1. The Pevensies (The Chronicles of Narnia)
You’ve got to love them. Not only do they discover a magical world in a wardrobe… they are wholly realistic. I mean, Edmund, Peter and Susan perpetually chew each other out. Stressed sibilings, fantasy situation, deadly stakes… what could possibly go wrong?
2. The Herd (Ice Age)
Well, strictly speaking, they’re not related. But they’re about as family-ish as you can get. I mean, they’ve got all the characteristics…
“Manny, can I have a dog?”
“Ellie, can I have a dog?”
“Of course you can, dear.”
“Ellie. We must be consistent.”
3. The Stantons (The Dark is Rising)
Honestly? Best big family I’ve seen in a movie. If I was an award giver, I’d give a huge trophy to this movie for the most realistic sibling home-returns. And best big-family approach to the leftover Christmas turkey. Oh, and best and most realistic skype call.
“Guys, can you hear me?”
“And there’ll be leftovers for sandwiches!”
I rest my case.
4. The Aarons (Bridge to Terebithia)
This one puts the meaning into dysfunctional. I mean, the Stantons were a loving kind of dysfunctional. The Aarons? They were like a family bomb waiting to explode. But they weren’t without their sweet moments… and an adorable annoying little sister. I was one, once. Complete with the adorable part, hey Cait?
5. Merida’s Family (Brave)
…particularly Harris, Hubert, and Hamish… they were awesome. Like, three of the best characters in the movie. They don’t even speak. At all. They’re the life of the party. And Merida and her mother are the dysfunctional…actually, the whole family is a joyful scramble of chaos, and they are wonderful.
“A witch turned Mum into a bear, and it was not my fault.”
6. The Quimby Family (Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary)
You have to admit. Book and movie alike. They come pretty close to taking the cake… but I think Merida’s family does that. Anyhow! Aruging sisters…family struggles…and basically two of the most realistic sisters you will ever find. It’s so sweet. Sniff. Ramona is the best.
7. The Wormwoods (Matilda, by Roald Dhal)
I think Matila was born into the most dysfunctional family. Ever. (I used to assume she’d been adopted, but I don’t think she was…) What with Zinnia’s nasal seesaw voice and that brick of a dad… she had her work cut out for her. I’m glad she had a happy ending. Matila is the sweetest little kid.
“You were the only daughter I ever had. And I never understood you. Not one little bit.”
So! My favourite dysfunctional families to laugh at when I read or watch a movie. Aren’t they great? Realistic, snarky to each other, but really loving and… family. In the biggest sense of the word. (Except for the Wormwoods. I don’t know what they were.)
Have I missed any good ones?