More movies for family movie night

22 September 2023

Just in time for us all to get back into cozy fall routines, I bring you another round of family movie night reviews! You can read more about how we do family movie night here, but the most important thing to know is that in our house, the parents choose the movies. The kids get to choose their shows during the week, and we relish getting to curate a family canon of our favorite classics and new hits on Friday.

A fun yet unrelated photo from our weekend in Charleston. I matched the decor :)

Onto the movies! Here’s what we watched last school year, when June was 6 and 7 and Shep was 4, as best as I can remember and roughly in order, with commentary along the way as needed.

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast (June thought it was scary – a theme continued from last year!)
  • Tangled (June, John, and I all cried at the end – really, really loved this one.)
  • Matilda (This was the 1996 version, a favorite from my childhood, and June absolutely looooved it. “Send Me On My Way” and “Little Bitty Pretty One” were frequent Spotify requests in the weeks after we watched!)
  • Inside Out (June and I cried again, ha!)
  • Paddington (I get that it’s meant to show character development over the course of the story, but I didn’t love how the kids behaved and the family treated each other at the beginning. Otherwise, sweet. I’ve heard the second one is better!)
  • The Princess and the Frog (There are some excellent songs in this one!)
  • Homeward Bound (A complete and total 90’s classic!)
  • The Grinch (original)
  • The Santa Clause (This is one of my very favorite Christmas movies from childhood. Be warned, however: June asked me some pointed questions about Santa in the aftermath and ultimately joined the “parent team,” if you will. I have complicated feelings about Santa as a grown-up and felt our parenting messaging on him was muddy at best, so ultimately this was fine, but rather stressful in the moment.)
  • Elf
  • The Jungle Book (This one was just kind of wonky? It was fine, not my favorite, but fine. I guess it just feels a little more tired than some other classics.)
  • Matilda the Musical (June loved this version even more than the original (though I still prefer the original!) Shep did not particularly enjoy this version; I do think we could have waited another year, because some parts seemed a bit stressful for June.)
  • Sing (This was fun! We laughed out loud :))
  • The Wizard of Oz (A classic for sure, albeit a little wacky.)
  • Sing 2 (Again, lots of laughter all around! The music is fantastic and the parents loved the pop culture references. June was a little scared of Crystal the wolf.)
  • Babe (Both kids definitely enjoyed this one, and particularly thought the singing mice were funny – ha!)
  • Mulan
  • Alice in Wonderland (A little too wacky for my taste, but the kids enjoyed it.)
  • Parent Trap (The original version – I love it so much.)
  • Lilo and Stitch
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (We watched after we read the book, and the kids loved it.)
  • The Parent Trap (The Lindsay Lohan version, an absolute treasure from my childhood. June now claims it as her favorite movie.)

June just happily noted that we’ll have to restart the cycle next year when Annie turns three and can join us for movie night. We’re all looking forward to it :)

I would love to hear: what movies have been hits at your house for movie night lately?

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Kelly Strawberry
September 22, 2023 9:28 am

We recently watched the original Matilda and also LOVED it! I barely remembered it from childhood. The next day, we tried Matilda the Musical and both me and Cam agreed to turn it off about 10 minutes in. We both thought it paled in comparison to the old version. Sing 2 and Turning Red are favorites at our house and watched at least once a month. I always cry at the end of Sing 2!! Luca and The Sea Beast come to mind as both being very good kids movies.

September 22, 2023 7:29 pm

Comments seem to be disabled on your post about Christians in public schools, so I’m putting my thoughts here. I have been a loyal reader of your blog for over a decade. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that you chose to feature an anti-choice writer. There is nothing feminist about campaigning against women’s rights.

September 22, 2023 8:18 pm

I’d love to hear how you handled Santa! We have family members with wildly different opinions on Santa, and we’re not sure how we want to approach him yet :)

September 25, 2023 9:32 pm

Ooohh, we’re big Matilda fans over here! Just watched it (again) this weekend! And now I want to watch Tangled after your review! I actually don’t think we‘ve watched that one yet!
We just watched all of the Harry Potter movies over summer break – too scary for our 7y/o! And I think, they were okay for Kathleen (almost 10) only because she‘d read the books beforehand.
Other than that we haven’t watched many movies lately. Looking forward to a few Christmas season favorites!

September 25, 2023 9:49 pm

Charlie and Azelie LOVE the original Mary Poppins!! We showed them The Sound of Music recently too (high pressure one, since Dave and I both love it so much!)—they both enjoyed the first half, but we lost Azelie in the second half. Still worth a try!