Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks! We’re going to watch School of Rock this weekend! And surprisingly enough there are 3 or 4 on there that I never even *thought* of to watch as a family it’s been so long.

    Another good family movie is Big with Tom Hanks.


    Monica´s last blog post…Latin Men in White Suits

  2. What a good list! Your shop had several others that we love like Much Ado About Nothing and the Princess Bride. A few that my family enjoys as well are Willow, Ever After (Drew Barrymore – retelling of Cinderella), Fly Away Home, and the Anne of Green Gables miniseries from 80s.

  3. Love your choice of Princess Bride–good for girls and boys. I’d recommend that you add the book (by William Goldman) to your bedside stack–a bit different than the movie, but still hilarious.

    The Goonies is another great movie; one that kids today enjoy and children of the ’80s still quote :o)

    • Goonies is my kid’s all time favorite (at least, of the movies from my youth that I’ll let them see!) I wish they were still making innocent kid adventure movies like that one.

    • Goonies! I hadn’t thought of that being a movie that kids today would enjoy, but I guess that makes sense, since I liked it when I was a kid. :)

    • Fun movie for sure, but make sure you preview it before turning the kids loose. It had more swearing than I had remembered. Selective memory, I guess. : )

      • Goonies has a ton of swearing. I dont remember all the bad words when I was a child. perhaps we had recorded the movie off tv. ( wow does that sound old or what!?) but i was shocked to hear the bad words all through this one

  4. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with these picks.
    My youngest son is in love with Princess Bride. I am reading the book to him now while he stands in the middle of the floor having pretend sword fights. (He’s 6.) We like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables (my daughter’s favorite). We watched Little Women last night although it was on TV and was the older one with June Allison as Jo. I love Elizabeth Taylor in that version!! PLUS we love Pixar movies. Just do.

  5. Great pics. I’ve seen most of them, but am trying to gather titles as good family movies to watch as our kids are finally reaching the age where we might be able to begin doing movie nights and enjoy it. Today has been declared “movie day” as all three of my kiddos got sick over night last night. YIKES.

    Briana´s last blog post…Questions and Answers

  6. Thanks for the list. I will have to look into some of those for tonight!

    Lately my kids have been on a Beethoven kick! Finding good movies that are great for a 3 and 9 year old can be challenging!
    I think I’m going to go rent Hook tonight!

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah´s last blog post…Always Proofread

  7. I really like An American Tale (with Fieval the mouse) and I think Tuck Everlasting is a really quality movie…although maybe not too interesting for very young kids.

    Veggie tales were always a favorite in my house growing up…my parents loved them too!

  8. Great list! Some that my 4 year old loves that’s not been mentioned includes Annie, Mary Poppins, and Singing in the Rain. She loves the musicals. :)

  9. National Treasure is a film that my older two ,ages 6 and 8, really enjoyed. They liked the info on American history, as well as the suspense, and it was surprisingly clean.

  10. We’re big Shrek fans but I also LOVE almost every single one of the movies you mentioned. I may just have to whip out Little Women tonight! Hope my boys will like it. :)

  11. We don’t watch TV in our home either. We canceled cable two and a half years back, and it was one of the best things we could have ever done. It’s fair to say, Writer Dad wouldn’t exist if we still had TV, the stuffs just too addictive.

    Great list… except for Hook, which happens to be my least favorite Spielberg film. My wife does love it, however, and she’s right about a great many things.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Lobster Racing Part Duex

  12. The Wizard of Oz is a favorite in my house. Muppets take Manhattan, too (well, any of the Muppet movies). My 6-year old loves Napoleon Dynamite.

