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What to Stream: Twelve Classic Movies to Watch with Your Kids

When my children—now in their twenties—were little, streaming wasn’t yet a thing. Home-movie viewing then was a collective activity involving videotapes and eventually DVDs, and my wife and I had a policy for it that we called “one of yours, one of mine.” Starting in the mid-nineties, when our older daughter was in preschool, we figured that she should watch what she wanted (often Disney movies that her friends were watching, too) as well as the kinds of things that we, my wife and I, considered our kind of fun. The reason for this was simple: we wanted our children to experience movies outside of the monoculture of mainstream popularity, and it mattered greatly, I think, that we were doing it together, as a family. It worked—back then, we had a good time together, and now our daughters, as adults, enjoy a wide range of movies.

Every family is different, and every child is different. Parents will have varying ideas about what’s appropriate for their children—whether profanity, violence, sexuality, or stereotypes—and children will differ regarding what sights or subjects frighten or trouble them. My wife and I took a relatively permissive view of such matters, hedged by the fact that we favored classic movies: until the late nineteen-sixties, the Hays Code prevailed in the United States, placing narrow limits on the kinds of behavior that movies could show. Yet in classic Hollywood, demeaning stereotypes abounded. When watching films from that era with our daughters we made a point of explaining and criticizing what we saw onscreen; we made frequent use of the Pause button, and viewings often stretched to two evenings.

Below are a handful of our family’s favorites. I’m not including the new releases my daughters enjoyed when we went to the theatres—“Down with Love,” “School of Rock,”

Article source: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/what-to-stream-twelve-classic-movies-to-watch-with-your-kids

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