Subscribe to this Blog
Today's Blogs
    The Checkup:

The Five Best Films to Watch With the Kids

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

We’re finally getting to the point in life where we can sit down and watch non-animated films with the older child. While we’ve tended toward the safe fare of "Nim’s Island" and "Mary Poppins" and the like, I’m beginning to introduce some of the formative films of my youth. Here are the top five picks for movies that will make for great family watching.

1. The Princess Bride: If the Princess Bride were merely a goofy little fairy tale rescue movie that happened to have Andre the Giant and Billy Crystal in it, it would still be way better than 90 percent of the dreck aimed at kids today. But the whole film has a genius just-for-adults undercurrent (“never get involved in the ground war in Asia!”) that will ensure that everyone in the family will be doubled over (just not at the same time).

2. Star Wars. The first one. The real one. The one that launched before Jar-Jar and the Ewoks and Life Day and the whole galactic political thing and all the animated nonsense. In fact, if you can make sure that this is the only Star Wars movie they ever see, you’ll be doing them a favor.

3. ET: It’s hard to think of a movie that promotes questioning authority and connecting with those who are different in such a warm and non-preachy way. Kids will get the message, and adults will be reminded of how badly CGI has screwed up American cinema.

4. The Wizard of Oz: No matter how old you are, seeing those winged monkeys for the first time is a formative experience, and one that should be shared with your kids. Since murderous witches and the aforementioned monkeys are not exactly age-appropriate for all, it might make sense to wait until age 8, though your mileage may vary.

5. Goonies: I'm not sure there's a more representative example of '80s kiddie escapism than Goonies. The kids will get a good dose of feel-good adventure and you'll be reminded that Sean Astin, Corey Feldman and Josh Brolin were once chubby-cheeked innocents.

I’ve clearly left off a film or two: What are the classics that you’re screening for your kids?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

In the News: Infant Formula From China Tainted by Chemical, FDA Says: FDA officials are urging U.S. consumers to avoid all infant formula from China, after several brands sold in that country came under suspicion of being contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in plastics.

By Brian Reid |  September 12, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Entertainment
Previous: Teen Driving Age Revisited | Next: Finally Finding My Own Balance

Comments


Old Yeller - stop tape before the spoiler ending.

Posted by: Phoebe | September 12, 2008 7:13 AM | Report abuse

The daughters always loved "The Sound of Music," "My Fair Lady," "The Princess Diaries," and dreck like that. For the boy, it would be things like "Hoosiers" and just about any old western.

The all liked "The Bad News Bears" (just the original one; forget any sequels or the remake) and "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan." Plus they're huge fans of the old Marx Brothers films - don't worry, when they're young enough the adult-oriented jokes go over their heads. They'll wonder why you're laughing.

And when they get to be about 10 or so, get "Bill Cosby: Himself" which was Cosby's HBO show from about the mid-80s. They'll love it and so will you.

Re: the infant formula from China: and this would surprise you, why?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Midnight Cowboy
Schindler's List
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Platoon
Fatal Attraction

Posted by: My kids love | September 12, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

just wanted to give two thumbs up to Brian for this - first time I read a "top movies for kids" list that wasn't full of Disney movies.

Posted by: jen | September 12, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

just wanted to give two thumbs up to Brian for this - first time I read a "top movies for kids" list that wasn't full of Disney movies.

Posted by: jen | September 12, 2008 8:10 AM

The Princess Bride - torture?
One varnished thumb nail down.

Posted by: The Spielberg connection | September 12, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Ones I'm looking forward to introducing:

National Velvet and International Velvet, and to round off the horse theme, The Black Stallion
Matilda
Babe
Superman

And later:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Beetlejuice
Mr. Smith goes to Washington

Posted by: Shandra | September 12, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Oh and Neverending Story, Dark Crystal, and for real David Bowie goodness, Labyrinth

Posted by: Shandra | September 12, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

My five-year-old loves Star Wars, but I'm waiting to let him see The Wizard of Oz (too scary with those creepy flying monkeys) and E.T. (too heartbreaking). He's a really sensitive kid, so your mileage may vary.

I'd also throw The Muppet Movie on the list. It's got great music and funny sight gags for the younger set.

Posted by: APL | September 12, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Love love love The Princess Bride! You don't "have" to have kids to watch it.

Posted by: Me | September 12, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Tee hee | September 12, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I'd love for my kids to see an E.T. that isn't corrupted by CGI. But all you can get is the lousy CGI 'updated' version on DVD.


Stupid walkie-talkies.....those were guns!

Posted by: Kim | September 12, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

We love "Wizard of Oz." I should try ET DD would love it.

