I have three little brothers whose ages range from 5 to 10. As expected, they’re a real handful and sometimes the only way to settle them down is to let them watch a movie or a couple episodes of a favorite TV show. While we have a rather large collection of animated films in our basement, sometimes I prefer to not let them rot their brain with ‘Thomas & Friends’…but most of the other movies we own are ‘old’ (pre-1970s). Thankfully, there are some classic films that my little brothers genuinely enjoy and I thought I’d list them in this post so if any of you have younger siblings, you can benefit as well.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – Daring heroes, beautiful maidens, plenty of swashbuckling action, and all in glorious Technicolor. What’s not to love? I’ve yet to meet a little boy who didn’t love Robin Hood.
The Magnificent Seven (1960) – Now, this was the recommendation of my ten-year-old brother – I’m not sure how much the two youngest like it, because there’s relatively little action. But still. Mag7 is my favorite movie of all time, so I had to include it on this list.
Room for One More (1952) – One (mostly) common denominator of the classic films that my little brothers enjoy is that they usually include children their age. ‘Room for One More’ has plenty of kids who misbehave (always a fascinating thing for my brothers, for whatever reason) and it’s a favorite in our house.
The Sound of Music (1964) – More children… And the songs are classics for a reason.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – As you may have guessed, my whole family loves musicals, and that includes my younger siblings. There’s something about the energetic songs, colorful dance numbers, and heightened reality of musicals that appeals to most children.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) – So much action and excitement! I remember seeing this when I was very young indeed and some scenes, like where the cannibals are electrocuted, left such an impression on me. (Not always an entirely good impression, though.) I’d also say that almost any live-action Disney film from the fifties/sixties is great for children (except ‘The Great Locomotive Chase’, which scarred me so badly as a child).
The Proud Rebel (1958) – I asked my little brothers to give me movies that I could add to this post and Ethan (who’s 7) said, “Oh! That movie where the boy is deaf and then when his dad’s about to get shot, he yells.” At first, I was a little stymied, but I ended up realizing what movie he was talking about. And he’s right. ‘The Proud Rebel’ is a great movie for little ones (there’s a young boy and a dog).
The Court Jester (1956) – Danny Kaye silliness. Need I say more?
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959) – Another Jules Verne adaption that stars James Mason! Only this time, he’s a good guy and the film wasn’t put out by Disney. It’s very fun and colorful and entertaining, though. It’s a movie my older siblings and I watched all the time when we were younger and we still quote it frequently.
So, yes, that’s my list. Do let me know if your little siblings love any of these!
(Also, a note on old TV shows: my little brothers love Combat!, Rat Patrol, F Troop, Get Smart, and Gilligan’s Island. So classic television is another great viewing option.)