15 Iconic Movies From Our Childhood We're Prepared to Force Our Kids to Love

15 Iconic Movies From Our Childhood We're Prepared to Force Our Kids to Love

One of the biggest perks of parenting is introducing your kids to the things you loved as a child: Food, toys, music, and -- perhaps most of all -- movies. There's nothing like curling up as a family with some popcorn and a flick that was a huge part of your own childhood, whether you waited in line to see it in the theater or watched it obsessively on VHS. 

That's why we put together a list of some of the most memorable movies from our youths. From heartfelt dramedies that taught us deep life lessons to zany romps that inspired us to make our own adventures, these are the films we can't wait to show our little (and not so little) ones.


Image via Warner Bros

  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    gene wilder willy wonka
    Image via Warner Bros.

    The outpouring of grief from fans all over the world after Gene Wilder's passing is a testament to the iconic nature of his many performances. In particular, his starring role in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), which was such a huge part of so many of our childhoods, still sticks with us. Always remember: "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

    More from CafeMom: Gene Wilder in 'Willy Wonka' Was My Childhood -- & Probably Yours, Too

  • The Goonies

    the goonies
    Image via Warner Bros.

    Mandatory viewing at countless sleepovers, The Goonies (1985) gave us such priceless memories as the "truffle shuffle" and starred one of "The Coreys" (Feldman, to be exact). Goonies never say die!!!

  • The Parent Trap


    Sure, the 1998 version (starring an adorable Lindsay Lohan) was fine, but the original Parent Trap (1961) is pretty close to perfect. The food fight scene? That haircut on Hayley Mills?? Let's get together, yeah yeah yeah!

    More from CafeMom: 24 Popular Kids Movies With Naughty Adult Jokes

  • The Princess Bride

    the princess bride
    Image via MGM

    If you can't recite all the dialogue from The Princess Bride (1987) by heart, then you clearly have some binge-watching to do: "No more rhymes now, I mean it!" "Anybody want a peanut?" (Plus, we're still not over our first crush, Cary Elwes.)

  • Back to the Future

    back to the future
    Image via Universal

    Your kids might not fully understand what a major movie event Back to the Future (1985) was for us, but they still need to try. Anyway, we're sure they'll love it, even if they don't understand how cool the idea of video chatting was in 1985. Time travel is timeless!

  • The Sound of Music


    Beloved by generations (and generations to come), The Sound of Music (1965) has it all: Singing. Dancing. Yodeling. Nuns. Clothes made out of curtains! No one should be allowed to grow up without seeing this movie, period.

    More from CafeMom: The Cast of 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory': See Them Then & Now (PHOTOS)

  • Stand by Me

    standy by me
    Image via Columbia Pictures

    A classic coming-of-age tale, Stand by Me (1986) was based on a Stephen King story and starred River Phoenix -- which is reason enough to watch it -- along with Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell, and, once again, Corey Feldman.

  • Star Wars: A New Hope


    Before you take your kid to see the next Star Wars installment in the movie theater, make sure you get them started off on the right intergalactic foot with A New Hope (1977). A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... a cinematic masterpiece was born!

  • The Muppets Take Manhattan


    The third in a series of movies starring Jim Henson's Muppets, The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) is a standout sequel, if for no other reason than that it introduced the Muppet Babies to the world. 

    More from CafeMom: 17 Iconic Teen Movies That Will Give You Major Back-to-School FOMO

  • Freaky Friday


    We'll admit the 2003 remake (starring Lindsay Lohan, yet again) was a solid comedy, but the original Freaky Friday (1976) is the superior version by far. Sorry, Lindsay, but Jodie Foster is a hard act to follow!

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    e.t. the extra-terrestrial
    Image via Universal

    Over 30 years later, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial can still make us cry (and crave Reese's Pieces!). Oh, and can we talk about how ridiculously adorable Drew Barrymore was in this movie??

  • Labyrinth


    The ideal cautionary tale for any jealous older sibling, Labyrinth (1986) also stars David Bowie as the superbly coiffed Goblin King. Did we mention it stars David Bowie? As in ... David Bowie. Watch it now!

    More from CafeMom: 10 Hilarious Movie Mom Moments That Make Us Laugh Every Time

  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure


    You know you're an '80s kid when ... you remember screaming "Large Marge!!" on the playground in honor of the creepy truck driver in Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985). Tequila!

  • Big

    Image via Twentieth Century Fox

    Magical and madcap, Big (1988) featured Tom Hanks at his most charming. Plus, like E.T., it can still make us cry. Shimmy shimmy cocoa pop, shimmy shimmy pow!

  • Ghostbusters


    We loved the new, female-driven Ghostbusters -- but we still love the 1984 original, too (and the original Stay Puft Marshmallow Man). Also, TBH, the first theme song is waaaaaay better.

    More from CafeMom: The 'Ghostbusters' Cast Then & Now -- Girls vs. Boys


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