Posted by: shdd | September 12, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Great list... my daughter is 3 and along with the animated Disney classics she also loves E.T. and Star Wars and has also enjoyed watching Labyrinth, Dark Crystal and Neverending Story (nothing seems to scare her and she loves odd-looking creatures like Yoda).

Posted by: florida_mom | September 12, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The kid with a rifle, the barking dog, the gunshot, then silence.

Old Yeller still makes me cry. Tears are welling up as I type.

Posted by: Nancy's friend | September 12, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

chitty chitty bang bang
sound of music

my son loves all the spy kids movies.
three stoogees
hard days night

i haven't introduced him to it's a mad, mad, mad, mad, world. i'll have to try princess bride.

Posted by: quark | September 12, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

chitty chitty bang bang
sound of music

my son loves all the spy kids movies.
three stoogees
hard days night

i haven't introduced him to it's a mad, mad, mad, mad, world. i'll have to try princess bride.

Posted by: quark | September 12, 2008 9:03 AM

Soerie taste.

Posted by: chitty bangbang | September 12, 2008 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'd add the films of Hayao Miyazaki, especially "Spirited Away" and "Howl's Moving Castle". They're animated films but Miyazaki's imagination is prodigious and the stories and visuals are amazing. Parents and kids alike get totally absorbed in these amazing worlds. Disney actually dubbed the American versions but did a fabulous job and Miyazaki has so much respect in the industry that they got top-flight actors to do the voices -- for example Billy Crystal plays a fire demon in Howl's Moving Castle. These are movies that I can see over and over again.

Posted by: anne | September 12, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd add the films of Hayao Miyazaki, especially "Spirited Away" and "Howl's Moving Castle". They're animated films but Miyazaki's imagination is prodigious and the stories and visuals are amazing. Parents and kids alike get totally absorbed in these amazing worlds. Disney actually dubbed the American versions but did a fabulous job and Miyazaki has so much respect in the industry that they got top-flight actors to do the voices -- for example Billy Crystal plays a fire demon in Howl's Moving Castle. These are movies that I can see over and over again.

Posted by: anne | September 12, 2008 9:17 AM

Are you related to ArmyBrat?

Posted by: ! | September 12, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

A Christmas Story (you'll put an eye out)
A Christmas Carol (Mr Magoo's is funny)

Posted by: Me | September 12, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

Although the younger ones may be slightly bored by the B & W, the parent can guide the child through the movie. The lessons drawn from the movie about human condition (poverty,greed, envy, pride), the transitory nature of money (gold) and that true human value is to be found in relationships with others (Bob Curtin going off to find one) are excellent lessons.

Come to think of it, maybe some of the parents should watch it and think about these theme.

Watch "Blazing Saddles" with the kids. The kids can laugh at the fart scenes and the parent can teach about racism.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

No question - the Three Stooges and any Laurel and Hardy flick.

AirBud
Singin' in the Rain

The plot of Star Wars is over the heads of most kids until ages 10 - 11. Too much dialogue. Try the Star Trek movies if you want to introduce them to sci-fi without all the political complexity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

The Little Princess is a great film for dads to watch with their pre-teen daughters.

My kids love old musicals, especially Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, and the parts of West Side Story that we let them watch.

For an old classic, I'd suggest Captains Courageous, with Spencer Tracy. Great story about a spoiled rich kid who learns the value of hard work. Also Going My Way, with Bing Crosby.

I can't find them in video stores, but I'd also like to introduce my kids to some of the live-action Disney movies from the 60's and 70's, like The Absent Minded Professor and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

Posted by: JJ | September 12, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

Although the younger ones may be slightly bored by the B & W, the parent can guide the child through the movie. The lessons drawn from the movie about human condition (poverty,greed, envy, pride), the transitory nature of money (gold) and that true human value is to be found in relationships with others (Bob Curtin going off to find one) are excellent lessons.

Come to think of it, maybe some of the parents should watch it and think about these theme.

Watch "Blazing Saddles" with the kids. The kids can laugh at the fart scenes and the parent can teach about racism.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 9:38 AM

More of ArmyBrat's kin folk.

Posted by: !! | September 12, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

fr JJ:

>...For an old classic, I'd suggest Captains Courageous, with Spencer Tracy. Great story about a spoiled rich kid who learns the value of hard work....

I totally agree. Also the original "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", NOT the horrible musical version.

Posted by: Alex | September 12, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Caligula
Reservoir Dogs
Silence of the Lambs
The Exorcist
Titus Andronicus
Fargo

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

here are some pix of beckham, freddie ljungberg and others. click on it. you guys will thank me!!!!!!!!

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/galleries/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements.html

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

More of ArmyBrat's kin folk.

