Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations or ratings are included.
The recent release of "The Greatest Showman" brought to life the rise of P.T. Barnum, who founded what would eventually become the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Check out "The Greatest Showman" and four other movies based on true stories for families to consider.
Based on the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, the musical begins with an orphaned and penniless boy, who through hard work and imagination, creates a worldwide sensation. Hugh Jackman portrays the showman, turning in Wolverine's adamantium claws for a black top hat, a red ringmaster's jacket and a cane. Southern Utah University graduate Keala Settle, who played Lettie Lutz, the Bearded Lady, sang the Oscar-nominated and Golden Globe winning song "This is Me." Another Utah tie belongs to Loren Allred, a former resident of Murray, who gave song to Rebecca Ferguson's voice. Josh Terry of the Deseret News gave the PG-rated film two and a half stars out of four. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Dove Seal of Approval" for ages 12 and older. Although the film garnered only a 55 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the average audience rating is 89 percent.
Phiona Mutesi was born in impoverished Uganda, but her life changes drastically when she becomes involved in a chess club. Deseret News film critic Josh Terry called the film "a triumph of the spirit" and "a powerful story about absorbing life's blows and refusing to accept the cards you are dealt." He gave the film three stars out of four. The film is rated PG for thematic elements, an accident scene and some suggestive material. The film has a 93 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Playwright James Matthew Barrie, played by Johnny Depp, meets a widow, played by Kate Winslet, with four young boys who inspire him to create Neverland and Peter Pan. The Dove Foundation called the film "a tale of magic and fantasy" and "a wonderfully clean and touching film" that is true to the English lifestyle in the early 1900s. The website awarded the film its "Dove Approved" seal for all ages. The PG-rated film won an Oscar for best original score.
When Walt Disney's daughters beg him to make a movie out of the Mary Poppins stories, Disney, played by Tom Hanks, embarks on a 20-year quest to obtain movie rights from author P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson. Common Sense Media called the film "lovely in many ways," but cautioned that some of the topics might be tough for younger children to handle. The website recommends the PG-13-rated film for viewers ages 13 and older.
The life of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne is brought to life as he struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and turns to writing — with the help of his young son and his stuffed animals. "Imagination, play and childhood innocence become Milne's saving grace," according to PluggedIn.com. The website gave the PG-rated film four stars out of five, but cautions the "bittersweet story" illuminates the characters in a sadder light.