August 04, 2019
Observer critic Mark Kermode picked 25 child-friendly films, sparking a lively debate. We look at some of your best counter-suggestions Read the original piece: 25 of the best films for children
The best films for children: Observer readers have their say
There’s a special emotional bond with the films we discover as children that is somehow purer, more cherishable than anything we forge later in life. For me, a bedrock moment in my love of cinema was working my way through a box of VHS copies of 1930s musicals, mesmerised by the glittering repartee and the effortless elegance of old Hollywood. Even now, watching clips of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Eleanor Powell tap routines is a shortcut to a happy place. But, as shown by the response to Mark Kermode’s excellent and very personal list of 25 of the best films for children published here two weeks ago, everyone has their own treasured childhood movie touchstone.
The replies to the list include passionately argued cases for everything from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (which would definitely make my own roll call of best children’s films) and The Princess Bride (likewise) to the Roberto Benigni-starring holocaust drama Life Is Beautiful (not so much). But the point of Mark’s list, and the aspect that makes it such a rewarding read, was the decision to embrace the scope of family cinema at its broadest possible interpretation. As anyone with children under 10 will no doubt concur, much of the more recent content targeted at younger audiences represents a world of pain for older ones – just gaze into the hollow, haunted eyes of any adult who has had to endure The Emoji Movie.
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