1. Star Wars

DIRECTED BY GEORGE LUCAS (STAR WARS IV: A NEW HOPE), IRVIN KERSHER (STAR WARS V: EMPIRE STRIKE BACK) & RICHARD MARQUAND (STAR WARS VI:RETURN OF THE JEDI )

WRITTEN BY GEORGE LUCAS (STAR WARS IV: A NEW HOPE), LEIGH BRACKET & LAWRENCE KASDAN (STAR WAR V; EMPIRE STRIKE BACK) & GEORGE LUCAS AND LAWRENCE KASDAN (STAR WARS VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI)

STARRING: MARK HAMIL, HARRISON FORD, CARRIE FISHER, PETER CUSHING, ALEC GUINESS, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, ANTHONY DANIELS, DAVID PROUSE, PETER MAYHEW & FRANK OZ 

RELEASE DATE: MAY 25, 1977 (STAR WARS IV: A NEW HOPE), MAY 21, 1980 (STAR WARS V: EMPIRE STRIKE BACK) & MAY 25, 1983 (STAR WARS VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI)

AGE RECOMMENDED:  6 & UP

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . .

Here talking about the original trilogy: Episode IV A New Hope, Episode V The Empire Strike Back and Episode VI The Return of the Jedi, not the later prequels. I think Star Wars is a rite of passage, most of the parents saw the original trilogy and blew their minds and they are now eager to share that magic to their kids.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to introduce 3 boys to Star wars (back then they were 4, 6 and 8 ) and I can tell with not doubt in my mind that those nights change their mind. The 3 of them felt in love with the movie and the characters specially Luke Skywalker and Wicket. For the younger there was only one part that really upset him, the trash compactor in Episode IV, beside that he watch the trilogy with no problem. Beware  although, make your research and watch yourself the 6 movies before show it to them because they will ask a lot of questions of the past an future of the characters.

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10. Harry Potter (series)

DIRECTOR: CHRIS COLUMBUS (HP & PHILOSOPHER STONE, HP & CHAMBER OF SECRETS), ALFONSO CUARON (HP & PRISONER OF AZKABAN), MIKE NEWELL (HP & GOBLET OF FIRE) & DAVID YATES (HP & ORDER OF PHONIEX, HP & HALF BLOOD PRICE, HP & DEATHLY HOLLOWS 1-2)

WRITTEN BY STEVE KLOVES 

STARRING BY: DANIEL RADCLIFF, RUPERT GRIN, EMMA WATSON, RALPH FIENNES, GARY OLDMAN, MAGGIE SMITH, ALAN RICKMAN & AND EVERY SINGLE ENGLISH ACTOR THAT MATTERS

RELEASE DATES: 11/4/2001, 11/3/2002, 05/31/2004, 11/18/2005, 07/11/2007, 07/15/2009, 11/18/2010 AND TO BE RELEASE 

AGE RECOMMENDED: 9 AND UP

Harry Potter is one of the best series for kids, in movies and books. I thing is kind of redundant to say that the films are based in J.K. Rowlin’s book.  The series is the 30 highest grossing films world wide. The series I’m pretty sure will get into history as one of the most memorable and relevant stories for kids. Harry Potter is the book that made kids read all over the world and the cultural impact of the series is huge, in some aspect I compared with the impact of Star Wars.  

The movie is the magical fantasy genre, with a story about coming to age, death, redemption, tolerance and above all the power of Love. I believe that everybody should see Harry Potter movies and read the book no matter age.

All the movies are visually beautiful but I believe the third one, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, is the visually the best. In story I think the best is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 1 because resemble more the book; while Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire is the one I like the least because is the darkest and is the one farest from the book.

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18. An American Tale

DIRECTED BY DON BLUHT

WRITTEN BY  JUDY FREUDBERG

STARRING: PHILLIP GLASSER, DOM DELUISE, NEMEHIA PERSOFF AND ERICA YOHN

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 1986

AGE RECOMMENDED: ALL

This is a movie produced by Steven Spielberg in which is depicted the migration from the Czarist Russia of 1885. The movie is an idealization of the “american dream”. At eh end of the day it’s a pretty typical story, and one that still keeps me entertained until this day. This movie I thing  is the only “good” work of the big Disney defection of the 80’s in which animators left the studio to go back to the classic animation that Disney had left behind.

This is at the end of the day American history in disguise of a road movie.

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28. Zathura

DIRECTED BY  JON FAVREAU

WRITTEN BY DAVID KOEPP & JOHN KAMPS

STARRING: DAX SHEPARD, JONAH BOBO, DAN HUTCHERSON, KIRSTEN STEWARD, TIM ROBBINS

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 11, 2005

AGE RECOMMENDED: 7 AND UP

I like to think in this movie as a Jumanji done right. the movie is based in the book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg also author of Jumanji. The movie design and visual effects are complete adoc to the theme of the movie avoiding CGI animation and using old fashion solid objects. The movie avoid cliches and bad jokes characteristically of this kind of movies. This movie had 2 very important elements that most of the people forget about it: understands how words can hurt, and how dumbwaiters and other household nooks and crannies can serve as blank slates for a child’s imagination. This movie is inspired by 50’s science fiction stories and the space obsession .

