Relive these nostalgic classic movies with your kids
Anyone who’s ever been a kid will have fond memories around their first movie experience. Being the most naive, imaginative and creative version of ourselves, childhood is the magical time in our lives when any story can and does become real. Here are five family films to fall in love with all over again.
Some of these movies have expired. Find your next movie binge here.
Matilda (1996) – Netflix
Whether you read Roald Dahl’s tale as a kid, watched the movie as a teen or witnessed the stage production as an adult, Matilda is a nostalgic treat for all ages. Following the mayhem of Home Alone, this magical movie about growing up in a household of lunatics among a schoolyard of weirdos is just the ticket. Directed by Danny DeVito, Matilda could have easily been a Tim Burton film, portraying Dahl’s wildly imaginative characters in a darkly enchanting and entertaining modern fairy tale.
DeVito stars as car salesman and weasel Mr Wormwood, casting a perfectly grotesque Trunchbull in Pam Ferris, the soothing Embeth Davidtz as Miss Honey and enigmatic Mrs Doubtfire and Miracle on 34 Street child star, Mara Wilson, as Matilda. Supercharging Dahl’s dark, twisted sense of humour, Matilda is a surreal, zany and delightful family comedy fantasy adventure. Relive your own boisterous school days through Bruce Bogtrotter’s cake gobble, the dread of being locked in “Chokey” and the epic Trunchbull cat-and-mouse chase.
Jumanji (1995) – Showmax
Two kids find a magical board game – when they play it, they release a man who’s been trapped in the game for the past 26 years. With his help, they need to find a way to finish the game and put a stop to its dangerous powers. Starring the late, great Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst.
Big Daddy (1999) – Showmax
When his roommate’s secret love child turns up on his doorstep, Sonny decides to take him in and prove to his girlfriend that he can be a responsible grownup. Starring Adam Sandler at the height of his comedy-movie fame, and with twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse as young Julian – they’re the guys who played Ross’s son Ben on Friends.
Charlotte’s Web (2006) – Netflix
The beloved EB White novel is brought to gorgeous life in this live-action classic, starring Dakota Fanning, and with the voices of Steve Buscemi, Julia Roberts (as Charlotte, naturally), Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese and Kathy Bates lending their voices to the farmyard animals who befriend young Wilbur the pig.
Another adorable EB White adaptation to add to your list is 1999’s Stuart Little, also on Netflix.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – Netflix
Purists may dismiss Tim Burton’s adaptation of Dahl’s classic as less convincing than the 1971 version, starring Gene Wilder, but today’s kids will love seeing Johnny Depp as the quirky (and, in this incarnation, deeply disturbed) Willy Wonka, with Freddie Highmore as Charlie, Helena Bonham Carter as his mother, and David Kelly, who steals the show as Grandpa Joe.
Every Oompa Loompa in this film was played by the same actor – Deep Roy – and that his salary was raised to $1 million after production in recognition, while Danny Elfman was the singing voice for every Oompa Loompa. Another surprising bit of trivia about this movie is that Nestle provided more than 1 800 bars of real chocolate for filming. We’d love to know who ended up eating them.