12 Best Kids' Movies for Parents

Thanks to a comment from Kim Z. Dale on John's post about summer movies yesterday, I started thinking about which movies that I, as a parent, don't mind being forced to watch snuggling on the couch and watching with my kids. Which movies sound great when playing in the back of the car while you're driving to Grandma's house in Michigan (or five minutes away to Trader Joe's, because sometimes that happens)? Which movies provide the cartoonish buffoonery that they crave, but also supply some extra special comedy and innuendo for mom and dad to explain away with a simple, "Someday you'll get it?"

(I decided not to include any Pixar movies on this list because, frankly, this list could've been entirely Pixar movies.) (Except Cars. Cars is the worst.)

As a parent, I think we naturally experience a bit of Stockholm Syndrome about the things our kids watch. Before children, I hated Elmo. Shortly after my son started watching Sesame Street, I started to like Elmo. I started to respect Elmo. (Now, for reasons unrelated to the Street itself, I'm back to being skeeved out by Elmo.) When my daughter started her 40-day Monsters, Inc. binge, at first I felt nauseated. But by the end of the reign of terror, I think I really started to "get" Monsters, Inc. And now that she's moved on to something else, I've started to miss it.

Also, after a summer of watching a shit ton of Shrek, I think I actually started to respect their choice of using Smashmouth's "All-Star" in the opening credits. Something about a comment on the year the movie was made slash foresight of ironic nostalgia slash that song's not as bad as you want it to be oh my god make it stop.

Anyway, here's a list of movies I don't mind watching with my kids these days. What are your favorite kids' movies for parents?

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