Emily Wyckoff

Pass the popcorn – and the tissues – movie favorites with your kids

Monday was a holiday – Veteran’s day – aka Parent/Teacher Conference Day – and we had no plans. It was pretty glum outside, yet all was going well with painting, coloring, etc. until the troops got restless. My 7 year old daughter started taking sudden ownership of a random crayon and paint kit from the dollar store that no one had touched in months, refusing to share. I told her we had to share all of the family’s arts and crafts materials and she proceeded to have attitude, talk back and exhibit overall sassiness. To her room she went. One down, two to go. My 3 year old son was stir crazy and throwing pillows around, not listening, and wreaking general havoc, so he marched off to sit on the stairs. Of course at this point my five year old daughter realized her strong positioning and helped me prepare lunch, cleaned up toys, and was a model child. I needed to rally the troops. I needed an activity. I needed something that I would enjoy too – it was only 1 pm. So I pulled out an old movie that my kids had never seen. E.T.

Let me be honest – my kids watch a lot of television. Sponge Bob and Disney tween shows are their favorites and I can barely sit through half of an episode although I do, just to check in on the shows and see if they are appropriate. Now whenever I am watching one my 7 year old daughter will ask tentatively “Mom, is this appropriate?”

Anyway, back to cloudy Monday – I popped some popcorn (here is an easy way to move away from the microwave popcorn and spice up the traditional stove top method), pulled the shades and put in the video cassette (this is literally an old movie). My 7 year old and I were glued for the full viewing, and my 5 year old and 3 year old made it through the majority. It was the first time I ever saw my 7 year old cry while watching a movie, and lots of discussion ensued on how sometimes you have to let go of things you love, how E.T had to get back to his family, how bad guys aren’t always necessarily bad guys, but trying to protect people, etc. I cried my eyes out, by the way, and was very happy to spend the afternoon watching E.T. with my daughter rather than Scooby Doo (which can be funny, of course).

My friend introduced The Sound of Music to her children this past weekend and it had something for everyone – songs for her 5 year old, and her 7 year old asked for “violence” and it had that as well. Last year my older daughter was obsessed with Oliver – the upper grades at her school performed theplay – and the whole family knew the entire soundtrack.

What are some of your favorite family movie classics?

36 Responses to “Pass the popcorn – and the tissues – movie favorites with your kids”

  1. connie says:

    Miracle on 34th Street and of course Wonderful Lifefor Christmas..and the Old how the Grinch stole Christmas

  2. Jessica Kielman says:

    My kids love Annie and Mary Poppins, which pleases me because they were two of my favorites.

  3. Mom of Three says:

    We recently watched Lady and The Tramp and I forgot how much I love that movie! It’s a very sweet love story. We also watched Peter Pan the other night and I have to say, it is a little mature for young kids.

  4. Alisa says:

    We love Annie and the Sound of Music, but The King and I just tug at all of our hearts. I have three girls and we quote parts of it to each other!!!

  5. beth says:

    At Canadian Thanksgiving (its in October- still trying to get used to that one after 18 years) my 6 year old granddaughter got bored with all of us and so on went Mary Poppins – something she has never seen – and of course being the fanatic I am I asked if she could say supercalafragalistic -the answer was no – okay how about saying it backwards – well she laughed and laughed…….
    And called me 5 days later when I answered the phone all she said was “I can say it!” and she did. Apparently she awoke on that Saturday morning after saying it in her sleep all night according to her sister who shares her room – and the first word she said was SUPERCALAFRAGALISTIC!

    The oldies are among the best!

  6. Missy says:

    Old films like “Bringing Up Baby” are great! My kids also love “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” I have also turned my kids on to “Pride and Prejudice.” (the A&E version)

  7. Craig lebel says:

    We have three kids, ages 6 (boy), 4 (girl), and 2 (another boy). I loved the old episodes of the Monkees growing up, and managed to actually record alot of episodes on VHS. When all else fails, I pop that tape in and they are instantly glued, and giggling. It’s awesome to watch them laugh at all the things I laughed at as a kid, and it’s amazing how even Tyler, the 2 yr. old even knows all their names, Mike, Mickey, Peter and of course, Davy.

