Do you love nostalgia and frequently do things like sing along to Disney soundtracks from the 90s or check DoYouRemember to see what the Night Court looks like now? If you’re a fan of older movies, having kids is the perfect time to revisit the classics. There are plenty of iconic movies that introduce your children to important concepts while being fun for you to rewatch. Here are the seven must-watch movies that every kid needs to see.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Created by Steven Spielberg, this masterpiece from the 80s is impressive for both its plot and its quality. The tale about the timeless nature of friendship encourages children to reach out to those who are different, and it also has a very reassuring message about how to deal with loved ones leaving you. Younger children will love that the movie stars a cute alien and child actors who are actually as young as them, while older kids and adults will appreciate the special effects and fascinating story. This sci-fi tale is sure to continue being a delight for people of all ages. Just be sure to have plenty of Reese’s Pieces on hand because you and your kids will most likely be craving them after watching this!
The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant is great for older kids and younger teens because it tends to have deeper themes than many other kids movies. This story tells the tale of a young boy who befriends a giant robot and rushes to protect it when the government tries to destroy it. The parts that focus on Dean, Hogarth, and the Giant’s attempts to fit in and seek friendships emphasize the importance of being true to yourself and accepting your own quirks. Despite the more intellectual story, it still remains charming and exciting enough to attract a young kid’s interest. The hilarious scenes with Hogarth trying to hide the giant and the exciting action sequences with missiles will be sure to fascinate your kids.
At first glance, the tale of a pig trying to avoid being turned into bacon might seem a bit grim for a children’s movie, but it actually manages to be sensitive to its young audience without getting condescending. This movie can be a good way to help your children feel more comfortable with the concept of death without scaring or traumatizing them. It emphasizes the importance of being intelligent and knowledgeable, and Charlotte’s Web also helps children to think a little more about nature and animals. There are actually two versions of this, both a live action and an animated musical, but they’re both great.
Told from the perspective of small toys that are sentient, Toy Story is a truly heartwarming film. With a star-studded cast that includes Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, Toy Story manages to be both hilarious and emotional. It teaches some very important lessons about friendship, jealousy, and growing up that everyone can appreciate. This iconic children’s film is often ignored now in favor of flashier movies with minions and princesses, but it has truly stood the test of time. If your kid is a budding film buff, they’ll also appreciate the history behind this film. As the first feature-length movie to be entirely computer-animated, it kicked off the huge trend in kids animated movies that is still going today.
How to Train your Dragon
This movie is about a young Viking boy who befriends one of the dragons that terrorize his village. It’s a heartwarming tale about two outcasts who learn to love each other and work to end a longstanding feud. With lovely animation and breathtaking soundtrack, this movie is an extremely well made classic. A lot of it focuses on the main character learning to care for his dragon, so it can be a good movie to watch before your family goes to get a pet. Another bonus about this movie is its positive portrayal of a character with a leg prosthesis, making it a good way to discuss disabilities with your children.
Based on a beloved children’s series, Mary Poppins is a great way to introduce your kids to the classic musical genre that was so popular in mid century America. Its cute yet zany tale of a magical nanny contains plenty of fun songs and dances. The inclusion of animation in some of the key scenes helps to make the movie even more fun. Though it might seem like a rather silly movie at first glance, it actually has some fairly deep themes. The suffragette mother in the movie can be a good way to start discussions about gender equality with your kids while the plot about learning to appreciate your family is an important lesson to learn. A nice thing about watching this movie is that it has sequels and an entire book series, so if your kid gets obsessed with it, there are plenty of ways for them to continue loving the characters.
This coming of age movie is both hilarious and immensely relatable. The story of a new boy trying to fit in with all the kids in his neighborhood might seem simple, but at the same time, the movie manages to accurately describe all the worries and fears that kids deal with. Things like childhood crushes, being scared of the neighborhood dog and trying to learn how to throw a baseball are portrayed so realistically it will take you right back to your childhood too. Though a lot of the movie might seem fairly intense and scary to younger children, its ending is happy enough to be fairly reassuring. Another nice thing about it is that it features the main character bonding with his stepfather, so it may be ideal for children in mixed families.
All of these movies manage to be a great watch for both kids and adults. In addition to teaching some useful lessons, they are also just plain fun and entertaining. What’s your favorite childhood movie?