Over the years, the notion of what makes family movies what they claim to be has transformed radically. There was a time when a family movie took the time to craft characters by casting consummate actors who could really deliver a performance and having scripts that told harrowing stories. Things being what they are, animation seems to have taken over in order to appeal specifically to kids, with film critics highlighting the often similar plots for many of these movies.
Now, this isn’t to say that animated movies aren’t powerhouses in and of themselves. In fact, one could argue that some of the greatest movies ever made are animated. The point is, at one time, family movies meant films that worked well and appealed to everyone and not just some members of said family.
But if you have kids, especially young kids, you know that if you’re going to go to the movies with them, they need to be wowed by what is on the big screen. As much as we’d like for them to be taken aback by an Oscar-worthy performance from a fine actor, we know they need something that is more their speed. So, you compromise, but compromise is a two-way street, which means you have an active role in the process.
Why not make family movies mean more in your home by introducing a little more variety? Sure, you’re going to have to deal with the animated stuff, but dig it for what it is – entertainment. Moreover, why not peruse your own childhood and see if there are movies your kids might like that you just thought were the greatest when you were their age.
Here are seven family movies that preschoolers are sure to enjoy with a little nod to the big kids in the room:
Frozen – It’s still permanently lodged in some DVD players and will be for life. The thing is that this is actually a tremendously good movie.
Moana – This is a great movie about teen angst, adventure, self-discovery, and family. If you have a “three-nager” at home, this might be a good one to watch.
Curious George – Everyone loves this little monkey and his adventures with the Man in the Yellow Hat.
Sofia the First: The Floating Palace – This Disney Junior powerhouse character embarks on an adventure about mermaids. Cuteness overload!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Tut, tut, indeed. Go back to the Hundred Acre Wood, and fall in love all over again with this timeless bear and his friends.
Cars – Another monster success for Disney, this movie capitalized on the idea of kids playing with toy cars, but it told a great story about making friends, and seeing more to life than just winning.
Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird – Big Bird seems like a distant memory for some, but back in 1985 (and certainly before and after as well), this first foray into film for the Sesame Street gang was groundbreaking. You’ll definitely get all of the “feels” in this one.
Family movies should, of course, be more than just who in the family gets dibs on the fun. It’s about getting everyone together in the living room and enjoying a good movie. Every once in a while, you can take the good times on the road & visit your local theater for family movie adventure. Ultimately, it’s about quality time with your loved ones.