10 Great movies from your childhood to watch with your family Part 1.
The 80's and 90's were full of great family movies. Here are my top ten favorite PG movies from my childhood. I have shared these with my kids and received mostly rave reviews. These movies are adventuresome, exciting, sometimes scary, but always fun.
10. Labyrinth. - A purely cool and different movie from what was normal for the times. A teenaged Jennifer Connelly plays the babysitting sister Sarah. Sarah wishes her half-brother Toby away to the Goblin King Jareth. To Sarah's surprise, Jareth is happy to oblige her and takes toby to a far off land. I should mention that Jareth is played by David Bowie who gives an unforgettably evil performance as the Goblin King. Sarah must complete a Labyrinth designed by Jareth to save her half-brother. There are a few scary moments here, but I think anyone over ten is good to go.
9. SpaceCamp. - This is a star filled film by stars who didn't know they would be stars. The quirky kid comedy infused with the awesome acting of Lea Thompson, Kate Capshaw, Kelly Preston, Jaquin Phoenix, and Tom Skerritt to name a few is the reason I really like this movie. The basic premise of the film is that these kids go to SpaceCamp and of course they are accidentally launched into space. The best quality to the plot is the relationship built between the campers and how they learn to deal with adversity. I don't see any issues here for kids of any age. All systems go!
8. E.T. - Okay. Really, what hasn't been said about E.T.? Probably nothing. If you haven't watched E.T. with your children yet, do it. And then watch their faces. You are in for a treat. This is an awesome Spielberg film. Many people rank it among the best movies of all time. It's definitely one of the best family movies of all time. Henry Thomas plays Elliott the boy who befriends an alien. Drew Barrymore plays Gertie Elliott's cute little sister. I think this is the only film I liked Drew in, but that is an article for another day. In this film Elliot coaxes a friendly alien to his house with Reese's Pieces candy. They develop a great friendship and Elliott has to help the alien get home. This is a tear jerking classic. It's fun for everyone. There are a couple intense science fiction themed scenes, but I think it is a go for all ages. Definitely fine for all over age 10.
7. The Man from Snowy River. - This is one of the best boy turning into a man stories I have ever seen. This was my introduction to the western style move that wasn't all about blazing guns. Jim Craig played by Tom Burlinson witnesses his father's death do to a stampede of wild horses. Alone in the world for the first time in his life, Craig has to make it on his own. Craig a great horseman in the making heads from the Australian mountain country to the lowlands to work on a ranch. There he is smitten by the ranch owner’s daughter. Yes, I forgot to mention this is also a wonderful love story. Kirk Douglas plays a dual role as Jim Craig's uncle and the Ranch owner as twin brothers. Jim vies for the hand of Jessica and has to prove himself a worthy man on the ranch. This film boasts some of the best horse action scene's I've ever seen on film. Add cool accents and this is a rocking good time for all ages.
6. Ghostbusters. - Can you imagine the first experience you have with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd is Ghostbusters? Well, be jealous because that was me. I don't remember when I first saw the film, but I still know most of the lines. The great cast also includes Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Sigourney Weaver. When three parapsychology professors lose their jobs and start ghost hunting the result is absolute gut busting laughs. The three have to save New York City from an untold evil about to be released. There are several instances of scary science fiction moments. In other words there's some scary evil ghosts and demons in this film rendering it not suitable for everyone. There is also some smoking, and sexual innuendo. It is a great PG family film for the appropriate audience.
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark. - What do you know? Another Spielberg film pops up on the list. The first installment of the Indiana Jones series and by far the best is Raiders of the Lost Ark. This film was made before only artsy films could win Oscars and it took home four. Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones, a thrill seeking archeologist who is hired by the US government to find the biblical Ark of the Covenant before the Nazi's. This film is the epitome of the adventure film. Not to give anything away, but the end is a face melting mess so beware of that. Preview first for younger audiences. Boys may be more into this one than girls, but my girls think it's cool. Just a fun movie.
4. The Original Karate Kid. - As William Zabka or Johnny in the film will always be the Karate Kid to How I Met your Mother's Barney Stinson, Ralph Macchio will always be the Karate Kid to me. No offense to Will Smith's kid and Jackie Chan, but the new Karate Kid was missing the soul of the original film. Pat Morita delivers a very believable performance as the handyman / martial arts expert / father figure Mr. Miyagi while Ralph plays struggling teen Daniel to the T. After moving to California from New Jersey Daniel is picked on and beaten up by local martial arts students. Mr. Miyagi comes to his rescue and sets Daniel up to fight in a karate tournament to keep the bullies from getting after him as a temporary solution. The tournament and climax features one of the best songs ever put to film. Not much else to say here except Elisabeth Shue makes an appearance as Daniel's teeny bopper girlfriend and the cause of most of his troubles. There is some kissing and obviously karate violence, but it is very mild. This is a kicking good time for every one of all ages.
3. Goonies. - A group of young friends dubbing themselves the Goonies set on a treasure hunt to save their suburban homes from the tyranny of a golf course developer. Future stars including Josh Brolin, and Sean Astin raise the kid acting quality quotient. My favorite kid in the film is Chunk played by Jeff Cohen. On the hunt for the pirate treasure the group crosses paths with the notorious Fratelli family. The criminal family fears the kids know too much and must be dealt with. There are many loveable characters in this one including the criminals and an unexpected hero. If you love "booty traps"; you'll love the Goonies. This film has the most cursing of all the films on the list do to a character named Mouth for obvious reasons. There is one scene with references to male anatomy at the very beginning that is slightly crude. Coupled with a few scary moments on the treasure hunt. Ten and up should enjoy this one with their parents.
2. The Original Star Wars Trilogy. - Unlike the Highlander with Star Wars there must be more than one. The original trilogy consists of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. Watching just one would be like eating a bite of a slice of pecan pie. It's impossible to take one of these movies without the others. While each film has its own satisfying conclusion they play best as the trilogy they were intended to be. You can cruise through all three movies in one day. Mark Hamill plays the farm boy Luke Skywalker. After tragedy strikes taking his uncle and aunt from him Skywalker heads off on a journey with a quirky, loner, Jedi knight Ben, and a quick witted smuggler Han Solo played by Harrison Ford. Along with other unforgettably fun and original characters the trio joins the resistance against the evil overlord Darth Vader. These are must see films for the entire family. I would guess I've watched each movie more than one-hundred times. Yes, literally. There are a few scary creature moments between all the films and plenty of Sci-fi action, but I think they are good for everyone over ten.
1. Back to the Future. - This movie ranks in my top ten movies of all time. Marty McFly played by Michael J. Fox inadvertently time travels from 1988 to 1955. The film has a very original time travel premise in that Marty has to get his parents to fall in love or he will fail to exist. The problem is, Marty makes a history changing mistake, and his mom is falling for him. Marty seeks out his friend Dr. Emmett Brown played by Christopher Lloyd the inventor of the time machine for help. I love Dr. Brown and he is one of my favorite characters in film. Dr. Brown and Marty have to get his parents together and send Marty Back to the future before he disappears forever. This movie has one scene of teenage drinking and smoking, but it’s shown as what not to do. Romantic situations are comedic. Everyone can watch this movie at eighty-eight miles per hour.
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of May 27, 2014)
Watch your movies on Kindle Fire.
Amazon Price: $379.00 Buy Now
(price as of May 27, 2014)