Everyone has favorite movies from when they were a kid. For me, they take me right back in time and make me feel happy and innocent with the added bonus of entertaining me. I have a long list of movies from my childhood that I could not wait to show my kids because they hold such great memories of a simpler time in my life. These movies helped shape who I am today- much like books, they showed me glimpses into other cultures, other times and other ways of life. I would wager that I learned as much from movies growing up as I did from school and books.
I always knew that when I had kids, I would show them all of my favorite movies from my childhood and now that they are five and six, I have started to do so. The ones they have seen so far they seem to love as much as I did and it’s really fun for me to see. It gives us something to bond over and it’s very fun to compare their reactions to these movies to the way I remember them making me feel as a kid. This is my list and I would love to hear yours in the comments!
I am listing this one first for a reason- it is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite movie from when I was a kid. The nostalgia factor of the 1960’s setting, the adorable narrator, the amazing and brave kid characters, tons of baseball- it has it all. I only had brothers so I did not watch a ton of girly-girl movies because we had to find something we all could agree on (it was the ’90’s- we only had one VCR in our house). I first showed it to my kids when they were five and three (a little young, I know) and my son started scribbling on baseballs to sign them “like Babe Root” and was adorably obsessed with it. They both love baseball now and I like to think this movie is partly to blame. Oh, and our son’s name is Ben and I won’t lie- I loved the main character Benny Rodriguez so much that I was thrilled he would have the same name.
This movie is amazing and anyone who disagrees can have a throw-down with me. I am 32 and I laugh even more now watching it than I did as a kid. Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy are positively hysterical and Sarah Jessica Parker looks so young it will make you feel old. It put a spell on me, no doubt. See what I did there?
Troop Beverly Hills
Ah, Troop Beverly Hills. One of the first truly girly movies I was really into. I watched it for the first time with my mom and I was maybe seven or eight. I remember it leading to a conversation about what divorce was and her explaining it to me. It also made me super excited that I was a Girl Scout.
This is one of the first movies that actually scared me. I was old enough to know it was not real but deep down, I sort of believed that it was, which is pretty thrilling for an 8-year old. I had already read the book and then watched the movie for the first time at school. Actually, my daughter and I are in the middle of the book together now and once we are done, I am tracking down the movie to show her. I think I am more excited than she is.
Robin Williams is so fantastic in this movie and it has a great balance of real-life lessons and fantasy. It was a staple of my childhood as my brothers and I watched it again and again. As an adult, there are new parts that I appreciate but as a kid, it was all about scary Captain Hook and the adorable Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell.
I still watch this movie every Christmas but because of the insane beat-down Macaulay Culkin puts on the robbers I have yet to show it to my kids. I am thinking in a year or two they will be able to handle it and I cannot wait.
Dennis the Menace
This movie is downright adorable and I have let the kids see it already, although, there is a good bit of suspense and violence when that creepy drifter kidnaps Dennis. It did not seem to bother my kids, though- they were far more interested in all of the funny ways Dennis was able to thwart and trick him.
The Parent Trap
Not the Lindsay Lohan version- the original with Miss Bliss from Saved By The Bell (otherwise know as Hayley Mills) playing the twin girls who try to get their parents back together. I have yet to show this one to the kids because I have not bought it on DVD yet but I know they will love it. I remember being fascinated as a kid when my mother told me that one actress was playing the part of the twins. Fancy for 1961!
The first time I saw this was at a drive-in theater (remember those?) and my parents let me bring a few friends. We were TERRIFIED and it was positively delightful. I am waiting on this one until they are maybe eight and ten. I know a dude gets chomped by a dinosaur while taking a poop and I think that’s a little heavy for a kindergartener and 2nd grader to handle.