5 Favourite Kids’ Films

JoFamily Life

Old TV photo by huỳnh đạt

As regular readers will know, Jacob occasionally joins me on the blog to share his wisdom, humour, and random thoughts. Today he, being somewhat of a film buff, has written up his 5 favourite kids films. Without further ado, let me hand you over…

Hi everyone. I have written about my favourite kids’ TV programmes previously, but with the Christmas holidays upon us it seemed fitting to share my favourite kids’ films today. I can’t fit much into a list of 5 films, so I’ll go for the ones that have really stuck in my mind. Watching films used to be more of an event, either going to the cinema in Leamington Spa which was decked out in red velvet with heavy curtains that swung open when the trailers started, or walking down the road to Regent Video and perusing rows of VHS tapes. My eyes popped out on stalks when Blockbuster came to town – they had more than one of each film!

My love of film has continued to evolve, from DVDs to Blu-rays, postal rental services to streaming. It seems that there is a way to watch absolutely every film ever produced! These are the family friendly ones that stand out most for me from my youth.

Muppets Christmas Carol

Batteries not included

This film has something for everyone, it’s a comment on the evils of capitalistic land development, on dementia, on relationships and the beginning of life. Along with that that it’s just a really great kids film about some little flying robots that turn-up and help out the residents of a building due to be knocked-down. A feel good film that doesn’t treat children as idiots, but shows them the complexity and reality of life.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this film. All the cartoon characters in the same place! It bears rewatching many times, with plenty of adult jokes scattered through this film noir tribute. A little scary in places, you’ll have your own favourite characters. Mine being Benny the Cab. For little ones, watch out for Christopher Lloyd dying at the end – you might want to skip over that bit!

Short Circuit

Looking at this list, I realise my favourites seem to be live action crossovers. Johnny 5 is how I expect all robots should behave, good humoured, kind and keen to help out. A military robot struck by lightning, he becomes self aware and the film is a cat and mouse chase. I can quote you many lines “Need more input”, “Johnny 5 is alive!”. You do need to swallow the racism of Fisher Stevens playing a highly stereotyped Indian character (to be honest I’m not sure how that was an acceptable casting choice even in the 80s).

Gremlins

A little known fact is that my one and only TV appearance was imitating a Mogwai by extending my bottle thick glasses (thankfully thinned as I’ve aged) out from my head to make my eyes enormous. Simultaneously I’d sing the Mogwai tune while flapping my hands next to my head as ears.

A cautionary Christmas tale of what happens when you don’t listen to the advice of sage Chinese shop-keepers. Advice I still stick by to this day. A father buys his family a last minute present (a fluffy Mogwai) which comes with the instructions not to get it wet or feed after midnight. You can guess what happens and Gremlins appear wreaking naughty havoc all over town.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

I could sing you most of these tunes – it’s also my main recall when asked what the plot of A Christmas Carol is. I have to think who was Miss Piggy or Gonzo. With a great turn from Michael Caine as Scrooge, it’s a Christmas favourite and I still feel sad when I think about Tiny Tim.

So there you have it! My top 5 kids’ films, I’m sure to be watching at least a couple of these over the festive season.

N.B. Featured image is by Huỳnh Đạt, please do not reproduce without permission.