Favorite books, MOVIES and songs of 2015 (Part 2)

my favorite books movies and songsNow that I've told you our favorite books of 2015, I'm here to tell you our favorite family movies of the year.  Sunday nights is our Family Night, and every other week we watch a movie together.  (The weeks we aren't watching a movie, we're having game night.)

Finding a movie that all of us will enjoy is a bit tricky.  Fortunately, our kids have watched very little when it comes to movies, so over the course of the last few years, we've been able to catch everyone up on some of the animated movies they didn't see when they were new to everyone else.  This approach proved really handy for us, because we had a plethora of movies that were age-appropriate for our younger kids, but still new to our older kids.

But now that we've covered any of those we care to see (my kids really liked Toy Story 3) and have already watched episodes of Little House on the Prairie, and covered our favorite musicals (Fiddler on the Roof and The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins, all viewed numerous times), movies I loved as a child (The Parent Trap, anyone?), books-we-had-read-that-were-made-into-a-movie (From Charlotte's Web to Heidi to Where the Red Fern Grows to Pollyanna and everything in between), things were a little sketchy for awhile.

What else is there that is age-appropriate?  Our kids range in ages from 6 to 14, girls and boys, and not everyone wants to watch animated movies all the time (least of all me.  I really really really don't like animated movies).

So.  Here are a few we discovered:

Newsies: I remember watching this and liking it when I was younger, so I read some reviews and then we all watched it.  Aaaand: my kids LOVE this movie.  Maybe it's the dancing and the singing or the story itself: orphaned boys selling newspapers in New York City who end up organizing a strike against the newspaper bigwigs.  Apparently it's all rather exciting. We watched it all together the first time and they've watched it several times since. 

McFarland USA: I was actually pretty reluctant to see this movie because, well: Kevin Costner.  However, after about the sixth person had told me it was a great family movie we decided to watch it.  Mark and I watched it first and then we all saw it together and it's really a great story, and the kids really enjoyed it.   

Chariots of Fire: A classic.  That scene- running on the beach with the music?  Goosebumps.  Love.  We had read biographies of Eric Liddell, so it was fun for the kids to see this story played out.

Man From Snowy River: While there is some swearing (thankfully my kids aren't super familiar with swear words so most of that goes right on over their heads), some brawls between the hands on the ranch, and a tense father-daughter relationship,  the scenes are beautiful (it's filmed in Australia), and the story is winsome: a young man whose father has just died goes to work on the ranch to save money so that he can keep his father's land.  He is hard-working and honest, and of course he falls in love with the rancher's daughter.

Narnia:  We have read through the books twice, now.  And while our older two (14 & 12) have watched this, our younger three had not.  Our littlest (6) did cover her eyes a few times and we fast-forwarded one scary scene (our older kids are very diligent at alerting us, "There's a scary part coming up!")  But overall this is a good adaptation of the book.  Lucy is my favorite.  

We also watched The Nativity Story in December and really enjoyed it.  I think it will become a December tradition. 

Aaaaand.... now it's YOUR turn!  What are some movies you would recommend for family viewing? 

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  1. The Man from Snowy River was filmed in Australia - close but not quite! :) It's based on a poem by Banjo Paterson - one of Australia's national poets. Your kids might like to read the poem, and some of his others.

    1. SarahR~ Thank you so much! I've since corrected it in my post. (I read somewhere that it was filmed in New Zealand! Yipes!) Thank you for the information about the poem, too-- I had no idea!

      Blessings to you and yours,

  2. Swallows and Amazons the 1974 film if you can get it. It is very British but my small children like movies with no risk whatsoever :) they're not keen on animated either and we watched this and loved it! We also tried to watch Swiss Family Robinson but while fun it had some very outdated attitudes in it which were quite alarming and not at all as I had remembered :)

    1. Oops I just found part one and realised you're already "swallows and amazons forever" fans ��

    2. Verity,
      I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE FILM. (!!insert squealing here!!) So thank you and we will look into it IMMEDIATELY! Very British sounds right up my alley. ;) Blessings to you and yours,


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