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Classic Family Movies

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by Amelia Saward (subscribe)
I'm an Arts student in Melbourne, with a love of drawing and writing and a passion for history and art.
Published January 15th 2014
Films every family should see
Pollyanna- Walt Disney Productions

Pollyanna (1960)
Young Pollyanna Whittier (Hayley Mills), an orphaned missionaries' daughter, comes to live with her serious aunt, Polly Harrington, in the town named after her grandfather. With her cheery personality and positive attitude, she transforms the gloomy town with hope, befriending almost everyone in it and showing them that there is always something to be glad about.

The Secret Garden- Warner Brothers Entertainment

The Secret Garden (1993)
This classic is based on serious, newly orphaned ten year old Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly), who has grown up in India with parents more interested in themselves than her. She returns to England to live in a huge old house on her widowed uncle's country estate, with his frail son, the strict housekeeper Mrs Medlock (Maggie Smith), the chirpy young maid and the maid's brother, Dickon. She explores the estate and comes upon a locked up, neglected garden, once her aunt's paradise, but locked since her death. With the help of Dickon, she brings it back to life, along with her uncle and newly found cousin.

A Little Princess- Warner Brothers Entertainment

A Little Princess (1995)
When her father goes off to fight in World War One, Sara Crewe (Liesel Mathews) is left at a New York boarding school, with stern headmistress Miss Minchin. The slightly spoilt little girl, who's always been treated as a 'princess' is given a rude awakening when it is believed her father was killed in action. Penniless and parentless, she is forced into hardship, working as a servant in order to stay at the school. It is only through this, though, that she finds a true friend and happiness in the end.
There is also a 1939 version with Shirley Temple.

Annie- Columbia Pictures

Annie (1982)
In 1930's New York, Annie (Aileen Quinn) is a happy, smart and caring orphan, living in an orphanage run by the drunk Mrs Hannigan (Carol Burnett). The secretary to millionaire, Republican Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) picks her to come and stay with them for a week. Originally wanting a boy, Annie charms his household and Warbucks too. All along though, she has wanted to find her real parents and he helps her to do this, but Mrs Hannigan, her brother and his girlfriend have other plans, once they hear of the reward offered. Eventually she comes to live with Warbucks permanently after he and his secretary Grace Farrell (Anne Reinking) adopt her.
There is also a 1999 Disney version.

Mary Poppins- Walt Disney Productions

Mary Poppins (1964)
A magical nanny (Julie Andrews) comes to the aid of a sour banker and his family, who live in a London townhouse. Through songs and tricks, she brings the children into line and softens the father while she's there. They go on adventures through magic lands and closer to home, realising what is important. Also staring Dick Van Dyke.

Matilda- Sony Pictures Entertainment

Matilda (1996)
Little Matilda (Mara Wilson) was born into a family who never understood her. More interested in there bingo games and dodgy second-hand car business, her parents leave her to her own devices. Left to fend for herself, Matilda grows up quickly and discovers the joys of books. Realising she is very intelligent and has special powers, Matilda learns how to fight for what she wants. When she finally goes to school, the principal is strict and mean, but she so learns how to deal with her and meets lovely friends and a teacher who finally understands her.

The Sound of Music- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The Sound of Music (1965)
Set 1930's Austria, a woman, Maria (Julie Andrews), leaves a convent, after failing in her quest to become a nun. She becomes the governess for a Navy captain, Von Trap (Christopher Plummer), with seven children. She is not used to his militaristic ways and they butt heads many times. The children pull pranks on her, aiming to drive her away like their other nannies. When her reactions aren't what they expect, they begin to see her warmth and kindness and eventually so does their father. With well known songs, all the family can sing along.

The Wizard of Oz- Metro Goldwyn Mayer

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
When a cyclone sweeps past Dorothy's (Judy Garland) Kansas farm, taking with it the house she is in, she finds herself and her dog Toto in the magical land of Oz. All she wants to do is go back home, but she doesn't know how. Seeking the answer she goes on a quest to the powerful wizard Oz to find out. Along the way she meets the Scarecrow, who wants a brain, the Tin Man, who wants a !heart and the Lion, who wants courage. She also runs into trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West, who blames Dorothy for the death of her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East. Luckily the Good Witch of the North is there to help.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- Paramount Pictures

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Wonka's (Gene Wilder) chocolate factory is the greatest in all the world. He encloses five golden tickets in his chocolate bars and the lucky winners get to tour his factory with a guest, the first time anyone has been inside since his competitor, Slugworth, tried to steal his secrets. Poor Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum), who lives with his parents and four grandparents, in a run-down house, can barely afford food. Luckily though, he is one of the winners and visits the factory with his Grandpa Joe (Jack Albertson), along with four other children, each one of whom falls at the hand of the factory and their own selfish desires. Charlie, however, manages to escape the disasters. What will happen in the end?
This is the earlier version, there is the 2005 version by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp.

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Why? There's no movie like a classic movie
Your Comment
An excellent list - totally agree with you.
by Lucy (score: 3|1157) 2144 days ago
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