Posted by: !! | September 12, 2008 9:51 AM

No, not even. AB would not think "Blazing Saddles" is funny.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The plot of Star Wars is over the heads of most kids until ages 10 - 11. Too much dialogue. Try the Star Trek movies if you want to introduce them to sci-fi without all the political complexity.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:38 AM

Really? I watched the first 3 Star Wars a hundred times between the ages of 5 and 8. My friends and I had all of the action figures and would act out the whole movie word for word. I don't think the dialogue was lost on any of us. I don't think you give kids enough credit. But the 3 new Star Wars movies...that's a different story.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Hi Producer Paul!

I can't wait to get home tonight to watch that Gina Gershon clip.

Love America F., do agree with her about teen soaps, but she needs to look at Ugly Betty as well. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to see who Betty chooses in the premiere, but IMO, the biggest scene stealers and comic relief are Amanda and Mark.

Congrats to Laila. Though, I had to laugh outloud when a local radio personality didn't realize she was preggers and kept remarking how she looked like she was gaining so much weight on American Gladiators.

Posted by: Em | September 12, 2008 8:34 AM

here are some pix of beckham, freddie ljungberg and others. click on it. you guys will thank me!!!!!!!!

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/galleries/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements.html

Posted by: nice pix!!!!! | September 12, 2008 8:50 AM

I love Gina Gershon it's too bad the IT nazis won't let me watch the video.

Is Janet Jackson hoping to make a Captain EO sequel?

As much as I think he over-reacted, I still like watching Kanye smash the camera.

Lauren Conrad gets three-book deal; unclear if that means to write three or read three ..

-You took the words right out of my mouth Producer Paul.

Posted by: Dorkus | September 12, 2008 8:59 AM

Did you all see the clip on The Soup where they are doing press for Sister of the Traveling Pants and the reporter asks Blake Lively about Gossip Girl? America's response is hysterical - rolling of the eyes, dirty look, too funny!

Posted by: Betty | September 12, 2008 9:01 AM

Well, considering that Lively just goes on and on and on and on and (I'm repeating myself for dramatic effect)...there is a point where she sounds like she's done talking, but she's just taking a breath to KEEP GOING. And that's when America throws her The Look. I about fell off the couch laughing.

I likes me some Gina Gershon...I just left the sound off and ogled. Hee. :-)

Hasselbeck probably should have walked off the View a while ago, considering how long they've framed her as the punching bag for the rest of Viewettes.

Posted by: 23112 | September 12, 2008 9:18 AM

here are some pix of beckham, freddie ljungberg and others. click on it. you guys will thank me!!!!!!!!

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/galleries/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements.html

Posted by: nice pix!!!!! | September 12, 2008 8:50 AM


thanks. you forgot to note that on the second page there are some lovely pix of salma hayek, anna kournikova, and others...

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:20 AM

Did you all see the clip on The Soup where they are doing press for Sister of the Traveling Pants and the reporter asks Blake Lively about Gossip Girl? America's response is hysterical - rolling of the eyes, dirty look, too funny!

Posted by: Betty | September 12, 2008 9:01 AM


keep up. thats old news BETTY. geez.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:21 AM

I attended the school Gossip Girl is based on and I had to explain to my niece and her friends that Gossip Girl overly exaggerates. Trust me; the boys who visited the school were never as cute as Ed Westwick. We spent most of our time worrying getting into the Ivy League and getting a designer bag that would complement our uniforms.

Posted by: Lisa1 | September 12, 2008 9:22 AM

Oh my god - the funniest thing about that video is how alike Gina Gershon and Sarah Palin look...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | September 12, 2008 9:27 AM

Gina Gershon nailed it!

Do we know if Lauren Conrad can read or write? She's a moron!

What does Australia want Snoop to get help with? How much weed do they think he's gonna bring? Wait.. stupid question, we're talking about Snoop. They're right, he'll need help carrying all his dope.

Congrats Leila Ali.

Doesn't everyone hate the Olsen twins???? But they do have connections to the best prescription drugs in NYC.

Posted by: Brutal | September 12, 2008 9:27 AM

Doesn't having homeless people bring down property values? Of course the neighbors hate the Olsen twins.

That Lauren Conrad quote was truly a classic Producer Paul. You have learned well from the Master.

Posted by: ep | September 12, 2008 9:34 AM

Oh - and before I read the article, I knew Balthazar Getty wasn't getting divorced because of money.

THAT'S a no-brainer...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | September 12, 2008 9:37 AM

Hasselbeck probably should have walked off the View a while ago, considering how long they've framed her as the punching bag for the rest of Viewettes.


