Cleaning up at the Box Office
When people talk about cleaning up at the Box Office they usually mean emptying punters’ pockets – but these films show that sometimes a good clean-up can make a great movie.
Who would’ve thought a robot destined to clean the earth for the rest of time could be such a loveable character? While the story of WALL-E finding a companion after years of nothing but a cockroach for a friend tugs at the heartstrings, the questions the film asks about how we take our planet for granted play on the brain, making this much more than just a kid’s movie.
Imagine Borat but in Australia, with the title character being a portable toilet supplier and you’ll have a good idea of what Kenny is about. While there are plenty of laughs in this mockumentary, there’s also a serious message about how we judge worth in our fellow human being. Kenny shows that if you have pride in what you do and do it to the best of your ability you can make a difference – even if that difference is collecting people’s waste in an efficient manner.
The Cat in the Hat (2003)
Based on Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name, The Cat in the Hat tells the story of a magical cat that causes havoc on two children, Conrad and Sally, when a portal to another world is opened. And of course, this would be the day that the children’s mum was hosting an important dinner party for her clean-freak boss. An almighty mess is made, but thankfully everything is cleaned up in time when the Cat uses a special cleaning machine. If only it was really that easy.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
How do you find a plot big enough to honour one of the longest-running TV shows of all time? Easy – you put the whole city and its famous residents at risk of complete destruction. And of course, it all happened because the people of Springfield left it too late to clean up their polluting ways!
Of course, given the choice you’d always want to go to the ball, right? But when evil step-mothers and step-sisters are involved things are never that easy. Unless you’ve got a fairy godmother on your side, that is. The film’s moral message is simple enough to understand: if you do your chores you will be rewarded.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
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When you lose your family what option do you have other than to dress up as an old Scottish lady and move into your soon to be ex-wife’s house to act as nanny? While taking care of kids came easily enough to Mrs. Doubtfire Daniel Hillard, other household tasks require a little more getting used to. But kitted out in a dress, Robin Williams even makes cleaning look good.
Mary Poppins (1964)
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And so we go from one famous nanny to another. Mary Poppins taught us all that cleaning was easy as long as you had a spoonful of sugar, or rather as long as you could click your fingers and magically make everything put itself away.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
You’ve probably noticed that a lot of the movies featured on this list were marketed primarily to children – so to prove that cleaning up is an all-ages activity let’s remind ourselves of that fantastic scene in Pulp Fiction that involved Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield cleaning a car interior of blood and guts (and brain) after accidentally shooting an informant in the face. That’s going to need a lot of elbow grease…