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20 Classic Movies You Should Watch with Your Kids

By Meghan Gesswein |

My kids have been really into movies lately. And as much as I love Cars and Finding Nemo (I do! I really, really do!), I can’t watch them 87 times a week.

Thankfully, they’re getting old enough to be able to sit through “real” movies. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what movies we can watch that we can all enjoy. I started thinking about what movies I liked to watch as a kid, and have been putting together a list.

Some of the movies on my list are somewhat obvious, and some of them are a bit more obscure, but each of them bring back fond memories from my childhood. I hope that my kids love them as much as I do. If the fact that we’re on screening number two of Harry and the Hendersons is any indication, I think I’m on the right track.

Check out my recommended classic kid’s movies after the jump. And then tell me, what movies would you add to the list?

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The Best Classic Movies for Kids

Harry and the Hendersons

This touching tale, about a family who finds "Big Foot" and tries to return him to the wild before he's discovered, will entertain your kids and show them that family comes in all shapes and sizes.

We can’t believe these were ever considered family films — check out the 26 most disturbing  movies for kids here!


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About Meghan Gesswein


Meghan Gesswein

Meghan Gesswein is a stay at home mom to three boys. Most of the time. Meghan is extremely active online, and writes for the ever growing mom blog, Meghan GWine. She was a regular contributor to the Parenting channels on Babble.

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22 thoughts on “20 Classic Movies You Should Watch with Your Kids

  1. Amy Stone says:


    And where do you find old movies like these? Since the invention of Red Box and Netflix, movie rental stores are a thing of the past! I don’t have Netflix, do they rent classics like these??

  2. Brian says:

    My kids and I really enjoy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. So much so, that we wore out the dvd.

  3. Tina nixon says:

    My kids watch nearly all of these & love them!

  4. Anya says:

    Maybe for slightly older kids but my daughter loves Footloose, Splash, and Sound of Music. And of course The Parent Trap!

    We have been lucky to find a lot of these classics at Second hand stores and Garage Sales.

  5. Megan says:

    Goonies, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, THe Dark Crystal, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

  6. New Mommy says:

    Rookie of the Year, and Sound of Music

  7. Barbara Cortez says:

    Labyrinth. I’ll always love The Princess Bride and Labyrinth!

  8. TBerry says:

    @Amy, Goonies is one of my favorites and I give it to all of my nieces and nephews at some point.
    The original Witch Mountain movies are great, Bednobs and Broomsticks, the original Parent Trap (much better than the new one) and the Shirley Temple movies are fun too.

  9. Gail says:

    I love all of these, although I have to admit, I haven’t actually seen all of them. But when I was 5 or 6, I would always beg my mom to take me to the video store to rent That Darn Cat. It has the same actress as in the original Parent Trap. Awesome list.

  10. Sara says:

    I love this list of movies! I have more than half these movies and can’t wait to watch them with children! Also, the movies listed in the other comments are great ones too ~ Goonies, That Darn Cat, Parent Trap, Bednobs & Broomsticks, Sound of Music etc. But I tend to like the classics versus todays movies.

  11. Becky says:

    Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie! But they forgot “Sandlot” That is such a classic movie, and funny!

  12. Michelle says:

    I loved most of this list! But there were a few that I had to raise an eyebrow at. Worth watching, really cute, yes. Classics? Only if you weren’t born until the mid 90′s! Yes, you CAN get most of these at Netflix-though very few of them are available on streaming. I haven’t checked other services to see if they have them streaming, but if you have cable or sattelite TV, you will probably be able to catch some of them if you keep your eyes out for them. You can also find some of them in the $5 movie bin at Walmart. There are so many more that could be on the list. If you have Netflix, spend a little while browsing the Kids and Family section. There are a bunch you probably haven’t even heard of that are really great, and of course a few that look really good and are truly lame!

  13. cheryl says:

    How can you not have Mary Poppins on there? It’s one of the best family movies made.

  14. Suzanne says:

    Secondhand Lions is another great family movie.

  15. M says:

    What about “The Secret Garden”? That was my FAVORITE movie growing up!

  16. Sharon Middleton says:

    Sound of Music, The Wiz. Most of the classic, old Disney stuff, both animated and live action.

  17. Shaun says:

    Will tear up just thinking about Ole Yeller.

  18. darkforrestt says:

    The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Goonies, Mary Poppins, Emmet Otters Jugband Christmas,

  19. Grandma says:

    I really love the really old classics made for children of all ages. How about Black Beauty, the Our Gang series with Spanky and Alfalfa, all movies with little Shirley Temple, and more recent the Sound of Music,

  20. j says:

    we like Tom Hanks, “Big” , also gotta watch shark boy and lava girl and the older Ghostbusters. Holes is a great movie too

  21. Marcia says:

    I loved Savannah Smiles, Apple Dumpling Gang & Bugsy Malone as a kid !

  22. jill says:

    Herbie the Love Bug, The Incredible Journey, D.A.R.Y.L, all the Short Circuit movies, Swiss Family Robinson (sorry can’t remember if that is already on the list)

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