Although spring is in the air and the warmer temperatures of summer are just around the corner, there are still a few cold, wet, miserable days ahead before you can get the family out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors. For this reason you may be on the lookout for a few good movies that can keep the whole clan entertained on a gray and dreary afternoon or a cold and stormy night. So pop some corn, snuggle up on the couch with your spouse, the kids, and every pet in the place, and fire up one of these family-friendly films that every generation will love.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939). There’s a new take on this famous Wiz and the wonderful land he visits, and it’s in theaters now. But before you take your kids to see the CG-packed remake of L. Frank Baum’s classic work, you might want to introduce them to Dorothy and her merry band of misfit toys with the Technicolor dream that is the original Wizard of Oz. The yellow brick road is long and fraught with peril, and poor Dorothy must traverse it and face the green-skinned Wicked Witch of the West if she wants to find her way back to Kansas and the family she loves. Luckily, she’ll have help from her dog, Toto, a glittery good witch called Glinda, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, not to mention a pair of sparkly red shoes. The lessons may feel a bit heavy-handed, but kids will definitely delight at the munchkins, the flying monkeys, and all the wonders to be seen in the merry old Land of Oz
- Toy Story (1995). Most kids would love to think that their toys have an entire secret life that takes place when people aren’t around, and thanks to powerhouse animation studio Pixar, your family can get a sneak peak at what happens in the playroom of a boy named Andy when he’s off gallivanting somewhere else. Join Sheriff Woody, spaceman Buzz, and a slew of other playthings as they face adventure and adversity at ankle height. This heartwarming story is one that will surely appeal to the whole family.
- Mary Poppins (1964). Parents have probably forgotten what a spoonful of sugar this movie is, what with candy-colored dreams made of sidewalk chalk and a nanny that flies in on her trusty umbrella. With plenty of fun and catchy tunes (Supercalla – you get the idea) sung by silver-tongued Julie Andrews, you’ll find yourself singing along to well-known favorites that you haven’t hummed since your own childhood days. And you can introduce a whole new generation to the movie that made nannies something that every kid wanted.
- E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982). Thanks to a 30th anniversary re-release on Blu-ray you can now enjoy the Spielberg classic in stunning clarity (with plenty of extras). Kids will delight at the lovable titular “space man” and his interactions with Elliot, Michael, and Gertie. And you’ll be transported back to a time when wearing down vests was the height of fashion. Just make sure to stock up on tissues for the tear-jerker ending.
- The Goonies (1985). What kid hasn’t dreamed of going on a treasure hunt only to discover hidden caves full of boobie traps (“That’s what I said – booty traps!”) and pirate ship laden with gold and jewels? Of course, the would-be heroes of this movie are also being pursued by a family of dangerous criminals who want the treasure for themselves. If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure that will bring out the kid in everyone watching, then you should definitely check this out.