  13. Great choices! We enjoy finding hidden gems at our house… here are a few that haven’t been mentioned:
    Secret of Roan Inish (Irish family tale, with some folklore mixed in)
    Miss Potter (the true historical account of how Peter Rabbit was created)
    Black Beauty (we like the 1994 remake)
    Duma (Boy befriends cheetah — set in Africa)
    The Adventures of Ociee Nash (sweet movie, mostly for girls)
    Mr. Bean (the old BBC shows are better than the movies)
    Nature show episodes from PBS (especially Cloud: Stallion of the Rockies)
    Secret of NIMH (classic – also a fantastic book)
    Whale Rider (great New Zealand film!)
    I Am David (more serious, WWII, but excellent and suitable for kids)
    Heidi (the 1993 version)
    Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (true story of horse diving)
    Love Comes Softly (the whole series, there are 4 I believe)
    Eragon (fantasty and dragons – there are battle scenes)

    For the record, my kids are 9, 7, and 5 so that’s my target audience.

    • I’m sooo glad you mentioned ‘Secret of NIMH’. I love that movie. It might be a little scary for some kids though.

    • Great list! My family also enjoys the movie A Knight’s Tale. A fun middle evil movie set to music.

  14. Your list was great, Tsh! The Princess Bride is one of those movies that never gets old for me OR my kids. To your list I would add:

    Anne of Green Gables (as someone else said, my husband isn’t that into it, but my son loves it)
    The Neverending Story (classic from my own childhood)
    The Wizard of Oz (although I do have to fast forward some of the scarier parts still for my 5-year-olds)
    The Lord of the Rings (my kids LOVE these movies, all of them)
    Star Wars (my daughter actually requests this far more often than my son)
    Meet the Robinsons (someone else mentioned Pixar movies, and this is my absolute favorite one… makes me cry every single time!)

    I’ll admit that I’ve also let my kids watch Pirates of the Caribbean, but I found that it isn’t always appropriate for them, so we limit its availability for now.

    Mist´s last blog post…I Love…

    • Yes, I was going to mention a few Pixar movies – Toy Story 1 & 2, Cars, The Incredibles – and then I realized they would take up the entire list! So I think someday I’ll make a post of kid movies that adults will enjoy.

  15. We just got into the Muppets & they’re a huge hit with the 4yr old

    My son has now seen all of the Star Wars movies & is on the verge of becoming a Jedi himself… maybe when he turns 6 we’ll have Yoda over for dinner. Does Yoda even eat?

    Flight of the Navigator is a household favorite, too. “See you later, navigator!”

    Joan´s last blog post…The Need for Nature: defined.

    • Yes, the Muppet movies are great! Forgot about those.

      And I completely forgot about Flight of the Navigator. Oh my gosh, the amount of times we watched that as a kid…

      • OMG, I didn’t think anybody else watched Flight of the Navigator!! My brothers and I STILL talk about that movie!

  16. I came very close to adding The Sound of Music, but I didn’t simply because it’s long, and I wanted this to be a list of movies you could watch in their entirety as a family with small children.

    And I love Anne of Green Gables! But I think several of you hit it – my husband… not so much. He enjoys Little Women, but that’s as far as he’ll go in that genre.

  17. Great movie taste! (And we don’t do TV either…) With the Peter-Pannish movies, I’m surprised you missed the live-action Peter Pan. My kids love the adventure (“Captain Hook is my Fave-it,” says the two year old), and we love the depth of the love story involved.

    Another knew one that *might* even surpass Princess Bride is Stardust. Pirates, witches, princes, love, magic… fun.

    Then, there’s the more obscure Alice Through the Looking Glass with Kate Beckensale. I love that is have a very relaxed quiet part toward the end where the littles often fall asleep. A good bedtime movie.

  18. Such a great list! Many of our favorites plus some I’ll have to watch with our boys soon! We just got School of Rock last week (for anyone looking for it… it’s in the $5 bargain bin at Walmart!) and I cracked up when I found my son playing air guitar in his bedroom and saying “now raise your goblet of rock!”… hilarious. My boys are also bog fans of the Narnia movies…

    sb´s last blog post…baby gnome…

  19. LOVE THESE MOVIES! Little Women is such a classic. My sisters and I always quote “I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.” I still get steaming mad when Amy burns Jo’s manuscript. Ughh I cannot even speak of it!!! :)

    Becky´s last blog post…The Love Affair Continues

  20. My 7-year-old daughter is now a huge fan of Jackie Chan now that we’ve watched ‘Around the World in 80 Days’.
    We also watched ‘Wall*E’ recently and I LOVE the environmental message. The movie was still fun but my daughter really clued into *why* we are supposed to recycle, compost and take care of our Earth.

