Introduce Your Kids To Sci-Fi With These 15 Must See, Age-Appropriate Genre Movies
Kids movies generally fall into only one of two categories: The kind you show them to keep them busy while you do something else, and the kind you share with them in the hopes that it’ll be something they remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. It’s that second kind of movie we’re talking about here, the movies you have shown or will show your sons and daughters to let them in on the things you care about. The movies you show them in the hopes that it’ll make them better people, or at least help fuel a lifelong obsession for things that are good.
I plan to spend a lot of time sharing that second kind of movie with my child, in particular I hope to pass along my love of science fiction. To do that, I’ll have to start early before their brains are stuffed full of that first kind of film, before they’ve been warped by watching The Smurfs or Beverly Hills Chihuaha. But how do you do that? I can’t wait to watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with my kid, but realize I’d probably better wait till the little bugger’s eight or even ten, unless I want Khan’s earwigs to turn her or him into a permanent bedwetter. Jurassic Park? Kids love dinosaurs but odds are mom will think severed arms should wait till their nine. I’ll have to ease them into it.
To get my kids interested in science fiction I can’t wait until they’re old enough, or settle for whatever’s playing on Cartoon Network. I hear Ben 10 is a lot of fun and Phineas and Ferb are often up to some pretty fantastical shenanigans, but when I want to start my kid on the road to sharing the wide open world of ideas that is sci-fi, this is what I’ll put in front of them.
The Iron Giant (1999)
Never has any movie done a better job of feeding that universal little boy need for a robot pal better than this one. In The Iron Giant a massive alien robot ends up on planet Earth, where he befriends a boy named Hogarth before being chased all through kingdom come by the angry US army. The first film from Incredibles and Ratatouille director Brad Bird, it’s maybe the last truly great 2D animated movie ever produced. Touching, sweet, and beautiful to look at the movie sticks with you almost unlike any other. Share it and it’s the kind of film that will stick with your kid for a lifetime. Don’t be surprised if twenty-years from now an all grown up Benjamin turns to you and says, “Hey dad, remember that time we watched The Iron Giant?”