Movie Magic for the Whole Family


movies for the whole family
What makes a movie enjoyable for both kids and parents? I think it comes down to the music.  Because, really, the 17th time you and the kids are watching a movie, you [parent] are not really watching the movie.  At least, I know that I don’t normally have two-hours to watch Hotel Transylvania 2 for the 22nd time.  Although, an earful of “Going Down for Real” from the kitchen isn’t as bad as being assaulted with “Let It Go” AGAIN.  (Disclaimer: I love Frozen.  I bawled during the movie because the heroine is saved by her sister’s love and not a prince. I must admit, though, that I am not sad our DVD of Frozen is scratched.) 

Moana is much the same way.  It’s an awesome movie.  After seeing it in the theater, my six-year-old proclaimed it the best movie she’s ever seen.  It really has it all: great music (I mean, Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote the songs, so needless to say they are amazing,) strong female roles, a funny rooster, a likable demi-god, powerful goddess and an almost accurate portrayal of people in the Pacific Islands. There is a caveat, though. No matter how hard Disney tries, they always manage to miss the culturally-appropriate mark a tad.  But, still, they are trying.  Smithsonian article here.  

movies for the whole family

Back to what I was saying about the music of Moana, while wonderful, fun, and powerful, my children have already exhausted the soundtrack. Thanks, You-tube.  Here is a glorious number that I have heard about 100 million times. Still, I am buying the DVD as soon as it is released.  A Disney movie without a love interest.  Sold! 

Then, there are movies without big song numbers.  My favorites in this category are Nemo movies.  Finding Nemo and Finding Dory just don’t annoy me.  They are visually stunning, funny and not super scary for kids.  Well, aside from the barracuda that eats Nemo’s mom and all of his brothers and sisters, it’s not so scary. 

Then,  there is another category altogether.  It’s the category that comprises all the movies you loved as a child.  For my husband, it’s The Great Mouse Detective and The Rescuers.  I loved Bambi and the Scooby-Doo series. Lucky, for me, Scooby Doo is now made into two modern-day movies.  And, yes, I love them, even with the really annoying body-switching and long 70’s dance sequences.  There are exceptions to every rule.  

Movie Recommendations: 

  1. Your Childhood Movies:  E.T., Ghostbusters series, Scooby-Doo 1 & 2, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, etc. (Before you show it to your kiddos, it might be a good idea to re-watch it. Society changes and movies reflect those changes.) 
  2. Finding Nemo & Finding Dory
  3. Hotel Transylvania 1 & 2
  4. Frozen, Moana, Tangled & Brave –Girl Power
  5. Zootopia -Mystery Genre
  6. Monsters Inc. & Monsters University 
  7. Howl’s Moving Castle & Kiki’s Delivery Service (Anime from Hayao Miyazaki)
  8. The Princess Bride, Spy Kids, The Pacifier, Harry Potter, Elf (Not animated)
  9. Toy Story series (Warning: Toy Story 3 will make you weep like a baby!)
  10. Kung Fu Panda series (Just be prepared for lots of “kung fu” from your kids.  This movie energizes my kids, so if you are trying to calm your little ones down, this might not be the way you want to go.)
  11. Inside Out (Great for talking about emotions.)

What are your favorite kid’s movies for the whole family?


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