We love watching movies together as a family. This summer, we have watched at least 3 a week. It’s actually been kind of hard to pick new, non-animated kid’s movies that are interesting to every member of the family, but we have managed to find 15 that we are totally loving. Don’t get me wrong, I love animated movies, but sometimes, I need a break and so do my kids. They need kid’s movies that they can relate to. Like I mentioned before, I have already test-run these with my kids. These were the 15 that received approval from my party of five.
First up is The Pacifier. Synopsis: Elite Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) can handle just about anything thrown his way, but even the best have their limits. When he fails to keep scientist Howard Plummer (Tate Donovan) safe from assassination, Wolfe has a shot at redemption by being assigned to protect Plummer’s five children, including rebellious Zoe (Brittany Snow), Seth (Max Thieriot) and clingy Lulu (Morgan York). More than a handful, these kids — and their pet duck — are pushing this seasoned warrior to the edge.
E.T. the extraterrestrial. I loved this movie as a kid. It took two tries for my kids to get into it. At first, they were a little bored but the second time around, they loved it. Synopsis: After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. This is such a fun movie. We watch it often. Synopsis: When kids sneak into inventor Wayne Szalinski’s (Rick Moranis) upstairs lab to retrieve an errant baseball, his experimental shrink ray miniaturizes them. When Szalinski returns home, he destroys the device — which he thinks is a failure — and dumps it in the trash, throwing out the kids along with it. The four children, now 1/4-inch tall, must survive the journey back to the house through a yard where sprinklers bring treacherous storms and garden-variety ants stampede like elephants.
Matilda. Matilda is so full of charm and really caters to children who are a little special! Synopsis: This film adaptation of a Roald Dahl work tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl forced to put up with a crude, distant father (Danny DeVito) and mother (Rhea Perlman). Worse, Agatha Trunchbull (Pam Ferris), the evil principal at Matilda’s school, is a terrifyingly strict bully. However, when Matilda realizes she has the power of telekinesis, she begins to defend her friends from Trunchbull’s wrath and fight back against her unkind parents.
Jumanji. I mean who hasn’t seen Jumanji without loving it? It’s such a great movie, full of adventure! BTW: A remake starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart is in production! Synopsis: A magical board game unleashes a world of adventure on siblings Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst). While exploring an old mansion, the youngsters find a curious, jungle-themed game called Jumanji in the attic. When they start playing, they free Alan Parrish (Robin Williams), who’s been stuck in the game’s inner world for decades. If they win Jumanji, the kids can free Alan for good — but that means braving giant bugs, ill-mannered monkeys and even stampeding rhinos!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This movie is thrilling and so out there. I wasn’t too sure about having the kids watch it, but they really like it. Synopsis: The last of five coveted “golden tickets” falls into the hands of a sweet but very poor boy. He and his grandpa then get a tour of the strangest chocolate factory in the world. The owner leads five young winners on a thrilling and often dangerous tour of his factory.
The Sandlot. This is Ida’s favorite kid’s movie. She watches it with the joy of a child. Now it is a family favorite! Synopsis: When Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood, he manages to make friends with a group of kids who play baseball at the sandlot. Together they go on a series of funny and touching adventures. The boys run into trouble when Smalls borrows a ball from his stepdad that gets hit over a fence.
Space Jam. As a huge basketball fan, this movie was it for me when it came out. Word on the street is that a remake is in production starring Lebron James which Adrian will love. Synopsis: Swackhammer (Danny DeVito), an evil alien theme park owner, needs a new attraction at Moron Mountain. When his gang, the Nerdlucks, heads to Earth to kidnap Bugs Bunny (Billy West) and the Looney Tunes, Bugs challenges them to a basketball game to determine their fate. The aliens agree, but they steal the powers of NBA basketball players, including Larry Bird (Larry Bird) and Charles Barkley (Charles Barkley) — so Bugs gets some help from superstar Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan).
The Little Rascals. This is one of the cutest kid’s movies ever. Synopsis: Mischievous youngsters Spanky (Travis Tedford) and Buckwheat (Ross Elliot Bagley) lead an anti-girl organization, and they pick their buddy Alfalfa (Bug Hall) to represent them in an all-important soapbox car rally. When the boys then find their driver canoodling with schoolmate Darla (Brittany Ashton Holmes), they decide they must break up the couple. Unfortunately, while Spanky and his pals are busy meddling in Alfalfa’s affairs, their prized race car is nabbed by two young toughs.
The Neverending story. This is a classic when it comes to kid’s movies. Synopsis: On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called “The Neverending Story,” Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by “The Nothing,” a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This movie is excellent. It is more recent release on this list but such a wonderful kid’s movie! Thi sis an instant classic in the kid’s movies catergory. Synopsis: Gum stuck in his hair signals the start of a disastrous day for 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould). One calamity follows another, but when Alexander tells his family about his misadventures, he finds little sympathy. Alexander begins to wonder if bad things happen only to him, but he soon learns that he’s not alone when his mother (Jennifer Garner), father (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own calamitous days.
Mrs. Doubtfire. This movie really struck a chord with our family. This movie is big on the divorce topic which is ever-present in our blended family. It is a must-watch for children going through divorce. Synopsis: Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) hatches an elaborate plan. With help from his creative brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein), he dresses as an older British woman and convinces his ex-wife, Miranda (Sally Field), to hire him as a nanny. “Mrs. Doubtfire” wins over the children and helps Daniel become a better parent — but when both Daniel and his nanny persona must meet different parties at the same restaurant, his secrets may be exposed.
Little Giants. This is another favorite sports-themed movie, yet this one deals with football and family. Synopsis: Ever since childhood, nerdy Danny O’Shea (Rick Moranis) has felt inferior to his brother, Kevin (Ed O’Neill), a former college football star. Danny runs a gas station, while Kevin coaches the local youth football team. When Kevin’s team rejects Danny’s daughter, Becky (Shawna Waldron), because she’s a girl, Becky convinces her dad to start a rival team, though the city can support only one. To prove himself against his brother, Danny begins coaching his team of misfits for a playoff game.
Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone. This has been the summer of Harry Potter in our home. Amberly read the whole series and the boys are working their way through it. This is such a magical movie. Even though my kids aren’t wizards, they relate to the children and that is really what make a great kid’s movie. Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling’s popular children’s novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, he meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents’ mysterious deaths.
The Mighty Ducks. We watched this on a whim the other night and I am so glad we did. This is sports at its best. Little leagues are hard, no matter what sport you are in and this movie really showcases the struggle of some youth that really want to play. Synopsis: After reckless young lawyer Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) gets arrested for drunk driving, he must coach a kids hockey team for his community service. Gordon has experience on the ice, but isn’t eager to return to hockey, a point hit home by his tense dealings with his own former coach, Jack Reilly (Lane Smith). The reluctant Gordon eventually grows to appreciate his team, which includes promising young Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson), and leads them to take on Reilly’s tough players.
Every family is different and to watch different things but I guarantee you that if you sit your family down and make some time to watch some of these movies together, they will be a hit! These are all classics in the kid’s movies genre and hopefully, there will be many more to come. I love family movie nights!