  8. Melissa says:

    We have to munchkins 7 and 2, both love Grease! I love love it cause it is my absolute fav! My hubby he is always dismayed to the fact that is is on quite often. I am going to introduce them to Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

  9. Sarah says:

    Hm…try Pocahontas.
    It great for all ages and genders.
    Or The Chronicles of Narnia.

  10. Laurie says:

    We are movie-holics! I have three daughters 14, 11 and 4 (my four year old has autism). Well, she loves musicals! All the Disney ones of course…Mermaid, Mulan, (we don’t have Beauty and the Beast yet on DVD!) and her favorites are non-Disney… The Sound of Music and Singin in the Rain! It’s so much fun. For my older daughters though, they love to watch old movies with me and anything you can think of! Classics are mandatory and popcorn is a must!

  11. rachel says:

    Try The Court Jester with Danny Kay. Old and silly and very clean. My kiddo loves as much as I do. Also the three stooges movies (not the shorts) are pretty entertaining.

  12. Jen says:

    We’re fans of Stuart Little (1 & 2) and of course Annie is still a hit with two girls!

  13. Kristy says:

    My 3 yr old son fell in love with Polar Express last Christmas and we pulled it out earlier this week and he was glued to the TV. He also loves the classics like Mary Poppins and 101 Dalmatians.

  14. Jennifer says:

    I love all the cute comments from other moms, but can’t quite relate. I have four boys and a husband that often counts himself in as one of the kids, so I am completely out numbered when we vote on any movie watching. The favorite movie selections are definately action packed adventures like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurasic Park, X-men etc… I am expecting a girl in February, and look forward to bonding with her over “chic fliks” and musicals.

  15. Only 28 and a mother of four says:

    Just to comment on the one a bove me. It is soo crazy that I understand what you are going though.. (except the baby on the way) But I do have four boys and a husband that acks like one of the boys.. I don’t know how you are going to handle a little girl.. You enjoy girls night. Rach you are awesome too. I watch you every day the boys scream at me. “mom racheal ray is on” But they like you to O yeah and the food. They are always saying mom will you make that thing Racheal Ray made? Boys!!!!

  16. Deborah says:

    Try Pete’s Dragon and The Cat from Outer Space, favorites in my house for animal lovers.

  17. Misty says:

    LOVE Pete’s Dragon! I have three children(7,5,3), and we also love to watch The Wizard of Oz and Narnia. Hook is fun too… always with Rachael’s snacks, of course!

  18. fan of rach says:

    My all time fav is National Treasure. It’s a great movie and very eucational on American history. the sequal wasn’t as gooda as the original but it was alright. They’re coming out with the 3rd one in december. Can’t wait. These movies are fun, adventorous, funny and informative.

    luv them!

  19. Tara says:

    We absolutely love The Goonies. It is such a classic, and my 5 year old son loves to watch it with my husband and myself.

  20. Miss Christa says:

    My husband, girls and I love to watch movies together. Try any of the original Herbie movies, Bedknobs and Broomsticks or the original Willy Wonka. What fun!

  21. Mylo says:

    I am a father of 4 Little Girls(7, 3, 2, 9 months) Wife works late and so i do most of the cooking. 7 Y/O compares my unfavoribly to Rachael. I recommend The Princess Bride and My Fair Lady, Have not sat with her though the Never ending story yet, But waiting to find it.

  22. Rachel G says:

    My 3-yr-old daughter loved the Disney movie “The Ugly Dachshund” so much that we ended up rescuing a dachshund earlier this year. Now they watch it together!

  23. JODY G says:


  24. Donyel Garcia says:

    Nanny Mcphee was very good I have 2 girls ages 7 and 2 they both sat thru and the old version of Willy Wonka is a Fav. Pippy longstocking or longstoppor as my 2 year old calls her is great as well.

