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20 Alternative Movies To Watch With Your Family This Christmas

18 December 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by David Zou

Christmas is only a week away, are you still worrying about what movies to watch with your family this holiday? Tired of watching the same bunch of Christmas movies over and over again? Or maybe your favorite Christmas movie is not the right kind to watch with kids? Stop worrying now, we have prepared a list of alternative movies that the kids in the family will love, and adults with enjoy, too!


1. The Goonies

The Goonies

If you’re hosting a sleepover, you’ll be a hero by turning on this action/fantasy about a cadre of adventure-seeking kids on the run, treasure maps, death-defying close calls, and impaled skeletons. What we all remember and love about the Goonies is that they “never say die!” and their bond can’t be broken. (Warning: it can be a bit scary, and there’s some mild swearing. But we think it’s safe for kids 10 and up.)


2. The Time Machine

The Time Machine

For this budding science-fiction lover, this adaptation of H.G. Wells’ famous novel is an all around treat. Eccentric inventor George (Rod Taylor) discovers a way to travel time, and ends up successfully launching himself into the future, which seems fine until George realizes the inhabitants of the new world are cannibals. The flick is a fun-loving, award-winning treat that brings up opportunity to delve into some serious topics with the kids. Can man control his own destiny? What power do we hold over the future? Would kids take a ride in a time machine if they could? What would they see?


3. Little Manhattan


Do your kids think romantic comedies are ewww? Try this one — the story of a little boy’s first crush. The kids are sweet actors who don’t overdo it, and there are themes that adults can relate to as well.


4. The Gods Must Be Crazy


The Gods Must Be Crazy proves that silly slapstick humor is universal, even in the Kalahari Desert. This quirky story, which initially resembles an episode of National Geographic, follows the chain of events that ensues when African Bushmen discover a soda pop bottle that was discarded by a littering pilot. There’s some mild violence and language to watch out for, but it’s all for the sake of comedy, and of course, since this is a story about an African tribe, there are some bare butts and boobs. But you can relax — it’s rated PG and friendly for most families.


5. Spirited Away

spirited away picture

There’s a chance you could end up loving Spirited Away more than your kids — its captivating animation, complexities, and surrealism make it one adults won’t be able to get out of their minds. For that reason, some kids might be bored. But for older kids into fantasy, this flick, full of mythology, danger, haunts, imagination, and vivid imagery, will become an immediate play-it-again fave.


6. The Sandlot


For a sentimental guy flick, try this ’50s era film about a gang of boys and their summer of (innocent) mischief. It’s the perfect time to reminisce about — and share — your own childhood hi-jinks. We also love the female equivalent (for older kids), Now and Then.


7. Newsies


Set in 1899, this Disney Musical about a singing and dancing troupe of newsboys who strike when the price of their papers is raised 1/10 of a cent, isn’t exactly historically accurate. But if your kids love music, they won’t be able to turn it off. The soundtrack is full of toe-tapping tunes (many sung by the sweet, angelic voices of boys with heavy Brooklyn accents), and the plot is strung together with impressively choreographed song and dance. The cast includes Robert Duvall, Ann-Margret, and a young Bill Pullman and Christian Bale, so there’s something for you, too.


8. Selena


It’s a beautiful love story — the love a father has for his children, the love the children have for great music, and the love a country has for a singing sensation who died too soon. My daughters love the songs and every time they watch the movie, we’re treated to at least two weeks worth of Bidi Bidi Bum Bum.


9. Triplets of Belleville


Yes, it’s a French film, but there is no dialogue. It has music, intrigue, family loyalty and gangsters. Oh, and cheating in the Tour de France. Kids love it.


10. Chicken Run


This from the Wallace and Gromit studio is delightful, charming and full of British spit and vinegar. Laughs for all ages — a rare breed.

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