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Kids Movies: Watch to Watch and What to Skip

Kids Movies: Watch to Watch and What to Skip

There are some movies that we grew up with that we would prefer to show our kids over other movies we had seen as children.  This is because while some movies may be widely loved favorites, others just have better lessons and underlying themes at their core.  For example:

Watch This:  Mulan

Mulan is often lumped in with Disney’s princesses, which is unfair, because Mulan isn’t a princess at all.  She doesn’t have royalty and riches thrust upon her for no other reason than for being born into it or marrying the right man.  She earns her elevated status, and she does so not for herself but for the benefit of China.  We can get behind an independent woman who can support herself without a man behind her.  The man is her reward at the end, not the other way around.

Not This:  Beauty and the Beast

Sure, it’s a “tale as old as time,” but that also means that we should updated our values.  While Lumiere and Cogsworth, amongst others, may be great fun, only giving Belle permission to have a happily ever after with a prince who is no longer an “ugly beast” teaches children the exact opposite of finding the beauty that’s on the inside.

Watch This:  Edward Scissorhands

While obviously gothic and, at times, dark, Edward Scissorhands was rather poignant for us when we were young, namely because it either taught us the repercussions of treating people who are different from us like inferiors, or because we related all too well to poor Edward’s simply trying to fit in and failing miserably at every turn.  We felt less alone in the world after watching Edward Scissorhands, and it taught us to have more compassion for those who may be different from us.

Not This:  My Fair Lady

For one reason, and one reason only: Eliza Doolittle returns to Henry Higgins after the way she had been treated, and even worse, he calls for his slippers!  Granted, the fact that ol’ ‘Enry ‘Iggins was teaching Eliza how to be a lady in the first place kind of saps away the fact that she might ever become an independent woman, but the ending of this film completely ruined the charm that was being built up the entire time.  Not the best movie for little girls, if you don’t want them to grow up dependent on men forever.  How is this on the top 100 kids’ movies anyway?

Watch This:  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Some argue that this version is less faithful to the book than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (a.k.a. the Gene Wilder version), while others argue the opposite.  In all fairness, even with Tim Burton’s style slathered all over it, this film felt like a refreshing update on an old classic - and we even prefer this ending to that of the original.  Sure, Johnny Depp’s Wonka is creepy and annoying, but who wouldn’t be, living 24/7 in a chocolate shop with unresolved dentist daddy issues?  At least he never shouted at us like Wilder’s Wonka did.

Not This: Mary Poppins

Maybe it’s just us, but we never understood Bert’s apparently unwavering respect for Mary Poppins.  If you ask us, she was kind of a bitch.  Maybe tough love was in order for the snooty Banks children, but we prefer our nannies kinder and less pretentious.

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