  25. Cathy says:

    My is ‘Its A Wonderful Life’. My husband bought it for me one year for Christmas because I had missed seeing on tv. So I watch it once evey year, just as if it were coming on reg. tv, that way I don’t bore everyone else with it.

  26. cindy says:

    I made it a tradition in our faimly of 6 to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”…every year right after Thanksgiving…I am 41 so I try to get my faimly to watch alot of the old classics that I used to watch….MY KIDS LOVE THE GOONIES TOO : ) AND GREASE,,ETC…

  27. Mary says:

    I agree with so many above — ! The first time my daughter cried during a movie was watching “My Dog Skip” with Frankie Nunez. She was still very young (about 4) — & it totally touched my heart! If you’re a “dog family” then that’s the movie to see w/the kids! The original “Willy Wonka” & “The Goonies” were my all-time childhood favorites that have now become my daughter’s, as well. We also LOVE “Stuart Little (1 & 2)”, “The Mask”, & “Big Fat Liar”. Enjoy!

  28. Cara says:

    I love the older kid movies! I think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Babes in Toyland(the original) are great movies. My nieces are 4 & 6 and love them. Someone also mentioned Bedknobs and Broomsticks and I so agree– one of my favourites!

  29. Tylena says:

    I have 4 children ages 11,5,2 and 3 months. I have to say that the whole entire family loves watching the Incredibles, including my husband and myself. It’s got a line of events for my oldest, myself and my husband, but also includes a lot of action that keeps the younger ones entertained.

  30. shannon says:

    hey rachael! i love your show! ihave 2 children 18 and 12!! my 12 year old loves to watch your show and likes the gifts you give away! she has always wanted to be a guest on your show. but i told her that was up to you. but if u can email me back with some news and i can tell her. thanks racael!!!

  31. Lisa Short says:

    I have 5 young boys (ages 15, 13, 11, 9, and 8) and we love sports/family movies. I have to say that they really are my favorite too! We loooove “Remember the Titans, The Rookie, League of Their Own, Miracle, Hoosiers, Score!, We are Marshall, Rudy, Invincible, and Field of Dreams”. No romantic chick flicks at my house. Just lots of good sport fun! There are more sports genre kind of movies, but I highly recommend these because they are clean (very little cussing or skin) and have a great message of working hard, being your best, and having good character. Most of them also have great music tracks as well.

  32. Katherine Knowles says:

    Hey Rach! I watch your show every day that I can.( when I’m not at school)…(I’m 12) I think it would be great if I could come on your show, not to be on TV, but to meet you! I’ve always wanted to meet you because you can cook, you’re energetic, and you bring joy to everyone.(especialy me) If I came on your show, I could show you some awsome jumproping tricks. Once I broke the record at my school, 204 jumps a minute!(and thats not a lie!)
    Anyways, please, please, pleeeeeaase except me, but,if not,then I hope I can come to your show (as part of the audiance) soon.(=

  33. jorge says:

    love rachel ray.im 11 and a PERFECT family film is THE ROCKY SERIES. i highly recomend rocky balboa and rocky.im 11 and a boy and i cried in rocky balboa same with family.resource poll

  34. Jean says:

    My son who is 7 and loves Old Yeller. He reminds me so much of Ollis, because of his love for animals. He was 4 when he first watched Old Yeller and has loved ever since. I love the older children films because they are appropriate for all ages.

  35. Tammy Anderson says:

    I am a mother of 3 girls and 1 boy. I think one of our fav movies which I haven’t seen mentioned here is called Fly Away Home with Jeff Daniels (love him) and Anna Paquin. It’s about a little girl who saves some Canadian Goose eggs when they hatch they think she is their mother. Ultimately she must teach them how to migrate so they will survive. It’s a GREAT family movie. I reccomend it to everyone!!!

  36. Shawna says:

    Every year on the last official day of summer my girls and I watch Harriet the Spy. My oldest daughter is 14 now and we still watch it every year. It will never get old.

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