Welcome to the Read That Again! guide to children's film, cartoons and videos for younger viewers. Looking for good movies that won't warp their little brains too badly? Here are a few of our faves...

This page covers the letter "H."

By the way, we're always looking for new stuff to watch... If you have recommendations, please feel free to write and tell us about your favorites.

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"Hotel For Dogs"
(Paramount, 2009)

A good live-action film with an animal-friendly, kid-friendly vibe. Aimed at 'tweens, this low-impact romp is also okay for younger kids, although the having the heros be orphans might be a little troubling for some. The story is about an orphaned brother and sister who are likable in a Miley Cyrus/Spy Kids kind of way -- mildly hip but basically wholesome -- who have been having trouble getting placed in the foster care system. Cheerfully rebellious, sad at having lost their parents, they act out and have burned through several foster homes -- their current wards are a pair of self-obsessed, though wildly untalented would-be heavy metal/punk rock stars (played broadly by Lisa Kudrow and Kevin Dillon) who are snappish and scoldy, but not quite Dursley-level cruel. Wandering around New York City, the kids discover a vast, abandoned hotel whose only occupants are a couple of stray dogs, who they start to take care of. A couple of other kids figure out what the sibs are up to and join their Scooby gang, gathering dozens of homeless dogs and building all kinds of Rube Goldberg gadgets to take care of them. Eventually the foster parents realize something's up to, and the kids' social worker (played by Don Cheadle) agonizes about what will become of these two nice kids. You can see where it's all going from miles away, but it's alright, the movie is still fun and fluffy, a good option for parents hoping to move on from all-animated all the time. Not much to object about: no major violence or sex or bad language, just goofy "punk" makeovers for Dillon and Kudrow, but all in good fun. (B+)

"How To Train Your Dragon"
(Dreamworks, 2010)


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