12 Classic Movies to Watch With Your Children Before They Become Teenagers

Movies were always a big deal in our home when I was a kid, so naturally I couldn’t wait to share my memories with my own children. Movies brought adventures to life, taught us about humility, and gave us butterflies from a first crush. They create some of the best memories a kid can have. Here is a list of the top twelve movies you and your children should watch before they become teenagers. Can you say family bonding time?

12. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

This movie is a classic and will give you the feels.  It will warm your kids’ hearts and will spark an empathy you never knew they had in them (it made my 6-year-old daughter cry like a baby).


11. The NeverEnding Story

Fantasy and adventure await in the beloved tale about heroism and believing in yourself. Watch as Bastian, Atreyu, and Falkor race to save the princess and stop the “nothing” from destroying Fantasia. True story…Atreyu was one of my first girlhood crushes.


10. The Goonies

A story of pirates, treasure, and mystery that I never forgot as I became an adult. A staple of any kid’s upbringing! Chuuuuunck!


9. Hook

One of the amazing Robin Williams’ most memorable movies, Hook is a bright adaptation of a children’s classic. My older children watched this movie over and over again. Miss you, Robin!


Image via YouTube


8. Star Wars

“Luke, I am your father.” Villains, heroes, action, and a killer sci-fi storyline. Star Wars remains a top fantasy favorite. (Admit it: You know you have talked like Chewie and Darth Vader and secretly want a lightsaber!) My 4-year-old and I watched it and he liked the Stormtroopers and Darth Vader the best. Give him time, give him time…

Star Wars

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7. The Princess Bride

“Inconceivable!” This is one of the best classic fairy tales ever written, in my opinion. It includes an ingenious infusion of wit and romance that won our hearts. Plus, it has André the Giant in it, and who doesn’t love André the Giant?

Princess Bride

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6. My Neighbor Totoro

All of Hayao Miyazaki’s stories are beautifully written and have unforgettable, enchanting messages. My Neighbor Totoro happens to be one of his best. But don’t take my word for it, watch it with your kids and you’ll find you’re a fan for life.


5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This is one of the best series’ ever made. The stories are nothing short of brilliant. Originally a book series, it got children interested in reading again! It’s thrilling and magical and your kids are going to love it!

Harry Potter

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4. Lord of the Rings

After seeing this movie, everybody wanted to speak elvish and live in cute little houses in the shire! Every kid should have the chance to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic; it will open up their minds to a world of imagination.

Lord of the Rings

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3. Stand By Me

Barf-o-rama! All kids have a defining moment and nobody has friends later in life like the ones they had when they were twelve. This movie is almost a rite-of-passage.


2. My Dog Skip

There is nothing quite like the love of a dog. This is such a positive and heartwarming story and your kids will absolutely love it!

My Dog Skip

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1. The Sandlot

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” This movie overloads on nostalgia, but is one of the best coming-of-age classics to watch with your kids.

Which movies did you love when you were a kid that you now share with your children? Leave a comment and let us know!


Editor’s Note: Please check your favorite family movie guide to see whether these movies are appropriate viewing choices for your family.