It’s Oscars night and I’ve got movies on my mind. I’m especially excited that one of the films up for Best Picture – the amazing Toy Story 3 – is one I managed to catch with the babes on its release.
To celebrate Ezra’s fifth birthday earlier this month, I threw a mini movie party for him and a handful of his mates. The kids ate fresh popcorn and hot dogs and watched Toy Story 3 (complete with DVD extras) on our big projector screen.
The party – which rounded off with all the kids on Ezra’s top bunk bed and a scene of total devastation on the living room floor – was declared a hit.
Sometimes the simplest ideas work best.
In fact, the biggest challenge I had was picking a film that would be cool for a mixed group of four and five year olds.
I have a fairly good sense of what my kids can handle. But one child’s A Shark’s Tale could be another one’s Jaws.
On an online forum discussing films that might be suitable for a sensitive 2 and a half year old, one parent suggests the original Willy Wonka. Another responds, ‘Willy Wonka? You might as well put on some Hitchcock.’
Kids’ films, like nursery rhymes, often have dark or sinister undertones that you might have forgotten about or blocked out of your mind until you re-watch them as adults.
Disney flicks especially, with all their OTT villains and frequent killing off of one or both parents. I still can’t bring myself to watch Bambi with the babes.
And often film classifications don’t tell you much about whether it’s actually okay for your kid. The best advice is to make sure you watch everything with your little ones and be ready to switch off (or walk out) before any real life drama.
I’ve compiled a list of Top Films for Kids, based mainly on films I’ve enjoyed or plan to watch with the boys.
Films to Cuddle on the Couch with
The Jungle Book
My Neighbour Totoro
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Films we watched at the Cinema
Happy Feet (Bizarre. Left early when Ezra, then 10 months, started crying.)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Street Dance 3D
Toy Story 3
Flushed Away (Surprisingly fun rat romp. Jed, aged 2, was glued to my lap from start to finish!)
Films that blew Ezra away
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Films Mummy enjoyed as much (or even more) than the little ones
Kung Fu Panda
High School Musical (I know, but hey!)
Films I can’t wait to share
The Lion King
The Princess Bride
The Muppet Movie
The Sound of Music
7 Brides for 7 Brothers
The Incredible Journey
The King & I
What are your top movie picks for kids?
Best Movies for Kids by Common Sense Media
BFI Top 50 Films for Kids up to age 14 by British Film Institute
IMDB Top 50 Family Movies by Internet Movie Database
100 Recommended Children’s Movies by New York Times Essential Library
50 Best Movies for Kids by Parents.com