Share Classic Kids Movies from the “Olden Days”
Before Frozen and The Incredibles were the hits of the day, even before Harry Potter or Star Wars, there were some fantastic kids movies. Dating back into the thirties and moving on through the forties, fifties and sixties, introduce your grandkids to clean, fun and fascinating movies of the past.
So gather the family, dig up some of these treasures from dusty shelves and break out the popcorn. Your grandkids will be surprised at the fun to be had when delving into family entertainment of yesteryear. Be prepared for a few snickers, but that’s okay—they’ll experience some of the same fun and fantasy you enjoyed with your kids before they became parents. It’s bound to be a good time.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937
Disney’s first animated film is a classic story of good vs. evil. Snow White in an enchanted forest, seven funny and lovable dwarves, a handsome prince come to rescue a damsel in distress—this early film has all the characteristics of a great story.
The Wizard of Oz, 1939
This well-known and well-loved story never grows old. And while the winged monkeys may frighten your grandkids just a bit, the unique story of Dorothy, Toto, and the friends she meets along the yellow brick road make for a wonderful few hours of entertainment.
This artsy film was a step away from the usual Disney story line film. Consisting of eight animated segments set to classical music, it was emceed by Deems Taylor who introduced each segment. Two of the most popular segments were The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas and Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky. Opening to a somewhat surprised audience in 1940, this classic film is now admired for its creativity and beauty.
The beloved old woodcarver, Geppetto, creates a puppet, Pinocchio. The story tells of many human desires—how love can bring life and how temptations can lead to great misery and loss. Many consider this to be Disney’s greatest animated film.
This beautiful film follows Bambi from his birth and first shaky steps through a series of forest adventures. Thumper the Rabbit, Flower the shy skunk and the Wise Owl are some of Bambi’s friends. Themes of love, loss and life make this one a favorite.
Dumbo is different. He’s bullied and scorned for his big ears. His only friend, Timothy the Mouse stands by him as he learns to turn his big handicap into a positive and learns to fly.
Who doesn’t root for Cinderella to overcome her stepmother and ugly stepsisters to gain the love of the prince? The visuals in this animated film are spectacular. The magical transformation of the poor scullery maid into a gorgeous lady fit for the prince’s ball is memorable.
Peter Pan, 1953
Travel to Never Land where Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Captain Hook live. The three Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael get caught up in the drama when they meet Peter Pan, a boy who never wants to grow up.
The Little Fugitive, 1953
This ground-breaking film by Morris Engel tells the beautiful tale of a little boy’s adventures in Coney Island. Often seen as the beginning of the French New Wave in film-making, it used non-professional actors.
The Red Balloon, 1956
This classic film by French filmmaker, Albert Lamorisse, is only a bit over thirty minutes long. It explores the adventures of a young boy and a red balloon and was filmed in Paris using Lamorisse’s own children as actors.
Swiss Family Robinson, 1960
Follow the adventures of a Swiss family stranded on a desert island when their ship is damaged. Who wouldn’t enjoy living in a fantastic handmade treehouse? The story follows the family’s attack by local pirates and an uncertain future. Will they be rescued?
The Parent Trap, 1961
This early version of the story features Hayley Mills as twins, who are trying to reunite their estranged parents played by Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith.
Mary Poppins, 1964
Kids really should understand the ins and outs of a musical comedy. Julie Andrews is the ideal nanny who can solve any problem with just a spoonful of sugar. The dysfunctional Banks family needs help and with the help of Mary Poppins and her friend Bert they get just what they need.
The Sound of Music, 1965
Most children will skip over the heavy theme of Nazi Germany’s control over Austria and just fall in love with the young Austrian nun who leaves the convent to become a nanny to the Trapp Family. The songs and gorgeous landscape capture imaginations and hearts.
Jungle Book, 1967
Mowgli, an orphan boy, is found in a basket in the jungles of India and is taken to a mother wolf who has just had cubs. Raised with the cubs, this is the story of Mowgli and his jungle friends who eventually help him adapt to the “Man Village.”