Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ten Musicals To Watch with Your Kids

I love musicals. Now that I have a bambino, I can't wait to introduce him to all of my favorites. I've heard rumors that not everyone likes musicals (the horror!) so I thought I'd give you an intro to the funnest and safest ones for you to watch with your kids. I'll start with the ones that are safe for toddlers and go on to the ones that you might want to wait for a little while. Obviously, use your parental discretion. I'll also let you know which ones CJ already loves.

Peter Pan - You may not know this about me, yet, but I am obsessed with Peter Pan. Actually, I'm obsessed with Captain Hook. There are a bunch of different musical versions of the show, but the BEST is the one with Cathy Rigby. I promise you will not be disappointed. CJ and I love Hook dancing the tarantella and Tiger Lily singing "Ugg-a-Wugg". The version with Mary Martin is also really good, but that version of Hook terrified me until I was about 20. I don't know a kid who can't relate to the song "I Won't Grow Up".

The Wizard of Oz - Growing up, there was only one time a year you could watch the Wizard of Oz - the week before Thanksgiving. Now with DVDs the norm, you can watch it anytime. CJ has watched this one a few times and loves the music. We listen to the soundtrack pretty often too. There are a couple of scary scenes in this one, so if your child is easily scared, you might want to wait until they are a little bit older.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks - Honestly, I am not a big fan of this one. I'm not sure why but it just never struck my fancy. Everyone told me I had to include it on the list though. CJ hasn't seen this one either. But if it is a childhood favorite of yours, you should share it with your little one.

Mary Poppins -  I mean really, what needs to be said? Mary Poppins is a classic for a reason. I don't know a single child who didn't wish that  a magical nanny would come whisk them away for some crazy musical adventures. Your child should see this for the song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" alone. Absolute essential viewing for every human being on the planet.

Cats - This was my absolute favorite musical when I was younger. PBS would show it randomly throughout the year to raise money. I loved it. I want a cat so I can name him Macavity the Mystery Cat. This one is also based on a real cute book called Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. The music here is really catchy and the costumes are AMAZING. Somehow I haven't shown this to CJ yet, but I'm going to have to remedy that ASAP. 

Annie - When I put this on for CJ, I honestly didn't expect him to like it. Usually whatever movie we watch is background noise while we play. This one had him riveted though. I honestly don't know what it was, but he loved it. There are some sad moments, but otherwise it is safe for little ones.

The Sound of Music - The Von Trapp family is one of the most awesome families in cinema. If you have a large family, your children will be able to relate. Single dad? Got it. Beautiful nun? Got it. Hitler? Got it. The music in this one is unsurpassed. I guarantee you and your kids will be singing "My Favorite Things" for days. I don't have this on DVD so CJ hasn't seen it yet, but I know he's going to love it. There are adult themes such as love and war, but nothing scary or inappropriate.

Meet Me In St. Louis - While most of this movie is really cute and family-oriented, there is one scene that used to scare the crap out of me. The little girl in the movie commits snowman-icide. She freaks out because they are moving, runs downstairs, and destroys all of the snowmen. All while Judy Garland beautifully sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". Other than that particular scene, this is a lovely movie to watch around Christmas.

Singin' in the Rain - I'm slightly biased because this is my favorite movie EVER. So good. The story of what happens to a group of actors when movies go from silent pictures to talkies. Everyone knows the song "Singin' in the rain" which is awesome, but the best song is "Moses Supposes". You and your kiddos will be singing it (in the rain) for days. I guarantee your kids will crack up laughing during Make 'em Laugh.

Labyrinth - This one isn't technically a musical, but it is awesome and has music in it. Starring David Bowie clad in white spandex with a big old blond wig, you know it has to be good. Older siblings will be able to relate to Sarah's feeling of being left out when people fawn over her baby brother. The movie also stars puppets made by Jim Henson. There are a few creepy little demon-type puppets and one does say "fracking" as if it is a swear word, but other than that, this is pretty safe for slightly older kids. Don't blame me when you come away from this one with a huge crush on Bowie. It's inevitable.

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  1. great round- up! And thank you for the Life is Beautiful link! That boy outfit is adorable!! Movies are a great place for inspiration!

  2. I wish there were more classics like this for kids, the stuff is junk...
    I sound like my mother!

  3. Awesome list of kid-friendly musicals and so great to get them watching tried and true classics. I grew up with Labyrinth and a lifelong crush on David Bowie. I have yet to watch Singin' in the Rain - I'll have to check it out soon, it sounds wonderful!

  4. I used to love musicals as a kid and I still do. I would add Hello Dolly to your list--it was my kids favorite movie for years, and they still watch it as jaded 17 year olds when feeling nostalgic.


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