1 - Keeps a child engaged.
Of course this can vary from child to child, and very often I have seen these movies without a child right there with me. I am capable of looking around, and noticing how much the kids are paying attention. If it's hard to watch because they are running the aisles, it's not going to do very well with me.
2 - Keeps the adults engaged.
If there's not a little bit of adult humor woven in, I probably won't even make it through. I'm immature, but not that immature.
3 - Don't cash in too much.
- Product Placement. I know this is a world wherein things are run by money, we all need it, to make movies they need very much and they make more with product placement. That's fine, but don't make it a ninety minute commercial, for example, "Castaway". Not a kid's movie by my standards, but a blatant cash in.
- Video Game Tie -ins. Going overboard promoting the extra tie-ins like video games. Very often lately I am watching a movie and find myself in the middle of an action sequence that feels like it will be put right into a game, and the scene goes on much longer than needed if needed at all. That's annoying.
Not trying to be snobbish, but don't throw that sloppy old animation at me. I realize that good work has been done with pencils and clay and such, but if it's worse than South Park, it better be a whole lot funnier.
5 - Rating System.
One to five Shreks. I'll be using Shrek 1 as the Standard because I am loathe to think of any other children's movie that is better along all of the categories I just listed.
- 1 Shrek - Hope that your child doesn'tlike it and make you sit through more than 1 viewing.
- 2 Shreks - Still not tolerable, but you could see how someone else would like it.
- 3 Shreks - Has it's moments. Rent it and you won't feel ripped off.
4 Shreks - Good Movie, just a few flaws but worth watching, renting, or owning if you wait until the price goes down.
- 5 Shreks - Okay, it's not the Holy Grail of movies I know, and on given days I might even prefer other Kids Movies over this one, but it's a good measuring stick. If I see a movie that I think is even better, the scale goes up accordingly, to six or seven or as many Shreks better I think it is. I don't foresee that happening in the near future.
Okay, that's my rating system and general rules, with the latitude to change, ignore or add anything I want. Until I think of something else or Disney/Pixar comes after me and tells me I can't use their images.