If I were to ever be asked what movies I recommended for people to show their children, I would never be short a list consisting of several Disney films along with some other strange things that I saw once or twice as a child. However, if I had to pick six movies that I felt were necessary to the raising of my own children, I would look no further than some of my own childhood favorites: some of them not Disney, a few of them are. It’s a wide variety of girlflicks, boyflicks, and a little something for everybody.
The Last Unicorn
I love this movie. A lot. I’d recommend it for all little girls who like fairy tales to watch, and even I watch it again every now and then. The story of a quest to right something in the world, with a bittersweet ending, told from the point of view of a Unicorn. Come along with Schmendrick, Molly, and Amalthea as they tread into a dangerous world where the innocence of a unicorn will be tested and the taste of mortality will become addictive.
The Flight of Dragons
While boys may enjoy this film more than girls, this tale of adventure, heroes, and the death of magic due to the development of science and logic will keep any little knight or princess entertained. Filled with dragons, monsters, and other fantastic visions, even if the idea of common sense as a weapon won’t ring with your kids, the characters along the way to the end definitely will.
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
When I was a kid, I wanted to fly around on my bed, just like Nemo did. Minus being chased by trains and other horrible things. Even now as an adult I enjoy this movie, perhaps even a little bit more than before, with its pleasant animation, clever storytelling, and a plot that while making sense, still reminds me of the twists and turns a dream can take into becoming a nightmare. Kids of all ages will enjoy this film.
The Secret of NIMH
While somewhat on the dark side, NIMH tells a fantastic story of the love of a mother for her child as well as gives us a unique view into the little ‘pests’ we get in our yards. When Mrs. Brisby finds that her son can’t leave his house, but the house is in danger, this little mouse mother gets moving to save both her home and her child before the plows come and ruin everything! While it’s not exactly the most graphic of films, it would be better suited to elementary school ages and up.
The Brave Little Toaster
Alright, so I’m a little silly with this one. I remember staring at my own household appliances as a kid and wondering if they were actually moving around while I wasn’t looking (kind of like the toys in Toy Story). While maintaining the idea of rigid appliances and their natural functions, this movie manages to make a Toaster, a Radio, a Lamp, a Vacuum, and a Blanket all look like warm snuggly characters you just want to hug! A clever story for all ages and definitely one of my childhood favorites.
The Great Mouse Detective
This has got to be one of my favorite Disney films ever. Featuring the clever and eccentric Basil of Bakerstreet, the Sherlock Holmes of the rodent world, the descent into the gutters of London could never be so exciting! Along with Doctor David Dawson and Olivia, watch as Basil steps into an adventure of finding a lost father, just to be dragged into something much bigger. This energetic world is sure to be a favorite with kids.
While I cannot guarantee my taste in movies for all children, I’m sure that some of my old favorites here are bound to have one or two hits with the little ones. Give them a go. What could happen besides keeping the kids entertained for a few hours?