Parents are normally in charge of renting movies for their children. Movies are either rated GP or PG-13, so choosing a good film for preteen kids can be a challenge. Preteens are in an awkward position when it comes to movie ratings. Pre-teens or tweens fall in between those demographics – too old for cartoons but too young for mature subject matter movies.
Watching movies with kids is a great bonding activity, especially if you find the film interesting as well. Some adults are just not that interested in animated flicks, so here are some non-animated movie titles both you and the kids will enjoy:
1. My Girl (1991)
My Girl is a coming-of-age story of a young girl growing up with her widowed father. She is a tomboy who loses a boy best friend. It is a comedy-drama film set in the 1970’s. The plot is simple, yet touches topics like death, friendship, crushes, puberty, sex and having a step-mother.
2. Little Manhattan (2005)
Set in Manhattan, New York, this romantic comedy film is an urban tween boy-meets-girl story. The characters go through realistic situations like parents getting a divorce and dealing with bullies. The main plot is about the boy experiencing love for the first time. More than that, it gives a great visual tour of New York, particularly the upper west side.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005)
The first of a fantasy series, this film is about four siblings’ adventure in a magical place called Narnia. The children discover an enchanted wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek. The wardrobe is a portal to Narnia, a fantasy world held under the spell of an evil witch. Together, the children help the rightful leader (a Lion) fight the curse in a great bloodless battle onscreen.
4. School of Rock (2003)
A rocker gets kicked out of his band and his life is heading toward a downward spiral. In need of money, he secretly fills in a friend’s job as a substitute teacher in a prestigious prep school. There he learns that his students can play musical instruments, and so he forms them into a band – The School of Rock. The film is hilarious and inspiring with a lot of musical references.
5. High School Musical (2006)
This film is a phenomenon! It is about two high school juniors’ campus life and how they become the star couple of their school’s musical production. The guy is popular and captain of the basketball team while the girl is a shy and geeky wallflower. Their talents get discovered and they develop a good friendship. There is a lot of singing and upbeat dancing as the story unfolds.
6. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
Make believe play is highlighted on this touching movie. Newfound friends find an abandoned treehouse where they invent a new world called Terabithia. As the friendship grows between the two main characters, a tragic event occurs. Death and financial trouble are some of the serious subjects dealt with in this film. Family support enters and the movie ends in a positive mood.
7. Tuck Everlasting (2002)
This film is about a teenage girl in the 1900’s who, about to be sent to boarding school, runs away into the woods. There she meets a mysterious boy and gets attracted to him. The boy belongs to a family of immortals – drinking from the ‘fountain of youth’ a long time ago. The girl is then caught in a dilemma, whether she wants to become immortal or not, to be with the boy.
8. The Goonies (1985)
An adventure-comedy movie that doesn’t get old; It is about a group of young boys, the ‘goonies’. In their attempt to save their neighborhood from demolition, they embark on an action-packed treasure hunt journey. On the way to finding the treasure, they come across obstacles like booby traps, scary people and situations, including criminals wanting to beat them to it.
9. Harry Potter 1-3 (2001-2004)
This popular movie series is a treat for all ages. An ordinary young boy’s life drastically changes on his 11th birthday when he finds out that he is a wizard, and a famous one at that. He soon goes to a wizarding school and encounters mysterious and exciting adventures. The first three movies focus on courage, friendship and family ties.
10. A Walk to Remember (2002)
A rebellious teen boy is forced to join after-school volunteer activities and his school’s spring play. He asks a fellow volunteer for help in practicing the play’s lines and soon develops feelings for her. The girl is the daughter of a church pastor, so he turns his rebellious life around to be with her. The two share some good times together before the girl is taken away by her illness.
There are many other movies to choose from, just be sure to check on the movie ratings and reviews to be sure of the film’s content.