We have started a new Saturday night tradition in our house where we watch a movie together as a family. Not a typical animated, kids movie, but a “grown-up” movie we watch together. Because, let’s face it, you get sick of Disney movies after a while. We started with Lord of the Rings, which you may not think is appropriate for a 3 and a 5 year old, but my husband and I know these movies inside out so we knew a couple of scenes to skip. Our youngest daughter can get a little scared at movies. Well, she acts scared. She is a little dramatic.
My husband and I have a love for movies. And it is one we want to pass on to our kids. Appreciation and knowledge of film. I can’t wait til they are older and we can watch all the oldies like “The Godfather” and “Coukoo’s Nest,” but for now I will have to settle for some other classics that aren’t too scary and age appropriate. I should note here that I don’t mind if my kids hear some swearing, or immodesty in film. I based my picks on movies I know my kids can handle and align with our values and tastes. They may not be for everyone, but that’s ok
1. The Goonies This movie never gets old. Probably because my brother and I watched once a day for like 3 years.
2. The Sandlot One of the most quotable movies ever! “You’re killing me Smalls!”
3. Spirited Away I haven’t actually seen this movie but my husband reccomends it. It exposes kids to a different kind of animation and expands their imagination.
4. The Land Before Time How cute is this movie?! And often forgot in the slew of Disney films.
5. Up Speaking of Disney. Up is one of my favs. Excellent story telling. And who doesn’t want to spend the first five minutes of a film bawling their eyes out. Oops (spoiler alert)
6. The Sound of Music Singing, dancing, Nazi’s. What more do you need!!
7. Star Wars This is what we are currently watching. My kids refer to it as “the outer space movie.” This is a great film even if you aren’t a Star Wars geek like myself. The Luke/Leia relationship is a little creepy. Plus the Emporer is a little scary. And kids might mistake Chewy for a giant dog and be a little frightened. Maybe now I know what Trekkies are talking about. Nah, Star Wars it is.
8. The Shining No, just kidding. It’s a Wonderful Life. Again, another movie I haven’t seen, but any good movie list has the one token, old, black and white moive. This one is mine, and I hope I am correct in adding it to the list. It seems like a really depressing moive, and kids would fall asleep before they happy part, but I am sticking with it over “The Shining.” But who knows, kids might fall asleep before the scary part in that movie too and you’ll be safe. Redrum.
9. Lilo and Stitch A great non-Pixar, non-Princess Disney moive. Who doesn’t love a movie with great one liners, a weird little girl, and destructive alien/dog who loves Elvis.
10. E.T. The Extra Terrestria Let’s be honest here. I picked this one because of the song and flying bicycles.
11. Toy Story 2 What better way to introduce a kid to one of the best actors of a generation, Tom Hanks, in the best (in my opinion) of the Toy Story Trilogy. My oldest has watched this about a thousand times, and I will gladly watch it with her everytime.
12. Home Alone This is a fantasy for both kids and parents alike. The house to yourself. No interruptions, no one following you to the bathroom, you can watch whatever you want on TV, eat whatever you want, sleep whenever you want for however long you want. I suddenly remember life before children. Why did I give that up again
13. The Music Man Ok. I know musicals seem a little lame, but this one is great. I promise. If not, you will at least learn your son’s sexual preference while watching. Too far?
14. Big Another great Tom Hanks movie. Every kid wants to be a grown-up, and most grown-ups feel like they are still kids! I know there are some sexual provocative scenes (AKA a bra) but just distract kids during that scene. It’s only like 5 seconds.
15. The Princess Bride It would be “inconceivable” to a list without this film. See what I did there?
16. Jurassic Park This may not be the best movie for young kids but hey it’s science! Sorta. Maybe. This is more of an adult movie, but hell you sat through all their
crap movies. PLUS all those episodes of Barney. Bring on the real dinosaurs!
17. Shrek This movie has a lot of adult humor spread throughout that goes right over the kids’ head. It’s funny for kids and parents alike.
18. Monsters Inc This movie will either cure your childrens’ fear of the dark or make it worse. Damn you Bushemi!
19. Indiana Jones Take you pick of the trilogy (let’s ignore the 4th so-so movie). If you think about it, kids are really learning about science. Dr. Jones is an archeologist after all. There may be some salty language and sexual situations (AKA kissing) but kids learn about Christ, Indians (from India), Nazis, science, and history. It has it all!
20. Cop out No not the Kevin Smith movie but I am copping out on this one. Insert your favorite family movie. Every family should have that one movie they can all watch together over and over and over again. Ours is Rango It makes for some great memories. When your kids watch the movie as a grown-ups, it will bring them right back to the time they spend with their family all those years before.
I have a few snarky comments about some films you WILL NOT see on this list.
1. The Wizard of OZ. It is a scary ass movie. I don’t care what you say. I am 30-something years old, and I still won’t watch this movie in the dark and/or alone.
2. The Lion King. The father DIES. Enough said. Hakuna matata my ass.
3. Bambi. Refer to number 2. A parent dying doesn’t make for a very fun family movie night.
Some movies you could include on the list.
1. Back to the Future. A little bit incestuous, but still a great flick.
2. Harry Potter. Some of the movies can be a bit scary but overall they are very cute.
3. Lord of the Rings. Depending on the maturity of your kids.
There is my list! Any ones I missed? Which ones would you include?