Kids and Family
Watching movies with your kids is a great way to bond, not to mention introduce them to some of your favorite and most beloved films from when you were their age.
It’s a win-win: they get the joy of watching something they've never seen before while you can bask in a nice dose of nostalgia.
Here are 15 movies we loved when we were younger that we'd eagerly rewatch with our own children.
15. Hook (1991)
A fun twist on the well-known Peter Pan story, Hook explores what would happen if the boy who never grew up actually did. Watching Peter try to remember how to once again become the fearless leader of the Lost Boys so he can save his kids will provide yours with entertainment that can only be surpassed by an imaginary food fight.
14. Labyrinth (1986)
This movie is a handy little lesson about the importance of looking after your siblings. After an angry teenager accidentally calls for goblins to take her fussy baby brother away, she embarks on a mission to rescue him from the Goblin King. Her adventure is full of danger, excitement, unique mystical creatures, and, of course, David Bowie.
13. The Monster Squad (1987)
Your kids will get a kick out of this monster mashup. A boy and his friends have to save the town (and the world) from Dracula and his gang of monster misfits. Not only is this film a fun way to introduce your children to the most memorable monsters of classic cinema, but it also teaches the important lesson that Wolf Man does indeed have “nards.”
12. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The original movie starring Gene Wilder is a little on the trippy side, but kids will enjoy seeing the magical wonders of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. The Oompa Loompa songs will be stuck in their heads for days, and they'll love watching the bratty kids meet their fates one by one throughout the course of the movie.
11. Home Alone (1990)
Every kid has fantasized about having the house all to himself so he can eat whatever he wants and watch countless hours of television. Home Alone offers a fun glimpse into the world of an unsupervised child who ends up defending his home against burglars. The movie can also be a handy learning lesson about how to deal with strangers and the responsibilities of being home alone.
10. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
This movie is a great introduction into the genius world of Hayao Miyazaki, the director of such beautiful animated films as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. My Neighbor Totoro centers on two girls who discover that the forest near their new house is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros. Kids will enjoy the cute animation as well as the rotund Totoro and his funny 12-legged Cat Bus.
9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
A tongue-in-cheek nod to noirish detective films combined with slapsticky cartoon animation, this movie easily captivates grown-ups and children alike. It's rare for a film's special effects to hold up and look as good today as they did when the movie was first released, yet Who Framed Roger Rabbit's combination of live action and animation still blend together seamlessly. Your kids will love watching silly Roger play off the grumpy Detective Valiant, and although they may be a bit scared by Judge Doom, they'll cheer when the bad guy is vanquished and Toontown is saved.
8. The Goonies (1985)
What's not to love about a group of misfits going on an adventure to find a dead pirate's buried treasure? If your kids love the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, they should enjoy a more realistic, modern-day version of a pirate adventure complete with booby traps, chase scenes, and a swashbuckling ogre who's fond of Baby Ruths.
7. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
This intense fantasy about a boy whose life intertwines with the mystical world he's reading about could be a bit scary for younger kids, but older children will be enthralled by the dangerous and fantastic world of Fantasia. They'll mourn the loss of Atreyu's horse, cower at the menacing wolf creature, jump to the edge of their seats during the laser Sphinx gate scene, and cheer when Bastian and Falkor the dragon teach his bullies a lesson at the end of the movie.
6. The Lion King (1994)
Although Disney has numerous classics we grew up watching over and over again (not to mention every Pixar film ever made), we chose The Lion King because of its surprising amounts of drama and emotional depth surrounding King Mufasa's death. Kids will love the songs and the comic relief provided by Timon and Pumbaa, but the movie's lesson about mortality and how to deal with death is a good way to introduce the subject to your children.
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Stock up on some Reese's Pieces and fire up this classic Spielberg movie for your kids. Between amusing sight gags like E.T. hiding in the closet and more substantial moments like Elliott and his alien companion taking flight, there’s a little bit of everything for kids of all ages. The film is surprisingly poignant, and whether you’re 5 or 70, it’s hard not to get a little choked up when E.T. says a bittersweet farewell to his newfound friend.
4. The Princess Bride (1987)
Sure, it's a love story, but it's a wildly unconventional one that will leave your kids giggling. This modern-day fairy tale has a feisty female, a dashing hero, a gentle giant, a swordsman obsessed with revenge, and Rodents Of Unusual Size. The dialogue is both absurd enough for kids to love and full of wit and charm for parents to appreciate.
3. A Christmas Story (1983)
This holiday classic is a family favorite. Kids can relate to longing for that extra-special toy from Santa, and you'll enjoy adult Ralphie's deadpan voiceover narration and his father's obsession with the “fra-gee-lay” leg lamp. After they've watched the movie, you can always threaten to get them bunny pajamas each Christmas if they don't behave.
2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
You can't pass up an opportunity to show this timeless classic to your kids. They'll be enthralled by the film's rich colors, iconic characters, and memorable songs. In addition to serving as a stepping stone to your kids developing an appreciation of older films, the movie also teaches a little something about courage, friendship, and, of course, that there's no place like home.
1. Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980, 1983)
Obviously we’re referring to the original classics and not the subpar prequels released in the late '90s. The Star Wars Trilogy transported an entire generation to a galaxy far far away, and this definitive tale of good versus evil still has the ability to captivate children and fill them with a sense of wonder. Your kids will be dazzled by a world of Jedis, droids, lightsaber duels, crazy-looking creatures, an evil emperor, and intergalactic space battles, while you sit back and enjoy what continues to be a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.
Which of your own favorite movies as a child have you watched your kids?
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