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50 BEST SUMMER MOVIES!
Summer is made for days at the pool, the beach or summer camp—or, when none of those is possible, for watching movies about hitting the pool, going to the beach or staying at summer camp. With that in mind, here’s a list of the 50 best summer movies for kids, a selection of films set during the year’s haziest days or in tropical locales ideal for summer viewing.
Some of the coming-of-age tales mentioned here may be more appropriate for older preteens and teens; when that applies, that is duly noted. Also, with one exception, no R-rated flicks make the cut. Kids, when you’re a little older, you’ll get to watch Meatballs and National Lampoon’s Vacation.
‘THE PARENT TRAP’ (1961)
This lands at No. 1 because it meets the classic kids’ summer movie requirements: it’s partly set at summer camp, it’s light and it’s innocent enough to be enjoyed by a variety of ages. And for those young ones who can’t be convinced to watch a movie from the 1960s, there’s always the 1998 remake.
‘STAND BY ME’ (1986)
Yes, this is the one R-rated movie on this list, which earned that MPAA rating because of foul language and the plotline’s preoccupation with finding the body of a dead child. If your middle schoolers and high schoolers seem mature enough to handle it, though, do show them this sublime coming-of-age film; watching it has become a necessary rite of passage in itself.
‘THE MUPPET MOVIE’ (1979)
We don’t necessarily think of this as a summer movie, but with its road trip, sunny skies and campout featuring the vocal stylings of Gonzo, it actually qualifies as a pretty great one in our book.
‘FINDING NEMO’ (2003)
Given the focus on Nemo’s first day of school, it seems fair to assume the greatest clown fish movie of all time doesn’t take place during the summer. But with those vibrant coral reefs and all that beautiful ocean blue, summer sure seems like a great time to revisit Marlin and his flipper-challenged son.
‘THE GOONIES’ (1985)
It’s a film that’s still enormously beloved, and a reminder of a time when summer was all about searching for buried treasure with kids named Chunk and Data.
‘THE SANDLOT’ (1993)
A coming-of-age flick about boys who spend the summer of 1962 trying to hit line drives and catch pop-flies, The Sandlot has some fervent fans. Presumably some of those fans will relish the opportunity to share this comedy with their kids.
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