Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Kids and Classic Movies


Recommended Posts

Any age is a good age! 

 

When I was a kid there were 7 channels to choose from. And they all showed movies from the golden age at some point or other.  My love of classic movies started with the Little Rascals and Laurel and Hardy being shown on WPIX 11 out of New York. 

 

I discovered silents film in my early teens when PBS started showing them.

 

Give them a good start with some black and white comedies!

 

Yancey

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if there's a definite answer to your question.

 

A great book I bought at Barnes & Noble a few years ago is called The Best Old Movies for Families by Ty Burr.

 

I suggest picking up a copy and reading what he has to say about how he introduced classics to his daughters. He's an east coast film critic and the book has a lot of good insights and recommendations about this very subject.

 

I emailed him after I bought the book and we had a nice conversation about family movies and about an actress we both liked-- Beulah Bondi.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think any age would be good to show kids classic films.  By any age, I don't mean babies, lol.  You probably wouldn't want to show a 5-year old All About Eve, because they wouldn't understand it.  But any films with bright colors, a lot of action, funny characters, etc. would probably appeal to kids.  

 

I would think The Adventures of Robin Hood would appeal to kids because of the color and all the swordfights and such.  If the kid isn't easily scared, I think The Wizard of Oz would be fun for kids.  Singin' in the Rain would be fun because it's so colorful and the funny dancing between Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.  Kids would also like seeing Lina getting the pie in the face.  

 

I would imagine any slapstick heavy type films like Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin would appeal to kids.  Even if they don't know what's going on plot-wise (heck, even I don't know what's going on in The Marx Brothers movies half the time), there are a lot of physical stunts that are funny. 

 

Many of the movies featuring children, like Shirley Temple or the Our Gang films would probably also be winners.

 

For a more modern classic, I would show The Muppet Movie, if only to laugh at Kermit the Frog riding a bicycle and Fozzie Bear getting tomatoes thrown at him. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think any age would be good to show kids classic films.  By any age, I don't mean babies, lol.  You probably wouldn't want to show a 5-year old All About Eve, because they wouldn't understand it.  But any films with bright colors, a lot of action, funny characters, etc. would probably appeal to kids.  

 

I would think The Adventures of Robin Hood would appeal to kids because of the color and all the swordfights and such.  If the kid isn't easily scared, I think The Wizard of Oz would be fun for kids.  Singin' in the Rain would be fun because it's so colorful and the funny dancing between Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.  Kids would also like seeing Lina getting the pie in the face.  

 

I would imagine any slapstick heavy type films like Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin would appeal to kids.  Even if they don't know what's going on plot-wise (heck, even I don't know what's going on in The Marx Brothers movies half the time), there are a lot of physical stunts that are funny. 

 

Many of the movies featuring children, like Shirley Temple or the Our Gang films would probably also be winners.

 

For a more modern classic, I would show The Muppet Movie, if only to laugh at Kermit the Frog riding a bicycle and Fozzie Bear getting tomatoes thrown at him. 

 

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/top/bestofrt/top_100_kids__family_movies/

 

Let's talk about young adults, a while back where I work, asked a young woman did she watch silent movies?  Her reply was Is that those old movies where people walk fast?

:wacko: 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think any age would be good to show kids classic films.  By any age, I don't mean babies, lol.  You probably wouldn't want to show a 5-year old All About Eve, because they wouldn't understand it.  But any films with bright colors, a lot of action, funny characters, etc. would probably appeal to kids.  

 

I would think The Adventures of Robin Hood would appeal to kids because of the color and all the swordfights and such.  If the kid isn't easily scared, I think The Wizard of Oz would be fun for kids.  Singin' in the Rain would be fun because it's so colorful and the funny dancing between Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.  Kids would also like seeing Lina getting the pie in the face.  

 

When our youngests were in the three-four days, we tried digging out the disks--Even before they had enough attention-span to sit through all of Singin', at least teasing them with just Donald O'Connor running up the wall in "Make 'Em Laugh" was enough to get their interest.

Tried "Around the World in 80 Days" just because it had a balloon and Cantinflas was so kid-friendly, but that one's better done over several nights in small chunks.

And Danny Kaye in The Court Jester became a big favorite very early.

 

I remember back in the days when there WERE no good 70's movies to take kids out to in theaters (apart from Disney revivals and Dean Jones comedies), and since theaters were mostly independent local mom-and-pop places that had to book their own titles, there was a whole cottage industry in Kiddie Matinees.

MGM and Columbia got into the act, when they couldn't get enough TV income, and tried selling Forbidden Planet, Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood, Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, Jason & the Argonauts and Seventh Voyage of Sinbad as Saturday-afternoon fodder.

 

I would imagine any slapstick heavy type films like Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers and Charlie Chaplin would appeal to kids.  Even if they don't know what's going on plot-wise (heck, even I don't know what's going on in The Marx Brothers movies half the time), there are a lot of physical stunts that are funny. 

