Magic of the Movies :: Childhood Classics


I do believe in the magic of the movies.  When the world is navigating a crisis, I’m choosing to turn to my own childhood classic movies to help lift my spirit.  I encourage you to add family movie time during our extended break. If you are struggling with what to watch, here are some of my personal favorites.  

Cool Runnings (1993)

A Jamaican sprinter gets disqualified from the Olympic games, but he isn’t ready to give up on his dream just yet.  He hired a coach that doesn’t have the best reputation to help him build the first ever Jamaican Bobsled Team. I love the comedy and inspiration provided by this Disney classic that is now available on Disney+.  If you enjoy sports-themed movies with lots of heart, also be sure to check out Rudy, The Mighty Ducks, Little Giants, and The Sandlot.

Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

This is for everyone that is a fan of Jumanji.  Of course, I recommend watching the 1995 version of Jumanji if you haven’t ventured there yet.  Once you have watched it and you are craving a similar movie, watch Zathura: A Space Adventure. Two brothers find a magical space-themed board game.  You guessed it; each play comes to life, and the brothers must get help from an astronaut to return them home. It’s a fun movie to see Josh Hutcherson pre-Peeta in Hunger Games and Kristen Stewart prior to Bella in Twilight.  Add in Dax Shephard and Tim Robbins, and you have one star-studded cast before they became household names. If you love Zathura and Jumanji, also check out The Neverending Story, The Goonies, and The Chronicles of Narnia.

The Adventures of Milo & Otis (1986)

Calling all animal lovers for this adorable adventure following two unlikely best friends, a Pug and a kitten as they wander away from their farm in Japan.  This is such a feel-good movie that will make you smile. Animal movies are always a popular choice with little ones. I also suggest Homeward Bound, Old Yeller, Free Willy, White Fang, Harry & the Hendersons, and The Land Before Time.

Milo & Otis

Gremlins (1984)

I refer to Gizmo as the Baby Yoda of his generation. Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins might be a tad on the scary side, but who can not fall in love with the adorable mogwai?   However, owning the mogwai as a pet comes with very strict rules. Do you remember the main three rules without having to use Google for help? If the rules are not followed, some mischievous malfunctions are created that wreak havoc on the world.  As I mentioned earlier, it can be frightening so parental discretion is advised despite the PG rating. If you enjoy adorable creatures as your main character, also add ET and Casper to your watch list.  

Jurassic Park (1993)

This one is for the older kids.  With the Jurassic World Live Tour making its way to Dallas this August, you should definitely make your way back to where it all began.  Jurassic Park had me hooked on all things dinosaur, and my daughter quickly followed in my footsteps. It also lends itself to the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride and Jurassic Park Discovery Center at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.  There is a travelling Jurassic Quest, and even helicopter tours in Kauai to get a glimpse of some of the movie’s popular sets. Obviously, I am a bit obsessed, and I hope that you will enjoy remembering this movie as well.

I seriously had an abundance of movie ideas that were practically impossible to narrow down.  They all allow the perfect opportunity for you to walk down memory lane for family movie night. 

More movies for movie night:

For the children captivated by modern musicals, go back and watch Sister Act with its fantastic musical numbers, cast, and life lessons.  Many modern hits have original classics worth remembering like Ghostbusters, Parent Trap, Annie, and Mary Poppins. Popular movies inspired by books include The Secret Garden, The Swiss Family Robinson, The Princess Bride, and Hook. Finally, some additional options for the older kids include Small Soldiers, Aliens in the Attic, Jaws, Look Who’s Talking, Ladybugs, and Back to the Future.  Take time to enjoy the magic of the movies during your extended breaks, and focus on family time watching these childhood classics.  

For additional indoor activities, check out the following Dallas Moms articles:

20 Indoor Crafts & Activities for Kids by Kelly Mock

Soar Into Healthy Habits: Indoor Obstacle Course Fun! By Gabrielle Cullen

Top 5 Favorite Activities For When You’re Stuck Inside by Laura Murray


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