Filling out your video cue: 100 best movies for kids!

This cold rainy season makes a perfect time for families to cuddle up and watch movies together. But what videos will keep everyone in the family entertained and maybe even broaden their minds?

Michael recently ran across a New York Times list of the best 100 movies for kids between the ages of 8 to 12, and we have been ordering movies from the library off the list. (Many on the list are older titles that are available through Netflix online.)

The 100 Recommended Childrens Movies by The New York Times Essential Library features many “animated films, standard films for kids, and hits from more recent years. However, the listings included lots of sophisticated, unconventional choices from Hollywood’s Golden Era. There were many great dramas and comedies included, but films from the horror genre, and films with religion as their subject matter were virtually non-existent.”

I love that many films on the list come from the Golden Era of Hollywood, but many of those movies definitely have a different pace that the kids have to get used to. They are slower and the kids have to be patient for the pay off. They also have to get used to the fast-paced verbal sparring, sight gags and physical comedy that are so different from today.

While the list is great to give you ideas, you definitely have to judge the appropriateness for your specific kids.

For example, while I adore “Rear Window,” I don’t think they’re ready for it yet. Nor do I think they are ready for “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

With that said, there are many movies on the list for them to enjoy.

A few weeks ago, we showed them “The Great Escape.” They loved that they recognized so many scenes that have been repeated in children’s movies such as “Chicken Run.” (Be aware of some bad machine gun firing at the end. We had to do a little editing.)

The two oldest also loved “The Princess Bride.” They laughed and laughed. The 4-year-old came in and out. She thought it was scary.

We tried out “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” last Friday night. Rose and Walsh loved “Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First” routine on the internet so we thought they would like the movie. Plus it was on the list.

It’s in black and white. Rose stayed with it the longest. Lilina kept running in and out saying “It’s too scary!” even though it’s not anymore violent than a Scooby Doo cartoon.

The “Swiss Family Robison” had a lovely mix of adventure, romance and humor. The older kids really liked it. A few scenes worried Lilina.

We have the Marx brothers to try out next. We’ll see how it goes.

What movies have your kids seen from the list? What can you recommend for other families? Would you use the list?

56 comments Add your comment

Fred

January 20th, 2012
12:52 am

Theresa? Is that list for real/ Not a knock on you, but that has to be the crappiest list of kid movies I have ever seen. Who created it? Someone who not only never HAD kids but also HATES kids?

Just damn.

Fred

January 20th, 2012
1:00 am

Come on, you don’t need ME to tell you that was just fornicating stupid. Have YOU even watched these movies? I won’t mention the ones you already did, but the Longest Day? The Yellow Submarine? Tell me how “The Rookie” is a kids flick. Oh yeah, Cat Ballou is DEFINITELY one for the kids. Not to mention Ghandi. hell, I LOVE history but it was all I could do to sit through that one and I was an ADULT by the time it was made.

Sorry, but that list has to be one of the most insipid things I have ever seen, Peter Nichols is a complete idiot, and I wonder about your sanity for posting this.

[...] more from the original source: Filling out your video cue: 100 best movies for kids! – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Related Posts:What kid movies are worth your holiday money? – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

jarvis

January 20th, 2012
6:28 am

Just so you all know, I got my period yesterday so I am in NO mood.

Motherjanegoose

January 20th, 2012
6:34 am

There needs to be more movies with spanking, high heels and cigars.

Jeff

January 20th, 2012
7:07 am

I’m sorry, but did that quote just come from MJG?

djm_NC

January 20th, 2012
7:22 am

lol…so far this has been quite amusing.
on topic….instead of dissing the list theresa posted (but didnt write!) why dont we tell our favorite kids movies?? there are a plethora of old movies that kids would (and always have) love! where the red fern grows…bambi…ol yeller….ill have to think of more…gotta get to work.

