Ruth Spivak: Kiducation


8 Awesome Movies To Watch With Your Kids

Turn mind-numbing family movie nights into entertainment for everyone.

When the freezing cold of winter arrives, I love to cuddle with my family and warm up with a good movie. Deciding on whether to munch popcorn or sip hot chocolate is the easy part. If only deciding on a film were that straightforward. It can be tough to please EVERYONE in the family. Not too mature for the kids, and not too many high-pitched chipmunk voices that make adults cringe. Preferably, the movie is both entertaining and interesting. Now, that's a tall order!

Here is my list of 8 family movies that you can enjoy along with the kids. If you've already seen a few, you probably won't mind seeing them again. They're just that good. 

Akeelah and the Bee: Eleven-year-old Akeelah lives on the wrong side of the tracks, but she is determined to make it to the national spelling bee. This film is about much more than spelling. It's a movie about the special bond between a teacher and student, the meaning of confidence, and about finding true friends. Uplifting and inspiring, a MUST see! Ages: 8+

 Iron Giant: The story of a special friendship between a nine-year old boy and an alien robot. How do you keep a 50 foot robot secret, especially from evil government agents? It's the classic scenario of the misunderstood alien, and the grownups who just don't listen to the kid. The animation and narration lend this film a beautiful fable-like quality. Ages: 8+

 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: From the songs of the Oompa Loompas to the chewing gum that inflates Violet to a giant purple gumball, this film captures all the quirky scenes from Roald Dahl's beloved book. Johnny Depp plays a creepy Willy Wonka. Ages: 8+ (Many prefer the Gene Wilder version.)

 Wizard of Oz: Magical scenery, great acting, and catchy songs. It's hard to believe this film is over 70 years old, because it's still so relevant today. Who hasn't heard "There's no place like home," and "I'm melting!" So what if I've seen it at least 10 times? I'll watch it again. Ages: 6+ (Witch may be scary.)

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Disney's first full-length feature, released in 1937. Even though the animation lacks today's technical prowess, Snow White's graceful movements contrasted with the evil queen's heinous transformation is masterful. So much attention to detail in the animation. The scene of the witch tempting Snow White with the red apple is unforgettable. Relive the magic! Ages: 5+ (Scary witch.)

 ET A blast from my past! I remember seeing this movie in theatres, and munching on Reese's Pieces. Drew Barrymore was just a little kid, and everyone was talking about the most loveable alien ever. Still a touching moving about friendship and misunderstood children. My kids loved it. Ages: 5+

 Toy Story Haven't you ever wondered what your toys get up to when you're not around? I love the toys with identity crises, and "The Claw." Clever dialogue and plot devices for adults, and kids love the characters and computer animation. Ages: 4+

 The Sound of Music Every holiday season, my family room is alive with the sound of The Sound of Music. My sister and I have been acting out every scene since we were kids. Have you ever noticed the unbelievably spectacular acting of the Baronness? Just look at her deliveries and smirks, as she watches the Captain fall in love with Maria. Anyway, the transformation of the Von Trapp children under the influence of Maria is a story kids love. Scenes are so well shot, it's just a pleasure to watch. Ages: 6+ (Nazi scenes can be frightening.)

Hope you enjoy these movies as much as my family does!