• Cozy Up on the Couch with 10 Heartwarming Animated Movies (That You Won't Find On Disney+)

    Blankets? Check. Popcorn? Check. The perfect movie for a warm night in? We’ve got you covered.

    The following titles are available at the Barrington Area Library.



    Kiki’s Delivery Service

    Studio Ghibli

    Runtime: 103 minutes

    Young Kiki is eager to become a witch, but first she's got to make it on her own. With the help of her trusty talking cat, Jiji, she flies to a faraway city and sets up a magical delivery service. She befriends her new neighbors, helps bake a herring-and-pumpkin pie, and saves the day, all while growing up and determining her own place in the world. This gentle, magical adventure focuses on the little moments in life, and its adorable protagonist is sure to warm your family's hearts.


    Hotel Transylvania

    Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation

    Runtime: 91 minutes

    Who knew Dracula was such a great dad? After suffering the tragic loss of his wife, Count Dracula opens a 5-star hotel with his daughter, Mavis, catering to all sorts of creepy characters. Despite his love for his daughter, Dracula -- "Drac" -- grows overprotective of her, and when he finds out she wants to explore the human world he tries to interfere... only for a human to find his way into the hotel and shake things up. This silly animated feature is sure to be a hit with little monsters everywhere.




    Shaun the Sheep Movie

    Aardman Animations

    Runtime: 85 minutes

    This hilarious adventure from the minds who brought us Wallace and Gromit stars Shaun, a bored sheep on the farm. After a series of mishaps involving a bump to the farmer's head, sheep shearing, and celebrity hairstyling, Shaun suddenly finds himself loose in the city... Maybe the quiet country life is better, after all (at least, for sheep). Based on the hit television series, Shaun the Sheep Movie is a silly, action-packed romp jam-packed with adorable animal characters.



    Ernest & Celestine

    Le Parti Productions/Les Armateurs/Melusine Productions

    Runtime: 80 minutes

    Celestine is a mouse. Ernest is a bear. Their friendship is a little... complicated. Mice live in fear of the bears who roam the outside world, and with good reason -- when Celestine, an aspiring dentist, ventures away from her home to collect cubs' teeth, she encounters Ernest, a starving bear. What begins with one trying to eat the other transforms into a heartwarming friendship that defies prejudice and stereotyping, sending a message to mouse- and bearkind that they can get along if they try. Originally French language; English dub is available.

    Contains some scenes viewers may find disturbing -- Ernest almost eats Celestine at the beginning, and there are some scenes of arson.



    The Boxtrolls


    Runtime: 97 minutes

    Set in Victorian Britain, The Boxtrolls tells the story of Eggs, a young boy abandoned on the streets of Cheesebridge. Eggs was raised by Boxtrolls, strange creatures who name themselves after their boxes (Fish, Fragile, Oil Can, etc.). Eggs and his pals spend their days scavenging, exploring the city, and avoiding the watchful eye of the White Hats, the town's cheese-loving rulers, and their minions. This delightful (and delightfully strange) feature from the studio who brought us Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings will be a hit for fantasy-lovers of all ages.



    Song of the Sea

    Cartoon Saloon/Melusine Productions

    Runtime: 94 minutes

    Inspired by Irish mythology and folklore, Song of the Sea follows 10-year-old Ben and his sisters, Saoirse. Ben has always had a troubled relationship with his sister, as shortly after her birth their mother disappeared. Ben blames his sister for their mother's disappearance, but he's forced to put his feelings aside when, upon Saoirse's sixth birthday, she reveals that she is a selkie, a mythical water spirit. Ben and his sister travel the sea to rescue fairies trapped by the magic of the Owl Witch, Macha. This beautifully-animated sea-faring tale is full of heart and wonder, and kids (and adults!) fascinated by mythology will eagerly plunder its depths.


    The Grinch

    Illumination/Universal Pictures

    Runtime: 86 minutes

    Everybody in Whoville is ready for the holidays... everybody, that is, except for the grumpy Grinch, who lives in a cave overlooking the town. The green grouch menaces the town for fun, playing pranks and ruining their festivities. A chance encounter with little Cindy Lou Who forces the Grinch to confront his loneliness, and suddenly he finds himself offered a shot at redemption. Even the grinchiest Grinch will find their heart growing three sizes during this adorable adaption of Dr. Seuss's timeless book.



    Mary and the Witch’s Flower

    Studio Ponoc

    Runtime: 103 minutes

    Mary recently moved in with her great aunt Charlotte, and she. Is. Bored. After a less-than-great run-in with a local boy, Mary stumbles upon some strange flowers... and when she accidentally bursts one of the bulbs, she suddenly has the powers of a witch! These are "fly-by-nights," magical flowers that can turn you into a witch -- but only for one night at a time. Mary tricks her way into the local witch's school and learns the tricks of the trade, only to learn that hiding who you really are never works out for anyone. This feature film from former Studio Ghibli employees is a spirited, high-flying tale of friendship and self-acceptance.



