…and still enjoy.
If you are liking the sound of cosy film nights with your grandchildren; but not sure the very latest films would be your cup of tea, why not get the best of both worlds with some timeless family classics?
The 7 films in this list have been selected as they are proving popular with youngsters watching them for the first time; yet are also being revisited by adults who watched them when they were younger, and can also enjoy them again partly through nostalgic eyes:
There is still something magical about Dorothy’s quest to follow the yellow brick road and find her way home. Its technicolour can still be appreciated as well as the great characters such as the Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin-man. It also has a great musical score including the Academy Award winning ‘Over The Rainbow’ and is still widely referred to today in many other films and TV programmes.
2 Pinocchio (1940)
There are many Disney films you could enjoy again with your grandchildren, but a recommendation you may not instantly think of is Pinocchio. It is hard to believe it was initially unsuccessful at the box office, particularly as it went on to win 2 Academy Awards!
The tale of morality about a puppet who wishes to become a real boy strikes a chord as well as the film having ground-breaking animation. It could also possibly educate the grandchildren to the right path – have you ever said to them, “if you tell a lie, your nose will grow.” for instance?
3 Oliver! (1968)
Although there have been many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the musical film Oliver! has to be watched with the grandchildren! It has won 6 Academy Awards and 2 Golden Globes. It has a fantastic musical score including the songs ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Consider Yourself’ and the moving ‘As Long as He Needs Me’.
The film features some very memorable actors including Harry Secombe as Mr Bumble, Oliver Reed as a very mesmerizing and sinister Bill Sykes and Ron Moody as Fagin. Ron Moody portrays Fagin brilliantly and was actually partly inspired by comedian/magician Tommy Cooper.
The story of how Oliver copes when he runs away after being sold from the orphanage to undertaker Mr Sowerberry (Leonard Rossiter) is an appealing, exciting adventure that no matter how many times you watch it will have you and the grandchildren asking ‘for more!’
4 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
If enjoying snacks is part of the film night experience with the grandchildren, what better excuse to get the choccies out than to watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – because it WILL make you fancy some!
This film works on two levels, as while the grandchildren can be swept into the magical adventures of Charlie and his grandpa at the Chocolate Factory, grandparents can enjoy the somewhat dark humour and admire the outstanding performance of Gene Wilder as creepy Willy Wonka.
The film also has a great cast including Helen Reddy as Nora, Mickey Rooney as her dad Lampie. Jim Dale as a delectably dastardly Dr Terminus and Red Buttons as Doc Terminus’ bumbling sidekick, Hoagie.
There is more going on in this story than a boy meeting a dragon who can turn invisible, (although that is pretty magical) there are the other parts such as the stories of Pete escaping from a horrid family who bought him, and Nora’s husband who has been missing for years.
Although the songs haven’t caught on to the level of ‘The Sound of Music’ for example, there are still some great catchy ones in this film. ‘Every Little Piece’ sang by Doc Terminus is as hilarious as ‘Candle in the Water’ by Nora is moving. There really is something for everyone here.
6 Willow (1988)
Star Wars movies aside, George Lucas is also behind the fantasy adventure Willow, which now has a cult following. The film stars a very young Warwick Davis, who strives to protect a baby from an evil queen.
It also stars Val Kilmer as Madmartigan, (who could be compared personality wise to Han Solo in Star Wars) a reluctant hero. As well as some ‘Sinbad’ style awesome creatures, great costumes and a fantastic score, Willow has some hilarious moments and is pure fun and escapism for all generations.
7 Shrek (2001)
The charming tale of an ogre defending his swamp whilst falling in love is a fairy tale in its own right. It is reminiscent of pantomime in its humour and appeal, with children appreciating the funny moving friendship and banter Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) and Donkey (voiced by Eddie Murphy) share; and adults appreciating the innuendo.
The whole parody of different fairy tales whilst actually being in a fairy tale is also very clever. As well as a great soundtrack, this film has a fresh, modern appeal with its computer animated effect.
A safe kingdom turns into perpetual winter, but Anna (Kristen Bell) teams up with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his sidekick reindeer to find Anna’s sister the Snow Queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel) to break the icy spell.
As in many of such tales it’s the journey wherein lies the interest and they have fun with mystical trolls, an hilarious snowman (Josh Gad), tough conditions with magic at every turn. Nevertheless Anna and Kristoff steadfastly push on to save their kingdom from a forever frozen.
So I was quietly watching with a young niece of mine and to her amazement I literally fell off the couch crying with laughter.
It wasn’t easy but I came up with something to put her at ease and assure her she wasn’t missing out on the joke