    Jenni at My Web of Life´s last blog post…Friday Faves

  21. I personally am a Disney ADDICT, I grew up watching Aladdin so much the tape wore out (seriously, the singing sounds terrible now, thank goodness for DVDs). I’m appalled that you prefer the remake of The Parent Trap! *huge sigh* Such lack of taste *tsk tsk* 😉 The only thing I can count against the original is how long it is, but oh, such a favorite of mine!!
    Basically anything Pixar is entertaining, Nemo came out while I was in college and everone would go “Mine, mine mine”. But I’m a big fan of classics too, like Swiss Family Robinson and Old Yeller (oh how that made me cry!). If you want a fun one (I don’t know if it would capture the attention of littles, but it’s adorable), see if you can dig up a copy of Two Weeks with Love. It’s an old movie with Debbie Reynolds (from Singing in the Rain) and it’s one my all time favorites. Libraries would be your best bet to find it.

  22. Family movie nights are my favorite. We have almost every movie you listed. We even have all 3 Sandlot movie. My son is big baseball fan, so he really likes them.

    I think someone may have mentioned it, but Homeward Bound is a good family movie. We also like Tuner and Hooch and the Beethoven movies, but these may not be classics. My son also loves the “Buddy” movies, you know the one with the dog that plays basketball. Now they have several “Buddy” movies, again these aren’t classic, but bareable for parents. Thanks for the list and our Friday’s are usually family movie night, so I think I’ll be popping one of these in tonight.

    Cynthia´s last blog post…Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

  23. Quite a few here we haven’t seen. I worry Finding Neverland would be much too sad for children. You didn’t find that! (excellent movie though) I’ll add Secondhand Lions. EXCELLENT movie about real life issues, family relations, fantasy and sword fighting. It’s got it all. The main characters are male but in our family it appeal to everyone.

    Comment on Meet the Robinsons: some of our children were adopted and the adoption theme caught me off guard at the start of this movie. Our children who were adopted are too young to understand the movie anyway or the adoption themes but I did want to put this out there for other families this may affect. I’m becoming quite aware how many books and movies have an adoption theme and realize this will be an issue to deal with in a few years.

    We love some of the ‘usuals’ also…Incredibles, Robots, Horton Hears a Who, Shrek (only the first, didn’t like the followups).

    • Our son is adopted & I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure why you think this movie would be an issue for adoptive or traditional families?

  24. You have some of our faves listed! You forgot one, though… Daddy Day Care! It is so cute and funny and very family friendly. Thanks for not mentioning “Shr&k” – even though kids love the big green ogre, we have found those movies have some adult humor that we don’t particularly want our kids exposed to (yet). Here’s to family movie night!

    Eryn´s last blog post…works for me: vacuuming

  25. While I have seen and enjoyed most of these movies, I couldn’t get my preschooler, or even my six year-old to sit through any of them (even as a family watching them together)…except maybe Babe and Wallace & Gromit. Princess Bride is my favorite on the list, but it would be way too violent/scary to them (the fighting/torture scenes) and the content of the others is just over their head, and they’re very bright girls (both taught themselves to read around the same time they were potty trained), or in some cases too sad, esp. Neverland (they’re quite sensitive). If they were in animated form, we might be able to pull it off, but the only non-cartoon Disney movie they like is Mary Poppins (it’s all about the penguins). I look forward to when they’re read for some of these, but I’m just surprised that so many here have little ones who can actually get through these.

    One little point I’d like to make is that if at all possible, if there’s a book version, read them (or have them read) the book before they see the movie. That way they get to use their imagination rather than having a visual picture already in their head from the film.

