Here are my top ten favorite family movies, appropriate for children of all ages, in no particular order. Included is an overview of each movie and why it made my list, let me know what your favorites are in the comment section.
1. The Sound of Music, although it was first shown in 1965, each year we watch it on television or DVD and it is truly ageless. It’s a story of a young nun who is sent to nanny a widower’s seven children, who by the way have scared their past nanny’s away as they just want more time with their militant father. The music is set among the beautiful mountains where the children play and sing the hills are alive.
I loved this movie as a child, no matter what choir I was in we always sang songs from the Sound of Music. I introduced the movie to my 8 yr old step-daughter who didn’t seem impressed to be watching this old movie. However she too was quickly engrossed in the storyline and the music and loves singes Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do!
2. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Steven Spielberg and ET became a household name. E.T. is the story of a stranded alien who is taken in by two brothers and their little sister (Drew Barrymore). The kids try to figure out how ET can communicate to his family and thus the infamous, “ET phone home.” A delightful movie that also inspired the ET Adventure Ride at Universal Studios Florida.
3. Finding Nemo (2003) – The story of an overprotective father clown fish who allows his only surviving son Nemo to go to “fish school” – however Nemo is caught by a SCUBA diver who happens to be a dentist in Sydney Australia and a salt water fish collector. The movie shows what Nemo & his father go through to reunite. I love it because it’s about the ocean and Disney did a wonderful job in the storyline and bringing aquarium and ocean life – to life. I love the DVD which also has a repeat visual – making your television or computer monitor a live aquarium.
4. Beauty and the Beast (1991) – The story of a young girl named Belle who falls upon a Beast who rescues her and brings her to recover in his castle, along with great music and live cups, saucers, tea pot, and the candle stick; this is another Disney movie that has gone Broadway and continues to entertain adults and children alike as it lives on through live stages shows in the Disney Parks.
5. Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3D (2010) – Nothing beats the classic original that started Pixar, and made them a household name. Woody and his gang go through the life span of a young boy and the adventures they have with him and more so when no humans are around. This is a great example of true imagination and how it all begins in the mind of a child and that some guys thankfully didn’t grow up at Pixar, they fueled their imagination and kept going, even when Disney ignored the creativity of what turned into Pixar, and later Disney paid heavily to get the talent back, this time in Pixar’s terms – which is why excellence continues when you believe in yourself, keep pursuing and you will succeed.
6. The Lion King (1994) – I love the opening soundtrack to this movie and watching the previews before it was released was such an exciting time of build up. I also have great memories of seeing the live production of The Lion King – of course it’s the music that captures your heart and will not only teach young ones life lessons but with a breath-taking scenery and powerful music, this is a must for every family’s home DVD collection.
7. The Incredibles (2004) – This is what every family which they could have, special powers! It’s also the story of how a normal family can regroup and work together to help one another and then save the world!
8. Ratatouille (2007) – I’m inspired to cook every time I see this movie. Even though it’s by a mouse, it’s a family favorite, but probably more mine, because of my love for the creation of great food.
9. Up (2009) – This movie is an awesome classic. I’m not sure how Pixar has hit after hit, another definite winner. You know it’s great when you and your family are quoting scenes from the movie for years to come. Now whenever someone says, “my leg hurts” – we recite the scene where Carl says, “which leg”, and Russell says, “my arm hurts” – then is dragged along the dirt because he is so tired and the balloons over the house are “carrying” him. We also say, “Squirrel” a lot. I think I’ve seen it more than a dozen times with complete enjoyment!
10. Back to the Future – The Complete Trilogy
I can’t believe that Back to the Future has already had its 25th Anniversary, I loved this series, I have the DVDs, I’ve watched Marty MacFly and Doc so many times and I’m always amazed how much ahead of their time Robert Zemeckis and the writers were. I was fortunate to go to Universal Studios Hollywood shortly after the shooting of the second and third movies as parts of the set were still up and we were able to take photographs with the infamous flying DeLorean. Just writing about the series makes me want to have a family marathon of Back to the Future movies!