As an official ANZ FebuSave blogger, I’m doing a post each week throughout February on how mums can save a few dollars to help get their budget in check. My first post (yes, I know it’s not February yet, but the Aussies need to get through the last week of school holidays!) is about how to avoid the craziness of the major theatre chains and instead make the most of a home family movie time.
You’ve probably already been to the movies at least once these holidays. Why not introduce your children to the classic movies we grew up with, have a fun time making your living room into a theatre and save some money at the same time?
Get the kids to help you pop some popcorn (separate it out and top with butter, icing sugar, salt or something fancier like caramel popcorn), move the furniture around a bit so the TV is the centre of everyone’s focus (if it isn’t already) and settle down to watch one or more of these films you might have forgotten about:
1. The Princess Bride.
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” This film is full of hilarity, swashbuckling, swamps, and of course… true love. If you’re not into the whole ‘girl loves boy but doesn’t realise it until it’s nearly too late when he decides to come and save her from all types of evil’ scenario, then you’ll definitely find lots to love with the swamp scene and the wonderful Billy Crystal’s “he’s not dead, he’s just mostly dead” scene. Don’t forget the brilliance of storming the castle! As you wish.
2. The Dark Crystal.
A good one for the younger ones, and so nicely put together. This Jim Henson muppet experience was like an early version of Avatar. Kind of.
Some good music, and a good one for teens who complain about babysitting their younger siblings. Bonus for you? David Bowie in tight pants. ‘Nuff said.
Really, any early Jerry Lewis comedy is a hit. I believe this particular film is a great movie to introduce your kids to watching older style movies – the ones that used to run on Saturday afternoons when I was growing up (and dinosaurs ruled the earth). This film also challenges the gender stereotypes of the Cinderella story, if that’s something you think is important. If it’s a hit you could rediscover some other Jerry Lewis favourites like the original version of The Nutty Professor (before Eddie Murphy got hold of it), or if the kids enjoy a musical comedy, go through all the Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis library – that should take care of the rest of the school holidays!
If they haven’t seen this before they’re 18, you haven’t parented well.
6. It’s a Wonderful Life.
Yes, it’s a Christmas movie but the message is relevant year round, and it doesn’t have lots of Christmas theming through it – rather it talks about appreciating all you have, even when times are tough. Sort of like when our economy stinks. Like now.
7. The Never Ending Story.
A young boy named Bastian has the power to save all of Fantasia. Another good one for younger viewers, with a book being key to the story, similar to The Princes Bride.
8. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Great for everyone, this classic film has so many lines in it, your kid will be the coolest in the classroom when the teacher calls the roll and they answer “Bueller? Bueller?” I’ve never really understood how Ferris was such great friends with Cameron, they are so different in personality and lives… although they do enjoy many of the same things. Who could forget the magic of Ferris singing Twist and Shout on the parade float, or the brilliantly acted teenage awkward moment of Ferris’s sister, played by Jennifer Grey, getting caught by her mum in the police station kissing Charlie Sheen playing… well, Charlie Sheen.
9. Back to the Future.
The original of this series is fantastic. The hover skateboard will be on their birthday wishlists as well as lots of family discussions about the worthiness of time travel after watching this.
10. Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The original. Some might say the best. If they like it, you might want to investigate the others and do the whole series.
Most of these are easily available to rent in the cheap section of your local video store, or even buy from places like Big W and Target. For less than the cost of a child’s movie ticket at one of the big theatre chains, your whole family will be treated to a special movie experience – that the kids will remember long after the final credits.