Maybe if her opinions didn't come straight from Fox News and she was actually informed she wouldn't be framed as the punching bag. Could be why they keep her, she makes all conservatives look stupid.

Posted by: jus' saying | September 12, 2008 9:40 AM

The daughters always loved "The Sound of Music," "My Fair Lady," "The Princess Diaries," and dreck like that. For the boy, it would be things like "Hoosiers" and just about any old western.

The all liked "The Bad News Bears" (just the original one; forget any sequels or the remake) and "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan." Plus they're huge fans of the old Marx Brothers films - don't worry, when they're young enough the adult-oriented jokes go over their heads. They'll wonder why you're laughing.

And when they get to be about 10 or so, get "Bill Cosby: Himself" which was Cosby's HBO show from about the mid-80s. They'll love it and so will you.

Re: the infant formula from China: and this would surprise you, why?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 9:41 AM

Leila Ali - congrats!
Roger Ebert - the coolest
Elisabeth Hasselbeck - ditz
Sherri Shepard - ditto
Olsen Twins - ugh
Janet Jackson - who still cares anymore?
Michael Douglas as Liberace - hahahahaha

and of course The Swayze - rock on!

Over and out.

Posted by: jaybbub | September 12, 2008 9:49 AM

here are some pix of beckham, freddie ljungberg and others. click on it. you guys will thank me!!!!!!!!

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/galleries/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements/scintillating_celebrity_endorsements.html

Posted by: nice pix!!!!! | September 12, 2008 8:50 AM


Who is Ljunberg? How come he's never been talked about here !?!??!!??!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:50 AM

The Little Princess is a great film for dads to watch with their pre-teen daughters.

My kids love old musicals, especially Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, and the parts of West Side Story that we let them watch.

For an old classic, I'd suggest Captains Courageous, with Spencer Tracy. Great story about a spoiled rich kid who learns the value of hard work. Also Going My Way, with Bing Crosby.

I can't find them in video stores, but I'd also like to introduce my kids to some of the live-action Disney movies from the 60's and 70's, like The Absent Minded Professor and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

Posted by: JJ | September 12, 2008 9:51 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Mom
Mrs. Doubtfire
Kramer vs. Kramer
Daddy Day Care
Little Children

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Totally cheesy, but my kids LOVE Tron.

And I'll see your Christmas Story (Ralphie rocks!) and raise you a Muppet Christmas Carol (not to be confused with the lame Very Muppet Christmas Movie).

Posted by: two terrific boys | September 12, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Hey, no Christmas movies can be mentioned on this blog. Stacey is a Jew and she loves to remind us ad nauseum. And Sue is a witch. We all know there is no God, so filling the heads of your kids with Christmas --- YUCK !!! Christmas!!! ---propaganda is off limits.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Gone Baby Gone
The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case
Oliver Twist
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
I Know My First Name is Steven

Posted by: Anon for this | September 12, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
The Shining
Carrie

Posted by: Dad of 2 teen girls | September 12, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"No, not even. AB would not think "Blazing Saddles" is funny.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 9:57 AM "

It's not funny.

It's hilarious.

"Oh no, don't do that. If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad."

"The sheriff is...."
"What did he say?"
"He said the sheriff is near."

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"No, not even. AB would not think "Blazing Saddles" is funny.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 9:57 AM "

It's not funny.

It's hilarious.

"Oh no, don't do that. If you shoot him, you'll just make him mad."

"The sheriff is...."
"What did he say?"
"He said the sheriff is near."


Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 10:20 AM

ArmyBrat was born in Germany....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat was born in Germany....

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:22 AM

Brian now lives in Illinois!

Posted by: Great Non Sequitur | September 12, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Wall Street
Reversal of Fortune
The Little Foxes
Blood Diamond
Revolutionary Road

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Training Day
Taking Lives
What's Love Got to do With It?
Along Came a Spider
Ransom - Glenn Ford version

Election Day - The Last King of Scotland

Posted by: Rainy day | September 12, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The Color Purple
Beloved
Sophie's Choice
Jude
Medea

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Some of our favorites are

Home Alone
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Holes
Willow

Posted by: Emily | September 12, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

My daughter is 2.5 years old and loves Singin' in the Rain (and sings that song all the time) and Mary Poppins. Other musicals are great, but we have to fast forward through the (in her words) "talking, talking, too much talking" parts.

Recently we added Pippi Longstocking to the mix and she loved it! I liked it as a child and never clued in at the time to how badly dubbed it is!

Posted by: MaryB | September 12, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Each of the 5 Brian listed have been a hit in our house. Other picks

The Neverending Story
Bridge to Terebithia
Willow
The Secret Garden
The Little Princess

Posted by: Momof5 | September 12, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Some of our favorites are

Home Alone
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Holes
Willow


Posted by: Emily | September 12, 2008 10:55 AM

BEST POST EVER!

