Summer has really been behaving like summer lately, hasn’t it? Heat, humidity, a whoosh of thunderstorms tossed in for good measure. Good summer weather makes me want to walk by the river, look at the birds, and even do a little kayaking. But oppressive summer weather whispers in my ear: Let’s go inside and watch a movie.
I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming and Wonder Woman, and I can’t wait for Thor: Ragnorok, but it’s a relief to switch things up now and then, and get away from the usual blockbusters. When I watched some great trailers for upcoming films for kids and families, I was excited to see several based on classic children’s literature: Goodbye Christopher Robin, out in October, will tell the story of how A. A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh. Ferdinand, a Christmas 2017 release, will animate and stretch the wonderful little tale of a flower-loving bull to almost 2 hours! And two highly anticipated films based on much-loved books arrive next year: Mary Poppins Returns and A Wrinkle in Time.
I certainly remember being inspired to seek out books after watching great (and maybe not-so-great) movie adaptations, ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Jaws to Frankenstein. So here, to encourage some cozy family time in air-conditioned comfort, is a list of movies for kids ages 7 to 12 that might inspire them to head for the library to get the full story. I’ll follow up with a list for teens soon. The films are linked to their descriptions at Common Sense Media to help you determine whether they’re right for you and your kids.
Classic Must-See and Must-Read:
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Mary Poppins (1964)
- Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- The Harry Potter series (2001–2011)
Animators Bring Books to Life:
Laugh ’til You Cry
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2009)
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Day (2014)
The Scary Stuff (Beware!):
- Coraline (2009)
- The Jungle Book (2016)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017 Netflix series; 2004 film)
Get Your Heart Warmed