The funniest cartoons aren't appropriate for kids. The Family Guy, The Simpsons, King of the Hill -- hilarious, all of them. But who wants to talk to a five-year-old about what Homer's doing at Moe's, why the Griffon family dog snorts white powder and why Bobby Hill should learn a method of self-defense other than kicking men in the nuts? Here's where Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit movies come in handy. They are funny, yet they make no allusion to groin trauma. A Grand Day Out sees inventor Wallace on a holiday to the moon with his dog, Gromit, in search of cheese. This on its own is not terribly funny, but it gets funnier when these two hapless voyagers cross paths with a weird moon creature who has vivid skiing fantasies. In A Close Shave, Wallace and Gromit get involved in a yarn-hustling racket, befriending a sheep named Shaun (pronounced Shorn) -- so called because he wears a sweater made of his own wool. The Wrong Trousers, the scariest installment of the Wallace and Gromit trilogy, is about a penguin who wears a red glove on his head, causing him to look like a chicken. Harmless? Not when the chicken is an outlaw and the penguin is renting a room at Wallace's place.
To catch Wallace and Gromit for free, head to the L.H. Bluford Library (3050 Prospect, 816-701-3595) at noon Saturday.-- Gina Kaufmann
Shake it like an ogre.
Parents, don't let your babies grow up to be wallflowers.
Ensure that little Timmy will have some original moves by encouraging your children to practice them at an early age. The Dancing Fairytales class at the Lawrence Arts Center teaches three- to five-year-olds to use their bodies in creative ways by interpreting popular fairy tales.
"It's not acting out the story but more exploring the fairy tale through creative movement," instructor Ellie Goudie-Averill says. The class, which starts at 4 p.m. Friday at the Arts Center (940 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence), usually explores princess stories, but Goudie-Averill is hoping more boys will join the class this time so she can mix in more adventurous stories involving giants or ogres.
The four-week dance class costs $28. To register, call 785-843-2787.-- Michael Vennard