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Ross Family Movie Challenge: 'Jason and the Argonauts' vs. 'Duma'

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Image Credit: David Bloomer; Everett Collection

Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a… um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 9) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and decide how the Ross family will be spending part of their weekend. The power is in your hands, people. Last week, Dalton’s pick of Jumanji easily beat Christina’s choice of National Velvet, putting the husband back in the winner’s circle. Read on and then vote for which movie they should watch this week.

Dalton’s Pick: Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Thank you, Percy Jackson. Thank you for making my kids bonkers about Greek mythology. Because that means I can now introduce them to other works involving dudes like Zeus, Hermes, and Triton. More importantly, it means I get to show them the works of master stop-motion monster animator Ray Harryhausen. I eased the kiddies in slow via the original Clash of the Titans, with its Studio 54 blue laser disco-tech version of Mt. Olympus making it look like Poseidon and Athena are about to bust out some dance moves to “Y.MC.A.” at any moment. That was the appetizer. Now it is time for the main course.

Jason and the Argonauts is the real deal. It involves prophecies, golden fleeces, and combat with revenge-seeking statues. It also features the ultimate man-on skeleton battle, as bones rise up from the ground and attack our titular hero. (Sword-wielding skeletons — perfect for Halloween!) I don’t care that this film is almost 50 years old. This kind of stuff never goes out of style. The non-stop feats of stop-motion animation action will give them a bigger rush than 10 bags of Skittles ever could. Christina, on the other hand, will no doubt fall asleep, as she does during any movie that involves fighting of any sort. That, my friends, is a prophecy that has yet to be disproved.

Christina’s Pick: Duma (2005)
Duma is about a young boy named Xan who finds and raises an orphaned cheetah cub with his father in their South African home. The kids will love this one. Dale is fascinated by cheetahs; he has repeatedly informed me that they are the world’s fastest land animal, with a top speed of 70 mph. I, of course, have a favorite coat made from Genuine Cheetar, but that is neither here nor there. A couple of years ago, we Netflixed Born Free, the 1966 movie based on the true story of a couple who raised a litter of lion cubs in Kenya. It was a very successful movie night; however Dalton refused to participate. Duma sounds similar, but with cheetahs and without the hit song of the same name. It was extremely well-reviewed, and looks to be totally family friendly. So vote with me.

Very quickly, I’d like to respond to the commenters who asked if the kids have enjoyed the family movies you have chosen for them.  They loved them! They are pretty easily pleased when it comes to movie night.  And to those commenters who insist that old movies will “put our kids to sleep within 10 minutes” (like that’s a bad thing), it doesn’t work on them! I’m the only one snoring on the couch, as Dalton already told you.


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