There are some movies that are ridiculously difficult to categorize (what the hell are Fargo and Trainspotting?), but there are also movies that fall across the board into several categories. For my database (of course I have a database – these lists don’t spring out of nowhere, I have all 5206 films I’ve seen listed), I assign one genre to each movie. And for some films that can be tricky. The Wizard of Oz is a fantasy film and a traditional musical, but I list it as a kids film. But when I sorted out the Animated films, that only left a handful of kids films that were really worth mentioning. And so, I am cutting this list off at 5, and here they are:
#5 – Babe (Chris Noonan) – 1995
I almost cut the pig and went with Enchanted, but even Amy Adams’ performance and the wittiness couldn’t overcome the pointlessness of her falling for Patrick Dempsey. So, I went with the pig, even though I think he’s somewhat overrated.
#4 – The Miracle on 34th Street (George Seaton) – 1947
A true Christmas classic, which AFI classified as a Fantasy for some reason.
#3 – The Muppet Movie (James Frawley) – 1979
We played “Rainbow Connection” at our wedding. Kermit uses the worst pun ever (“I was almost gone with the Schwin.”). Big Bird has a hilarious cameo (“No thanks, I’m on my way to New York to break into public television.”). It even has Orson Welles. And of course, the fork in the road.
#2 – Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson) – 1964
A film I grew out of, then grew back into. A perfect performance by Julie Andrews. Magnificent songs.
The best Kids / Fantasy / Musical ever made
#1 – The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming) – 1939
How much more can I say about this than has already been said? This would be on the top of the list for almost any genre it can be placed in. The book is enjoyable, a great children’s book, but the film is for everyone and it’s the performances in the film that truly make it come alive. Judy Garland spent the rest of her life making films, but she was never as vibrant, as alive or as beautiful as she was in this.