    I’m holding off on the Chronicles of Narnia (book and films) until I think they are mature enough to appreciate the stories and understand the symbolism, probably age 9 or so. I have found that reading or showing movies too young tends to dull their senses to it so that by the time they can really grasp the meaning, they’ve read/heard/seen it too many times to be interested. I know every child is different, though, so some are ready earlier than others, and some love the repetition at all ages.

  26. Seen ’em all. Nice list. Most of these would also be on our list of family favorites. Our absolute, all time favorite is The Goonies. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

    Nancy´s last blog post…A Word of Wisdom

  27. These are awesome picks (well, 8 of ten. I haven’t seen the other 2). Our current faves:
    1. The original star wars trilogy. The kids are head over heels for these movies right now and hubby is in heaven. Our whole family is going to be Princess Leia for Halloween.
    2. “What’s Up, Doc?” Particularly the chase scenes.
    Some other older comedies are fun to watch with the kids. The one that comes to mind is “Support your local sheriff”.

  28. This is good, thank you everyone!

    Vintage Girl has enjoyed Mary Poppins, and I was delighted to watch it with her. She’s easily scared and very sensitive, so at first there were tears when Mary left, but she’s better now. The first (and only) movie she’s seen in the theater (at the ripe old age of 7) is Kit Kittredge. I know lots of people who take their kids to movies I would never want VG to see – even if she wanted to!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post…I Want to Say “I Told You So”

  29. Love your list. We just watched Princess Bride the other night, because it was my oldest daughter’s birthday (age 7) and she got to choose. My son (age 4) was mad because he said it was “dumb,” but that was only before he watched. He loved the whole thing, especially the sword fight and the giant, and wants to watch it again.

    We also love the remake of Parent Trap. Both my daughter and I think it is much better than the original. She could watch the scene over and over where the want-to-be-stepmother has the lizard crawl from her hair into her mouth. She just squeals and thinks it is hilarious!

    Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog post…Household Notebook: Use It To Organize Your Home Life

  30. Our family LOVES Hiyao Miyazaki’s films- they’re from his studio, Studio Ghibli, in Japan but Disney has released them here. Howl’s Moving Castle, Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Cat Returns are all super sweet. Nausicaa is a little more adult, with a war story running in the background. Oh, they’re all just GOOD!

    Myrnie´s last blog post…My Beautiful Corner, and a Giveaway!

  31. Love the list! I would most definitely add Goonies!
    *Annie-my daughter loves the songs and dancing and I love Carol Burnett
    *Follow Me Boys-Walt Disney film about a boy scout troop in the 1930’s a little long but my kids march around and sing along with it
    *Spy Kids 1, 2 & 3 are a lot of fun too.
    *The Ugly Dachshund-another great old Walt Disney about a Great Dane that thinks he is dainty dachshund, cute and slapstick humor
    *Calamity Jane- with Doris Day
    *Seven Brides for Seven Brothers-so funny, great songs and dancing
    *Pollyanna-with Hayley Mills, teaches to find the good in every situation
    *Chicken Run- from the Wallace & Gromit guys, Mel Gibson is the rooster’s voice
    *Shrek-we love all three and love how they incorporate cool songs in the sound track.
    I could probably go on and on since my husband and I love movies but I will restrain myself.
    Good post!

    Keilah´s last blog post…Child Psychology 101

  32. My 3-year-old daughter loves “Amelie.” I don’t even think she has noticed it’s in French. There are two quick scenes where I either FF or get her out of the room by telling her to go grab her teddy or something, but otherwise it’s charming. The CGI effects are appealing to kids.

    We also love the two “Eloise” movies (one is a Christmas story). Also, “Wall-E” and “The Sound of Music” (though usually I skip from one song to another … my daughter isn’t much interested in the plot yet).

    Another good option for kids are concert DVDs, especially if your kids are musically inclined. My daughter would watch the Dave Matthews Band for hours if I let her. Music can be a nice change from the hyper-action animation of so many kids’ movies and shows.

