Just in time for the holidays, we have a number of uplifting movies that will raise your spirits and restore your faith in mankind. These uplifting films are perfect to watch with your family as holiday movies. Here are three of our most inspirational and faith-based films:
Bradley Whitford stars as Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie) in this adaptation of the bestselling author’s memoir about his time spent penning his rabbi’s eulogy. Acclaimed actor Laurence Fishburne proves his versatility in his role of a reformed criminal-turned-preacher who gets a second chance in life. Although the film spans many months, there’s a distinct faith-based theme, making it perfect for the holidays.
2. Joyeux Noel
It’s Christmas Eve 1914, and the first World War rages across Europe. Allied and German troops sit huddled in winter weather separated from each other by only a couple dozen yards of bombed out moonscape. Both sides are cold, miserable and longing to be at home with their loved ones. The spirit of the holiday captivates troops on either side of the divide and soon there is an impromptu truce; German, French and British soldiers soon start bonding through celebration and song. This true story was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Contains strong violence and a brief sexual scene. This previously untold story depicts that even in the bleakest days of warfare the warmth of human kindness never goes out.
Heinrich Harrer, Austrian mountaineer and reluctant Nazi, leaves his wife and infant son to venture to the Himalayas in 1939, just as WWII breaks out. Once on the subcontinent, he falls into the hands of the Allies. When he and his fellow Austrian mountaineer Peter Aufschnaiter escape the POW camp, they head for Tibet. He and his mate soon discover themselves to be the sole Westerners in Lhasa. He soon develops a friendship with the Western-culture obsessed teenage Dalai Lama, a friendship that changes both of their lives. Contains some adult language and strong violence. A lush, stirring adaptation of the memoir of the actual adventurer who had his entire outlook on life changed by his profoundly spiritual experience.
At Feeln, we offer many kids shows that educate as well as entertain. We have documentaries that teach kids about wildlife, environments, and outer space and foster a sense of wonder and discovery. We have kids shows online that encourage kids to think critically and solve mysteries. Here are five shows available on Feeln that are education focused:
Filmed over 5 years in 200 spots around the globe, this series captures the remarkable varieties of life cohabitating in our oceans. The show teaches kids about the underwater world and will fill them with wonder.
Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm and all the busy friends from Busytown use their detective skills to solve many fun mysteries in their neighborhood. This show inspires kids to put on their thinking caps to solve problems in Busytown.
3. 24/7 Wild
Lion, tigers, and bears! This BBC series follows different animals in every episode. This show gives kids an up-close look at the lives of different animals around the planet.
Three kids from different countries learn about friendship and cultural differences as they write about their adventures during the Revolutionary War for Ben Franklin’s newspaper, The Philadelphia Gazette. All the key moments of the revolution are experienced by James, an American newspaper apprentice who writes stories for the paper; Sarah, the British daughter of an explorer who writes to her mother everyday; and Henri, their young French friend who has a charming way of finding trouble. Brush up on your early American history while introducing your kids to one of our nation’s most important periods in this highly acclaimed series.
Take a trip around the sun to discover how the tilt and movement of the Earth creates seasons, tides, and weather disasters. This show gives kids a sense of outer space and explains how the Earth’s movement affects everyday life.
For a 90-year-old, Annie doesn’t look a day over 11.
Inspired by a poem, the character of “Little Orphan Annie” made her debut in a comic strip in 1924, and in the decades since, the unstoppable redhead has been a smash hit on the radio, the Broadway stage, television, and of course, the big screen.
With a new generation gets excited about a fresh reinvention coming to movie theaters this month, take a look back at the most memorable “Annie” incarnations of yesterday (because tomorrow is always a day away).
In 1885, James Whitcomb Riley published a poem originally entitled “The Elf Child,” based on a girl in his neighborhood who lost her father in the Civil War. He later changed the title to “Little Orphant Allie” after the girl’s nickname, but a printing error caused it to be published as “Little Orphant Annie” (the extra “t” was intentional, though). Cartoonist Harold Gray borrowed the name when he created his comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” for the New York Daily News in 1924. (The poem also inspired the name of another famous redhead: the Raggedy Ann doll).
