The top ten classic children’s movies of all time, in order from ten to one are:
10.Incredible Journey (1963 original version). I would actually rank this movie much higher; however, most people are only familiar with the 1993 version called Homeward Bound: Incredible Journey. That movie cannot compare with the original Incredible Journey. The original version is classic Disney, done realistically. The animals do not talk and it is narrated by Rex Allen, a familiar Disney voice. Tao, the Siamese cat, saves the day by fighting off a Grizzly Bear in the original version, while Sally Field is the voice of the whiny snobby Himalayan cat named Sassy in the Homeward Bound version. I fell in love with Bodger, the Bull Terrier, in Incredible Journey. At the end of the movie, he is the last to return home. When he finally walks over the hill and is reunited with his owner, I cry every time. This movie also gave me my love for Siamese cats, as Tao depicts the true personality of the Siamese- brave, loyal and intelligent to the end.
9. Charlotte’s Web (1973). This is a true classic children’s movie. Fern spends most of her time on the farm with the animals, including Charlotte the intelligent spider who finds a way to save Wilbur the pig from slaughter. To this day, when I see a spider, I think of Charlotte. You can’t help but love the gluttonous rat, Templeton. Though his main goal in life is to eat as much as he can, he has a heart and is a big part of the plot to save Wilbur. If only we could really hear what the animals have to say, I imagine this movie gets it pretty close.
8. Harry Potter Series (1997-). JK Rowling’s Harry Potter movies are the highest grossing series of all times. Kids love the magical fantasy world of Harry Potter. The movies are jam packed with adventure into a mystical world, captivating both children and adults.
7. Toy Story (1995). This was the first animated movie ever generated completely by computers. Somehow I wasn’t sure if I liked that idea, but I changed my mind after seeing Toy Story. Its a wonderful story about a boy who’s toys are afraid of being replaced on the boy’s birthday. Who doesn’t know who Woody is (the pull-string cowboy doll), or Buzz Lightyear? This film was selected into the National Historic Registry in 2005 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, in its first year of eligibility.
6. Lion King (1994). This is my all time favorite animated Disney film. The soundtrack is amazing. The impact of the vocal cast of James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg and Jeremy Irons is fantastic. The inspiring messages of hope and courage are uplifting for both children and adults. One of my favorite scenes is when Rafiki asks Simba to look into the pool of water to find his father. In case you have forgotten:
Simba: That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.
Rafiki: No, look harder.
[touches the water, as it ripples Simba’s reflection changes to that of his father]
Raficki: You see? He lives in you.
Mufasa’s ghost: [from above] Simba.
Mufasa’s ghost: [appears among the stars] Simba, you have forgotten me.
Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa’s ghost: You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa’s ghost: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember…
I do think that Mufasa with the voice of James Earl Jones, makes this movie. I love the Lion King!
5. ET (1982). ET is a movie that children from all generations love. We were all touched by the little extra-terrestrial alien, and many of us are moved to tears when E.T.’s heart glows as it prepares to go return home, the kids say good-bye, and E.T. tells Elliot, “I’ll be right here”, pointing to his head with his glowing finger.
4. Wizard of Oz (1939). A true classic, children for many generations have watched the Wizard of Oz. Before VCRs and DVD players this movie was one I looked forward to watching once a year. As a small child, I was scared to death by the flying monkeys, loved the scarecrow and was enchanted by the Emerald City. This is not only one of the best children’s movies, but I think it is one of the best movies of all time.
3. Shrek (2001). Shrek is one of the funniest children’s movies I’ve ever seen. With the love-able ogre Shrek, the hilarious and crazy donkey, and lots of fun music, this is a movie both children and adults can watch over and over again.
2. Aladdin (1992). Aladdin is a great family movie. Of course the best part of the movie is the Blue Genie (Robin Williams), who makes for non-stop laughs. The music and animation are both incredible, little girls love to be Princess Jasmine, while little boys can be Aladdin or the evil villain Jafar. The movie is very funny and charming, and has some great teaching moments for kids too. I almost listed this as number one; however, you’ll see below why I made my decision to play this movie as number two.
1. Finding Nemo (2003). Finding Nemo is a movie I have literally watched hundreds of times, and continue to laugh. I’m sure lots of parents can relate to the overly protective Marlin and learn a good parenting lesson too (including myself). The fun characters and great lines in this movie, especially Dory (by Ellen Degeneres) make it hilarious. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. What do we do? We swim!” Bruce the shark with his “fish are friends, not food”, Crush the 150 year old turtle with his “Hey, no hurling on the shell dude, OK? Just waxed it”. The seagulls, “mineminemine”, and the aquarium fish “Shark-bait, HOO-HA-HA” are just some of my favorites. I had to list Finding Nemo as the number one classic children’s movie, and one of the best of all time, because most children I know, and children at heart can’t stop watching it!