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We love a good movie night. That is often the way we choose to spend our free evenings and weekends. We invested in a projector and Mr. Napping created a 110-inch screen so we get “the movie theater” experience in our living room. My boys prefer watching movies at home more than going to the movie theater. We have made our media library digital because we don’t have room to store that many discs. So, yeah. We like movies. But we are also very selective about what we allow our kids to watch. They will grow up soon enough; there’s no need to rush them through their childhoods. So, in honor of the Valentine’s Day movie night we will more than likely end up having, here are 25 valentine movies for the family.
– Lady and the Tramp. Because even the rough-and-tumble pups need a special lady friend and who doesn’t love a cute doggy love story? Serve spaghetti for dinner… And I’m really sorry if your kids sing the Siamese Cat song for the next week. Run time: 76 mins, rated G.
– Beauty and the Beast. It’s a classic. And my favorite Disney animated movie, so of course it made my list. Lumiere and the Featherduster are my favorite characters… wink, wink. Run time: 84 mins, rated G.
– Shrek. Little kiddos love it with the fun characters and adults can still enoy it with the occasional adult humor that will go right over your kids’ heads. There is mild potty-type humor, but nothing more than my kindergartner comes home from school with. A simple, “we don’t need to say that” usually cures the potential for embarrassment when we’re out in public later. Run time: 93 mins, rated PG.
– Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown. Because who doesn’t love Peanuts? This was made for prime time TV in 1975, so while it’s not rated, I can promise you it’s family-friendly. This is a fantastic option when the kids want movie night and mom and dad just want to get them into bed. Half an hour is a great compromise for all involved. Run time: 30 mins, made for prime time TV in 1975.
– The Little Mermaid. Little J has recently discovered this movie and he loves it. I can’t really say why, but he will watch the entire thing and that’s a BIG deal for my Mr. Ants-in-his-pants, can’t-sit-still-for-three-minutes. It’s a chance to talk about people being different. And Little J says, “yeeess” just like the eels do. It’s a cute bonus for me. Run time: 83 mins, rated G.
– UP. This is just a good movie all around. It’s fun, cute and has a great message. Besides, Mr. Fredrickson reminds me of my grandpa. Make sure you’ve got chocolate for the movie. Run time: 96 mins, rated PG.
– Despicable Me 2. I really like Steve Carell and who doesn’t like those minions? The cute little love story is kid-appropriate and enjoyable. And my kids love the entire cast too. Big J used to tell me the “mother” poem, in the creepy voice. Cute meets creepy? Run time: 98 mins, rated PG.
– Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. My kids actually prefer the second movie, but I like the first one too. The first one is a make your dreams come true, shoot for the stars and don’t give up feel-good. In the second movie, the mutant food completely fascinates me and it’s a cute little love story between Sam and Flinn. Run time: 90 mins, rated PG. Cloudy 2 Run time: 95 mins, rated PG.
– The Croods. The dialogue in this movie is great. And there’s more action in it than, say Beauty and the Beast. There’s a minor love story between Eep and Guy, but my favorite part is when Eep and Grug have their special daddy-daughter moment. Valentine’s Day was always about more than romantic love when I was growing up and that’s what we celebrate in our home – love in our family. Run time: 98 mins, rated PG.
– Meet the Robinsons. My kids love the futuristic setting and it’s a great story about finding love – again, not romantic love. I still get teary at the end. Every. Darn. Time. Run time: 95 mins, rated G.
– Ratatouille. It’s set in Paris and is another follow your dreams movie. My kids don’t sit through this one as well, but I still really like it. They do like to try to say ‘ratatouille’ though. Run time: 111 mins, rated G.
– Shark Tale. The grass is always greener… or the top of the reef is always shinier. Oscar learns that sometimes the best things are right in front of your face. If you’re always focused on what you don’t have, you’ll never be happy. And Lenny learns to really be himself. Run time: 90 mins, rated PG.
– Sleeping Beauty. Another classic love story. Perfect for all the princesses out there. If your kiddos are a little bit older, they might enjoy the recent release Maleficent. If you’re a stickler for storylines, though, stick with the original. Run time: 75 mins, rated G.
– Tangled. The music is great, the characters are (mostly) lovable, and it’s still enjoyable to adults. Flynn discovers something that makes it worth settling down and Rapunzel discovers so much outside of her tower. The short “Tangled Ever After” is a great compromise movie, a lot like Charlie Brown above, but even shorter. Run time: 100 mins, rated PG.
Movies with real people:
– The Princess Bride. There is everything in this movie. Or at least a little something for everyone. There are a couple of curses and minor sexual references (“There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in the world. It would be a pity to damage yours.”), as well as some dangerous scenes that might scare little ones (fire swamp, anyone?) that might scare little ones. We let Big J (who is 5.5 years) watch it and he loved it. Run time: 98 mins, rated PG.
– Marley & Me. Because love isn’t always romantic. And it’s a good reminder to me why I don’t want a dog… but I kinda do a little. It’s a good movie with lovable characters and a great message on life. Run time: 115 mins, rated PG.
– Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I loved this book when I was little. The movie wasn’t quite as good, but my kids like it and the thought of penguins in the house amuses them. It’s a good story about the love a parent has for their children. Run time: 94 mins, rated PG.
– A Kid in King Arthur’s Court. This would be great for school-aged kids to tweens. Cal unexpectedly finds himself in King Arthur’s Court, and who should catch his eye, but the beautiful Princess Catherine. A fun movie that is still enjoyable for the adults as well. Run time: 89 mins, rated PG.
– While You Were Sleeping. This one does have some anatomical references that may be inappropriate for younger kids. If you’re looking for something to watch with your tweens, though, this is a solid love story without a lot of sex. Run time: 103 mins, rated PG.
– Ella Enchanted. Another fun one for the kids, and bearable to the adult genre. It’s follow-your-dreams, be-true-to-yourself message is tangled with a couple fun musical numbers and some situational humor that kids will love. My boys aren’t super in love with it, but I have a couple nieces that just love it. Run time: 96 mins, rated PG.
– The Little Rascals. Because even the He-Man Woman-Haters decide that girls aren’t so bad after all, thanks to Alfalfa. And building a soapbox car is enough to get any little boy excited for the big race. Don’t be surprised if your kids want to try to sing bubbles afterward though. Run time: 82 mins, rated PG.
– Sleepless in Seattle. There are brief instances with content possibly unsuitable for younger audiences, but they probably won’t have the attention span for it. It’s another good tweener movie that isn’t too racy or risque. Run time: 105 mins, rated PG.
– Night at the Museum. There’s a couple minor love stories in this movie, but it’s so packed full of adventure your kids probably won’t even notice. And they just might learn a little history while you’re at it. Run time: 108 mins, rated PG.
– Enchanted. Kids will love the fairy-tale turned real life and mom and dad get to enjoy some gorgeous eye-candy, even if the story line and dialogue may be a bit cheesy. Run time: 107 mins, rated PG.
– You’ve Got Mail. Remember instant messaging? Take a walk down memory lane and shock your children with how amazing it was to get a message instantly. A generation that will never know what life was like without the internet could use a little taste of that amazing time when technology was advancing by leaps and bounds. Run time: 119 mins, rated PG.
– The Love Bug. I grew up watching Herbie movies and it’s a fun trip down memory lane. All the things I loved about the movies, my kids love too. It’s fun to watch my kiddos fall in love with that rascally car and to reminisce about my favorite parts with them. Some things are so good, they should be shared! Run time: 108 mins, rated G.
Do you have any favorite movies for the family?