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Published September 10th 2014
Movies from your own childhood
Call me old-fashioned - I prefer the term nostalgic - but I love introducing my children to my favourite books and movies from my own childhood.
With the school holidays just around the corner (where did those last 10 weeks go?) and as parents start scrambling to come up with school holiday entertainment ideas I have compiled a list of my top classic movies for 8 - 12 year olds:
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) - the original movie starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. Who doesn't love this classic book from Roald Dahl? My kids and I read the book together, then watched the movie whilst eating Wonka bars - perfect school holiday entertainment.
2. Home Alone (1990) - a great movie any time but also a good Christmas movie. The kids love the slapstick humour and pranks as Kevin tries to protect his home from bumbling burglars. My favourite quote from this movie is "Keep the change, you filthy animal"
3. Big (1988)- starring Tom Hanks as Josh, a boy whose wish to be big is granted. Although rated PG just be aware that this movie does have some swearing including a totally unnecessary F-bomb.
4. Narnia (2005) - based on the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A great book for this age group and an excellent movie adaptation.
5. E.T. (1982)- an 80's movie classic, what more can I say.
6. Wizard of Oz (1939) - another classic although the wicked witch may be a bit scary for younger kids.
7. Bridge to Terabithia (2007) - if you somehow missed reading this book at school like me I would totally recommend reading it now. The title is misleading, it is not a fantasy novel but a very touching story of friendship and loss. My kids and I watched the 2007 movie which stays very true to the book, just a warning though - have the Kleenex ready!
8. Annie (1982)- a hit with my kids.
9. Matilda (1996) - based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name.
Brady Bunch on DVD
10. The Brady Bunch TV episodes - Not a movie but I had to include in my list as my kids love watching the Brady Bunch as much as I did when I was growing up. It really is amazing that this TV show recorded in the late 1960's and early 1970s is still relevant and loved today. You can now buy all of the episodes on DVD.
In our search for classic movie entertainment there has also been a few misses along the way:
The Great Outdoors (1988) - we were recommended this movie by a family member who assured us it was really funny but none of us saw the humour. About halfway through the movie my 10 year old asked "when Is it going to get funny?
The Goonies (1985) - often referred to as an 80's movie classic, my kids didn't really get in to this one. Might try again in a few years time.
Flight of the Navigator (1986) - I never saw this as a kid but I watched it with my kids and we weren't that impressed as it feels quite dated.
Honey, I Shrunk the kids (1989)- we managed to sit thought this one but we didn't love it.
Of course there are lots of movies on our "Still to See" list including: Ghostbusters (1984), The Secret Garden (1993), The Karate Kid (1984), Oliver Twist (1982), The Sound of Music (1965) and the Indiana Jones series
I'm as nostalgic as you when it comes to kids' movies/TV. I sometimes just wish that all kids were allowed to watch today were the films I saw when I was little, because I consider them superior. I guess that makes me a bit of generational snob.
My family (4 and 6 yo kids) just recently saw Matilda for the first time. My wife and I had read the book as kids and we all loved the movie. The trunchbole was a bit much for my 4 year old at times, but it was light enough that she got through the slightly scary bits and really enjoyed it.
Too funny I just published an article on classics for kids, with "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" as my bonus classic favourite :) to each her own I suppose; our kids are younger than yours though (3, 3, 5, and 7).
Probably preview Ghostbusters again before viewing with the kids, it may have more sexual/suggestive content than you recall.