A mix of old and new children’s films in Malayalam to bring out the child in you. And, some of them star actors who are superstars today!
My Dear Kuttichathan
Let’s begin with this classic, the film that defined childhood for many. More than watching this film today, it’s the memories associated with watching it all those years ago that makes this film really special. It might not have aged so well and it’s probably not as fun without the 3D, but it’s still very tough to hold back your tears when Kuttichathan leaves. For today’s kids raised on The Avengers, how does one go about describing how, for a generation, this was bigger than The Avengers, Avatar, Titanic and all the Star Wars movies combined.
It’s not often that we get a film starring children with a sense of adventure that gives us the feeling of having read dozens of Famous Five and Nancy Drew books at once. And even if it was about the kids, it still brought together stars such as Mammootty, Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi (in one his funniest-ever roles) in this story about a stolen crown. The film holds up well even today.
This Bhadram film might have flopped when it released, but it was always a favourite among children. To even imagine today’s Lucifer or Puli Murugan playing this “gorgeously full-bodied” character seems too far-fetched. But we’ve all wanted an uncle like him.
Aravindan’s classic remains one of Malayalam cinema’s best children’s films even today. Set in North Kerala, this film about the magical and friendly Kummatty, gives us a fictional character we can compare to Santa Claus or the Wizards in Harry Potter.
One can no longer watch a film about a little girl and her friendship with a much older stranger with the same kind of innocence any more. Watched through today’s lens, you can even make the case that the film’s slightly dangerous. But with all the disclaimers in place, the film can be a really moving story about a girl finding love and care after years of neglect and indifference.
Kochavva Paulo Ayyappa Coelho
MX Player/ Sun NXT
This lighthearted sports drama about the “universe conspiring to help you achieve your dreams” is the perfect motivation material in these trying times. Young Ayyappa Das dreams of flying one day. But to reach the skies, he realises he has to swim first. The same director’s 101 Chodyangal is a must-watch too.
Philip and the Monkey Pen
The more recent Philip And The Monkey Pen is one film that would have helped a lot more kids had it released a couple of decades ago. Unlike films that went on about the importance of education, here’s a film that tells children that it’s okay if you don’t like math.
With its hint of fantasy and a lovable genie in Innocent, this sweet film (along with Ann Mariya Kalipilaanu and Manjadikuru, both of which are not available online) reassures us that good children’s films will continue to get made.