Tired of the family section on your favorite streaming service? Can you not fathom watching Frozen for the umpteenth time? Check out some of these throwback family movies from the 1980s and 1990s, from The Goonies to The NeverEnding Story. While they may not be considered classics (yet), they are sure to take you back!
The Secret Garden
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Not only is this movie based on a seriously amazing children’s book of the same name, it is beautifully filmed and timeless in message. Set in the late 19th century, recently orphaned Mary Lennox is sent to live with a rich, crotchety uncle. Wandering around the gardens on the estate, Mary stumbles upon a secret garden, locked up because it reminds her uncle of his late wife. In a whirlwind plot, Mary befriends a local boy and her cousin who learn a lot about life and each other in the garden. Great for kids of all ages. I highly recommend checking out the book by Frances Hodgson Burnett (she also wrote A Little Princess).
The NeverEnding Story
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers
This fantastical movie, which spawned two sequels, will interest any kid who is a fan of Harry Potter. The film revolves around a young boy, Bastian, who loves to read. He borrows a book of the same name from a local bookseller and is swept up into the story which involves a Childlike Empress, a giant luckdragon, and a quest to save the land of Fantasia. An entertaining movie for the whole family, and one that shows kids how exciting reading can be!
Photo Credit:Warner Brothers
This memorable adventure movie is about a group of friends who go on a search for a long-lost treasure. They hope to get enough money to save one of the boys' homes from being lost to development. A classic 1980's soundtrack and some notable child actors, Corey Feldman and Martha Plimpton to name a few, are just some of the hidden gems in this movie. Best for kids middle school-age and up.
Stand By Me
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures
A classic, coming-of-age story about four friends who hike through town to try and find the dead body of a missing boy. Based on a story by Stephen King and set in 1959, this movie will literally make you laugh and cry. Due to language and some mature content, probably best to screen before watching with younger children.
Photo Credit: Universal Studios
This 1990's family comedy, based on the cartoon of the same name, stars Christina Ricci as Kat, an adolescent girl who befriends the ghost living in her house. Kat’s dad has been hired by the home’s new owners to rid the house of the ghosts (Casper and his not-so-friendly uncles.) Casper is not a scary ghost, he’s a cartoon-like, computer-generated ghost so the movie should be palatable to most kids.