Classic Family Movies

Family films have the unenviable task of trying to appeal to an audience with varying ages. They’re supposed to capture the imagination of both children and adults. This post will go over a list of the top 10 classic family movies that you can watch with your kids on the next movie night. It is worth noting that the movies listed span over half a decade of family movies. You can be sure they’ll entertain and inspire your whole family.

Classic Family Movies

1.    The Wizard of Oz (1939, G)

This all-time classic is based on the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In the movie, Dorothy Gale finds herself in a magical land where she sets out on a quest to find the Wizard who can take her back home.

What’s in it for parents?

It’s an interesting story with lots of hilarious moments.

What’s in it for kids?

The kids will enjoy Dorothy’s journey through the magical Land of Oz.

2.    It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, G)

Based on the short story “The Greatest Gift,” It’s a Wonderful Life is a Christian comedy-drama that tells the story of a discouraged businessman who gets the opportunity to see what life would have been like, had he never been alive.

What’s in it for parents?

The movie captures the frustrations of George Bailey that almost drive him to suicide. Parents will relate to this.

What’s in it for kids?

It is a compelling story told in a manner that kids will enjoy.

3.    Marry Poppins (1964, G)

Mary Poppins is a hilarious musical film produced by Walt Disney and directed by Robert Stevenson. It tells the story of a nanny who goes to work for a no-nonsense banker with a miserable family.

What’s in it for parents?

They will enjoy songs from the Sherman Brothers and the overall humor in the movie.

What’s in it for kids?

They’ll enjoy the exploits of the super nanny as she flies with her umbrella to sort out the kids’ troubles.

4.    The Sound of Music (1965, G)

The Sound of Music is a firm favorite of many family movie enthusiasts. Maria, a nun who turned nanny, finds herself at the door of a menacing widower and his seven kids. It features cheeky kids, breathtaking scenery, and moving Rodgers and Hammerstein music.

What’s in it for parents?

It’s amazing how seven kids run and play for days on end without getting dirty.

What’s in it for kids?

Kids will love the simplicity and directness of Maria. They’ll also enjoy the action-packed exploits of the kids.

5.    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968, G)

Released in 1968, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is beyond doubt a delight to watch. A single dad happens to invent a car that can float and fly. Upon taking it for a test drive as a family, they find themselves in a strange tyrannical kingdom where the kids are locked up. The whole family will be taken in by the drama as a rescue mission ensues.

What’s in it for parents?

While parents can relate to a world without kids, they find it hard to live without their kids for too long.

What’s in it for kids?

Kids will enjoy the battle of wits between the villains and the heroes. They will particularly enjoy the scene where the village kids overrun the castle.

6.    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971, G)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a classic musical fantasy film casting Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. It tells of a poor young lad named Charlie, who wins the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to the most wonderful and eccentric candy factory the world has seen.

What’s in it for parents?

Parents will be awed by little Charlie’ tenacity as he beats the odds to grab the brass ring.

What’s in it for kids?

Kids will love the drama and all the chocolate in the chocolate factory.

7.    E.T. (1982, PG)

Casting Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton, E.T. is a journey into the supernatural. An extraterrestrial lands on earth and finds himself lost in the backyard of a ten-year-old called Elliot. He checks out, wide-eyed, the suburban sprawl, the weird landscape of the neighboring forest, the scientific lab, and television.

What’s in it for parents?

The movie captures the innocence of childhood so well that every parent will relate.

What’s in it for kids?

Kids will love it when Elliot marshals the neighborhood kids in a bid to get their alien friend back to his home.

8.    The Princess Bride (1987, PG)

This movie is a romance and adventure classic based on a novel by the same name written by William Goldman. It is the story of Prince Humperdinck’s fiancée, Buttercup, who is kidnapped in a twisted scheme to start a war. It’s now upon Westley, her childhood boyfriend, to come and save her.

What’s in it for parents?

The movie has a somewhat complex plot that parents will be delighted to watch.

What’s in it for kids?

While the plot is a bit complex, there is also an element of simplicity. It is also funny, and the kids will enjoy watching Westley’s triumph against all odds.

9.    The Beauty and the Beast (1991, G)

Based on the French fairy tale that goes by the same name, The Beauty and the Beast narrates the story of Belle, a young girl, whose father is taken captive by the beast. In a bid to save her father, she offers up herself in his place. It is during her captivity that she discovers that the beast is actually a prince.

What’s in it for parents?

The emotion and romance in the movie is simply captivating.

What’s in it for kids?

Kids will enjoy the magic and a simple but compelling story line that every kid can relate to.

10.    Toy Story (1995, PG)

Toy Story is an animation comedy that tells the story of a cowboy doll that becomes increasingly jealous when a spaceman figure takes up his place as the top toy in the owner’s room.

What’s in it for the parents?

It’s an absolutely hilarious animation with clever jokes.

What’s in it for the kids?

This is a fun watch for kids. The toys and the action-packed scenes will leave them yearning for more.

 

Watch the video below for more recommendations on classic family films: