Movie Review: 6 Classic Movies To Watch With Your Children
Home Alone (1990)
Who wouldn’t want to spend the holidays in the City of Lights? The McCallister clan is more than ready to leave the suburbs behind for Christmas in Paris. But things go slightly awry (to say the least) when they realise one very important item has been left at home: their son Kevin (Macaulay Culkin). The youngster has no problem having the house all to himself—especially since he’s watching mature gangster flicks, munching on ice cream for dinner and causing chaos. But a pair of burglars set their sights on the gorgeous home, and soon Kevin is left to fend for himself against Harry and Marv, who need a little help in the crime department.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
When a young boy learns about his true identity and magical powers, he soon finds himself on Platform 9 and Three Quarters en route to Hogwarts, a boarding school unlike any other. Adventure awaits our budding new wizard, and from that point on, his life—and the world’s—is turned upside down.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
It’s a simple story, really: Boy meets alien. Boy and alien become best friends. Boy says goodbye to alien when his outer-space buddy has to go home, causing audiences everywhere to sob uncontrollably. How Steven Spielberg tells it, of course, makes a world of difference, as he infuses this family blockbuster with a childlike sense of awe. If you can think of a more magical ’80s movie moment than E.T. and Elliott biking past the moon, I’ll personally buy you a bag of Reese’s Pieces.
Spirited Away (2001)
Revered Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki puts his own spin on an Alice in Wonderland-like story, where a young girl goes on a journey through a world where she doesn’t quite understand the rules. To this day, this is the highestgrossing movie in Japan — beating even Titanic — and after you see its beautiful animation, it’s easy to understand why.
Toy Story (1995)
When your child watches Pixar’s very first feature for the very first time, there’s a good chance they’ll be shocked to find that the TV’s been reading their mind. (Expect lots of very amusing attempts to “catch” toys coming to life after the kid has left their room.) And even as it inspires children’s imaginations to run wild, Toy Story also introduces kids to important entertainment tropes like mismatched odd couples (Buzz and Woody, voiced to perfection by Allen and Hanks), wisecracking leading men (Woody again), cultural references (that will go sailing over their heads),and catchphrases (“To infinity, and beyond!”). It’s also fast-paced and jampacked enough to reward repeat viewing—a good thing, considering how often they’ll want to watch it. Bonus: It’s never too early to fall in love with Randy Newman.
The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles ranks among Pixar’s best for how it cannily satirises some of the most iconic genres in cinema history. Rarely does a minute of screen time pass without an allusion to superhero or spy movie tropes, subtle references that seem to grow in number with every subsequent viewing. But what separates the film from outright parody—and anchors it as a compelling narrative in its own right—is its undercurrent of middleclass, middle-aged angst. It’s an incredible mish-mash of genre blockbusters that also happens to have a soul.