My Convertible Life

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday's Five: Before Pixar

A couple of years ago, I heard an interview with Ty Burr, the author of a great book about watching old movies with your family. He talked about how his daughter chose to have a Katharine Hepburn party for her ninth birthday with a screening of Bringing Up Baby. Listening to the story, I thought his daughter might be the coolest nine-year-old on the planet.

As someone who only discovered old movies as an adult, I loved the idea of introducing classic films to children in ways they can enjoy. I mean, Cars and Toy Story are loads of fun to watch, but I want my kids to know there was film life before Pixar animation. We'll start on the list for toddlers in Burr's book soon, but in the meantime, here are five "retro" movies that Junius has already enjoyed:
  1. The Love Bug (1969): We refer to this one simply as "Herbie" at our house. If your child likes cars, this story is a good alternative to Lightning McQueen. We also liked the sequel, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo. We're holding off on the updated version with Lindsay Lohan until he's older.

  2. The Muppet Movie (1979): This one is known at our house as "the one with big Animal," to distinguish it from the other Muppet movies. Yes, there are guns and some scary bits, but I just love the Muppets and the songs are so great.

  3. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968): More cars (you're noticing a theme for Junius) and other fun inventions. And singing a song with the words "chitty" and "bang" is just crazy fun for a four-year-old.

  4. The Music Man (1962): Juni's current favorite in our DVD player -- and I love listening to him march around the house singing about 76 trombones. Plus, it has Buddy Hackett in it, who was also in The Love Bug.

  5. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974):Okay, so this isn't a classic old film. But it's a lesser-known old-school Christmas special and one of my all-time favorites. Catchy tunes and important lessons about faith, friendship and hard work.
Photo from The Music Man Square.


  1. I remember that story! That girl is totally awesome. If it had been me, I would've picked Singin' in the Rain. Favorite movie since I was a wee tot.

    I have a soft spot for The Music Man, too, partly because it was our elementary school musical when I was in sixth grade.

  2. Great list! I need to share these with my two kiddos!


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