The Best 70’s Movies for Kids

Welcome to the first in a series.  Luckily, we’ve gotten a head start on a lot of these, but my DVD queue just doubled in size.

I loved movies as a kid in the 70’s, and I’ve loved making sure my daughter loves them, too!  While she can grab the nearest device and watch basically whatever she wants when she wants, we’re going to sit in front of the television this summer and get acquainted with some of the best 70’s, 80’s and 90’s movies for kids.

I know, I know, you’re shaking your head.  But we live in the desert, so inside having a little downtime in front of the TV is the best place to be after splashing around in the pool.  This list is in no particular order, and my favorites are what I remember loving as a kid.

the best 70's Movies for Kids

While I went to see “Star Wars” and “Grease” in the movie theater when I was six years-old, you may want to use your own judgement as to whether or not your child is old enough to watch some of these films.  I just watched “Grease” with my daughter and there are definitely some racy parts; like when Rizzo tells Kiniki she’s preggers.  “What are they fighting about?” asked the 7-year-old.  My answer, “I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.”  :-/

Best 70’s Movies for Kids

My Favorites:

  1. The Muppet Movie – Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang embark on a cross country trip to Hollywood.  Someday you’ll find the rainbow connection…
  2. Star Wars IV: A New Hope – While this says Star Wars IV, it’s really Star Wars I.  If showing your kids Star Wars for the first time, this is where you start.
  3. Grease – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy.  Grease is the word.
  4. The Black Stallion – This story of the friendship between a wild horse and a boy doesn’t have much dialog, but it’s very touching and proves that a best friend can have four legs.
  5. Superman: The Movie – The original starring Christopher Reeve as Superman, with Gene Hackman as Lex Luther and Marlon Brando as Superman’s Dad.
  6. Pippi on the Run – The tale of the eccentric little girl with crooked braids and a colorful horse continues.
  7. Herbie Rides Again – Herbie the Love Bug is at it again in this adventure taking place in San Francisco.
  8. The Apple Dumpling Gang – the 70’s were a great time for live action Disney movies and this is no exception!  Starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway, you know you’re in for a good time!
  9. Candleshoe – Another Disney classic starring Jodie Foster on the hunt for treasure in an English mansion.

The Classics

  1. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – This classic starring Gene Wilder strays a bit from the Roald Dahl book, but it’s still a favorite of kids everywhere.
  2. The Bad News Bears – Quite possibly one of the more politically incorrect movies out there, it’s still a fun one with grumpy Walter Matheau as a down on his luck baseball coach trying to get his groove back in the little leagues.
  3. Benji – Stray dog Benji is an independent little guy who helps solve a local crime.
  4. For the Love of Benji – This sequel follows Benji on another adventure, this time in Greece.
  5. The Rescuers – Bianca and Bernard are two of the cutest mice you’ll see!  When they are summoned to rescue a kidnapped little girl, it’s anything buy easy.
  6. The Aristocats – Join Duchess and her kittens on an adventure through the French countryside.
  7. Bedknobs & Broomsticks – Starring Angela Landsbury, this Disney classic takes place during the Battle of Britain as witch-in-training Miss Eglantine Price uses her super powers to trick the Nazi’s.
  8. Charlotte’s Web {1973 animated version} – The classic tale of the unlikey friendship between a piglet, Wilbur, and the very smart spider Charlotte.
  9. Pippi in the South Seas – Pippi Longstocking is at it again with her best friends Annika and Tommy as they try to save her father.
  10. Snoopy, Come Home– Snoopy and Woodstock embark on a cross country journey to visit his original owner, Lila, in the hospital.
  11. Escape to Witch Mountain – Tony and Tia are siblings who have amazing psychic powers.  Kidnapped by a millionaire who plans to exploit their powers, the brother and sister escape with the help of a widower.
  12. Freaky Friday– The original 1977 version starring Jodie Foster as Annabel Andrews who switches places with her mother on Friday the 13th.
  13. The Shaggy D.A.– Wilby Daniels suddenly becomes a sheepdog while running for the office of district attorney in this Disney classic.
  14. Pete’s Dragon– This beloved tale is the story of an orphan and his friend, a great, big green dragon.
  15. The Cat From Outer Space – Jake is the feline pilot of a UFO which is intercepted by the U.S. military.

For older/more mature kids:

  1. Smokey and the Bandit– In 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors beer east of the Mississippi river without a permit.  Enter Smokey, who agrees to take a truck full of the beer from Texas to Georgia.
  2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind– When Roy Neary sees a UFO, he dedicates his life proving what he saw was real.
  3. Foul Play – This classic starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase has librarian Gloria Mundy caught in an assassination plot against the Pope.

You can check out my other lists of film by decade:

The Best 80’s Movie for Kids

The Best 90’s Movies for Kids

The Best Movies For Kids From 2000 – 2009

Wikipedia has an extensive list of kids films by year and you can click each link for more information on a film.  All of the films listed are rated G or PG.

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