jeff….i have to doubt that mjg wrote that post lol…

Me

January 20th, 2012
7:32 am

Thankfully, our respective offspring are way beyond “movies for kids” and, to each his own, but that is NOT a list that even I would consider watching and I certainly wouldn’t force it on the kids. I can so easily remember when our oldest was watching Barney — damn, I hated that purple %$#*&^ with a passion but at least it was geared toward children. I did share some of the older Disney movies (the originals) such as “Flubber”, etc., but virtually nothing on the list you provided.
Oh, and I’m also thinking the above posting is someone other than the “real” @MJG… But, if truly real, then she certainly has my attention! :)

homeschooler

January 20th, 2012
7:34 am

I would have left off about 30 of those movies(at least) and added Chitty Chitty Bang Bang any movie by John Hughes that you think might be appropriate. I can’t believe Home Alone wasn’t on this list. My kids love the 80’s movies. Goonies, The Karate Kid, Back to the Future. Great movies, but then, I’m an 80’s kinda girl. :-)

mystery poster

January 20th, 2012
8:24 am

Its queue, not cue.

usually lurking

January 20th, 2012
8:26 am

@mystery poster – you beat me to it, although i guess you could cue up the movies in your queue

Soccer MILF

January 20th, 2012
8:53 am

I hear the Human Centipede is a good movie. It teaches kids about insects and how their digestive systems work.

Lori

January 20th, 2012
8:57 am

Wow, what a crappy list!!! Most of those movies would not even interest my son. “Emma”!! How is that a movie for kids??? “The Lord of the Rings” is extremely violent, and some of those movies are scary. What about more animated classics? Or for that matter newer animated movies. Most of the Pixar movies are the best movies for kids, and some are the best period. My more recent favorite is Dreamworks “How to Train Your Dragon”. Fantastic movie, and not just for kids. And, bonus, it’s based on books, so my son can read the further adventures of Hiccup and the Dragon!!

Soccer MILF

January 20th, 2012
9:00 am

Seven is a good movie to learn counting and has a lot of religious aspects as well.

You can tell it is not the real "motherjane"...

January 20th, 2012
9:19 am

…by the capitalization of the M in her name…

And, I thought it was "que"

January 20th, 2012
9:21 am

…not queue…

And, I thought it was "que"

January 20th, 2012
9:22 am

oops, my bad – not “que”…

JOD

January 20th, 2012
9:40 am

The Buddy Holly Story? Really? I would pick Winnie the Pooh (there are several movies, but last year’s release was very good).

@Me – I share your loathing of Barney. Ironically, I managed to keep it out of the house until just recently; obviously kids talked about it at school, then Hubs bought a DVD of their songs. Grrrr. I’d much rather deal with the Backyardigans or Mickey Mouse.

Me

January 20th, 2012
9:46 am

We have a “Soccer MILF” on here? How have I previously missed that?!?!

Soccer MILF

January 20th, 2012
10:20 am

The Human Centipede 2 is coming out as well!

Voice of Reason

January 20th, 2012
11:10 am

Interesting, other than the fact that I would rather have a root canal than watch any of the top three movie picks on this list why are Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2 on the list but not Toy Story 3?

JATL

January 20th, 2012
11:11 am

OK -well I was happy to go back and see that the recommended ages are 8-12. I was looking at some of them and thinking, “Yeah, my 3 and 5 year olds are going to LOVE ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The African Queen’!” I think there are far better movies that could have made the list, but some of my favorites so far, whether on this list or not, are:

*The Incredibles
*The Ant Bully
*All of the Toy Story movies
*The Apple Dumpling Gang
*Jurassic Park (really depends on your kid as to when they should see this one for the first time)
*E.T.
*Cars -and my two love Cars 2 even though some didn’t
*Peter Pan
*101 Dalmatians
*Lady and the Tramp
*Dumbo
*Winnie the Pooh
*Madagascar
*UP

The list goes on -there are many I’m really looking forward to sharing with my kids over the next few years, but they’re just not quite old enough yet.

