We’re halfway through the school holidays and you’re probably running out of things to do with the kids. Never fear – Tara Ward to the rescue, with the ideal time-filling shows on Lightbox.
Welcome to the school holidays, the magical period when whānau bask in the glow of two weeks of quality time with their offspring. Bless the children, for they are always bored and always hungry, and there is no limit to their ear-bleedingly loud energy. And now, it’s week two. We’ve done all the things, been all the places, seen all the stuff. We’re getting desperate, DESPERATE I TELL YOU.
To get us through the last of the school holidays, we’ve gathered together Lightbox’s best movies and television shows that all the family can enjoy. Turn on the television and rejoice, because whether your kid is a rabbit, superhero or gansta granny, there’s something here to chase those holiday blues away.
Peter Rabbit is the ‘rabbits go rogue’ film you’ve always dreamed of. Peter and his sisters Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail aren’t your standard Beatrix Potter bunnies: they twerk, they party, they delight in electrocuting humans. As far as rabbits go, they’re flipping awesome.
Hold onto your sides as the animals unite to take back the night, take back the garden, take back everything they hold dear – which is mostly unrestricted access to fresh vegetables. Who doesn’t want their kids to witness that? Peter Rabbit is a genuinely hilarious, feel-good family classic that also features Sam Neill as a grumpy bastard with a rake. Winner, winner, coleslaw dinner.
It’s a cry heard far across the valleys these holidays: there just aren’t enough prehistoric caveman comedies on television. So, let’s give a big Stone Age welcome to Early Man, the latest film from the creator of Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run.
Set in the dawn of time when woolly mammoths roamed the Earth, Early Man follows cave man Dug as he tries to protect his valley from Bronze Age invaders by challenging them to a high-stakes football match. Voiced by an all-star cast that includes Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, Early Man is an epic adventure filled with quirky characters and classic humour that will entertain both children and adults alike.
Get your spook on and visit Hotel Transylvania 2, the animated hotel where you can check out but you can never leave. Count Dracula’s gang of monsters reunite for more hotel hijinks as they put Drac’s new half-human, half-vampire grandson through a rigorous ‘monster in training’ boot camp.
Kids will love the creepy creatures and slapstick fun of Hotel Transylvania 2, while adults will wonder if this is Adam Sandler’s and Kevin James’ best work yet. The film features screaming slices of wedding cake, so I think the answer is an emphatic ‘yes’.
Movies on Lightbox works on a pay-per-view basis.
New releases are from $6.99, while older library titles are $4.99 and 5.99. Once you pay for a movie, you have 31 days (that’s a month, or a month and one day, or a month and three days if you’re reading this in February) to watch it, and once you start watching it, you have 48 hours to finish watching it.
You don’t actually need to have a Lightbox TV plan to watch movies, as they work on a pay-per-view basis. You can just go into the browser, enter your lovely credit card details and watch movies like you would with any of the other things you buy on the internet.
Steve Backshall is on a mission to get up close and personal with the world’s deadliest animals. “Only the most lethal will make my list,” Steve promises, and when someone has a boa constrictor wrapped around their neck, you tend to believe them.
Lightbox has three seasons of this extreme documentary series, which sees Steve hunt for anaconda in Peru, meet sharks in South Africa and swim with humpback whales in Hawaii. It’s an exciting adventure into nature’s most wild and wonderful, and should appeal to kids who spend their holidays leaping off the garage roof and/or eating unidentified food off the floor.
David Walliams is an actor, comedian, and presser of the Britain’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer. He’s also a best-selling children’s writer, and the BBC turned four of his most popular stories – Mr Stink, Gangsta Granny, Boy in a Dress and Billionaire Boy – into family television dramas.
According to my 8-year-old, The World of David Walliams makes kids feel good about themselves, just as they are. Each of these funny and warm-hearted shows feature a central character who’s a little different — Dennis wants to wear a dress, Ben is a part-time jewel thief, Chloe hides a homeless man in her garden shed. They also feature a galaxy of British comedy stars, including Jennifer Saunders, Sheridan Smith, Catherine Tate, Rob Brydon, Meera Syal, Miranda Hart and Joanna Lumley.
Relive the glory days of ‘90s television with this Emmy Award-winning animated masterpiece. Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom are three young superheroes who dedicate their lives to fighting crime and saving their town from the forces of evil. These girls get shit done, like overpowering broccoli aliens and helping a giant blob monster find his cat.
It’s a clever, frenetically paced cartoon that celebrates girl power. You won’t go wrong with the kickarse action sequences, devastatingly dry humour and baddies with names like Mojo Jojo and Fuzzy Lumkin. Let The Powerpuff Girls save the day, nay the world, one school holiday at a time.
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