Picture it: it’s Friday night and we’re home as usual. We’ve worked all week, the boys have spent the week in school, and it’s time to unwind. Pizza, popcorn, and pajamas rule the house, and it’s time for the dreaded question…What movie should we watch?
There is no shortage of newer movies, specifically animated movies, but I’ve lived the life of watching the same three movies over and over (thank goodness that’s just a phase). Now my kids are adventurous enough to let us pick. We usually show them a trailer, and it’s pretty easy to get them hooked from there!
Here are some of our favorites…
The Sandlot (rented on Amazon)
A ragtag group of kids with one goal — baseball all the time — befriend an outcast kid who doesn’t know baseball at all. It’s already set in the past, so it doesn’t show its age. My boys have not stopped saying, “You’re killing me, Smalls.” It makes my heart happy.
Mighty Ducks Trilogy (Disney+)
Ice hockey isn’t necessarily my jam, but the sight of this team learning to trust each other while playing hockey is heartwarming. A young Keenan Thompson and a young Joshua Jackson are a treat too! Bonus? There’s a new Mighty Ducks TV series coming out soon!
Cool Runnings (Disney+)
I love John Candy always, and this is a fun story as he tried to prepare four Jamaican track stars for the winter Olympics as a bobsled team. It’s loosely based on a true story, so you can look back at the history to show pictures of the real life events!
Honey I Shrunk the Kids series (Disney+)
The story of a family with an absent-minded scientist for a dad. The special effects are just hilarious, and my kids love to point them out! It was the ’80s and that’s pretty obvious when the kids are ant-sized or when the baby is huge!
Dennis the Menace (rented on Amazon)
This precocious little guy was a favorite of mine as a kid, and his crazy schemes are only matched by Mr. Wilson’s grumpiness. It’s highly quotable and full of cute moments as well!
Little Rascals (Peacock)
A team of little boys causing trouble and making a secret club…my boys loved everything about it from go-karts to talent shows and all the crazy planning along the way.
Addams Family and Addams Family Values (Hulu)
This mid-90s reiteration of an old cartoon is full of sort of scary moments, all of which are laced with humor. The added bonus is that there’s a newer movie that came out this fall as well!
Parent Trap (Disney+)
We went with the Lindsay Lohan version because the Hayley Mills old school version would have been a tough sell. They loved the hijinx, the summer camp, and one person playing twins.
Free Willy series (rented on google/Amazon)
This story of a foster kid who befriends a captured whale captured my animal-loving son’s heart right away. It’s a story of redemption, a chance to see a big sea creature up close, and a rescue several times over. It’s heartwarming and adventurous.
Fair warning: this one takes a while to get started. It’s almost an hour before you get to Neverland, but this classic tale with a twist is fun. What happens when Peter Pan grows up? This one is another highly quotable movie from my childhood, and chanting “Rufio” through the house gets a pretty decent reaction these days. My oldest son loves the adventure and make believe in this one.
Three Ninjas Series
Three brothers visit their grandfather only to discover he’s actually a ninja. He trains them and their knowledge is put to use quickly. This is easily my husband’s favorite and one he couldn’t wait to share with his boys.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Gene Wilder forever — don’t come after me with that Johnny Depp trash. The original movie is full of colors, songs, brilliant characters, and some morals as well. It’s very funny for kids, but it is decently long, so be prepared.
What’s next? I have a list of movies on my phone that we’ve yet to watch. Some of the top contenders for the next movie night are Beethoven, Mrs. Doubtfire, Big, Angels in the Outfield, Rookie of the Year, Back to the Future trilogy and Karate Kid!