The Greatest Classic Films Everyone Should See

What separates a good movie from a classic one? Whether you’re seeking high art, unforgettable thrills or just something you can watch again and again, Ranker suggests dozens of movies with well-earned reputations for excellence.

This list of the greatest classic family films, across a wide variety of genres, has captivated audiences for years, and will most likely do so for years to come.

Brush up on your film history with these cinema classics, which are just as entertaining today as they were when they were first released.

1. The Wizard Of Oz

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Judy Garland is perfectly cast as Dorothy. She is as clever a little actress as she is a singer and her special style of vocalizing is ideally adapted to the music of the picture. Read Full Review…

 

2. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there’s an adventure in everything. Watch Now…

Movie Review : With a single gleam of his eye, Wilder pulls off more hints at a devious personality than all Johnny Depp’s white make up, and bad wigs combined. Read Full Review…

 

3. Mary Poppins

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father. Watch Now…

Movie Review :  Van Dyke and Andrews have great chemistry together, but it’s really her interaction with the children and the magic of the story and the visual effects that charm audiences. Read Full Review…

 

4. Charlotte’s Web

A gentle and wise grey spider with a flair for promotion pledges to save a young pig from slaughter for dinner food. Watch Now…

Movie Review : The Hanna-Barbera animation is better than the studio’s usual bare-bones mediocrity, and the voice cast is superb. Read Full Review…

 

5. Alice In Wonderland

In Victorian England a bored young girl dreams that she has entered a fantasy world called Wonderland populated by even more fantastic characters. Watch Now…

Movie Review : If you are not too particular about the images of Carroll and Tenniel, if you are high on Disney whimsey and if you’ll take a somewhat slow, uneven pace, you should find this picture entertaining. Read Full Review…

 

6. The Sound Of Music

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Appealing to the whole family and giving Julie Andrews a chance to sing and perform charmingly, it presents Christopher Plummer as Captain Von Trapp, a role that is sure to enhance the popularity of this fine actor. Read Full Review…

 

7. The Muppet Movie

Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Jolson sang, Barrymore spoke, Garbo laughed, and now Kermit the Frog rides a bicycle… If you can figure out how they were able to show Kermit pedaling across the screen, then you are less a romantic than I am: I prefer to believe he did it himself. Read Full Review…

 

8. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

Three pets escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Although a remake that adds very little to the original bar a few jokes, this still remains enjoyable and brings a classic story to the attention of the next generation. Read Full Review…

 

9. Pete’s Dragon

An orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit. Watch Now…

Movie Review :  As a testament to its founder’s legacy, this is still somewhat lesser Disney. But when viewed in combination for what passes as House of Mouse merriment today …it’s utterly brilliant. Read Full Review…

 

10. The Parent Trap

Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents. Watch Now…

Movie Review : There is a reason the original Parent Trap has stood the test of time. It’s sweet without being sucky, and incredibly sophisticated for what is, ostensibly, a kids’ movie. Read Full Review…

 

11. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was made in Britain for American consumption, but its magic works on kids and adults of any nationality. Read Full Review…

 

12. Bedknobs And Broomsticks

An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical conman search for the missing component to a magic spell useful to the defense of Britain. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Disney’s multi-Oscar nominated musical is not as good as Mary Poppins to which it’s often compared, but Angela Lansbury is well-cast and most of the visual effects, which won the Oscar, are impressive.Read Full Review…

 

13. Annie

A young orphan girl’s adventures in finding a family that will take her. Watch Now…

Movie Review : The vigorous display of good feelings and comforting resolutions has an unusually effervescent sincerity, even if the rags-to-riches wish-fulfillment leaps over all the hard knocks.Read Full Review…

 

14. Escape To Witch Mountain

Two mysterious orphan children have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire. But where do these kids really call home? Watch Now…

Movie Review : A scifi thriller that’s fun, that’s cheerfully implausible, that’s scary but not too scary, and it works.. Read Full Review…

 

15. Swiss Family Robinson

A Swiss family must survive being shipwrecked on a deserted island. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Chock-full of exotic locations and animals, desert-island DIY ingenuity, and high-spirited excitement, with a poignant subplot involving the rivalry of the two elder sons.Read Full Review…

 

16. Singin’ In The Rain

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Tap-dancing has never looked so unstoppable, nor so liquid: most tappers clench up and hammer away like road-drills, but these two sway their hips and laugh off the effort.Read Full Review…

 

17. Old Yeller

A teenage boy grows to love a stray yellow dog while helping his mother and younger brother run their Texas homestead while their father is away on a cattle drive. First thought to be good-for-nothing mutt, Old Yeller is soon beloved by all. Watch Now…

Movie Review : What makes Old Yeller more than run-of-the-mill Disney is not only the gut-wrenching climax, but also the remarkably well-done uplift of the denouement.Read Full Review…

 

18. The Adventures Of Milo And Otis

The adventures of a young cat and a dog as they find themselves accidentally separated and each swept into a hazardous trek. Watch Now…

 

 

19. Pippi Longstocking

Pippi is a little girl who lives alone in her house, while her captain is sailing the sees. With Pippi we meet her horse, her monkey and her two friends Tommy and Anika. Together they go on many journeys through the neighborhood! Watch Now…

Movie Review : An amazing film for children! Pippi is a fascinating one-of-a-kind girl with red pigtails and long mismatched stockings, who lives alone in a large house in a Swedish coastal village. (Her father is a off at sea, and her mother is in heaven.) Pippi meets a brother .Read Full Review…

 

20. The Apple Dumpling Gang

Three orphan children strike gold in 1878 California. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Walt Disney started by making movies in which animated drawings played the parts of people or animals who stood for people. Later he turned to making movies in which people or animals play the parts of animated drawings.Read Full Review…

 

21. The Absent-Minded Professor

A college professor invents an anti-gravity substance which a corrupt businessman wants for himself. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Disney produces a goofy lightweight Mack Sennett-like family comedy fantasy film that’s joyfully directed by Robert Stevenson.Read Full Review…

 

22. The Music Man

Harold Hill poses as a boys’ band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Glorious production, with gorgeous music, dancing. Read Full Review…

 

23. Pollyanna

A young girl comes to an embittered town and confronts its attitude with her determination to see the best in life. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Pollyanna emerges on the wide screen as the best live-actor movie Disney has ever made: a Niagara of drivel and a masterpiece of smarm. Read Full Review…

 

24. Babes In Toyland

Everyone’s favorite nursery rhyme characters come magically and musically to life in this animated adventure based on the classic holiday tale. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Perhaps 105 minutes of this sugary concoction borders on punishment, but when the movie hits a creative groove the results are highly amusing, generating a heightened sense of theatrical entertainment with a definite Disney twist. Read Full Review…

 

25. Bee Movie

Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry’s life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Personally, I think I liked “nothing” better.Read Full Review…

 

26. Oliver!

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor. Watch Now…

Movie Review : The focus of the movie is so wide, and the logistics of the production so heavy, that Oliver himself, dutifully played by 9-year-old Mark Lester, gets flattened out and almost lost, as if he had been run over by a studio bulldozer.Read Full Review…

 

27. National Velvet

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England’s Grand National Sweepstakes. Watch Now…

Movie Review : Pandro Berman, the producer, and Clarence Brown, the director, have made it into a conservatively exciting and engaging film whose chief virtue is its acting, especially a letter-perfect, beautifully felt performance by Mickey Rooney as the jockey.Read Full Review…

 

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