Children’s films can be a delight at any age, despite the fact that you’re older and wiser. They aren’t made to just visually appeal to the senses; they set out to intrigue, delight and teach valuable life lessons to impressionable kids, all so eager to immerse themselves in a faraway world. The true classics appeal to people of all ages and only recently, as I glanced at my own collection of Disney films, did I realise the impact they had on me as an adult. Below are five films that never lose their magic, that you’re never too old to appreciate. Stick them on to either watch with your little ones this weekend or as a reminder of the pure joy one can get from the movies at any age.
E.T, the Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg’s family classic is everything a movie should be, this story of an alien taken in by a family who befriends the young children. The cinematography is iconic, the score stunning, the characters unforgettable. It taught you the value and importance of friendship and made me yearn to travel to the unknown. It takes you through every emotion, and it was the first time I remember sobbing my heart out after a movie. I’ve never forgotten it, and it still has the same effect on me, even decades later.
The Lion King
This is my earliest memory of cinema, and it’s stayed with me my entire life. Young Simba yearns to belong; to follow in the footsteps of his father and become the lion he was born to be. You can take so many things from this classic animation, the main being that no matter how bad things may seem, you’ll always have friends to rely on and no matter what your relationship with your family – whether they are around or not – the film shows us they never really leave you. Your adult self won’t be able to watch without the tears flowing.
Up saw Pixar return to form after a series of luke-warm movies and they’ve yet to match its heartwarming genius. For those who have loved and lost, for those who seek something more, you will truly love this visually beautiful movie. It shows that no matter how old you are, you can always find adventure and live out your childhood dreams.
The utterly charming tale of two robots from two completely different realms aptly shows us that love came in many forms and was one of the first animated children’s flicks to focus on the importance of the environment, and the terrifying outcome for humans should we ignore this in a bid to advance digitally. It’s most important message is that we should love and respect our planet.
Yes, a reboot is in the works, but this time, only the original will do. Children are mesmerised by the music and the thought of jumping into paintings, but once watched through adult eyes, you unknowingly find yourself drawn to the story of the parents. The mother is a strong woman, ahead of the times and fighting for women’s rights, while the father is forced to miss his children’s childhoods to earn money and remains a distant figure until that feelgood ending. An underrated performance by the incomparable Julie Andrews makes this one unmissable.
What childhood films do you love watching as an adult?