    Simple Mom monthly columnist – Family Food

  33. Family movies are ones we watch together, so they may have some language or more adult situations, which is why we watch them together, so we can talk about any questions. Right now the girl is 7, a very good reader, and mature, but not sophisticated. Some of our favorites are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Bend It Like Beckham (which for many years was the only movie she wanted to watch and was called “Girls Playing Soccer” in our house), Mr. Mom, Miracle on 34th Street, The Odd Couple, Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Blue Crush, Whale Rider, South Pacific, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, and oddly enough, Il Postino, which is about Pablo Neruda and is in Italian and Spanish. I think that many movies that are “for” adults can be enjoyed by children, as long as there is a trusted adult there to explain the more difficult parts.

    • We are very similar with our family movies. Il Postino was well-loved at our house! Some other foreign and unconventional favorites:
      Fiddler On The Roof (great musical)
      The Dish (moon landing story from New Zealand perspective)
      Door to Door (true story of a disabled salesman)
      Rabbit Proof Fence (aboriginal integration in the 1930s)
      The Road Home (childhood sweethearts in rural China)
      Spitfire Grill (redemption story in small-town Maine)
      Story of the Weeping Camel (Mongolian documentary)
      The Straight Story (reunion of two stubborn old brothers)
      Behind the Waterfall (children rekindle their imagination after losing their father)
      Children of Heaven (Iranian brother and sister must share shoes for school – excellent!!)
      Lagaan (East Indian village learns cricket to challenge British colonials)

      Oh there are so many more… my kids actually like ones with subtitles, often easier for them than ones with thick accents/dialects.

      I’m getting some great movie ideas here — thanks everyone!

  34. I 100% agree with that entire list!
    I would add (at least) these:
    The Last Unicorn (a lesser-known animated film that still amuses me every time)
    The Pagemaster
    Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (I’m 22 and this is one of MY favorite movies! I think ‘whimsical’ best describes it…)

  35. One of our favorites is Sound of Music…you can’t help but sing through the whole movie. Great way to sneak a little history lesson in, too!
    The Pink Panther with Steve Martin: “I wuld li twa bu u dambuger”!
    One more favorite is Fun with Dick and Jane with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni. We do the “elevator ” scene EVERY time we are in the elevator.

  36. My kids absolutely loved the 1958 version of Tom Thumb with Russ Tamblyn. Another favorite was the BBC version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (not nearly as graphic, but just as enjoyable). My youngest loved the 1984 version of Alice in Wonderland with Sammy Davis Jr. Other favorites were The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Disney films (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.), and various musicals such as The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

    Sandy´s last blog post…Heart Joys

  37. When I was kid two of my faves were The Journey of Natty Gann (John Cusack, way back when), we borrowed it from the library dozens of times. Also, Space Camp. Two oldies, but goodies:)

  38. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke. Loved it! Oh, and The Explorers with Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.

  39. our son is 4 – so while hubby and i love most of the movies on your list (Princess Bride is a favorite with both of us), they are not really something our little guy would be interested in. we are more likely to be watching the Fox & the Hound, Cinderella, Aladdin… any animated Disney or Pixar vehicle is pretty much something that our son will watch with us.

    Krista´s last blog post…Book Review: The Moon Shines Down

  40. This is a great list I stumbled upon! I am 18, and I remember several of these from when I was younger… A few of my other favorites were All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Land Before Time, and FernGully.

  41. oooh! great list! Our favorite movie to watch over and over nowadays is that new Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. My son loves movies with great soundtracks. We also watch “happy feet” all the time too.

    Amiyrah´s last blog post…Good Bye Bank of America

  42. We love Parenthood with Steve Martin. Pollyanna is fabulous – I could still watch it everyday.

    Someone else mentioned Fly Away Home and Goonies – both Great!

    And THE best, although it is a Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street – the original!!!

  43. I think pretty much all our favorites have been listed by someone except Indian in the Cupboard (unless I just missed it!).

  44. great list. i am the mother of three girls. little women is a favorite in our home. another great show is the never ending story. it’s one that our entire family enjoys.

