Best Family Movies

Cover of "The Ghost And Mr. Chicken"

Cover of The Ghost And Mr. Chicken

Wondering what new, exciting, yet appropriate movie you can let your 12-year-old and her friends watch at her next sleepover?  Looking for something fun for all ages for next week’s family night?  Try this list, found at parenting.com, which should fill your movie demands for a couple of months, at least.

Here are some samples from the list of twenty family-friendly movies, old and new.  Click the link to see them all.

“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” – The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, more of a comedy than scary flick, is about a journalist (Don Knotts) who must spend the night in the creepy Old Simmons’ Place and report about it. It’s full of campy, typical scary-movie stand-bys (think black cats and secret corridors), and won’t actually scare anyone. If anything, this movie’s a great chance for you to catch Don Knotts in a non-Andy Griffith role.

“Spirited Away” – There’s a chance you could end up loving Spirited Away more than your kids — its captivating animation, complexities, and surrealism make it one adults won’t be able to get out of their minds. For that reason, some kids might be bored. But for older kids into fantasy, this flick, full of mythology, danger, haunts, imagination, and vivid imagery, will become an immediate play-it-again fave.

“Pollyanna” – Hayley Mills in Pollyanna is one of Hollywood’s most loveable child characters in film for a reason. An orphan sent to live with her rich Aunt Polly, she’s unbelievably positive, and brings the town together in that way that makes you want to throw her up on your shoulders and cheer her name. (The town folk actually do this toward the end of the movie.) The flick oozes positivism, but in a non-annoying way, and is so tender that it will resonate with people of all ages. Don’t miss other Hayley Mills classics, like The Trouble with Angels and The Parent Trap.

Newsies

Image via Wikipedia

“Newsies” – Set in 1899, this Disney Musical about a singing and dancing troupe of newsboys who strike when the price of their papers is raised 1/10 of a cent, isn’t exactly historically accurate. But if your kids love music, they won’t be able to turn it off. The soundtrack is full of toe-tapping tunes (many sung by the sweet, angelic voices of boys with heavy Brooklyn accents), and the plot is strung together with impressively choreographed song and dance. The cast includes Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret, and a young Bill Pullman and Christian Bale, so there’s something for you, too.

“Wall-E” – If anyone can make a social commentary on population growth and the environment entertaining for kids, it’s Pixar, and they deliver again with this creative, laugh-out-loud flick. Wall-E, the friendly garbage collector, is so life-like, he’ll transfix you in ways you didn’t think an animated character could, and the issues he deals with will engage you and the kids. Try not to cry too hard, though. (Someone’s got to be the strong one.)

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