I’m going to be flat-out honest with you: never take advice about your children from bloggers. We’re a weird group of people that screen all our phone calls, but will happily answer every tweet, poke, DM and instant message. We clearly don’t have the social capacity to handle our own lives, let alone those of people who still wear diapers. (And yes, there’s probably a large group of bloggers who still wear diapers. However, I am not one of them.)

But one nugget of wisdom I feel qualified to bestow upon those fortunate enough to have little people that look like them is movie advice. Specifically good movie advice.

This weekend we celebrate Easter. It seems that everyone will have a bunch of time off, which means you’ll be stuck with these short people for longer than usual. Your first assumption will be to crack open a bottle of wine, drive to the video store, rent some movies and then enjoy the night. (You might want to change up that order.)

Either way, when you end up renting (or buying on-demand or whatever is “cool” these days), you’ll be stuck with two distinct and very different kids movies: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel or Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The two movies couldn’t be more opposite: Alvin grossed $219-million at the box office, while Mr. Fox grossed only $20-million despite being nominated for an Oscar. Fantastic Mr. Fox also features Hollywood A-listers including George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray. On the other hand, the Chipmunks are voiced by Justin Long and Jesse McCartney. (Who? Exactly.)
On paper, your kids will love Alvin and the Chipmunks 2. There isn’t much substance, but gosh-darn it those chipmunks are cute, and besides what kid doesn’t love a good high-pitched musical? But if they insist on watching Alvin, why not show them the far superior The Chipmunk Adventure from 1987? (I’m going to give you a moment to deal with the massive flashback you were just dealt.) I’ve loved it ever since Columbia House delivered it right to my door when I was a kid.

If your kids are turned off by traditional animation, then definitely try Fantastic Mr. Fox. I first saw it four months ago, yet my memories of the movie still make me smile. It’s smart, clever, beautiful and (just as importantly) appropriate for adults. By that, I mean you won’t feel stupid watching it and neither will your kids.
If Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakwal is the easy choice for your family, I guarantee that Fantastic Mr. Fox is the right one. Trust me. Plus, you’ll sleep better at night without the chipmunks voices in your head, anyway.

Mike Morrison