Home Alone
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Holes

ALL describe ArmyBrat!
__________________
Willow

It's always Willow, Willow Willow!

Posted by: My poms are fluffed and ready to go! | September 12, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I know it's awful, but I loved The Last Unicorn. The Red Bull (flames, not energy drink) scared me, the cheesy America music was terrific for singing along, the weird peglegged cat amused me, and I learned about regret.
I'm looking forward to watching The Muppet Movie, but not any other Muppet movies. The original was hilarious for both adults and kids.

Posted by: Agent XX | September 12, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

my son loves the guns of the magnificent seven. not sure if he could sit through the seven samuri. he's not a fast reader & the sub titles might throw him. strange as this sounds he loves the a&e version of pride & prejudice. we've explained a little of the context - class & money. never thought about trying treasure of sierra madre. i might try african queen, too.

if your daughter likes dancing you might want to watch 7 brides for 7 brothers. the barn raising dance sequence is fab. it's been listed in the top 10 dance sequences after singing in the rain & some fred astaire stuff.

Posted by: quark | September 12, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why the ignorant keep making things up about Wiccans - we celebrate *all* the holidays. One of younger son's favorite things about being in a Pagan family is having Yule at home, and then four days later having Christmas at "Aunt Julie's" with as many of the extended family as can make it.

One of mine and DH's favorite movies is "It's a Wonderful World". I'm not sure if we've shared it with the boys yet. I'll make sure it happens this December.

Another one that the whole family loves is "Pan's Labyrinth", but it's not for very young children, because the stepfather is as horrible as any fairytale wicked stepmother ever was, and the mother dies. At least the girl's death at the end has her returned to her rightful place with her fairy parents.

Posted by: Sue | September 12, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

True story: My cousin was engaged to Kate Walsh. I barely mentioned it to anyone. I don't talk about my cousin at, say, work, a lot. At the time, she was most famous for having been on Drew Carey. Then, she got good and famous on Grey's Anatomy. And dumped my cousin. Now I bring it up all the time.
"Hey, Liz, did you see Grey's last night?"
"You mean the show with the stinker who dumped my cousin? Heck no!"

Posted by: other liz | September 12, 2008 11:30 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Gremlins
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Back to the Future
A Star Wars/Spaceballs double feature
An Errol Flynn Robin Hood/Douglas Fairbanks Robin Hood/Men in Tights trifecta

Posted by: BxNY | September 12, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Worth noting about "A Christmas Story" is the fact that it gives away the Santa Claus truth; Ralphie doesn't find out, but the movie shows the parents acting the part. I *love* the file myself, and it's great for older kids, but if your young'uns are still believers, you might not want to hae them watch (or at least skip parts).

Now everyone can excoriate me for contributing to the delusions of minors....

Posted by: reader | September 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

And, if you can stand one more *great* holiday recommendation, find a film version of the opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" - don't worry that I said opera, it's in English!

Posted by: Sue | September 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Sue

"One of younger son's favorite things about being in a Pagan family is having Yule at home, and then four days later having Christmas at "Aunt Julie's" with as many of the extended family as can make it."

Is that the retarded kid?
Sue

Posted by: Zzzzzzzz | September 12, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Summer Stock" with Judy Garland, a superb performance of "Get Happy"

"Cabin in the Sky" with Lena Horne singing Stormy Weather plus other fantastic performances. Directed by Vincente Minnelli.

I was kidding about "Treasure" for the younger kids but certainly "Blazing Saddles" has some good lessons about racism. (The censorship on the TV version is hilarious. The censors cut out all the sexually suggestive scenes--poor Lili Von Shtupp--but left every "N" word in!)

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Sue - I also enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth, but I don't consider it a children's film at all. Too many scary scenes, including torture. It might be okay for a teenager, but my 8 year old would get nightmares from it.

For the younger crowd, I highly recommend The Aristocats. Also anything Wallace and Grommit. How could I have overlooked them? Great for kids and adults.

Posted by: Emily | September 12, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Really, anything Monty Python, and much of the later solo stuff by former Pythons.

Okay, Meaning of Life can wait until they're in college.

Posted by: BxNY wants a lupine | September 12, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The Cheech and Chong movies are a must-see for parents and kids.

Posted by: The coolest mom on the planet | September 12, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The Cheech and Chong movies are a must-see for parents and kids.

Posted by: The coolest mom on the planet | September 12, 2008 12:13 PM

Yeah!

