We’ve stockpiled candles, rooted out the torches and charged our devices. Ophelia is hurtling her way nearer. We’ve filled the cupboards with non-perishables. We’re ready. The last job before the expected power outages is to download some essentials from Netflix to save everyone’s sanity. Here are some of our faves from the ‘available for download’ options on Netflix. They’ll come in handy later when the power is out! There’s still time. Go!
Treated cruelly by her parents, clever Matilda Wormwood finds joy in reading and uses telekinetic powers to teach lessons to some of the awful adults in her life. Danny De Vito and Rhea Pearlman play her thick-witted parents perfectly and Pam Ferris as The Trunchbull will have your kids’ eyes as wide as the students she hammer throws. Roald Dahl at his best.
Orphan Annie and her buddies are holed up in a 1930s orphanage with the reprehensible, bathtub gin-swilling Miss Hannigan. There’s some ‘goddamning’ and Miss Hannigan’s sexual frustration is palpable but the kids will love the all-singing, all-dancing cast of youngsters and, in the heel of the hunt, Annie is rescued by a parent who loves her, so it’s all good. Grown ups will enjoy the chuckles and nostalgia. Worth watching for Carol Burnett’s performance alone.
Adam Sandler and Steve Buschemi are among the stars voicing this fun seasonal caper. When ghouls and monsters want to get away from it all they visit Dracula’s lavish hotel for refuge. Complications unfold when an unsuspecting human is thrown into the mix and falls in love with Dracula’s teenaged daughter. Expect gags for both adults and kids. And if you like it, Hotel Transylvania 2 is available for download too!
This prequel to the Despicable Me series is voiced by Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm and Michael Keaton and sees the familiar babbling, yellow creatures attempt to foil the attempts at world domination of supervillain Scarlet Overkill. You’ll miss Steve Carell’s felonious Gru and the Minionese will drive you to distraction but the kids will howl with laughter.
Gnomeo & Juliet
This re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic (without the tragic ending) sees two feuding families of garden gnomes struggle to overcome the romance of their kids, star-crossed lovers voiced by Emily Blunt and James McEvoy. Much like Toy Story, the gnomes come to life in neighbouring gardens resulting in fun, colourful visuals and unexpected action. All this, combined with some choice gags and an Elton John soundtrack makes for fun family viewing on a stormy afternoon.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team. I receive a Netflix subscription in return for Stream Team contributions.