  45. Wow…what a great list here! I’ll definitely be referencing it for our Sunday night movie nights. I’m with previous poster Myrrh, though. I don’t want to introduce my kids to a movie if there’s a great book that it’s based on. I find that movies are generally watered down and lose the strength of the characters, and once a kid sees the movie they generally (in my experience as a teacher) feel like they already know the story and don’t want to read the book. That really limits our watchables…but even more so, the fact that our boys are 3 and 5 and scare easily! But perhaps I’ll favorite this thread for later and pick out the ones to watch now. Thank you!

    Linn´s last blog post…Taking Flight…

  46. I’ve enjoyed all the movies on your list before apart from School of Rock which we watched just last night at your recommendation. It was funny but parents should be aware that there is more “language” in this movie than in your other picks. Thanks for your wonderful site!

  47. We LOVE the old Disney movies. Some have been mentioned like Swiss Family Robinson, Pollyanna, and Parent Trap (love the Hailey Mills version way better than the new one). We also love Gus, The Ugly Dachshund, Hot Lead and Cold Feet, the Apple Dumpling Gang, etc. etc. It’s great to know we can all sit down and watch a movie together and not worry about what is going to surprise us on the screen.

    We happened upon one on netflix called Hawmps! that was hilarious. Not Disney, but very Apple Dumpling Gangish.

    Marni´s last blog post…Random Post on Children’s Books

  48. What great lists!! For some reason, “The Princess Bride” tops off our family’s list too. We like the golden oldies too, but I haven’t seen one mentioned—“The Court Jester” with Danny Kaye…it is SO good! You have to look it up! Singing, dancing, sword fighting, romance, comedy. I would say it is the great-grandma of “The Princess Bride”.

  49. Wow, a great list of suggestions, we actually watched Princess Bride this morning too. But another great movie from my time that my daughter (age 6) LOVES…

    The Labyrinth (the one with David Bowie as the Goblin King)

  50. “Tuck Everlasting” is a great story that I read every year with my fifth grade class, then we watch the movie. My own children also love it…18, 14 and 10.

  51. Four more family film gems to check out, definitely worth a look.
    1) The Secret Garden- 1993 movie
    2) Second Hand Lions
    3) Last of The Dogman
    4) The Little Princess

  52. You have some great films here, I loved the princess bride, my daughter read the book first and then wanted to watch the film. This is the one film I would love to see remade. The other film that we still watch and my daughter is 16 is snow white. I still think this film is charming and when you think how long ago it was made it still has that touch of magic.
    Another film for your list is Stardust, this is the first film that my daughter says she prefers to the book.

  53. Lots of our favorites have already been mentioned. We also love these ~
    Back to the Future series
    City Slickers (both 1 and 2)
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Support Your Local Sheriff with James Garner
    October Sky
    Rat Race
    Night at the Museum and the sequel, Battle of the Smithsonian

  54. Great list of flicks for a family event, and worthwhile contributions in the comments.

    The Neverending Story
    Not sure that she would get it, I showed this to my 3-year-old daughter, remembering that it had made an impact on me when I was around 7-10. She got completely absorbed into this one and couldn’t stop talking about it afterward. A pretty deep movie for a kid.
    I wish my wife hadn’t mentioned the sequels, though having Jack Black in the third one was a novelty.

  55. My four boys have enjoyed these:
    Facing the Giants
    Narnia (all three, Wardrobe, Caspian, & Dawn Treader)
    And, of course ALL the Star Wars movies

    Thanks for the great list!

  56. Love the Princess Bride – still a favourite (the movie AND the book)

    Elf is a huge family favourite. So funny. It’s a Christmas movie but it’s humour we all get around here.

    Up and Lorax are two fav’s for both kids and us. Considered kid-movies but are too good not to mention.

  57. Great list. This just showed up on Facebook today. I’d add a couple we love….Mr.Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Bridge to Terybithia.
    Both wonderful family movies that touch your heart with a sense of wonder and good will.