 

Back then, everyone thought only kids would like old 30's comedies (pretty much ran into Stooges Shemp-shorts any channel you turned on the TV), so I remember our theater showing Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, The Rink and The Fatal Glass of Beer.  My education started early.   B)

(Although with the Marxes, you get into the old debate of whether kids sympathize with the "crazy" Paramount comedies, or the classy MGM comedies of Opera/Races, where there's two good characters for the Bros to help out, a la Bugs Bunny.  It was Groucho in "Opera", of course, who first coined "Of course you know, this means war"...)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, between the ages of 3 and 5, I actually remember watching "My Fair Lady" (1964), "National Velvet" (1944), "Wizard of Oz" (1939), "Sergeant York" (1940), "A Little Princess" (1939), "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968) and "The Ten Commandments" (1956), as well as a few others. 

 

I certainly had the patience and tolerance, if you will, to be able to sit through these films at a particularly young age: My Fair Lady was one of my favorites; I'm fairly certain I was the only child my age who knew who Audrey Hepburn was. I guess it all depends on the child. My parents had me watch these older movies, as well as old Disney movies that have long since been abandoned by parents these days (much to my chagrin), such as The Ugly Dachshund, The Love Bug, and Pollyanna.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, between the ages of 3 and 5, I actually remember watching "My Fair Lady" (1964), "National Velvet" (1944), "Wizard of Oz" (1939), "Sergeant York" (1940), "A Little Princess" (1939), "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968) and "The Ten Commandments" (1956), as well as a few others. 

 

I certainly had the patience and tolerance, if you will, to be able to sit through these films at a particularly young age: My Fair Lady was one of my favorites; I'm fairly certain I was the only child my age who knew who Audrey Hepburn was. I guess it all depends on the child. My parents had me watch these older movies, as well as old Disney movies that have long since been abandoned by parents these days (much to my chagrin), such as The Ugly Dachshund, The Love Bug, and Pollyanna.

 

I used to check out all the Hayley Mills movies from the video store on VHS! The video store was attached to the Take N' Bake pizza shop we went to every Friday night.  We'd go order the pizza, then go next door to see what videos were available.  My parents always rented two videos--1 "adult" movie (and I don't mean the videos in the special curtained off section) and then a "kid" movie.  I always picked out Hayley Mills films.  I think I saw all of them--The Parent Trap, Pollyanna, In Search of the Castaways, Summer Magic, The MoonSpinners, and That Darn Cat!  After I ran out of those, I moved onto the other live action Disney movies and of course, the animated films that were new at the time.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, that's what ESSENTIALS JR is supposed to be- an introduction to classic film for youngsters.

 

From long time experience, I'll tell you to "read" the particular child's attention span to find the best type of classic movies to start with.

 

Intense kids are rewarded by a good story arc like THE WIZARD OF OZ, THE PARENT TRAP and THE PALEFACE.

 

Kids that don't, are best suited for slapstick like Abbott & Costello, the ROAD pictures and even Marx Brothers, although they can't keep up with the wordplay.

 

Once they've accepted "old" movies, introducing them to silents like Keaton/Chaplin is a bit easier-especially if you can take them to a theater to see them. Short running time is important early on too, those Cagney/Dead End Kids programmers typically grab kids attention well.

 

I see kids attending classic films in the theater ALL the time- classic film is becoming a popular past time for families. Kids in the audience loved the old WILLY WONKA, Ray Harryhausen sci-fi offerings, scary movies like THE UNINVITED, even AN AMERICAN IN PARIS!

 

There are a ton of great classic movies out there to spark interest in any kid. You just have to gear it to their interests & level for it to be successful.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

When is a good age to show kids classic films? Are there any particular films that would interest certain age demographics?

 

My guess would be any time the child is old and big enough to plank down in front of the tube on their own.  If your attempt is to try and "indoctrinate" them into "classic" films, what might work is what possibly did it with many from my generation.

 

There WERE no OTHER movies on the tube except oldies.  and since kids have shorter attention spans, shorts by LAUREL and HARDY and THE THREE STOOGES might grab their attention better.  For full length, I'd try "screwball" comedies and other "family" type fare.  The MARX BROTHERS were also a favorite of me and buddies my age back then too.

 

But these days, IF you can get any kid to sit still and watch ANY movie older than last year, you're already ahead of the game!

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heh, that's what ESSENTIALS JR is supposed to be- an introduction to classic film for youngsters.

 

I think we can change "is" to "was" since Essentials Jr hasn't been part of TCM's summer programming since 2014.

 

I hope they bring it back in 2017.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But these days, IF you can get any kid to sit still and watch ANY movie older than last year, you're already ahead of the game!