Posted by: Cindy McCain | September 12, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Another one that the whole family loves is "Pan's Labyrinth",

required watching for witches and their spawn.............. a terrible movie for children

Posted by: surprise,surprise | September 12, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

chronicles of narnia, the never ending story,kicking and screaming,enchanted, the lion king

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Full Metal Jacket
Apocalypse Now
9 1/2 Weeks
The Postman Always Rings Twice
The Bird Cage

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Passion of the Christ

Posted by: Sarah Palin | September 12, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Apocalypse Now (which version?)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (Nicholson was great but the Lana Turner, John Garfield version was better overall. Not that there is anything wrong with J. Lange!)

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Boys in the Band
Brokeback Mountain
The Birdcage
Deathtrap
The Crying Game

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I am very proud of my current in-laws. I don't feel the need to have "celebrity" in-laws to make myself feel all special. It sounds like many of you are ashamed of your own poor upbringings.

Posted by: Nancy | September 12, 2008 1:43 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about it Gold Hat, we know that the irrelevant comments from other blogs, no matter who's name are on them, are the work of one sorry little troll who is usually annonymous. Probably lives at home in his parents basement. Lord knows he has a lot of time on his hands.
Wonder how many blogs this comment will land on?

Posted by: Hodie | September 12, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry about it Gold Hat, we know that the irrelevant comments from other blogs, no matter who's name are on them, are the work of one sorry little troll who is usually annonymous. Probably lives at home in his parents basement. Lord knows he has a lot of time on his hands.
Wonder how many blogs this comment will land on?

Posted by: Hodie | September 12, 2008 1:51 PM

Spelling & Grammar Police!

Posted by: Duh | September 12, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

To those who love Princess Bride, I also suggest Stardust. It is sort of seen as a modern day princess bride. Very cute movie in the fantasy genre.

Posted by: Meggers | September 12, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Bent over
The tune up
Tales of the hershey highway
Hunks of hollywood
Bathouse blues

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Never on Sunday
Irma la Douce
American Gigolo
Pretty Woman
Belle de jour

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner | September 12, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Unfaithful
Sleeping with the enemy
Wallstreet
Mandingo
How Stella got her groove back

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner-part 2 | September 12, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Brian's Secret Porn Stash:

Posted by: Viewers' choice | September 12, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

my son loves the guns of the magnificent seven. not sure if he could sit through the seven samuri. he's not a fast reader & the sub titles might throw him. strange as this sounds he loves the a&e version of pride & prejudice. we've explained a little of the context - class & money. never thought about trying treasure of sierra madre. i might try african queen, too.

if your daughter likes dancing you might want to watch 7 brides for 7 brothers. the barn raising dance sequence is fab. it's been listed in the top 10 dance sequences after singing in the rain & some fred astaire stuff.

Posted by: quark | September 12, 2008 11:43 AM

What's up with the number 7 fixation?

Posted by: Me | September 12, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Night Shift
L.A. Confidential
Casino
Born into Brothels
McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Posted by: Leslie Morgan Steiner-part 3 | September 12, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

As you know, we are madly in love with Levi Johnston. We can't get enough of him. We gave him our own personal pet name. We once posted an entire slideshow of pictures of him from different angles. Our obsession with him is only rivaled by our similar fixation on his brother-in-law-to-be, Track Palin. We're the kind of fans who would sleep over in their hockey locker room to absorb the stench into our flesh. In other words, we can't get enough of them.

Or so we thought, until today. The Times sent former Anchorage Daily News columnist Kim Severson back to Alaska to find out more about the lives of these two underage studcrullers. What Severson filed was a thoughtful report about how deeply hockey affects the Alaskan families whose children play the sport. Since Sarah Palin so vigorously touts her status as a hockey mom as one of her qualifications for the vice-presidency, it's a useful piece of writing. But in it, we learn an awful lot about young Track and Levi that we didn't know before.


For example:

• Track could have earned a college scholarship for his playing, but he couldn't control his anger on the ice.
• Frequently, his temper would be so out of control he wouldn't make it through an entire game.
• Last year, a shoulder injury took him off the ice and he didn't return. Instead, he enlisted in the Army.
• Track's coach thought he could have continued to play despite the injury, but something else made him want to join the military.
• Meanwhile, Levi Johnston wasn't as good of a hockey player as Track.
• Levi also wasn't as good of a student — in fact, he dropped out of high school.
• He used to fight with his father over his performance on the ice.
• The Palins may not have known for over a year that Levi and Bristol Palin, their daughter, were dating.

Of course we are interested in this. But does it mean that the Times should write about it? Do we really need to know that once, during a fight with his father, then-17-year-old Levi "threw all his gear in the burn pile"?

