Film Reviews Reviews

Movies to keep boredom away

Written by Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi|Published April 11, 2020

Illustration by Muhammad Faizan

Coronavirus is right now a threat to the whole world, but there are many ways to defeat the infectious respiratory disease. By staying indoors and avoiding shaking hands with people, washing your hands regularly with soap and using hand sanitisers as much as possible, one can stay safe from Covid-19. However, not going out poses another challenge for everyone — boredom, that can make one go dull and moody.

Thankfully, due to streaming services such as Netflix as well as other outlets, boredom should be the last thing to worry about. We bring to you as many as ten movies (mostly from Netflix) to keep youngsters busy and parents relaxed, and hope that something good comes out after the binge-watching session.

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor

Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor (Netflix)

Since everything begins at home, let’s start the list with one of our very own animated films. Donkey King and 3 Bahadur franchise may have done more business than Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, the 3rd World Studio’s Animation became Pakistan’s first animated movie to be released on a digital platform. Not only did it win multiple awards outside Pakistan, it managed to bring kids to cinemas when it was released in 2018.

The story revolves around a boy named Allahyar, who befriends a Markhor that can speak to him and together they go on a dangerous mission that involved kidnappers, hunters and good-hearted animals of the Northern Areas. The film shed a light on the need for the preservation and the menace of illegal hunting of wildlife, as well as the importance of being kind to animals.

How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon (Netflix)

And then there were the dragons that lived with humans in harmony. But aren’t dragons always the villains, because they breathe fire and attack villages?

Not according to How To Train Your Dragon, which also emphasises on caring for animals rather than destroying them, for they might be angry for some reason that you might not know. The first movie of the franchise was the most successful one and became a cult classic, spawning two sequels and multiple animated series that are available on Netflix.

The story may be set in the times of the Vikings, but the lesson is still valid, and it is a movie that the whole family can watch together and enjoy as they find their own respective moral of the story.

Kung Fu Panda

Kung Fu Panda (Netflix)

We all know that Kung Fu Panda has emerged as one of the most popular characters in recent years. However, there is a story behind the making of an ordinary panda named Po into Kung Fu Panda, and the first instalment of the series deals with exactly that.

Featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and Michael Clarke Duncan, Kung Fu Panda remains every kid’s favourite, and that’s why it should be every parents’ title to keep their kids entertained.

The two sequels, as well as a few short films featuring Po and his gang’s adventures are also available on Netflix, making life easier for all the kids staying home these days.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled

Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled (Netflix)

Ever wondered how the Earth’s mightiest heroes would react if one of them decided to go over to the Dark Side? That’s exactly what happens in Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled where the supervillain Ultron manages to lure Iron Man towards evil, and he wreaks more havoc against his friends than he did in any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.

Do the Avengers manage to bring Iron Man back to his senses or does Ultron manage to dominate the world, watch this Lego flick to know more. One thing this flick preaches is the importance of friendship, and not leaving your friend even when he is angry or under the bad influence, as in the case of Iron Man here.

Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale

Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale (Netflix)

Once upon a time, there was Puss In Boots … that was the beginning of the old story. In the new version titled Puss In Book: Trapped In An Epic Tale,the kids in the house get to make decisions for Puss In Boots.

Here, one decision will take the Shrek character to different places in the fairy tale kingdom. He could be sent into the world of Sinbad or made to do a Goldilocks do-over; he can also fight a Giant or a tree, depending on where the kids want him to be.

This Netflix interactive animated film is just what the doctor ordered, and can keep children busy for a long time. Will you click the button to move forward or the back button to escape, the decision lies with you!

Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave And The Bold (Digital)

Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave And The Bold (Digital)

Ever wondered what will happen if Scooby-Doo, his friends and the Mystery Machine landed in Batman’s territory, namely Gotham City? In Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave And The Bold, the Caped Crusader and Mystery Inc. join hands and solve a mystery that seems to baffle them both, in an individual capacity.

With the Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman and Question on Batman’s side, and Scooby and Gang on the other, the two teams get to the bottom of a mystery that seems to connect Batman’s only unsolved case with Scooby and Shaggy’s always-empty stomach and Welma’s grey cells that are always on the lookout for a good mystery.

And yes, the villains ‘would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for the meddling kids!’

Space Jam

Space Jam (Netflix)

When the world’s best basketball player Michael Jordan teams up with Bugs Bunny and Gang, the most beloved cartoon characters in the world, the result is nothing less than Looney.

In Space Jam, Bugs Bunny challenges a bunch of tiny aliens to a Basketball game, because had he not done that, his friends would have been abducted and taken to a planet far, far away. However, the aliens manage to steal the talents of the world’s best player, leaving a recently-retired Michael Jordan open for the Looney Tunes.

With King Jordan on their side, the Looney Tunes train hard, drink ‘Michael’s Secret Stuff’ that is plain water, and give the game all they have got. There are no points for guessing who wins the game and stays on Earth, for good!

The live-action/animated sports comedy is one of the best films of all time because it’s still funny, still valid and above all, available on Netflix.

The Karate Kid (Netflix)

Ever wanted to have a mentor who could teach you how to stand up in front of bullies and deliver a decisive punch they would never forget? In The Karate Kid, Jackie Chan plays Mr Han who trains, mentors and teaches Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) the finer points of karate so that he can take his dignity back by defeating the local bullies in a karate competition.

The movie may be the remake of an earlier Karate Kid flick, but it is more relevant today than it was way back in 2010 when it was released. You get to know about the Chinese culture as well as many lessons that Mr Han imparts on his pupil, besides sharing with him the secret to his loneliness.

The Tayo Movie: Mission Ace

The Tayo Movie: Mission Ace (Netflix and Digital)

Tayo The Little Bus is one of the most popular animated series in the world at the moment; not only does it cater to kids but its moralistic stories are also helpful to parents as well.

In The Tayo Movie: Mission Ace, one of Tayo’s special friends Duri loses his favourite racing car, and while searching for it, the team ventures into a mysterious, magical land filled with discarded toys.

While Duri is on the lookout for his ‘most favourite car’ that is trapped inside a prison, the cars’ mechanic Hana finds out that the person behind the land of the discarded toys is linked to her own past. There are many lessons to be learnt from this flick, such as caring for your toys, always being there for friends and, above all, never say never!

Treasure Planet (Digital)

Disney’s Treasure Planet may not have done well at the box office when it was released way back in 2002, but since then, a lot has changed.

The actor who voiced Jim Hawkins — Joseph Gordon-Levitt — became a leading Hollywood star, whereas music composer James Newton Howard continued his ascent with back to back hits and memorable compositions. At a time when kids are locked into their homes, there is no better way to get them to know about Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island than to make them watch this cult classic. It not only involves young Jim fighting off pirates, but also make new friends, lose a mentor and his mother’s hotel, where the ‘Treasure Hunt’ began. n

Published in Dawn, Young World, April 11th, 2020

About the author

Omair Alavi