 

That's all kids DO is sit & watch!*

 

And with classic film being so trendy these days, I'm sure we'll be getting a new crop of "list keepers" and "blog critics" in the next 10 years. (because EVERY opinion is self-important)

 

*c'mon....when do you ever see kids role playing outside any more?

Link to post
Share on other sites

But these days, IF you can get any kid to sit still and watch ANY movie older than last year, you're already ahead of the game!

 

That's all kids DO is sit & watch!*

 

And with classic film being so trendy these days, I'm sure we'll be getting a new crop of "list keepers" and "blog critics" in the next 10 years. (because EVERY opinion is self-important)

 

*c'mon....when do you ever see kids role playing outside any more?

 

That's something that's sadly missing 'round these parts lately.

 

Kids playing outside.  I don't hear as many kids "whooping it up' outdoors lately as I have in even the recent past.  I like to joke that MY mom would chase me and my brother outside on nice days with a broom!  :D

 

And in some quarters, many kids don't even judiciously go over to a friend's house.  They have "play dates"  :rolleyes:

 

And remember when kids would "call each other out"?  You know, stand at the front door and call out the friend's name in that three syllable sing-song ( "Doooonnnnnn-EE-eeeee!" ) in which ANY kid's name would be changed to three syllables( Jooooooe-EH-ellll...!)

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

When is a good age to show kids classic films? Are there any particular films that would interest certain age demographics?

 

I think that depends on the child and what you know they can handle. I remember being introduced to classic films through cartoons initially. I watched Disney animated films like Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella and the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other animated shorts before watching live action Disney movies like The Shaggy Dog, The Absent Minded Professor and Swiss Family Robinson. Wizard of Oz and Thief of Bagdad starring Sabu are also good movies for kids. I think the bright colors would draw them in more than the story if they are very young. I wouldn’t make this the first movie but Old Yeller is a good movie for a child to watch. Just know what the child can handle.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

But these days, IF you can get any kid to sit still and watch ANY movie older than last year, you're already ahead of the game!

 

That's all kids DO is sit & watch!*

 

And with classic film being so trendy these days, I'm sure we'll be getting a new crop of "list keepers" and "blog critics" in the next 10 years. (because EVERY opinion is self-important)

 

 

Nice complaint about "them kids today", but whether they DO remember classic films twenty years from now depends on what they watch today.

We've heard the Millennial horror-stories, about college kids who've never heard of James Cagney (even in Yankee or One Two Three) or the Marx Bros., about teens who honestly think Ray Harryhausen movies were "lol, so cheap they had to use Claymation!", and who refuse to watch B/W movies because, well, c'mon, they did invent color later.

Part of it is because Television Abandoned Us (TCM fans are sadly watching the problem, not the solution), so it's our job to be parents and support our kids where other avenues of education failed them.

 

It's been my own streetcorner mission to stop any damage to the next generation (the Class of 2030 will believe that only five movies were made in the entire 80's, at least of the classics not directed by John Hughes, and that every movie in the 70's starred Charlton Heston), and we fix the damage now.

It's easier to surprise a young kid than a teen, because a younger kid wants a movie night wherever he can get it and is more open-minded to a neato surprise, than one who thinks he's at the age that he has to try and prove something about his parents.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost any star from the studio era would be unrecognizable to most under a certain age unless their image or a specific photo has become iconic, such as Marilyn, John Wayne and maybe Judy as Dorothy.  Could they place a name to famous images of James Dean, Chaplin, Betty Grable? 

 

And major stars of their era such as Greer Garson, Rosalind Russell, Jennifer Jones, Jean Arthur and many more would fare much worse and suffer the same fate as Loretta Young in a Jeopardy contest.  Unrecognizable to a large population.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a child in the 70's, UHF channel 52 was set aside for children's programming. Little rascals/our gang, three stooges, My little margie etc... from about 2pm till 7pm. I never missed it after school.

 

Nowadays, when its teens/young adults or even older, I hand pick films I know they would like and would help them understand why classic films are interesting. For one friend it was North by Northwest and Gone with the Wind because I knew he would like the cornfield scene and I know he likes epics.  Another person(female), It was Breakfast at Tiffany's because I knew she would like the style of the film and there was a love story.

 

 

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/top/bestofrt/top_100_kids__family_movies/

 

Let's talk about young adults, a while back where I work, asked a young woman did she watch silent movies?  Her reply was Is that those old movies where people walk fast?

:wacko: 

 

I was one of those people myself. I thought silents were all charlie chaplin/buster keaton ladders, walking on ledges and all that. I didn't know there were serious, well made silent films.

 

This is where education comes in. Those of us who are interested in keep this artform alive should at least be willing to explain why they are important and interesting to watch. What to watch for, what actors might appeal to them etc... Otherwise, they'll never understand what real dramatic acting really is. How subtlety and lighting and shade can affect the mood of a film.