Voice of Reason

January 20th, 2012
11:14 am

So, basically this list is saying that any movie made past 2001 sucks. I see what they did there.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
11:15 am

From Websters —
4cue
noun
Definition of CUE
1
a : a leather-tipped tapering rod for striking the cue ball (as in billiards and pool) b : a long-handled instrument with a concave head for shoving disks in shuffleboard
2
: queue 2
Origin of CUE
French queue, literally, tail, from Old French cue, coe, queue, from Latin cauda
First Known Use: circa 1749

Albert

January 20th, 2012
11:18 am

I’m not sure about “The Longest Day” for children. Yes, it’s a history lesson, and well done, and there is no blood shown, but there is an awful lot of shooting.
I’m not sure about the 1946 “Great Expectations” either. The first half hour is pretty scary, and later on a woman burns to death in a fire and another man is fatally injured by the paddlewheel of a steamboat.

Meh

January 20th, 2012
11:22 am

No Bad Santa…..FAIL!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
11:24 am

The list is from the NYT — it it not my list. I think there are a lot of amazing movies on the list and you just have to judge your individual kids.I think it can help parents think outside the box and think is that something they would be interested in watching??

We are starting to get to the point where I think they could start to appreciate a Cary Grant or Jimmy Stewart flick or the old version of Little Women with Elizabeth Taylor and June Allyson. (The Katharine Hepburn one may be a little less accessible but I love it too.)

Rose has always loved Meet Me in St. Louis and The Harvey Girls, both with Judy Garland. They are fantastic.

I watched Casablanca at a very young age because my grandfather got a video disc player for his retirement present — literally looked like a record that you put in the machine. That had to be in the early 80s so I was probably 10 or younger. My brother and I loved watching Casablanca and figuring what it was all about.

The Princess Bride went over great. They absolutely loved it. They are quoting from it, which is so funny. Lilina thought it had scary parts and ran in and out but the bigger kids adored it.

It’s supposed to rain this weekend so maybe take a second look.

Augusta

January 20th, 2012
11:30 am

Any of the Shrek movies. Toy Story movies. Harry Potter Movies. Just about ANYTHING by Disney and/or Pixar….

I didn't read the list...

January 20th, 2012
11:42 am

…was “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” on there…

jarvis

January 20th, 2012
11:50 am

You have to get to #50 before there is a movie made in the last decade. What a crappy list.

“100 Recommended Childrens Movies for Kids Doubling as Pretentious Thirty-Somehting Towny Dbags”

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
12:10 pm

jarvis you are feeling feisty today

Augusta – Harry’s on there as are the Toy stories — I agree those all are great.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
12:21 pm

PS I have had a cold and sinus infection all week — trying to decide if I should go to the doctor or if it’s on the way out of town — hoping for a better week next week and promising more blogs to comment on,

Augusta

January 20th, 2012
12:25 pm

I don’t think that’s the REAL Jarvis posting….

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
12:42 pm

JOD

January 20th, 2012
12:47 pm

@jarvis – Towny? Why not Socs (vs. Greasers) a la Outsider? Have you tried a Motrin for those PMS symptoms? :o)

@JATL – Duh on Madagascar. DD loved UP, but although it was cute I thought the underlying story was sad (albeit with a happy ending).

@TWG – DD LOVED White Christmas and wanted to watch it into January. It’s not black and white, but it’s pretty classic. I might try out Holiday Inn to see if she likes that as well (not really a Christmas movie despite the title).

JOD

January 20th, 2012
12:48 pm

Got censored – it was PG, promise.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
12:50 pm

i’ll dig it out — I;m working on stuff for next week so if anyone has any suggestions for topics throw them out there –

Augusta

January 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

OH yea, Madagascar….A fav in our home. The second one is WAY better than the first. We can almost recite that movie line for line.

When I was younger, we would watch Monty Python & The Holy Grail. We would turn the volumne down, and we each had our parts…LOL. One guy even had empty coconuts that he clapped together to make the horse clopping sound…..Oh those were the days!!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 20th, 2012
1:16 pm

we loved the Holy GRail — watched it all the time!!!!

JOD

January 20th, 2012
1:47 pm

@Augusta – The Holy Grail was one of my favorites, too! Ni!

Doyle Hargroves

January 20th, 2012
1:55 pm

There should be at least one or two movies involving hand surgery. Kids need to know this stuff.