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29. Close Encounters of the Third Kind

DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

WRITTEN BY STEVEN SPIELBERG

STARRING: RICHARD DREYFUS, TERI GARR, MELINDA DOLLON, CARY GUFFEY, BOB BALABAN, FRANCOIS TRUFFAUT

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 16, 1977

AGE RECOMMENDED: 9 AND UP

This is one of my favorite movies of all time, is easy in my top 20. Why? Well, to start I believe in UFO and intelligent life out of this planet, second the movie had everything (Spielberg and Francois Truffaut) and third is one of that movies that I saw when I was a kid with my parents (a believer and a nonbeliever) and I remember hear both of their theories.

The movie had clearly the Spielberg ‘s touch where the aliens are not bad creatures but nice and generous. This is one of the finest pieces of science fiction ever. The movie had some scary moments but is at the end of it a movie not to be afraid but to invite you to open your mind.  The movie is, for me, the iconic movie of what alien invasion sci-fi films should be; I love the idea of being able to communicate with other planet with music.  The film is a clear invitation to children ad adults of what the universe might be.

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35. Belleville Rendez-Vous (The Tiplets of Belleville)

DIRECTED BY SYLVAIN CHOMET

WRITTEN BY SYLVAIN CHOMET

STARRING: BEATRICE BONIFASSI, LINA BOUDRALT

RELEASE DATE: JUNE 11, 2003

AGE RECOMMENDED: 6 AND UP

This movie is the antithesis of everything Disney, but still is one of that movies that gonna stay with you forever. The movie is a microcosms of French culture, narrated in song and pantomime inspire in the grand musicals like the ones of Fred Astaire. The movie is quirky, ingenious, witty and off-beat, the dialogues are few but unique and mixed of course  with this old school music of vaudeville .

This movie reminds me in to Jacques Tati’s films, Jour de Fête and Mon Oncle, because all this films are a mix of the 2 Frances (pre war France and post war American influenced France) and because both films relay in the pantomime over dialogue. Definitely this is a one of a kind movie, and it not should be just watch by children but by their parents too, this movie is a joy to watch thanks to the details and the satirical edge of the script.

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36. Enchanted

DIRECTED BY KEVIN LIMA

WRITTEN BY BILL KELLY

STARRING BY: PATRICK DEMPSEY, AMY ADAMS, SUSAN SARANDON, JAMES MARSDEN, IDINA MENZEL, KEVIN LIMA, TIMOTHY SPALL

RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 2007

AGE RECOMMENDED: 5 & UP

Again the mix of animation and live action but now in the 20th century. This movie is really as its tittle suggest, the movie goes to the fantasy realm of Andalecia to the always magical New York City of course with wonderful music of Alan Meken. Enchanted also had a revision through all the princess movies of Disney: the poison apple, the rose in the bell jar, the true love kiss, la bella note, the old lady who feed the birds, etc, this movie is one of that films that everyone will love no doubt about it.

The movie have a great cast James Marsden who is a great singer and an adorable prince, Patrick Dempsey not big fan but he is great for the jod, Idina Menzdel in my opinion she is a waste in this movie you have one of the greatest Broadway voices and she don’t sing, Susan Sarandon as the evil stepmother and of course Amy Adams who is the heart and soul of the movie, she is the most perfect Disney princess, she is funny and cute and of course she sings. And the cherry at the top the narrator and synonym of fairy tale: Julie Andrews.

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39. Night at the Museum

DIRECTED BY SHAWN LEVY

WRITTEN BY THOMAS LENNON, ROBERT BEN GARANT

STARRING: BEN STILLER, RICKY GERVAIS, DICK VAN DIKE, OWEN WILSON, CARLA GUGINO, MICKEY ROONEY, STEVE COOGAN

RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 22, 2006

AGE RECOMMENDED: 6 AND UP


The movie is almost exactly as you expected it to be, you have Ben Stiller th funny guy a “cute” kid, and a bunch of  characters Computer Generated; with a great bonus Dick Van Dyke.  CG fun, family friendly with a soft conflict and cute resolution.   It did everything it was supposed to and felt very formulaic.  I think if you have kids this movie would be perfect for them.  It is light, cute and has some cool imagination behind it.  It had a very Jumanji/Zanthura feel to it, but even lighter still. Night at the Museum should be proud of what it is. The idea here is to have fun with it, not come away with an important life lesson about raising your kids.

The movie is based in the book Night at the Museum (1993) by Milan Trenc.

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