Most parents cringe at the thought of watching a movie with their kids. Why? Because many movies aimed at kids lack appeal for the parents. There are, however, movies available that are family-friendly (translated: not offensive for younger viewers) and are enjoyable for dad, mom, kids and even the dog. How does a cautious parent find out what movies are appropriate and enjoyable for the whole family – from other parents!
Here are a few that my family has found to be great fun for a family-friendly movie night:
“Cheaper by the Dozen” (2004, starring Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Rated PG) is great fun and lots of laughter for everyone. This movie is an updated remake of the 1950 classic which was based on the true memoirs of the Gilbreth Family. What’s it like living in a family of 14 – two parents and 12 kids? This movie showcases some of the endearing and zany moments that large families experience in day-to-day life.
“Clockstoppers” (2002, starring Tony Abatemarco and Michael Biehn, Rated PG ) What would it be like to move through time faster than everyone around you? Scientists have created a watch that can be used to send the wearer’s personal time and space into hyperdrive. Imagine the fun and trouble that a teenager can get into with such a gadget and you’ve got
“Clockstoppers.” The only problem – the bad guys want their toy back! Fun and entertaining for the whole family!
How about adventure and mystery with some history thrown in? “National Treasure” (2004, starring Nicholas Cage, Rated PG) is a treat – and my kids didn’t even mind learning some history! The DVD features a special bonus secret clue hunt that my son loves – no matter how many times he does it. Mom and Dad can really enjoy this flick, too. Learning American history has never been so much fun!
“Sky High” (2005, starring Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston, Rated PG). Every kid dreams of what it would be like to be a superhero. “Sky High” goes further and tells the story of kids who are the offspring of superheroes and the high school where they learn to harness and control their own super powers. For the parent who remembers feeling out of place when they were in school, they will be able to identify with “Sky High’s” main character.
The son of not just one, but two superheroes, everyone has high expectations for him. So how is a kid supposed to feel when he doesn’t seem to have any superpowers? Find out when you watch “Sky High” – it is an adventure that everybody in the family will enjoy.
Have you and your family ever gotten lost in a board game? Find out what it’s like in these two fun movies – “Zathura” (2005, starring Tim Robbins, Rated PG ) and Jumanji (1995, starring Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt, Rated PG). Although some scenes may be a little intense for very young children (my four-year-old didn’t have any problems), both of these movies are always a hit with my crew. We enjoyed watching the crazy things that can happen when the games in these movies come to life.
“Snow Dogs” (2002, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and James Coburn, Rated PG) is a fun story of a Florida dentist who inherits his birthmother’s home and sled dogs in Alaska. It is a “fish out of water” story about a young man learning who he really is – and learning to love dogs too! The story is full of laughs and endearing moments.
“The Pacifier” (2005, starring Vin Diesel, Rated PG). A Navy Seal is called in for his most difficult assignment – guarding four children of varying ages. The tough guy gets in touch with his softer side as he and the kids learn to get along and actually like each other. This movie has laughs, adventure and a sweet story.
Eddie Murphy is a hit in “Daddy Day Care” (2003, Rated PG). Moms, especially, will giggle at the problems Murphy encounters as he tries to learn how to take care of numerous small children in this hilarious movie. This one is great for some laughs, and maybe even some family discussion on the roles and responsibilities of Moms and Dads.
For parents who are in their thirties and forties, “Herbie – Fully Loaded” (2005, starring Lindsay Lohan and Michael Keaton, Rated G) will bring back memories of the old Disney “Love Bug” movies. This movie exposes a whole new generation to the loveable – and lively – Volkswagon.
Try one of these movies for your next family movie night – one of these titles will appeal to everyone!