“How about Shrek?” I asked my eleven-year-old son. I held up the DVD case splashed with the picture of the lovable green ogre.
“Mom,” he replied. “NO.”
“What’s wrong with Shrek?” I queried. We were going through our DVDs, trying to pick G- or PG-rated movies that his class could watch on the bus during their sixth grade field trip to Ontario.
He rolled his eyes.
Okay. So clearly I was NOT up-to-date on what today’s tweens consider “cool” movies to watch. But after spending 12 hours on a humongous bus watching PG movies that middle schoolers themselves picked out–and that kids and chaperones all enjoyed–I’m sharing their selections with you.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
One year after Home Alone, Kevin McAllister gets separated from his family yet again while traveling for the holidays. He ends up in New York, the family in Florida. Using his charm, he checks into a hotel and has a grand time until he runs across the Wet Bandits once more and has to save a toy store from their evil plans. There is plenty of physical humor to enjoy in this sequel as Kevin battles the bandits, plus another heart-warming ending.
Big Hero 6
Disney’s Big Hero 6 is the only full-length animated movie to make the list. My son loves this movie about a young robotics prodigy, Hiro Hamada, and the special bond he develops with Baymax the inflatable robot. Since it is a Disney movie, it should come as no surprise that a major character dies. The death becomes an emotional impetus for Hiro, and his band of friends, who harness their high-tech smarts into super hero-like powers to fight evil.
As a bonus, boys seem to dig the soundtrack with songs from the likes of Fall Out Boy.
Vin Diesel stars as a Navy SEAL in this action comedy from 2005. He’s assigned to protect the five kids in the Plummer family, ranging in age from infancy to 16, after their genius father was killed and their mom is taken to government headquarters to help recover her late husband’s password. Hilarity ensues as the Navy SEAL babysits the clan. Plus, there is a lot of clean, entertaining action as Vin’s character and the kids fight the bad guys in the climatic ending.
The Princess Bride
I will forever remember every boy on the bus who had not yet seen this movie WHINING when it came on. However, their tune soon changed as boys and girls alike got caught up in this funny and sweet tale of Princess Buttercup and Wesley. The duo find “love, true love” and engage in spectacular verbal jousts and death-defying feats, all sprinkled with humor, to be together. This one’s a classic and a must-see!
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Nicolas Cage plays Balthazar, a sorcerer fighting evil sorcerers in modern day Manhattan. The only way to defeat his foes is to find and train an apprentice, a descendent of Merlin. It turns out the apprentice is an unlikely hero, a nerdy young man named Dave. Balthazar and Dave train and fight the good fight, winning both the battle against evil and the girl.
So the next time you want to watch a movie with your kids, one of these selections might be a great pick. I have a younger daughter, age 8, and find these suitable for her as well. (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice might be scary for some youngsters under 10 depending on their temperament.)
Did your favorite make this list of five flicks to watch with tweens or school-age kids? What flicks do you and your kids enjoy watching?