We, as a family, are very into old movies. If my husb and and I get a rare date night out, we almost always choose to see a movie at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto, which is a refurbished old movie theatre that shows nothing but classic, old movies. It’s like taking a trek back in time for an evening – even the popcorn is priced as if you’re seeing a movie in the 50’s.
When we had kids, we of course started to look into what old movies would be good for them to watch. As they have gotten a bit older (they are 7, 5 and 4 right now), we have slowly introduced them to more and more classics. At first, it took them a little getting used to, as when they were little they only watched animated movies like Little Mermaid, Nemo, Toy Story, etc. With little or no animation in these movies, there is a lot ‘pausing’ to explain the story lines, which you usually have to do this with many of these films. But it’s worth the effort – they have come to realize that most films have intricate story lines and that they’re fun to follow and figure out as they watch. As they get older, they ‘get’ some of the deeper meanings of some of these movies and it’s very fun to see that happen.
One of the first old classics they watched and loved was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Some of our other favorites are Sound of Music, The Absent Minded Professor, the original Herbie (Herbie the Love Bug), the original Freaky Friday, Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, and our absolute favorite right now: Music Man.
Music Man is such a wonderfully fun and funny story, with fabulous performances by Robert Preston, Shirley Jones and a very young Ron Howard. There is some great music that comes from this film and it’s just fun to watch for both us parents and the kids. Our youngest, who is four, has a harder time sitting through it, but there are enough great scenes in it to keep him captivated enough. Right now the whole family is walking around the house singing ‘Gary Indiana’ or ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’ and it just makes you appreciate it that much more.