Augusta

January 20th, 2012
2:26 pm

The Knights who say Ni!!

”Tis but a flesh wound…..

Ocean slug

January 20th, 2012
2:45 pm

OK Augusta……You’ve made your point. Move on please.

Some suggestions for future blogs.

Locking children in closets for punishment.
How much is too much to spend on celery?
Men are better drivers.
More infidelity blogs.
When is the best age for gender reassignment surgery?

Soccer MILF

January 20th, 2012
3:44 pm

Anyone seen Hostel? It looks like a good movie on European travel.

JATL

January 20th, 2012
3:53 pm

I can’t wait to show my oldest “Jaws”! I know I’m warped, but it’s one of my all-time favorites; it’s never made me afraid of the ocean; I’m fascinated with sharks -and I saw it as a child! My husband really didn’t want me to show it to the oldest last year when he was 5 over the summer (for me it really needs to be shown in the summer),and I agreed he was a tad too young, but maybe this summer after he turns 6… I think I was six when it came out -fabulous movie!

I am with you, JATL...

January 20th, 2012
4:22 pm

…only I want the “Exorcist”, too – that head spinning around, and then the projectile slime, are both all-timers…

djm_NC

January 20th, 2012
7:39 pm

i watched the african queen (for the millionth time) once when my son was 11….he absolutely loved it. blew my mind…i would never have thought he would like that movie..he watched it over and over forever…then he loved gwtw which i also didnt think he would enjoy…you never know what your kids will like…its good for them to be exposed to old classics…just like in books. my opinion..

newblogger

January 20th, 2012
9:04 pm

Tuck Everlasting…great book and great movie. Makes you think…if you had the choice, would you choose to live forever? hmmm

homeschooler

January 20th, 2012
10:36 pm

I let my kids watch JAWS when my son was 9 and my daughter was 6. Son had no problems, daughter swore she would not go in the ocean “EVER AGAIN”. She was really scared for a while. I saw it when I was about 6 and figured she’d get over it. She did but I’m glad we watched it in the winter so she was not thinking about it when we went to the beach. I have to say, I consider that parenting decision to be one that I would do over if I could. I put it up there with the time I talked my son into riding Space Mountain at age 6. He has never forgiven me for that and she really was too young to watch JAWS. A tougher 6 yr old could probably handle it though.

DB

January 20th, 2012
11:43 pm

My kids grew up with my love of cinema. My son, for my birthday last year, bought me a cataloging program and a scanner and cataloged all our DVDs and videos. When he finished, we were astonished that there were over 600 different movies. Yikes! They grew up with movies of the 40s and 50s (and a smattering of 30s, such as It Happened One Night, etc.) where the worst thing a girl and a boy ever did was actually kiss. I have never been able to pass on my love for GWTW, as they both consider it a hopelessly hokey movie (as my practical daughter inquired, puzzled, “Scarlett is so mean — why do all the men think she’s so great?”) It’s a Wonderful Life is a staple, not just around Christmas, and let’s not forget Casablanca, The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben Hur, American Graffiti, West Side Story, Who Shot Liberty Valance?, Singing in the Rain, High Society (and The Philadelphia Story), Showboat, Adam’s RIb, African Queen, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, etc. There’s also movies such as Where the Red Fern Grows and Homeward Bound, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles and, of course, everyone’s favorite pig, Babe. Glen Close in 101 Damlatians is a modern-day classic (not to mention Hugh Laurie’s supporting role), My Fair Lady, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Sabrina (NOT the Harrison Ford version, alas), Roman Holiday, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Matilda, Fiddler on the Roof, National Velvet . . . And, of course, just about anything by Disney when it was in family fare mode.

The list isn’t bad — but I think their definition of “children” is a trifle wide. I can’t see too many 9 year olds sitting through Ghandi (which is one of my favorite movies, but I tend towards epics . . .) And while The Godfather is certainly iconic, I’m not sure I’d show it to a young child — especially the end, when everyone is getting wacked, and Sonny’s death scene — even I wince at that one.

And, lastly, Little Man Tate — a beautiful movie about being different.