.
The plot involves an epic challenge. Elsa, a princess who was born with the secret power to turn things into ice and snow, accidently plunges her kingdom into an infinite winter and nearly kills her sister. But the sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.
Popular songs from the film include "Let It Go," "Fixer Upper," "In the Summer" and "For the First Time in Forever."
"Frozen" is the highest-grossing animated film of all time and won Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Song ("Let It Go").
Monday, Dec. 29
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
Released this year, the animated action adventure is a sequel to the 2010 original film about a Viking boy, Hiccup, who befriends a dragon named Toothless, and together they show men and dragons how to get along.
In the second chapter, Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave where hundreds of wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider live. The boy and his dragon pal suddenly find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.
Tuesday, Dec. 30
"E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"
It's been 32 years since Steven Spielberg sent a 10-year-old boy and an odd-looking alien flying across the night sky on a bicycle. But the film remains a feel-good classic that is at times suspenseful, hilarious and touching.
Henry, a lonely boy whose parents have separated, discovers the extra-terrestrial in his backyard one night after the alien is left stranded on earth. Henry and his siblings hide their new friend in the house -- at first from their mother and later from government officials intent on capturing him.
E.T. discovers that he loves Reese's Pieces, that beer gets him drunk and cartoons are scary. But mostly -- despite his bond with Henry -- he misses home. In her film debut, a 6-year-old Drew Barrymore melts hearts as Henry's little sister, Gertie.
Wednesday, Dec. 31
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
Based on the Marvel Comics superhero team and released this year, the space-action adventure boasts an ensemble cast that includes John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Benicio Del Toro, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel.
The colorful film involves a group of intergalactic criminals who are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe. Critics have called it "irreverent," "funny," and reminiscent of the first "Star Wars."
Walt Disney Studios released the film to theaters in July and on Blue-ray Disc Dec. 9. The film's soundtrack has been nominated for a Grammy Award, and the film has garnered People Choice Award nominations for Favorite Movie, Favorite Action Movie and Favorite Action Movie Actress (Zoe Saldana as the heroine Gamora).
Friday, Jan. 2
"Muppets Most Wanted"
The Muppets are on a world tour when a dead-ringer for Kermit -- Constantine, the most evil frog in the world -- hatches a plan to have Kermit imprisoned and then take over Kermit's identity on a crime spree across Europe.
Mistaken for Constantine, Kermit is sent to a prison in Siberia. Fey is his jail guard and persuades Kermit to direct the inmates in the prison's annual musical revue. Kermit is disheartened that his friends haven't rescued him, but hold out hope that they will.
Saturday, Jan. 3
"The Princess Bride"
Released in 1987, the classic fairytale about a beautiful princess, an evil prince and a gallant hero was directed by Rob Reiner. It stars Robin Wright, Carey Ewles, Mandy Patinkin and Chris Sarandon.
The beautiful Buttercup professes her love to Westley, a lowly farm boy, and he leaves to seek his fortune. When Westley is reportedly killed by a pirate, Buttercup becomes engaged to the evil Prince Humperdinck.
But before they are married, Buttercup is kidnapped. She is rescued by a gallant pirate -- who turns out to be Westley, who had not been killed after all. Still, the villain Humperdinck remains in the picture.
The film will be introduced by a Westport couple, Kerstin and Vijay Rao, who styled their wedding this year after the movie.