When we have our family movie nights or the kids are tired of the same five shows on Disney or Nickelodeon, I reach for the classics – the good stuff. The stuff I remember leaving me on the edge of my seat! Movies I just couldn’t (and genuinely still can’t) get enough of. I want my kids to see and feel the adventures and excitement and fear just like I remember. None of this quippy, half-done performances by kids who couldn’t act their way out of a cardboard box. These kids were their characters which is why they are so great. Here’s the first half to dive right into!

*I’m going to go ahead and warn any parents that these movies may not fall under the new movie rating system. They may say G or PG and still have a little violence, language, and/or kissing. They’re also going to laugh, cover their eyes (because kissing, gross), and celebrate with the story. Brace yourself for some questions and some really awesome memories.*

Wild America (1997) PG

Based on the amazing true story about the Stouffer brothers; Marty (Scott Bairstow), Mark (Devon Sawa), and Marshall (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) set off to film America’s vanishing wildlife. Equipped with a 16mm camera, the brothers set off on their summer vacation for the trip of a lifetime.


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Now and Then (1995) PG-13

Four best friends make a pact to always be there for each other while growing up in a small town in the 1970’s. Years later, all four girls are back together to celebrate one of them becoming a mother and together, they relive some of their best and worst memories from the summer they grew into young women. Perfectly cast with Roberta (Christina Ricci/Rosie O’Donnell), Teeny (Thora Birch/Melanie Griffith), Samantha (Gabby Hoffman/Demi Moore), and Chrissy (Ashleigh Aston Moore/Rita Wilson).

Now and Then

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The Goonies (1985) PG

When plans for a golf course threaten to demolish an entire neighborhood, a group of kids decide they are going to do the last thing they can think of – hunt for buried treasure. Mikey and Brandon Walsh set out with a group of friends that call themselves the Goonies to find the famed treasure left behind by One-Eyed Willie. Time is running out and these friends dive headfirst into an adventure that they’ll never forget. Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan, and John Matuszak.


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Back to the Future (1985) PG

Marty McFly is your typical American teenager in 1985 until his friend Dr. “Doc” Emmett Brown accidentally sends him back in time. He lands in 1955 and manages to get himself in the way of his future-parents’ relationship. Marty has to find a way to lead them back to each other before it’s too late and then head home – back to the future. Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Thomas F. Wilson, and Claudia Wells.

back to the future

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My Girl (1991) PG-13

Vada Sultenfuss is a girl heading into her teenage years, who is obsessed with death. It makes sense – her mother has been dead for some time and her father runs a funeral parlor. She’s surrounded by it. Her best friend, Thomas J., is allergic to almost everything and the unlikely pair are inseperable. When Vada’s father hires a new make-up artist, Shelly, and begins to fall for her, Vada does everything she can think of to make sure they can’t be together. Starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky, Richard Masur.

My Girl

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House Arrest (1996) PG

When Grover and Stacy’s parents announce that they are going to get a divorce after almost 20 years, the kids decide they need to take a little more time to really consider it. When a few friends from school find out that they plan to lock their parents up together until they reconcile, they decide they want to add their parents to the mix as well. The children from all walks of life take a huge chance and lock their parents in the basement hoping that it will change their minds. Staring Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Pollak, Kyle Howard, Herbert Russell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christopher McDonald, Jennifer Tilly.

House Arrest

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Field of Dreams (1989) PG

Following the loss of his father, Ray Kinsella begins to hear voices coming from the cornfield on his farm. “If you build it, he will come”, is what Ray hears over and over. He interprets the message as instructions to build a baseball field in the corn. When he finishes, Shoeless Joe Jackson, of the 1919 Chicago White socks, appears with the other eight that were banned from baseball after throwing the World Series. Ray searches to find the meaning of the ball field he built and why the ghosts of these old players have arrived. Starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Gaby Hoffmann, Timothy Busfield, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster.

field of dreams

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The Mighty Ducks (1992) PG

Self-centered lawyer Gordon Bombay gets caught driving under the influence and is sentenced to community service. When he finds out he has to coach a peewee hockey team, it bring up memories of his own youth and how he lost his championship game in a shootout. As Gordon gets to know the kids, he finally earns their respect and renames the team The Ducks. Fighting their way to the finals, only one team stands in their way, and it just happens to be led by his old coach. Starring Emilio Estevez, Joss Ackland, Josef Sommer, Joshua Jackson, Eldon Henson, Shaun Weiss, Brandon Quinton Adams.

mighty ducks

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Hook (1991) PG

40 years after Peter Pan’s last adventure, he’s a cutthroat lawyer. He ended up marrying Wendy’s granddaughter and they have a family. One night while the family visits Grandma Wendy, the children disappear into the night. It is none other than Captain Hook calling Peter back to Neverland for one last fight if he ever wants to see his kids again. Starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott.


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3 Ninjas (1992) PG

Every summer the Douglas brothers – Samuel, Jeffrey, and Michael – visit their Grandpa Mori. Grandpa is a highly trained ninja and spends the summer teaching the boys martial arts. When one of Grandpa’s old friends, Hugo, shows up, they find out he is wanted by the F.B.I. Hugo kidnaps the boys and they must find a way to escape and protect each other in order to get home. Starring Victor Wong, Michael Treanor, Max Elliot Slade, Chad Power, Rand Kinsley, Alan McRae.

3 ninjas

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