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Getting your kids started on old movies at a young age has many benefits. There is a lot to be learned from these classics and since screen-time as a mode of schooling is here to stay, you may as well add a movie that is going to expand their minds.
Remember the days when you strolled into class and saw the TV and VCR set up? Those were fun days! Now you actually get to pick the movie.
Need more convincing about the benefits of sharing classics with your kids?
Check out the reasons why below!
You get a break from kid movies.
This is a huge reason right here. Kids love to watch movies over and over again. It can get to be boring as parents. Convincing them that it is your turn to pick a movie is a great way to introduce classic films. This also gives your brain a much needed break! There’s only so many times that you can watch Frozen…
They can be watched in front of kids.
Another great thing about classic movies is that many of them are okay to watch in front of your kids. Musicals are pretty safe. I wouldn’t dive into Hitchcock until they’re older though. While I love the movie Rope, my 4 year old would definitely ask questions that I’m unable to answer…such as “Why are they hurting that guy? You shouldn’t wrap things around your neck!”
The rest of the old films should be fine. With the production code put into place during the 1930’s, this dramatically restricted what could be done on film for many years. You won’t need to worry about sex scenes or your kids picking up any swears from these movies!
Your kids can see how much (and how little) has changed.
Classic films are great opportunities for a history lesson or two. My daughter knows what regular phones are, both from these movies and from her grandparents’ house. The way people dressed and got around was also different. There are some movies that are set back further and I’ve explained how people used to use horses to get around.
I also find myself having to explain smoking a lot, so that is something to be prepared for. It’s pretty prevalent in these movies and kids will want to know why this is happening. I love Frank Sinatra and my daughter loves that there is a puppy in Pal Joey, but I had to explain why he was smoking.
They make you feel good and forget your troubles.
Many of the musicals I love were made and released during WWII. The goal being at this time for them to be a distraction from the everyday difficulties of wartime. They are pretty happy movies and inspire hope.
Since they were designed to make you feel better, you may find your spirits lifted by watching them as well. This could be especially helpful during this time of pandemic. Anywhere where we can find some extra joy is a good thing.
They are more creative and visually beautiful.
Movies during this time had to be more creative in many different ways. There were more costumes simply because there were no computers. Everything had to be made somehow. As a result, costumes and sets are so stunning.
They inspire nostalgia.
There are movies that you connect with at certain times of the year. One of the most common ones is It’s a Wonderful Life. This movie is Christmastime. It deals with some tough subject matter, but in the end it’s about faith, love and being kind to others. I have a great amount of nostalgia for movies I saw as a kid and this is definitely one of them.
I also have a soft spot in my heart for Singin in the Rain. This is the movie that started it all for me. When I was a kid, I was home sick for a few days. I couldn’t tell you what I had, but my dad brought this movie home one day. He actually borrowed from a co-worker and it was on VHS…cause it was the 90’s… haha. From here it was just a domino effect into old movies for me. I next started watching other movies with Gene Kelly, which turned into other movies with Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. It kept going. I also watched this movie as a distraction when I went into labor with my daughter, so I guess it has multiple connections for me.
The actors were actually good.
The actors during this time were actually great. They didn’t have the wow factor from technology to fall back on. Many of them had to sing and dance. Others were just great at delivering lines. It is inspiring to watch people actually good at their craft. That’s not often the case with movies that we see now.
The writing is awesome
Again, because they were not able to fall back on special effects to save them, the writing had to be good. Writers at this time came up with some great lines that will be remembered forever. Arsenic and Old Lace is a great example of not only great writing, but memorable delivery. Here are some of Cary Grant’s best moments from that movie:
They are original
Seriously, how many sequels and remakes do we get now? Way too many. Movies during this time were original. They were fresh and new. While theaters didn’t pump out nearly the output that they do now, the movies were definitely better and more original.
They are the basis for the evolution of movies.
Movies today have evolved into what they are from building upon these early days. They were constantly improving and expanding what we were capable of. Movies went from being filmed in a studio to being filmed on location. There were also innovations with camera movements and special effects. The movie Cover Girl has a scene where the main character dances with his reflection. In Royal Wedding, Fred Astarie dances on the walls and ceiling.
They get everyone moving!
I’m partial to musicals. Especially ones with happy endings, sorry West Side Story fans, but I think they should end happily. Anyway, musicals have a tendency to get people dancing. My kids always want to dance whenever a song comes on. If the people on TV are dancing too, even better. My sister-in-law told me that the song “Moses Supposes” from Singin in the Rain gets her kids up and moving.
Classic films present great learning for kids and are fun for everyone. Start introducing them today!