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10 movies your child should watch before turning 13

Move over, DC and Marvel superhero universe films. Here are a few classics movies that will help kids learn about courage, respect, empathy and life.

hollywood Updated: Aug 01, 2017 17:33 IST
HT Correspondent
Sound of Music has been an important childhood films for many of us.
Sound of Music has been an important childhood films for many of us. (.)

The first film I saw growing up was The Sound of Music. As a toddler, for me, the film was a comedy – thanks to the hilarious pranks the seven Vonn Trap children played on their governess, Maria. Dame Julie Andrew’s expressive face, only added to that humour.

As I grew up, its meaning changed. The family arch of the film became more prominent, and the sacrifice Captain Vonn Trap makes for his family became the thing i appreciated the most. Later, their escape from Austria and the horrors that the Nazi regime wrecked in their country too became apparent. Of course, the music of the films remains one of my all-time favourite albums of all times.

On the whole, The Sound of Music shaped, in many ways, my understanding of the world around me. And it birthed a deep love for music and films. Likewise, the many films I saw as a child, from Disney’s animated princess classics to other fantasy hits such as The Wizard of Oz and Chiti Chiti Bang Bang, provided a fresh wide world view, nurtured imagination, and introduced the concepts of courage, friendship, family and respect.

So settle down with your kids, and watch these 10 films. For them, these will open doors to the world of films. For you, it may be a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

1) The Incredibles (2004): The Incredibles ranks among Pixar’s best. Rarely does a minute of screen time pass without an allusion to superhero or spy movie tropes, subtle references that seem to grow in number with every subsequent viewing. But what separates the film from outright parody—and anchors it as a compelling narrative in its own right. It’s a fantastical mish-mash of genre blockbusters that also happens to have a soul.

2) Jumanji (1995): Ignore the upcoming remake of Jumanji, the old classic follows a magical board game that unleashes a world of adventure on siblings Peter and Judy Shepherd. While exploring an old mansion, the youngsters find a curious, jungle-themed game. When they start playing, they free Alan Parrish (Robin Williams), who’s been stuck in the game’s inner world for decades. But, to save Alan for good, they must brave giant bugs, ill-mannered monkeys and even aggressive rhinos.

3) How to Train Your Dragon (2010): A tiny Viking misfit aspires to hunt dragons like his tough, respected father, but ends up doing quite the opposite. An unlikely friendship with ferocious dragon blooms, and together, they go on a journey of self-discovery, and the strength that is often found only in kindness.

4) Wall E (2008): This one might just get your child to someday appreciate the vision of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odysse. The geniuses of Pixar, meets the simplicity of Disney and what ensues is a story of love and hope within a bleak, dystopic Earh. A loving trash-collecting robot takes us through a fable of wastefulness and endurance with a poignant truth – all we need is love.

5) The Goonies (1985): What’s not to like about a group of childhood friends, a treasure map, a scary giant named Sloth, and childhood thrills? This ‘80s adventure bears all of the hallmarks of exciting YA-lit drama and producer Steven Spielberg’s brand of smooth storytelling.

6) The Sound of Music (1965): This heartwarming tale of the singing von Trapp family and their escape from the Nazis in WWII-era Austria has endured the test of time. Julie Andrews’ aspiring-nun-turned-nanny is the heart of the film, transforming a militant household into a charming family. Rest assured, classics such as My Favorite Things, Do-Re-Mi, and Edelweiss will be etched on your child’s memory for the times to come.

7) Singin’ in the Rain (1952): The magic of the movies comes to life in this musical romp. It boasts a subversive sense of humour and scepticism toward the film industry . This is a movie about loving movies, and its energy vibrates from end-to-end, with Gene Kelly’s evergreen buoyant dance with an umbrella.

8) ET The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): Sure, Stranger Things is more popular now. But let’s go back to the basics here. ET will likely be every child’s first close encounter movie that will fill imaginations throughout adolescence. This Spielberg’s classic, tells the story of an unexpected friendship between a lonely child of divorce and a frightened left-behind alien, Watch out for a little gasp you hear from your wide-eyed child when the kids’ bike wheels leave the ground for the first time.

9) The Princess Bride (1987): Here is a fairy tale for the meta-age. Though boys might initially resist this classic but the film quickly squashes that gendered prejudice. The tale within the tale is just as delightful, and your kids will live to see this princess (Robin Wright) become an Amazonian warrior in this year’s Wonder Woman. There will never be another Wizard of Oz, but Princess Bride is its cooler, funnier older cousin.

10) Stand By Me (1986): Perhaps the one film that entirely captures the beauty of pre-teenage friendships, Stand By Me will make even adults cry. Four friends in the 1950s set out to find the dead body of a local missing boy, and they come back home changed forever. The tale is perfectly contemporary and a collection of the best pop-cultural nostalgia—especially pop music—that coats so much of the entertainment they will consume for the rest of their lives.

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