• Movie Filter - The Golden Compass - Date: 4/29/2008
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  • Parental Advisories
    Content Warnings:

    General Themes and Other Content:
    Intense Action/Adventure,
    Intense Life/Death Situations,
    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Action,
    Non-Graphic Injury/Wound,
    Intense Battle Sequences,
    Intense Thematic Elements
  • Starring
    Nicole Kidman
    Daniel Craig
    Dakota Blue Richards
    Ben Walker
    Freddie Highmore
    Ian McKellen
    Eva Green
    Jim Carter
    Tom Courtenay
    Ian McShane

  • Family Movie Night Activity: The Golden Compass

    The Golden Compass…As far as how to read it, you’ll have to learn for yourself.”

    Lyra Balacqua lives in the halls and nearby streets of the prestigious Jordan College, seeking out every adventure that the little town has to offer. Her only companions, her demon Pan and best friend Billy are inseparable until the latter is taken to far north territories. It is at this point that Lyra is given the Golden Compass, a gizmo that tells her the truth, so that she can track down Billy and save him and also discover that her destiny includes much more than just saving him.

    Movie Must-Haves:

    *Two key elements are laced throughout the film. First, each human has what is called a demon, which isn’t as it sounds, it’s compared to as a human’s soul. So here’s your chance to dig out each of your kids’ favorite stuffed animals, stash them in a big bag for just a bit after the movie starts.
    *The second key element is the name’s sake, The Golden Compass. This little gadget is mucho importante because it helps Lyra figure out clues to finding all of the kidnapped children (you need a compass to help with one of the activities). Go and purchase a compass for each child at your nearby dollar store, if you want to go all out, purchase gold-colored spray paint and paint each compass.

    Must Pause Moments:

    *You can decide when to give each child their stuffed animal “demon”, but I recommend stealthily extracting them from their rooms when the kids don’t know and then when the movie introduces you to Pan, Lyra’s demon (this happens at about the 5 minute mark) take out your big black bag of demons and present each child with their demon, helping them come up with fun names (if they don’t already have one).
    *When you feel like your kids are getting a bit restless, maybe around the 50 minute mark, pause the movie and do a mini-mystery for the kids to solve. This will take some preparation but you could have one of the older teens or mom or dad hide right before you pause and then tell the kids that with their compasses they need to follow the clues to find said-person. You could have brief directions that might include, 1. Go due north until you find yourself up against a wall (have the wall be right before the stairs). 2. Track up the mountain (or down depending on your house lay-out) until you hit a plateau. 3. Go east for 3 steps, then west for 5 steps, and stop when you come to the king’s throne (could be the bathroom just to be cheeky). 4. Turn left and follow the jelly bean droppings until you get to the red one. 5. Your missing person will be just behind the castle doors (the closet doors).
    *Towards the end Lyra gets to take a riveting ride on the back of Iorek Byrneson’s (the Ice Bear) back, take a moment to pause the film and you and/or your spouse can give each child a “bear” ride. Even if your kids are 12-13, make them do it, they’ll think you are crazy but you know and soon they’ll know how fun it is and the whole family will be laughing when good ol’ dad moans and groans when the rides are over.

    Movie Munchies:

    *There are only a couple of dinner scenes and it doesn’t show what they are eating so might I recommend what we always have on our family movie nights, pizza and pop, and a salad just for good measure!
    *Around the half-way mark, maybe right after your kids find your missing person, it’s time for dessert. While at the grocery store I came across a flavor of icecream called Bear Tracks. Here in Minnesota, Kemps makes it but I’m sure it is sold everywhere, it’s vanilla ice cream with fudge ribbons, and has chunks of chocolate covered caramel laden throughout. Delicious!

    Additional Activities:

    *Once Lyra is whisked away with the exquisite Marisa Coulter, she goes through an extensive makeover including hair, light makeup, and a pretty dress. For the girls that are watching you could take a moment before the film starts or pause the film right after the makeover occurs, and do a fun little makeover for your own girls.
    *One of the vehicles that Lyra and her trusty steed travels in is an airplane/hot-air balloon/air blimp type of thing. Right after Mr. Scoresby takes them up in the air, pause the film and give each child a piece of drawing paper, supply some drawing utensils, and ask them to draw either the contraption that Lyra flies in, or to draw something that they would like to travel in if they were in the film.

    Trisha - If I had my own demon, it’d be a Pegasus or Unicorn. What would yours be?

    Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence ; 113 min; Directed by Chris Weitz
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The Golden Compass

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