    Rise of the Guardians


    Runtime: 97 minutes

    Jack Frost, the Spirit of Winter, enjoys delivering snow days to bored schoolkids. But he's lonely -- nobody believes in him, and he doesn't have any friends. That is, until he's forced to team up with the Guardians, a crack team of heroes -- Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny -- to stop Pitch Black, the bogeyman, from cursing the children of the world with endless nightmares. Did I mention that this Santa is a tattooed Russian strongman? Or that the Easter Bunny is actually Australian? This fantasy romp is based on the children's book series by William Joyce (creator of Rolie Polie Olie, among others). Fans of fantasy, sci-fi, and the holidays will have lots of fun with these great characters.



    My Neighbor Totoro

    Studio Ghibli

    Runtime: 86 minutes

    Sisters Satsuki and Mei move with their father to the Japanese countryside, so they can be closer to the hospital where their mother is staying. Their new house isn't so... new: it's dusty, musty, and filled to the brim with magical sprites. One day Mei wanders into the forest and encounters Totoro, a huge spirit, and takes a nap with him. This is the start of the sisters' friendship with the strange creature, who helps them appreciate the magic that surrounds them, from the spirits in their house to the magical Cat Bus. This gentle, heartstring-tugging story is more about the small things than a grand adventure. Families will surely love Totoro and his newfound friends.


    Looking for more recommendations? Fill out our form to get a custom list of reads or a Browsing Bundle for pickup.

      Youth Services Librarian Chris 


  • Make It An International Movie Night

    Have you completely exhausted your Disney+ options? Watched Frozenand How To Train Your Dragonmore times than you can count? The Library is here to shake up your family movie nights! Consider one of these foreign films for something a little different.

    Kiki’s Delivery Service 

    Available on Blu-Ray and DVD

    A plucky young witch-in-training sets out to discover her talent in a new city, accompanied by a sarcastic kitty named Jiji. Japan’s Studio Ghibli films are always my first stop when families are looking for something different. Their gentle stories and sweet characters make them great for families with preschoolers, but they are visually and narratively interesting to keep older kids and adults enchanted, too. Plus the English dubbing is excellent - no subtitles required.




    The Secret of Kells 

    Available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and streaming through kanopy

    A boy learning the art of illumination (illustrating sacred texts) finds a mysterious child-like spirit in the forests surrounding the medieval monastery and a mystery involving an ancient book. I fell in love with the vibrant animation style, unusual setting, and stirring music in this Irish film.



    The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

    Available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and streaming through hoopla

    A pig, rabbit, and duck take on the task of delivering a bitty baby to her home after Stork hurts his wing. A fox plots to raise stolen eggs into delicious chickens, with hilarious consequences. And all the barnyard animals, smashing a plastic Santa decoration, fear they’ve killed the real Father Christmas and decide they must take on the gift delivery themselves. Adapted from French comic books, these stories are delightful. The dialogue is smart and funny, and the artwork (especially the big googly eyes) works perfectly with the light and silly story lines.


    Marona’s Fantastic Tale

    Available on Blu-Ray or DVD

    The often tragic story of one sweet dog, shuffled between three different owners, who all abandon her for different reasons. Created in France, this film has much to offer, though probably only for families with older kids. (Content includes occasional crude language, scenes of smoking, and animal abuse/neglect.) The animation is gorgeous and strange, the English dubbing is fantastic, and the story is deeply affecting. Make sure you have the tissue box handy - you’re going to need every last one.



    Available for streaming through hooplaand kanopy

    A boy who loves stargazing can’t sleep one night when he sees the stars are disappearing. In his search for answers, he discovers that there’s a secret world of whisperers, dream writers, dew sprinklers, and countless other jobs to make sure nights proceed as intended. This Spanish film offers a unique and charming story with unusual character design and animation (you’ll either love it or hate it!).


    Did you know? The Barrington Area Library offers cardholders free streaming videos through ourhoopla andkanopy apps. Check them out!

    Youth Services Librarian Allison 

  • New! Browsing Bundles: Bring a Little Bit of the Library Home

    We are so pleased to share a new service:Browsing Bundles! 

    With the Library building currently closed to the public, we know that our customers are missing the experience of browsing. Especially with children, the time spent in person - paging through books, seeing the artwork, and gauging text complexity  - is often so helpful, even necessary, to ensure that young readers are finding what they need.

    Now a Barrington Area Library cardholder can complete abrief online form (or call us, if you’d prefer), and we’ll create a bundle full of fantastic options (books or movies) hand-selected by your local book experts based on your child’s age and interests. Simply come to the Library for Parking Lot Pickup once you’re notified the Bundle is ready, and we’ll check them out and bring them to your car. 


    Perhaps your preschooler is all-about teddy bears (we can relate)...

    Or your middle schooler is looking for more thought-provoking and moving realistic fiction likeWonderorA Good Kind of Trouble...

    We’ve got you covered! Give our newBrowsing Bundles a try to make choosing books for your reader a breeze.


    Youth Services Librarian Allison