Top Ten Eighties Movies to Share with Your Kids

Eighties movies you can watch with your children

W hile you may have been too young to remember, the eighties were a golden age of family movies. While there were a few franchise movies, most notably, Star Wars and Back to the Future the majority of the best films stood alone. They had that special quality that appeals to both children and adults. So, kick back with a big bowl of popcorn and revisit the golden age of family films.

The Goonies

What do you do when evil developers are threatening to take over your neighborhood? You go on a treasure hunt of course. Brothers, Mikey and Brandon join with their favorite group of misfits to search for the treasure of the pirate, One-Eyed Pete. Along the way, the battle a gang of crooks, figure out their way through a variety of booby traps and deal with first love. Starring Sean Astin long before he went on his epic journey through Mordor.

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E.T. The Extraterrestrial

After his parent’s divorce, Elliot is left feeling a little lost and alone. The same is true for E. T., a botanist who is left on Earth when his crew takes off without him. When the two characters meet, they form a bond that not only changed their lives but has touched movie goers for more than 30 years.

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The NeverEnding Story

Based on the best-selling book by Michael Ende, this movie follows the dual stories of Bastian and Atreyu. Bastian is a young boy who hides from bullies in a mysterious old bookstore. That’s where he spies an impossibly old book called The NeverEnding Story. Since he has money, he steals the book and sneaks into the attic to read it. He reads about Atreyu, a young, orphaned warrior who has been sent on a quest to stop “the nothing” from taking over Fantasia. The longer he reads, the more Bastian and Atreyu realize that their stories are connected until they both realize that Bastian has his own role to play in saving the world.

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Annie

This movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical features stars such as Carol Burnett, Albert Finney and Bernadette Peters. The film has many song and dance numbers that are incredible on a big screen. Additionally, there are a couple of new songs that are unique to the film. SO get ready to hum along with your kids to this one.

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The Karate Kid

Daniel is the butt of jokes and bears the brunt of bullies until he meets janitor Mr. Miyagi. The otherwise mild-mannered man defends Daniel from a gang of boys. That’s when he learns to beat the bullies at their own game and compete in the local martial arts competition. While there were several sequels and even a remake, none of them compares to the original.

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Big

This is the movie that started Tom Hanks on his way to stardom. Josh is the shortest guy around and he feels it. He wants to be taken seriously. He wants his own room. He wants to be grown up. So when he gets a free wish from a Zoltar machine, he wishes to be big. From that point on, he tries to navigate the adult world with the abilities of a twelve-year-old kid.

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Willow

This fantasy film feels like a brand-new fairy tale. A prophecy has warned the evil queen, Bavmorda, that a child with a specific birthmark will destroy her. So, she has imprisoned all the pregnant women and inspects each child at birth. When the child is born, she is spirited away from the castle and sent downstream in a makeshift boat where she is found by Willow, a tiny, Nelwyn conjuror who hope to become a real sorcerer. Fearful at first, Willow at last agrees to take the child to “the big people” where she can be raised among her own kind. This launches him into an adventure that spans the length of the country and turns the world upside down. Along the way he battles armies and befriends brownies. Finally, Willow uses simple sleight of hand to save the day and put the baby on her way to becoming Empress and returns home to his family.

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Princess Bride

At first, the boy is skeptical, and does not want to leave his video game for a book. But he relents, and the grandfather begins to read the story that has become a classic to millions of movie-goers. It follows the star-crossed love of Wesley and Buttercup as they are swept into an adventure that acquaints them with an evil prince, a good pirate, a giant, an epic swordsman, a miracle worker and a genius. But with all that, the movie still explores that special, loving relationship between a boy and his grandfather.

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An American Tale

Simple enough for little ones, but compelling enough for adults, this animated movie is a delight for every member of the family. The Mousekewitz family is emigrating from the Ukraine to the United States, along with other mice who are secreted away on great passenger ship. On night, little Fievel finds himself washed overboard and his family believes he is lost at sea. However, he washes ashore in New York City. There he immediately begins to look for his family. But he is waylaid by wharf rats, cats and even other mice before he finally makes his mark in the new world and finds both his family and the place where he belongs.

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The Little Mermaid

This is the film that re-launched Disney’s animated features. After more than two decades of commercial failures. While the movie doesn’t follow Han Christian Anderson’s tale exactly, it does a good job in its own right. Ariel, the youngest mermaid princess, is fascinated by “land people,” much to her father’s chagrin. When she saves a young man, she falls in love with him, and goes to the Sea Witch for the chance to become human long enough to earn his love. Filled with charming, upbeat songs, this movie is a delight for the whole family.

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