On the one hand, Palin's constant "hockey mom" mantra makes this seem a little fair game. On the other hand, this is a high-school kid in rural Alaska who happened to get his girlfriend pregnant. He's not the child of the president, the presidential nominee, or even the child of the vice-presidential nominee.

Sure, we here at Intel fetishize Johnston, but just through the images provided by the McCain campaign, who include him in photo ops. Getting into the nitty-gritty of his grades, and his tense relationship with his father? Doesn't that seem like a little bit too much information? Or are we just being old fuddy-duddies?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Stacey, it would make this blog more useful and interesting to those of us who want to talk about parenting issues if someone would monitor it and delete the troll entries. The verbal antics of former playground bully wannabees are not entertaining.

Just sayin'....

Posted by: Lynne | September 12, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I actually have Clint Eastwood dangling off a tiny, upper-canopy branch of my family tree - he's far, far above the line. I have Oliver North off a much closer, sturdier branch of the tree - and I would dearly love to call in the tree surgeon.

Posted by: BxNY | September 12, 2008 12:49 PM

you sound like one of the MM's from the OP blog. always bragging!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 12:56 PM

I am very proud of my current in-laws. I don't feel the need to have "celebrity" in-laws to make myself feel all special. It sounds like many of you are ashamed of your own poor upbringings.

Posted by: Nancy | September 12, 2008 1:43 PM

I took a a dump in the restroom in Prez Clinton's Library!

Posted by: Applause | September 12, 2008 2:40 PM

i slept with jessica alba.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 2:43 PM

I slept with Jake G.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 2:45 PM

I slept with a Congressman.

Posted by: For real. | September 12, 2008 2:46 PM

I took a a dump in the restroom in Prez Clinton's Library!

Posted by: Applause | September 12, 2008 2:40 PM

Applause, you totally spoiled it by including "in the restroom".

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 2:47 PM

I took a a dump in the restroom in Prez Clinton's Library!

Posted by: Applause | September 12, 2008 2:40 PM

Applause, you totally spoiled it by including "in the restroom".

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 2:47 PM

Gotcha.
I'm too white to be cool.

Posted by: Applause | September 12, 2008 2:50 PM

As you know, we are madly in love with Levi Johnston. We can't get enough of him. We gave him our own personal pet name. We once posted an entire slideshow of pictures of him from different angles. Our obsession with him is only rivaled by our similar fixation on his brother-in-law-to-be, Track Palin. We're the kind of fans who would sleep over in their hockey locker room to absorb the stench into our flesh. In other words, we can't get enough of them.

Or so we thought, until today. The Times sent former Anchorage Daily News columnist Kim Severson back to Alaska to find out more about the lives of these two underage studcrullers. What Severson filed was a thoughtful report about how deeply hockey affects the Alaskan families whose children play the sport. Since Sarah Palin so vigorously touts her status as a hockey mom as one of her qualifications for the vice-presidency, it's a useful piece of writing. But in it, we learn an awful lot about young Track and Levi that we didn't know before.

For example:

• Track could have earned a college scholarship for his playing, but he couldn't control his anger on the ice.
• Frequently, his temper would be so out of control he wouldn't make it through an entire game.
• Last year, a shoulder injury took him off the ice and he didn't return. Instead, he enlisted in the Army.
• Track's coach thought he could have continued to play despite the injury, but something else made him want to join the military.
• Meanwhile, Levi Johnston wasn't as good of a hockey player as Track.
• Levi also wasn't as good of a student — in fact, he dropped out of high school.
• He used to fight with his father over his performance on the ice.
• The Palins may not have known for over a year that Levi and Bristol Palin, their daughter, were dating.

Of course we are interested in this. But does it mean that the Times should write about it? Do we really need to know that once, during a fight with his father, then-17-year-old Levi "threw all his gear in the burn pile"?

On the one hand, Palin's constant "hockey mom" mantra makes this seem a little fair game. On the other hand, this is a high-school kid in rural Alaska who happened to get his girlfriend pregnant. He's not the child of the president, the presidential nominee, or even the child of the vice-presidential nominee.

Sure, we here at Intel fetishize Johnston, but just through the images provided by the McCain campaign, who include him in photo ops. Getting into the nitty-gritty of his grades, and his tense relationship with his father? Doesn't that seem like a little bit too much information? Or are we just being old fuddy-duddies?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 3:43 PM

The daughters always loved "The Sound of Music," "My Fair Lady," "The Princess Diaries," and dreck like that. For the boy, it would be things like "Hoosiers" and just about any old western.

