We’ve compiled a list of 7 unbeatable choices for your next family movie night. The selections span more than 50 years of filmmaking and include all the magic, the music, and the fun that you and the kids want from great family films. If your grandchildren haven’t seen these films, they are missing out! And so what if you’ve seen it 3 times? Did your favorite make the list?
- The Parent Trap (1961)-Watch the incomparable Hayley Mills (Pollyanna) perform two roles, as separated twins Susan and Sharon. When the girls run into each other at summer camp, they decide to switch lives upon return to their respective homes, and in the process, trick their divorced parents into getting back together.
- The Princess Bride (1987)- Ask any adult born after 1974 about this fairy tale-comedy, and they’ll probably quote Inigo Montoya’s famous sword-fighting speech. Kids today still find this to be an action-packed, innocently romantic, and wildly hilarious romp. It’s a must-see if you missed it in the 80’s.
- Mary Poppins (1964)- What kid wouldn’t love this classic musical about the best babysitter ever? In addition to being downright enchanting, the film touches on issues like the women’s suffrage movement, and why it’s important for families to spend time together — perfect for sparking discussion afterward. We know there is a new release, but it’s so much fun to see both!
- The Sound of Music (1965)- We probably don’t need to tell you this, but The Sound of Music is one of the finest, most iconic musicals of all time. The songs, scenery, incredible costumes, and moving story should be part of every kid’s cinematic history lesson.
- T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)- In this classic from Steven Spielberg, 10-year-old Elliot stumbles upon an alien in his backyard. The oddly cute E.T. is hidden and protected by the boy and his siblings (including the adorable Drew Barrymore), until they ultimately try to help the wayward alien get home. Keep in mind there are some scenes with kids in danger, a powerful scene where E.T. appears near death, and a few instances of cursing. Recommended for kids 7 and older who can handle these elements.
- The Muppet Movie (1979)-The feature length debut from Jim Henson’s classic Muppets is the antithesis to modern animation marvels such as any Pixar film and Avatar, but that’s a good thing. Introduce your grandchildren to charming, world-class puppetry and the Muppets’ timeless brand of slapstick humor.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)-It’s been seventy-one years since this techno-color musical premiered, and the film looks fantastic as ever. In addition to the imaginative characters and magnificent set design, we love the story’s overall theme of facing your fears, and of course, knowing you can always return home.