10 Best 80′s Family Movies

Wednesday, February 23 by Wendy Adams

The 10 best 80’s family movies were about everything from fantasy and adventure to overcoming hardship. The 80’s brought us an endearing alien, time travelers, a Christmas classic, and much more. Tremendously talented actors, writers, and animators created classic family movies for all to enjoy.

  1. The Fox and the Hound” Wonderful Disney animation and an all star-cast of character voices including Mickey Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Bailey, and Sandy Duncan bring to life this tale of a young fox and a hound dog puppy growing up together.
  2. Time Bandits” A time travel portal in Kevin’s (Craig Warnock) closet is a means of travel for a band of dwarfs who take Kevin on an adventure through time to follow a stolen treasure map. A masterful cast that includes John Cleese at Robin Hood, Sean Connery as King Agamemnon, Shelley Duvall as Dame Pansy, and Michael Palin as Vincent, turns this fantasy adventure into a classic 80’s comedy.
  3. E.T.:  The Extra Terrestrial” This winner of four Academy Awards, was one of the best movies of 1982. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it starred Henry Thomas as Elliott and a very young Drew Barrymore as his little sister Gertie. Elliott makes a connection with a stranded alien and brings him home to hide while he finds a way back home. An adorable adventure comedy that's endearing and a real tear jerker.
  4. Fanny and Alexander” The winner of four Academy Awards tells the tale of life for Fanny (Pernilla Allwin) and Alexander (Bertil Guve) growing up in a quirky theatrical family until the death of their father and the remarriage of their mother. A wonderful lesson about conflict resolution and compromise.
  5. A Christmas Story” Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants an air rifle for Christmas and is told by everyone he will “shoot his eye out.” The story's about his quest to get the gun. A wonderful look at life in the Midwest during the 1940’s radio era. Darren McGavin is hysterically funny as Ralphie’s father.
  6. The Karate Kid” Ralph Macchio stars as Daniel Larusso, who moves from Jersey to California with his mother only to become a target of bullies at his new school. Pat Morita plays Mr. Kesuke Miyagi who teaches Daniel how to defend himself with Karate. A classic Karate competition ends the story.  
  7. The NeverEnding Story” To escape the tormenting of bullies, Bastian (Barrett Oliver) takes refuge in an archaic used book store. In the store he collides with a dangerous book that takes him into the fantasy land of Fantasia. Fantastia is in danger of being consumed by the Nothingness.
  8. The Princess Bride” The Grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a bedtime story to his ailing Grandson (Fred Savage) and the story comes to life with a tale of adventure and love complete with giants, an evil prince, and lots of swinging swords. An all-star cast including Cary Elwes as Westley, Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya, and Robin Wright as the Princess Bride make this romantic comedy adventure a classic family movie for all ages.
  9. Big” Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) makes a wish at a magical carnival machine to be "big." The next day he wakes with the body of an adult, but he's still just a 12-year-old kid who must now face the world of adults. A wonderful supporting cast includes Elizabeth Perkins as Susan, and Robert Loggia as MacMillian.
  10. Field of Dreams” An unusual story of an Iowa corn farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) who hears voices telling him “build it and they will come.” He destroys part of his corn field to build a baseball diamond, despite opposition and criticism, and ghostly baseball players show up. Amy Madigan plays Annie Kinsella, Ray's supportive wife. Nominated for three Academy Awards.
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