 

The fact that a film like Twilight or a tv show The Walking Dead are successes shows young people would be interested in dramatic films if the  story is compelling. And classic film has hundreds of those.

 

Often its as simple as suggesting a film you yourself enjoy. At least you'll be able to guide them through it and maybe discuss it afterwards. That's when I know a film has made an impression on me, when days later I'm still thinking about it.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was a child in the 70's, UHF channel 52 was set aside for children's programming. Little rascals/our gang, three stooges, My little margie etc... from about 2pm till 7pm. I never missed it after school.

 

I remember when some stations would have afternoon movies on for the housewives--

And one of my defining experiences, that put me on the road to writing children's books, was the time I came home from school on the last day before Christmas vacation, and the local stations, already pulling out the holiday family movies, were showing the Shirley Temple "The Blue Bird".  Which looked like a fairytale, but one I had never heard of.

Everyone with a great inspiration has found at least one of them from a book or movie they hadn't expected to see.

 

Often its as simple as suggesting a film you yourself enjoy. At least you'll be able to guide them through it and maybe discuss it afterwards. That's when I know a film has made an impression on me, when days later I'm still thinking about it.   

 

By the time my niece was hooked on Danny Kaye and Errol Flynn, it was easier to show more classics, and I was over to the house one Sunday afternoon when they were trying out My Fair Lady as a fun middle-grade musical.

I noted that she was watching, and innocently (muhahahaa...) trying to make fellow-watcher conversation, suggested "Yeah, but what are they going to do with Eliza afterwards?  She can't go back to selling flowers wearing that."  Later, out of the room, I heard, "Mom, what are they planning to do with Eliza?"

;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Once TikiKid became a tween, we quickly transitioned from cartoons to "adult" films. Really, most kids know all about PSYCHO but have never seen it. They don't necessarily "get" Marion's affair situation, but know she steals the money.

It's taut filmmaking and a great introduction to real horror movies (not monsters).

 

Kids wore Marilyn t-shirts at school so she wanted to see MM in a movie.

 

We showed her SOME LIKE IT HOT which she loved. She "got" what MM was about and loved Jack Lemmon too. Next on the list was SUNSET BLVD which again, she didn't catch the nuances of the relationship, but LOVED Norma Desmond, and still talks about it.

Next we watched STALAG 13, another hit. Then we explained they were all made by Billy Wilder, just to introduce her to the idea of directors. It was the only movie she did not guess the "bad guy".

 

She's pretty much a classic film fan and will recommend some modern films to me on occasion. And she LOVES silents! On vacation she was enraptured with Louise Brooks in DIARY OF A LOST GIRL caught on the hotel telly and still talks about it. I was already asleep, she took to it all on her own.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the first "classic" film both my girls really ever saw was DEAD END.

 

I'm not sure they followed the story as closely as they got a hoot out of THE DEAD END KIDS, and their funny(to them) vocabulary...

 

"I'll WHALLOP ya"..."Ahhh..yer mudder wears army boots".  They never DID however, take to THE BOWERY BOYS.  But then again, neither did I.....

 

But even now, into adulthood, they still LOVE Laurel & Hardy, and the one I suppose "classic" movie( to many) that my younger one NEVER misses when it's on ANYWHERE is THE ODD COUPLE.   She sorta got "into" both Jack and Walt, together or not, from that springboard. 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I remember D.O.A. was one of the first "adult" movies I had ever watched by myself all the way through. It definitely grabbed me at the beginning, and I was delighted with the story arc, even as a tween.

 

Never underestimate a kid's imagination & comprehension.

 

It was great growing up "bored"....it made me creative in entertaining myself.

 

I was very excited to see cartoon GAY PURR-EE on TCM a year or two ago. I loved that movie as a kid. Bonus Judy Garland's voice talent! Watching it again 35 years later.... sadly, it's really just for kids.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's ironic( maybe) that Tikikid "transitioned" from cartoons to "adult" films at a time when most "adult" films are essentially "live action" cartoons these days anyway.

 

But I know what you mean, and it IS a wonderful thing, isn't it?

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just reminded of a movie I loved as a kid, ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD. These fantasy type movies are fun for kids, especially when they have kids in them.

 

I also remember really enjoying ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER as a kid. Paul Muni is a perfect gangster charactor for kids to watch transition into a nice guy after given a second chance.

 

Fantasy movies are great for getting kids interested in the classics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow TIKI---

 

I never saw ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD until I was 12!

 

MY earliest "fantasy movie" that I can remember seeing was THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES at my best friend's house one Saturday afternoon.  I recall that it was a few years before my Mom married my Stepdad, so I HAD to be around 7 or 6 years old.

 

Never thought of it as a "classic", but just a cool old movie.

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...