I am always on the look-out for movies I can watch with my kids and not hate (they are five and three).  I thought Malificent would be a winner recently but I ended up liking this more than my little ones.  Frozen? They love this way more than me.  I refuse to see any toy from my childhood turned into a film so I can’t comment on anything Lego or Barbie but luckily for me Postman Pat the Movie is a great school holidays choice.

The charming and likeable man-about-town that is Postman Pat decides he will take his family to Italy when he gets his Christmas bonus.  But budget cuts in the postal service mean there will be no Christmas bonus this year, and Postman Pat cannot bear to break the news to his wife.  He ends up in an X-Factor style singing contest (Postman Pat’s vocals by Ronan Keating) where the prize just happens to be a trip to Italy.  There is chaos in the Special Delivery Service when they replace postman Pat with evil Robots. Will the tight-knit community find out the truth before it is too late?

There are enough quirky pop-culture references and complexities in the storyline for the parents to be entertained, and Postman Pat’s digital upgrade means there is a colourful and friendly visual energy that is engaging for little minds.  The pace of the film is perfect, allowing those with short attention spans to actually sit through a whole film. We were at a screening full of under-fives and I didn’t notice any bored kids.  Bored kids are pretty hard miss (as any parents or casual observers would know) so I think this is a pretty good sign.  You can find this film on DVD or online now.

What We do in the Shadows is the must see film (for adults) in cinemas now.  This horror comedy from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (creators of Flight of the Conchords) was a box office smash in New Zealand and critically hailed.  It is the story of three flatmates who also happen to be vampires and is hilarious from start to end.  HBO have also commissioned a new four part TV series from these guys, so watch this space.

Penny Ivison writes monthly for PEARL on film & TV. If there’s anything you’d like to let Penny know about that’s happening in the Bayside or Peninsula area in 2014, you can find her on twitter on @pipsicedtea or email her at whattowatch@pearlmag.com.au.