There’s nothing like a good movie to provide a talking point to bring generations together and, as a parent, the magic of cinema can help you share some precious childhood memories with your own kids, despite the fact you live in wildly different worlds.
Below are nine of the best nostalgic movies available on Netflix right now, so why not plump up the pillows, microwave that popcorn and take the opportunity to prove that your questionable ’80s hairstyle really was cool!
1. The Princess Bride (1987)
An enchanting tale that has left generations of kids wild eyed with wonder since the year it was released,The Princess Bride
The story centers around an kindly grandfather who reads a book named The Princess Bride to his ill and bedridden adolescent grandson. As he reads from the pages, the action comes to life and we are plunged into the story of a beautiful farm-girl named Buttercup who has been unwillingly chosen as a bride for the obnoxious Prince Humperdinck.
Fun Fact: Mandy Patinkin said that his most famous line from The Princess Bride (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”) is quoted back to him at least twice a day and he still loves it every time.
2. The Little Rascals (1994)
It might not exactly be ancient, but many parents . The movie follows Alfalfa as he moves from a proud member of the “He-Man Woman Haters Club” to being head-over-heels in love with the adorable Darla.
After many madcap efforts by the rest of the crew to tear Alfalfa and Darla’s puppy love apart end in disaster for the club house, the gang is forced to work together to win the prestigious soap box car race.
Fun Fact: Teeny weenyMary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have cameos as Darla’s friends at her sleepover.
3. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Why not introduce your kids to the magic of beautifully shot, tense and emotive cinema at an early age with Spielberg’s masterful E.T. The Extra Terrestrial?
Probably not one for the youngest members of the family thanks to some particularly upsetting scenes (which I’m sure are burned into your subconscious forever), this classic is bound to thrill the rest of the brood with some of the most memorable shots and lines in cinematic history.
Fun Fact: The scenes of E.T. in the kitchen were performed by a 12-year old boy who was born without legs who was an expert at walking on his hands to compensate.
To learn more about how E.T. came about, read the moving piece
4. The Land Before Time (1988)
With one of the most heartbreaking scenes in cinematic history, this early Don Bluth masterwork had an entirely different tone to Disney movies of the time, and in a great way.
The tale of a plucky band of dinosaur friends desperately seeking the legendary Great Valley is packed with tense moments, and deeply emotive scenes and it celebrates diversity in a way that even the youngest child will understand.
Fact: As if the movie itself weren’t tragic enough, four months before the film’s release. She was only 10 years old.
5. Back To The Future (1985)
Marty McFly was basically designed to channel the typical teenager of the ’80s, so if you want your kids to know you really were the height of cool when you were rocking that questionable haircut, this is a good one!
This often hilarious tale follows Marty as he is sent back to 1955 in a DeLorean time machine constructed by his eccentric scientist friend, Dr. Emmett Brown. The goal? Marty must make sure his teenage parents get together to ensure his very existence. Deep, man. If you’re not sure, check out the best bits
Fun Fact: If you ever need encouragement to follow your dreams, take heart in the fact that the script for Back To The Future was rejected 40 times before it was finally given the go-ahead.
6. Robin Hood (1973)
An anthropomorphic retelling of the classic Robin Hood tale with some seriously catchy songs thrown in. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like this Disney classic, so wham it on tonight.
Fun Fact: Maid Marian’s dance with the forest animals is the exactly the same as Snow White’s dance with the dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
7. Batteries Not Included (1987)
One of my childhood favorites, Batteries Not Included follows a group of tenants in a New York apartment block who are being forced out of their homes so that it can be demolished. After the unscrupulous developers hire thugs to persuade the locals to leave, visiting alien life-forms come to town and their rescue.
Fun Fact: The black and white photos of Frank and Faye used in the opening credits, were real-life photos of Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, who had been married for decades. Awwww!
8. Explorers (1985)
With a similar feel to the better known E.T. and The Goonies, the movie follows a kid who is obsessed with old movies about aliens who dreams of a mysterious circuit board one night. After drawing it up when he wakes, it becomes clear that he has been given the blueprint for a spaceship. Naturally, this leads to adventure.
Fun Fact: This was the feature film debut for both Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.
9. Miracle On 34th Street (1994)
When a kindly, bearded old man who claims to be the real Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young girl and a lawyer team up to prove that the man behind the festive myth is indeed a reality.
This feel-good yuletide classic practically glimmers with magic, but be warned, kids will enjoy it all year round and you might be facing snowfall and carols in July.
Learn more about the young star of the movie, Mara Wilson,
Fun Fact: Macy’s department store wouldn’t let its name be used in the 1994 remake. Bah humbug!
Which movie do you always watch to relive your own childhood?