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Christian Living

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7 Great Summer Movies for Kids

Not sure what to do with your kids this summer? Try out one of these lesser-known, funny, heart-warming films. Your kids will be entertained...at least for a little while.

From classic movies with Cary Grant to relatively unknown titles, these films might just become family favorites.

(Note: These are not listed in order of goodness and the list includes movies not widely known. There are too many great films to list all of them.)

1. Father Goose (1964)

Father GoosePassing through the dangerous waters of the South Pacific during World War II, Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) cares for nothing and no one but himself and his boat and his liquor. Tricked into helping the Austrailian Navy, Walter is stranded on a remote island where he monitors enemy activity. His first big assignment is to rescue a French teacher (Leslie Caron) and her students, all girls. It's a hilarious story that families are sure to love. Although it is a relatively calm war movie, there are a few intense scenes that may not be appropriate for kids younger than six.

2. What About Bob? (1991), PG

What About Bob?It's summer vacation with the Marvins -- and Bob. Dr. Leo Marvin (Richard Dreyfuss) is a therapist and Bob (Bill Murray), his patient. When the Marvins leave home for their family vacation, Bob panics for lack of 24-hour counsel and tracks them down. His hilarious - yet neurotic - behavior sends Dr. Marvin into his own crazy fit.

CAUTION TO PARENTS: This film has foul language.

3. Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991), G

Wild Hearts Can't Be BrokenBased on the true story of Sonora Webster, a stunt rider whose famous trick was to dive on horseback into a tank of water, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is the best chick flick for young girls. Starring Oscar-winner Cliff Robertson, Gabrielle Anwar, and Jake from Sixteen Candles (Michael Schoeffling), Wild Hearts follows the adventures of a young runaway during The Great Depression.

4. Parent Trap (1961), G

ParentTrap_DVD.jpgHayley Mills plays a pair of twins separated when young on account of their parents' divorce in the '60s classic, Parent Trap. When the twins reunite at a summer camp, a scheme is hatched to get their parents back together again. This clean, fun summer movie was nominated for two Oscars and also stars Maureen O'Hara (Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man) and Brian Keith.

5. Toby Tyler (1960), G

TobyTyler_DVD.jpgMad at his uncle, Toby Tyler (Kevin Cocoran) runs away to join a traveling circus. There he meets Mr. Stubbs, a troublesome, but loyal chimpanzee. An evil candy vendor at the circus convinces Toby that his foster parents don't love him anymore to get him to stay with the circus folk and do his bidding. Circus life is good, until Toby realizes the vendor lied to him, and that his foster parents truly love him. Toby Tyler is a lighthearted film your youngest of kids will love.

6. The Jungle Book (1994), PG

The Jungle BookA faithful adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic tale of Mowgoli the jungle boy who is raised by wolves after being lost when a tiger attacked an encampment and killed his father. Years later he finds himself re-united with his childhood love Kitty and back in the "civilization" of Colonial India which he finds far less civilized then his jungle haunts. The search for a lost treasure shows who the truly civilized members of society are.

7. Rigoletto (1993)

RigolettoRigoletto is basically Beauty and the Beast and Phantom of the Opera combined with biblical themes. Also set during the Depression, Rigoletto tells the story of a young girl's encounter with the town's outcast, a mysterious and rich man. The "beast" with his disfigured face and strong temper is musically gifted, which catches Bonnie's attention. She loves to sing, and while working for the rich man's household, the "beast" gives her voice lessons. Meanwhile, the townspeople suspect him of shutting down their businesses and resolve to make him pay. Rigoletto has strong moral lessons and a beautiful story and sound.

Note: This film was produced by Feature Films for Families, a movie company associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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