I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’m getting crotchety and old. I say this because I’ve found these words coming out of my mouth a lot: “They just don’t make ’em like they used to” and “In my day …” You would think I’m 90, harkening back to the days before the Internet and a time when there weren’t 5,000 cable channels to choose from.
I’ll probably still be saying these things when I’m 90, but I’ll be harkening back to the days of smartphones and HDTV. Oh, what will they come up next?
Anyway. “They don’t make ’em like they used to” is usually used in reference to movies. In particular children’s movies, which I feel have been watered down and politically correctified within an inch of their lives. That isn’t to say I don’t like some modern children’s movies (there’s one on today’s list), but mostly I find them milquetoast and lacking in soul.
This is why I decided to create a definitive list of the best kids movies of all time (according to me).
But Vanessa, these movies are “scary.” But Vanessa, this movie glorifies running off to the circus and a chimpanzee totes a gun therefore my kid will go crazy if he/she watches this!
Whatever. I believe in a child’s capacity to understand complex and scary ideas. I also believe that children are smarter than you think they are. They’re not going to run off to the circus. They will probably just want to pretend to. And isn’t imagination a good thing? I think so.
Without further ado, here’s the first installment (there are more to come) of movies my kids will watch, and yours should, too.
WHY? Mr. Stubbs, circus costumes, riding horses, joining the circus, the value of a buck, learning the importance of home and family
WHY? Traveling to new and exciting places, good music, vivid imagination, wizards and witches, using magic to fight evil, Angela Lansbury
WHY? Hayley Mills, doing a good deed despite encountering discouragement, standing up for your beliefs, having a sunny outlook on life
WHY? Perseverance, David Bowie, good tunes, stunning visuals, encourages a healthy imagination, gives value to make-believe, promotes self-empowerment, discourages judging others based on their looks
WHY? Unicorns, fairies, the quest for light to overcome dark, beautiful costumes, learning redemption
WHY? The beautiful AURYN necklace, enforces the power of believing in something, encourages fighting the “nothingness” aka depression or despair, Atreyu the fearless child warrior, standing up to bullies, the virtues of losing yourself in a good book, the idea that nothing is ever beyond repair, Falcor
WHY? Implies that with a little faith you can complete an impossible task, Gelflings, awesome animatronics, asserts that the “little guy” can do something to change the world, encourages imagination, teaches the idea of balance, shows good vs. evil
WHY? Lindsay Lohan pre-freakout, Jamie Lee Curtis, walking in a mile in someone else’s shoes, mother-daughter lovefest, teaches empathy and understanding, selfless love
WHY? a flying car, a healthy imagination and knack for storytelling, Dick Van Dyke, promotes inventiveness and thinking outside the box, using ingenuity to make money
WHY? Dick Van Dyke again, Julie Andrews, a spoonful of sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, fun adventures, the importance of being there for your family, making ordinary tasks exciting, great music and dance numbers