In the comic, Annie is a resourceful and optimistic 11-year-old who gets taken out of a ramshackle orphanage to live with the kindly and prosperous “Daddy” Warbucks. Originally, Warbucks had a resentful wife who would send Annie back to the orphanage at any opportunity. The strip became a nationally syndicated sensation, and it continued to be published in various forms for 86 years before finally ending in 2010.
The character quickly jumped off the page to other media. In 1930, “Little Orphan Annie” became a hugely popular radio show. As depicted in the movie “A Christmas Story,” young fans would exchange packages of Ovaltine, the show’s sponsor, for items like a secret decoder ring (which would tell you to buy more Ovaltine). There were also two movie versions of the story in the ‘30s, but neither were particularly successful with audiences.
What did prove to be popular, though, was the 1977 Broadway musical simply entitled “Annie.” The play took many liberties with the original source material, eliminating Warbucks’ wife and making President Franklin D. Roosevelt (whom Harold Gray vocally opposed) a heroic character. 13-year-old Andrea McArdle became the youngest ever nominee for the Best Actress Tony award for playing the title character, and she was later replaced by a very young Sarah Jessica Parker. The show ran for nearly six years, spawning national tours, foreign productions, and a multiple Broadway revivals.
Naturally, a show that successful is bound to be adapted for the movies. Hollywood legend John Huston directed the big-budget production which starred Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Tim Curry, and Ann Reinking. Aileen Quinn beat out around 8,000 other girls (including a young Drew Barrymore) to win the part of the title role. The movie made some significant changes to the Broadway musical: dropping some songs, adding new ones, and including a more action-packed climax atop a drawbridge.
The movie was a sizable hit, earning two Oscar nominations and becoming the 10th highest-grossing movie of 1982. But the film cost so much to make it wasn’t especially profitable. It had a second life, however, on television and home video, becoming an integral part of childhood for an entire generation. There were two attempts at a sequel to the stage musical, but neither production ever made it to Broadway. A completely different sequel, “Annie: A Royal Adventure,” was made for TV in 1995, and another adaptation of the original musical aired four years later.
Now, the most radical reinvention of the character yet is coming to movie theaters. Produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z (who famously sampled the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life”), the new “Annie” transports the story from the Great Depression to the modern day. 11-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis — the youngest person ever nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for 2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild” — takes on the title role, alongside costars Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Rose Byrne. The updated version also drops several songs and characters from the original show, with several new numbers by Australian singer/songwriter Sia.
The classic 1982 movie “Annie” is available right now on Feeln, and you can try the service for free for one week. Gather your family together and watch it tonight. Bet your bottom dollar everyone in your home will love it.
This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “Diner Formal,” available exclusively at feeln.com. Rachel had the dress, the shoes, the makeup, and everything she needed to make the scene at her school’s Winter Ball. Then her date didn’t show. Her mother rushes to meet her, and they head inside a little diner to talk. But with a little holiday spirit from a friendly stranger, Rachel still has a night to remember.
“‘Diner Formal‘ really resonated with me because my older daughter’s boyfriend stood her up,” said Director Ken Carlson (“Dating Avi,” “Big Gus“) “They had been going out for 15 months, and she was devastated. I thought writer John Dion told such a sweet, simple story. I felt my experience could bring life to it.”
The film was shot at Rae’s Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. “All of the Christmas decorations in the diner came from my garage,” Ken said. “My family and I go all out decorating for the holidays. We love creating a winter wonderland that others can enjoy.” This was also the first time Ken’s younger daughter visited one of his film sets. “She got to meet the cast and crew and asked lots of questions,” Ken said. “She thought it was the greatest.”
“I want viewers to come away from this film thinking, ‘Maybe I could be that server. Maybe I could bring unexpected joy to someone’s life,'” Ken said. “There’s a lot of negativity out there, but there are also hints of hope–you just have to look for them. These are everyday moments we don’t think about, but when we film them and breathe life into them and share them, they make this world a better place.”
