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?