Here’s a little quiz on children in 2012 movies, children’s movies, and the Academy Awards for 2012. Besides being fun, it’s designed to encourage your child’s curiosity, foster research skills and nurture your relationship.
•1. 21 animated features were submitted for the Academy Award for best animated feature. Five were nominated. One won.
-For younger children: Which one won?
Tip for parents: The winner was “Brave.” If your child saw it, discuss what would have happened if Merida had listened to her mother’s advice.
-For older children: Find the list of the 21 animated features that were nominated and tell what they were. (A printed version of the list will suffice.)
Tip for parents: You’ll find the answer here.
•2. What’s so special about Quvenzhané Wallis?
-For younger children: How old is she?
Tip for parents: At age 9, she’s the youngest person ever nominated for a best actress Oscar.
-For older children: What does her first name have in common with Beyoncé’s first name?
Tip for parents: They both have names that end with an e-acute. (That’s what that little mark over the “e” [é] is called.) Don’t confuse an e-acute, with an accent grave. It’s commonly used in English words that are borrowed from French, such as résumé. Both names are French in origin.
•3. What does Quvenzhané Wallis have in common with Jackie Cooper?
-For younger children: Who was Jackie Cooper?
Tip for parents: Explain the movie tradition of child actors. Rent or download early “Our Gang” comedies that featured him.
-For older children: What else do Jackie Cooper and Quvenzhané Wallis have in common?
Tip for parents: In 1931, when he was 9, Cooper was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his role in the movie “Skippy” in 1931. He is still the youngest person ever nominated for a best actor Oscar. As we noted above, Wallis, 9, now holds the record as the youngest person ever nominated for a best actress Oscar. Talk about the people on your family tree who were children at the same time as Cooper. How were their childhoods different from your childhood? How was childhood different when you were a child?
•4. Fun with the “Best Animated Feature” category.
-For younger children: What was the favorite movie you saw last year?
Tip for parents: Make a list of the kids’ movies you remember taking your child to see or watched together on DVD or BluRay. Then look at the list together and talk about the movies your child liked or disliked.
-For older children: List the movies that were nominated for “Best Animated Feature” in alphabetical order.
Tip for parents: The nominees were “Brave,” “Frankenweenie,” “ParaNorman,” “The Pirates: Band of Misfits” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”
•5. More fun with the “Best Animated Feature” category
-For younger children: Explain that way before “Frankenweenie,” back when you were still little, Tim Burton produced another “funny scary” movie, “Beetlejuice.”
Tip for parents: Talk about when “scary” is OK and when it’s not.
-For older children: Rent or download a copy of “Beetlejuice.”
Tip for parents: Watch it with your child and talk about the differences between watching it when you’re a child and when you’re an adult.
•Bonus trivia for Mom and Dad
-Tim Burton first finished a different film named “Frankenweenie” back in 1984. The 30-minute version is the result of the uncomfortable – and, as it turns out, unworkable – early alliance between Burton and Disney, which shelved the short because it was thought to be too scary for children.