Everyone loves a good film, but what makes a film great varies from person to person. Most people over the age of eight aren’t in a rush to purchase tickets for the latest G-rated kid’s flick. However, that doesn’t mean all G-rated films suck. On the contrary, they have just as much to offer as their mature counterparts.
Sure, watching a film that features swearing and stylish graphic violence is cool. But sometimes it’s cool to watch a more peaceful film. I won’t pretend that there’s a single trait that makes a great film. But I can explain why the five G-rated movies listed below don’t suck. Keep in mind, not all the films on this list are what you would consider kid’s flicks. In fact, there’s a Kubrick film on here. Is your curiosity piqued yet? Keep reading.
What list is complete without a Disney film? Better yet, who can leave the theater with dry eyes after watching Bambi? Such is the power of this little gem of a film that runs at a brisk 70 minutes. But while it is short, it packs quite the emotional punch.
Bambi is one of Disney’s early animated classics. It stands out because of its haunting portrayal of the death of Bambi’s mother. When uncaring 20th-century deer hunters killed her, kids hearts shattered. Disney films have never been one to shy away from on-screen deaths of beloved characters. For many, this is always the first to come to mind. You could even call it the shot heard around the animated world. Just don’t expect to have any tissues left over when you’re through.
The Wizard of Oz
More hopeful than the former tearjerker, this classic has been a staple of TV reruns since the 1950s. At this point, nearly everyone has hummed along to the addicting tunes in The Wizard of Oz. Whether it be “Yellow Brick Road” or fan-favorite “Over the Rainbow,” you’ll walk away from this film with a smile.
It features everyone’s beloved heroine Dorothy and her little pal Toto. One uneventful day, a tornado whirls the farm girl away to the wonderful land of Oz. There she must gather the forces of friendship to overcome the Wicked Witch of the West and return home.
The film set the bar for on-screen effects. It also has one of the greatest use of color scenes in film history. Bonus points for those who can spot the hanging crane that often gets confused for a dead munchkin.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Bet you didn’t see this one coming!
As hard as it is to fathom, 2001: A Space Odyssey is, in fact, G-rated by the MPAA in the United States. It received its rating before the PG-13 rating existed. Whatever your opinion, one thing is for certain. The film manages takes viewers on an intellectual journey of what it means to be human.
Despite it’s lack of disturbing mature elements, the film does offer its own visceral scenes. During the opening “segment” of the film, an ape-like creature kills another similar animal with the famous bone that serves as the jump cut transition into a spaceship. And while the scene lasts only a few seconds, the film still manages to keep viewers’ eyes glued to the screen.
In fact, many people consider it one of the greatest films of the 20th century, right up there with Citizen Kane. Not to mention, the psychedelic light-traveling ending will blow your mind.
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Shaun the Sheep is both an ode to the silent film era and a modern-day children’s film. Kids who were fans of the curious little sheep with an eye for danger were treated to even more escapades on the big screen. But that doesn’t mean adults can’t join in on the fun.
Famed Wallace and Gromit animator Nick Park and fellow animator Richard Starzak directed the film. Shaun the Sheep follows the adventures of the titular character in a dangerous British-like city. There he attempts to rescue his owner who seems to have lost his memory.
Featuring no dialogue but intense moments of involuntary laughter make this a charmingly lovable film. In fact, one can’t help but think that the ghost of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin would approve of its inclusion on this list.
The Brave Little Toaster
Ah, The Brave Little Toaster, a mainstay of many millennials’ youths. Created by Hyperion Animation, along with original members of Pixar, this film has delighted families since 1987.
The film follows the adventures of, you guessed it, a brave toaster oven. Abandoned by their former master Rob, the kitchen staple and his fellow appliances are devastated. Heartbroken but undeterred, this rag-tag team of vintage household items travels to the city in search of him.
There’s plenty of parallels between this film and another beloved classic Toy Story 3, but it’s the former that gets neglected. But never to be forgotten, this little gem has remained a personal favorite since childhood. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and chances are, you’ll root for this brave little toaster. Just don’t forget his pal, Blanky!
While it’s easy to push up your film-snob glasses and release a mild hmph at the mere mention of a G-Rated film, keep in mind that not all of them suck. In fact, many are classics. Even Kubrick could release a masterpiece without succumbing to dropping an F-bomb. If you’re still not convinced, watch one and decide for yourself.