Get up and dance with “Diner Formal,” free for two weeks on Feeln.
Cast and Crew
DIRECTED BY Ken Carlson
STORY BY John Dion
PRODUCED BY Rob Fried
PRODUCED BY Iris Ichishita
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Naré Mkrtchyan
LINE PRODUCER Rebecca Stone
GRACE Rebecca Tilney
RACHEL Britt Flatmo
BRYAN Conor Linick
CO-WORKER Joe Salling
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Nancy Schreiber
EDITOR James Lee Hernandez
ORIGINAL SCORE Aram Mandossian
PRODUCTION DESIGNER Adriana Serrano
COSTUME DESIGNER June Suepunpuck
CASTING DIRECTOR Tanner Thomason
1st ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Nick Bertelsen
2nd ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Jean Schwartz
2nd 2nd AD John Klymshyn
SCRIPT SUPERVISOR Nicole M. Rivera
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Iliana Guevera
SET DRESSER Yuri Elvin
SET DRESSER Ryan Bartley
MAKE UP & HAIR Heather O’Boyle
ASSISTANT EDITOR/DIT/BTS Dustin Elkin
STEADICAM OPERATOR Rick Drapkin
1st ASSISTANT CAMERA Matt Kelly
2nd ASSISTANT CAMERA Dylan Catherina
GAFFER Vi Dave Han
KEY GRIP Pat Hubbard
BEST BOY ELECTRIC Sam Tybi
BEST BOY GRIP Mike Love
SWING Jeb Alderson
SOUND MIXER Justin Fox
KEY PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Frank Paulino
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT John Kellogg
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Adrian Rozas
PRODUCTION INTERN Matt Hartman
PRODUCTION INTERN Jessica Maroney
PRODUCTION INTERN Delaney Moghanian
CATERING Impeccable Taste
DINER PATRON 1 Danice Page
DINER PATRON 2 Natasha Estrada
DINER PATRON 3 Bobby Javinett
DINER PATRON 4 William Myers
DINER PATRON 5 Elsa Myers
DINER PATRON 6 John Vatunigere
ADDITIONAL CO-WORKER Kaisli Kaprielle
SPECIAL THANKS The Carlson Family
Feeln the holiday spirit? We’ve got you covered. We have dozens of family Christmas movies, Hallmark Christmas Movies, and Feeln Original Christmas films to fill you with Yuletide cheer. This is the perfect time to gather together with your family to watch Christmas movies online. We’ve collected all of our Christmas-themed studio films, original short films, and Hallmark Hall of Fame Movies in one place for easy viewing. Here are 5 of the best Christmas movies on Feeln:
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the romantic lives of multiple Londoners crisscross in surprising and touching ways. An aging rock star makes a last-ditch effort at a radio hit. A widower deals with his grief as his young son tries to impress his first crush. A lovelorn man tries to get over his feelings for his best friend’s new bride. A brokenhearted writer faces a language barrier with his alluring foreign housekeeper. And the Prime Minister of England worries that his workplace crush could become an international incident. Contains adult language and situations.
When Todd, a developmentally-challenged twenty year-old with an affinity for animals, hears that the local animal shelter is looking for families to foster dogs for Christmas, he’s eager to sign up. His father firmly opposes the idea, worried that Todd cannot accept the responsibility, and will become too attached and not want to return the dog.
But Todd’s persistence pays off. He chooses a friendly yellow lab and names him Christmas. Bringing Christmas home proves to be a life-changing event for the whole family, allowing Todd to show he can care for the dog on his own, and inspiring his father to open his heart.
3. Gifts and Presence (short film)
Santa and his elves work overtime to satisfy a little girl’s Christmas wish.
When the supreme ruler of all ghosts commands that Casper must scare at least one person before Christmas Day, Casper visits the Jollimore family and sets out to complete his mission. But as usual, the kindhearted Casper has a hard time trying to scare anyone, so the Ghostly Trio, fed up with his goody-boo-shoes behavior, secretly hires Caspers identical cousin Spooky to do the job…with hilarious results.
Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on Mother Peep’s shoe and keep it and Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the evil Barnaby. When that fails, they trick Barnaby into marrying Stanley Dum instead of Bo Peep. Enraged, Barnaby unleashes the bogeymen from their caverns to destroy Toyland.
This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “Lifeline,” available exclusively at feeln.com. In a busy hospital, a young nurse walks with an injured little girl as she’s rolled on a gurney through the halls. The patient needs a transfusion, so it’s up to the nurse to convince the child’s brother to donate his blood that matches her rare type. But the nurse cannot expect the lengths the boy is willing to go to save his sister when she needs him most.
This moving film about familial love is the first Feeln original directed by Fawaz Al-Matrouk, a filmmaker who came to Los Angeles via Kuwait and Toronto. “I’m inspired by stories of people doing a little bit of right in a world of wrong,” Fawaz said. “We decided to call the film ‘Lifeline‘ because there’s the physical lifeline the boy gives his sister, and there’s also the spiritual lifeline he gives to the nurse. She sees so much human suffering that she needs something, and the boy’s heroism gives her a boost of encouragement and inspiration.”
Fawaz credits the film’s success to his actors and the production team. “Teri Reeves (Chicago Fire), who plays the nurse Shelley, is someone I’ve worked with before, and I wanted to work with her again. She’s really internalized her craft, so when I give her direction, she gives me what I want and more. Casey Pope, who played the boy, is an astounding and precocious actor. Usually with young kids, you have to come up with games or tricks to get a performance out of them. But I talk to Casey like any grown-up actor. The moment he gets his blood drawn, when he thinks he’s going to die, I told him, ‘Look out the window, look at the sky, and wonder what heaven looks like.’ In that moment, he has such a deep and distant look, it really feels like he’s preparing to die.”
“I want viewers to take away from ‘Lifeline‘ what the nurse Shelly took away from it,” Fawaz said. “You can find heroism and bravery in the smallest of places. Life has a lot of challenges, and we do our best to face those challenges and transcend them. The boy’s heroism helps us transcend them.”
As parents, it is often challenging to have productive conversations with our kids about difficult life topics like discrimination, bullying, physical disabilities, war, and death. Feeln feature films and original shorts are good family movies that can help inspire productive conversations about these tough topics. I’ve compiled some tips for talking to your kids after watching these movies with life lessons.
1. Initiate conversations with your child. Watching a Feeln movie together can be a lot of fun while also opening the door to conversations about sensitive subjects.
2. Find out what your child knows already. If your child asks you a difficult question, you might simply ask, “What have you heard?” This allows your child to tell you what she understands — or misunderstands — and perhaps what concerns are prompting her question.
3. Keep your answers simple. Give answers that are appropriate for your child’s age. One simple sentence may be enough. Underneath a child’s question, she may be worried about her safety, so offer reassurance.
4. Listen to your child and ask more questions. For example, if your child asks you about people being injured on the news, you might say, “I feel sad those people got hurt. How do you feel?”
5. Communicate your own values and try to be honest. Create an open environment by expressing your feelings honestly, but also giving your child space and encouragement to feel differently.
6. Talk about it again and again. Be prepared for children to ask the same question many times. This means they are continuing to think about the issue and may need more information. You might save some information for later discussions.
Below, you can also find five Feeln moral movies categorized by the message or issue they address:
Imprisoned at Auschwitz, Father Maximilian Kolbe protects his fellow prisoners against the Nazis. This film addresses religion, violence, war, and prejudice.
A bunch of bullies meet their match on a playground. Do you have the courage to stand by those in need despite dangerous odds? This film addresses bullying.
3. 200 Years
A story that honors the risks and sacrifices made by generations of Americans in pursuit of freedom, equality, and opportunity. This film addresses slavery, violence, and discrimination.
4. Ben Comen
Based on the true story of a young athlete who never gives up. This film addresses physical disability.
A sailor aboard the USS Missouri during World War II struggles with his order to give a kamikaze pilot a proper burial. This film addresses war, prejudice, and death.