Film and Screen (A Knowledge Checklist)

I am not a film buff. Still, I don’t want my kids to miss out on the movies that even today, inform our shared cultural conversation. There’s a lot to learn here about love, hope and coming of age–and about writing an awesome screenplay, too.

Classic Children’s Films

Totoro Finding Nemo E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Star Wars: A New Hope Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Star Wars: Return of the Jedi How the Grinch Stole Christmas Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Ghostbusters Bambi Sleeping Beauty The Sound of Music Beauty and the Beast Lion King Aladdin Little Mermaid Snow White Goonies The Karate Kid Wizard of Oz Frozen The Muppet Movie (original version) Labrynth Babe The Lord of the Rings series The Chronicles of Narnia series The Harry Potter series A Christmas Carol The Red Balloon Pinocchio Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original version) Home Alone Home Alone 2 Matilda The Incredibles The Neverending Story How to Train Your Dragon Wall-E The Sandlot The Night Before Christmas Miracle on 34th Street Enchanted The Parent Trap (original version) Swiss Family Robinson The Iron Giant Tangled A Little Princess Spirited Away Moana Dumbo Charlote’s Web Lilo and Stitch Benji Alice in Wonderland Escape to Witch Mountain Pete’s Dragon Old Yeller Winnie the Pooh Little Women Hugo March of the Penguins A Christmas Story Children of Heaven Freaky Friday Big The Jungle Book Cinderella Pippi Longstocking The Adventures of Milo and Otis The Absent-Minded Professor The Apple Dumpling Gang Singing in the Rain Babes in Toyland The Music Man Pollyanna Bee Movie Oliver! National Velvet Bright Eyes Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines Lil Abner The Anne of Green Gables Series The Anne of Avonlea Series

Classic Films for Older Kids and Adults

West Side Story 7 Brides for 7 Brothers Oklahoma! The Princess Bride Gigi Vertigo Rear Window Psycho The Birds The 39 Steps Girls Just Wanna Have Fun American Psycho North by Northwest It’s a Wonderful Life Pulp Fiction Memento American Beauty To Live Psycho The Following Casablanca Pi Fight Club Being John Malcovich Swimming Pool Vertigo To Catch a Thief The Three Faces of Eve Rear Window Rebel Without a Cause Beauty and the Beast Requiem for a Dream Das Boot The Train Mutiny on the Bounty Il Dulce Vita Godspell Brother Sun, Sister Moon Reservoir Dogs The Princess and the Warrior Run Lola Run Four Rooms The Bells of St. Mary’s The African Queen Jesus Christ, Superstar Babette’s Feast American Psycho Clue You Can’t Take It With You The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Airplane! Wild Strawberries Kill Bill Volumes I & II Jackie Brown Raise the Red Lantern Eat, Drink, Man, Woman The Unsinkable Molly Brown Orchestra Rehearsal Summer of My German Soldier Roman Holiday Breakfast at Tiffany’s Alice in Wonderland The Heart is a Lonely Hunter The Thirty-Nine Steps The Lady Vanishes The Gladiator How Green is My Valley Doctor Zhivago From Here to Eternity American Splendour On the Waterfront Cabaret Monty Python and the Holy Grail Igby Goes Down An American In Paris Cries and Whispers Sophie’s Choice True Romance M Splendor in the Grass Annie Hall Night of the Living Dead The Exorcist What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? West Side Story Strangers on a Train The Wizard of Oz Return to Oz Sabrina Suspicion! Taxi Driver Man on the Moon Adaptation Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Chicago (show) The Lord of the Flies East of Eden The Importance of Being Earnest Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Frankenstein Les Miserables Moonstruck High Art Wild at Heart Meet Joe Black Spellbound Naked Lunch Twenty-Eight Days Later Parents Parenthood Lolita The Lives of Others Lost Highway Chinatown Planet of the Apes Secretary Grind House The Last Days of Disco Metropolitan Barcelona Primer It Happened One Night Platoon The Man Who Knew Too Much A Scanner Darkly Love is a Many-Splendored Thing You Can’t Take It With You Clockwork Orange Saturday Night Fever How the West Was Won Bandolero Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Crimes and Misdemeanors 8 ½ Barton Fink Hannah and Her Sisters Zelig Radio Days Gummo The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance A Face in the Crowd

Other Educational Movies, Documentaries and Shows for Children and Adults

Planet Earth Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Tumble Leaf Reading Rainbow Wishbone Zoom Beakman’s World Destination Truth National Geographic shows Electric Company Man vs Wild How It’s Made Myth Busters TED talks Drive Thru History Cosmos with Carl Sagan Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey Timeshift Ken Burns: America The Most Extreme How the States Got Their Shapes Dual Survival America: The Story of Us Worst Case Scenario Ancient Discoveries American Experience American Masters Chasing Mummies Steven Hawking’s SciFi Masters The Adventures of Captian Hartz The Unknown War Castle Secrets and Legends Get Schooled Super Structures of the World United States of America Joseph Campbell: Myths Travel with Kids Through the Wormhole Bill Nye the Science Guy But Why podcast Tumble podcast Food, Inc. King Corn The Future of Food Food Matters The 72 Most Dangerous Animals of Latin America Cosmos with Carl Sagan The Staircase The Keepers Herb & Dorothy Iris Sour Grapes Ted Talks Revisionist History (Podcast) Read the rest of this series at Knowledge Checklists: Filling My Educational Gaps, One Subject at a Time. And peruse my full recommended reading list at Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday.


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More to Read:

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday

Knowledge Checklists: Filling My Educational Gaps, One Subject at a Time

200 Spiritual Practice Success Stories

Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Novel


  1. Some of those are a little ‘rough” perhaps for children in a recommended list.
    However, more than half in the children’s section I love to watch – “Princess Bride” and “Labyrinth” are great and one of my very favorite movies is “The Little Mermaid”.

  2. Mollie Great Movie list !!!! I also love Spirit. It is from Disney and tells the Story of the Old West. Cinema Paradiso it is an Italian movie. I love La la land and Green card with Gerad De pardiew. I am not sure how to write his last name.
    Pirates of Caribean . The Tourist with angelina Jolie and Johnny Deep.

    Great movie list !