The all liked "The Bad News Bears" (just the original one; forget any sequels or the remake) and "Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan." Plus they're huge fans of the old Marx Brothers films - don't worry, when they're young enough the adult-oriented jokes go over their heads. They'll wonder why you're laughing.

And when they get to be about 10 or so, get "Bill Cosby: Himself" which was Cosby's HBO show from about the mid-80s. They'll love it and so will you.

Re: the infant formula from China: and this would surprise you, why?

Posted by: ArmyBrat | September 12, 2008 9:41 AM

The Little Princess is a great film for dads to watch with their pre-teen daughters.

My kids love old musicals, especially Singin' in the Rain, My Fair Lady, and the parts of West Side Story that we let them watch.

For an old classic, I'd suggest Captains Courageous, with Spencer Tracy. Great story about a spoiled rich kid who learns the value of hard work. Also Going My Way, with Bing Crosby.

I can't find them in video stores, but I'd also like to introduce my kids to some of the live-action Disney movies from the 60's and 70's, like The Absent Minded Professor and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

Posted by: JJ | September 12, 2008 9:51 AM


Hey, no Christmas movies can be mentioned on this blog. Stacey is a Jew and she loves to remind us ad nauseum. And Sue is a witch. We all know there is no God, so filling the heads of your kids with Christmas --- YUCK !!! Christmas!!! ---propaganda is off limits.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 10:26 AM

"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

Although the younger ones may be slightly bored by the B & W, the parent can guide the child through the movie. The lessons drawn from the movie about human condition (poverty,greed, envy, pride), the transitory nature of money (gold) and that true human value is to be found in relationships with others (Bob Curtin going off to find one) are excellent lessons.

Come to think of it, maybe some of the parents should watch it and think about these theme.

Watch "Blazing Saddles" with the kids. The kids can laugh at the fart scenes and the parent can teach about racism.

Posted by: Gold Hat | September 12, 2008 12:05 PM

I am very proud of my current in-laws. I don't feel the need to have "celebrity" in-laws to make myself feel all special. It sounds like many of you are ashamed of your own poor upbringings.

Posted by: Nancy | September 12, 2008 1:43 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 1:43 PM


Don't worry about it Gold Hat, we know that the irrelevant comments from other blogs, no matter who's name are on them, are the work of one sorry little troll who is usually annonymous. Probably lives at home in his parents basement. Lord knows he has a lot of time on his hands.
Wonder how many blogs this comment will land on?

Posted by: Hodie | September 12, 2008 1:51 PM

Spelling & Grammar Police!

Posted by: Duh | September 12, 2008 1:58 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | September 12, 2008 2:01 PM

Posted by: here's your trash back | September 12, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, all the comments about why Pan's Labyrinth wouldn't be appropriate for younger children are correct - that's why I included the list of who dies when first suggesting it... So responsible parents could exercise their own judgment.

OTOH, younger son was 10 when he watched it. He needed hugs and snuggles at the end. He's a real softy like me and Grandpa - we all cry easily over little things like movies. But our family also had a really good conversation afterwards about WWII, atrocities, monsters and imagination.

I don't think it was a mistake at all for my family to watch together, but it certainly could be for others. Just like some of Miyazaki's films are great for younger kids, but some are only appropriate for older ones, Del Toro's "Hellboy" movies aren't great film-making, but they're fun and more acceptable for the younger members of the audience.

Posted by: Sue | September 12, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Not really appropriate for children, but one of my favorite movies ever is Belle Epoque. I think it might be fine for older teenagers though.

Posted by: Emily | September 12, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I think some of ArmyBrat's suggestions are spot on. The movies he mentioned are some of my favorites!

Posted by: Clay Aiken | September 12, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I second Holes and admit my guilty pleasure is Sky High.

Posted by: Liz D | September 12, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

MONITOR THIS BLOG OR CUT IT OFF.

MONITOR THIS BLOG OR CUT IT OFF.

MONITOR THIS BLOG OR CUT IT OFF.

MONITOR THIS BLOG OR CUT IT OFF.

MONITOR THIS BLOG OR CUT IT OFF.

If the Washington Post wants to maintain its reputation as a professional news organization, monitoring its blogs and removing extended cut and paste action, personal insults and cross-postings, and gratuitous references to anal sex are a start.

WaPO's qualification for protection under each of the DMCA and CDA Safe Harbor mechanisms aren't threatened by removing posts that don't satisfy your own rules governing commentaries and discussions.

Posted by: to Stacey | September 13, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely adore "The Muppet Movie" and am reminded of how much everyone seems to love it when I see the very mixed age crowds at the annual AFI showings. If I had kids, that would be the movie we'd watch over and over, much like my dad and I did (and still do!).

Posted by: Birdie | September 15, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company