We’ve come up with a list of 10 great old-school family films to watch that should guarantee a few hours of peace and quiet. But before we start we just want to make it clear that this list is in no particular order, nor is it exhaustive. It also includes no original Disney animated movies and nothing that was released after 1999. So sit back and get streaming!
THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987)
Rob Reiner directs this retelling of the 1973 novel of the same name, in which an unlikely hero and his even more unlikely friends set out on a daring rescue mission to save a beautiful princess from a pompous prince.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (1988)
Remember how you felt when you watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the first time? Well, we have news for you, despite the HUGE steps taken in CGI and making animation more realistic than ever, this iconic (yep, iconic) 1988 movie still holds up.
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (1996)
A young boy, tired of living with his abusive aunties, escapes his horrible life onboard a giant flying peach inhabited by a bizarre supporting cast of bugs, in this classic reimagining of the Roald Dahl story. Directed by Henry Selick, the real brains behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Coraline.
Robin Williams is Peter Pan… as a man.
THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984)
Kids in the 80s spent an awful lot of time getting sucked into strange fantasy worlds through portals in books, and The Neverending Story was no exception.
THE KARATE KID (1984)
Dependent on how savvy your kids are, they may already be familiar with the Cobra Kai TV series on YouTube, and if so making them see how the story all began is an important task… nay, duty… as their parent. Just be prepared for the whole “Wax on. Wax off” line to become a thing in your house once they’ve heard it.
You don’t really need us to explain the plot of Ghostbusters, do you? It’s Ghostbusters for crying out loud – that’s incentive enough to show it to your kids.
Further viewing: Ghostbusters II (1989), because it’s actually better than people would have you believe!
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS (1989)
If there was ever a movie that made me envy the main characters growing up, it was probably Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. For years I used to stare out onto my parents garden planning my route from one end to the other and back again, should I ever end up smaller than an ant. Released by Disney in 1989, Honey I Shrunk the Kids was a staple of family movie nights in the 1990s and featured one of Rick Moranis’ most iconic performances outside of Ghostbusters.
BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED (1987)
An elderly couple who run an apartment block and café find themselves under threat from an unscrupulous property developer, only to be inexplicably saved by a group of small, extraterrestrial spacecraft in this fun sci-fi comedy produced by Stephen Spielberg.
Kid Tom Hanks makes a wish to grow up, and as if by magic, becomes man Tom Hanks. The whole body-swap genre was extremely popular in the 1980s, but perhaps none were as funny, heartwarming and brilliant as Big.
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