Unaccompanied Minors DVD
Lewis Black, Tyler James Williams, Dyllan Christopher
Directed by Paul Feig
Widescreen and Standard Version
Warner Home Video 2007
Why Warner Home Video did not wait to release the Unaccompanied Minors DVD during the holidays is beyond me as it is set during the Christmas holidays. This is an enjoyable family comedy DVD that will amuse the kids more than the adults but that the adults will not really mind watching along with them if only to see stand-up Lewis Black as a curmudgeon airport manager who has to deal with five kids who are very determined to have a decent Christmas no matter what.
The story behind Unaccompanied Minors is fairly simple. A whole bunch of kids from divorced homes are on their way to see their other parent when they get snowed in at the airport. This is a bit confusing at the beginning until the movie focuses on five kids in particular: a brother and his sister, a tough cookie girl, a pretty rich girl, a fat kid, and a nerdy black kid. They quickly make Mr. Potter (the same name as the old banker in the James Steward Christmas classic), the airport manager angry and this causes a series of cat and mouse chases between Potter, the airport security staff, and the kids.
Being a Lewis Black fan, I found him underutilized but this really is a movie for kids so there you go. The kids themselves, all very good actors, are charming but not Hollywood movie cloyingly sweet. There are quite a few funny moments in the Unaccompanied Minors DVD comedy and none that are that predictable. There is even a bit of a tip of the hat to that classic teen film The Breakfast Club near the end of this Christmas comedy.
What really makes Unaccompanied Minors better than most Christmas family comedy DVDs is the whole Christmas thing is for most of the movie just a time period that explains why the kids are so determined to have fun. What makes this comedy above average are the chase scenes. I especially liked the one in the section of the airport where luggage and kids go up and down various ramps and chutes on the way to their destination and I wish this had been expanded a bit.
Another fun scene that very subtly sets up the finale of Unaccompanied Minors is when the kids get into the unclaimed baggage section and basically have a treasure hunt. I wish more had been done with this scene too. Then again, this comedy is just long enough to keep you interested and to say interesting.
Unaccompanied Minors is certainly a DVD the whole family can enjoy and I am pretty certain the kids, much like myself, will want to see it again.
Extras include the usual commentary track and deleted or expanded scenes. This time around though I appreciate the fact the commentary track is available as a subtitle so you can watch the movie and read the commentary.
- 87a great family comedy DVD
- 86A good feel-good Christmas movie
- 86March of the Penguins leftover footage on drugs. Pretty good.
- 86Not much of a Christmas DVD
- 86Very ordinary made for TV Christmas movie now on DVD