If you're putting together a family gift for relatives–consider a selection of family movies under $5. You can package them up with some popcorn and boxed candy and make a very frugal gift! All of these family movies are currently under $5 at Amazon:
The Iron Giant is one of my family's favorite movies, and I think most people have never heard of it. It's animated but is not a typical children's animated movie; instead it's a complex story that plays out narratively just as a live-action film would. Set in the late '50's, it's the story of a young boy who befriends a giant robot that crashes onto Earth and has to protect him from the government and military. Warning–you will cry at the end.
We love everything from the Aardman Animations studio, and Wallace & Gromit shorts are our favorites. This short film, Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers, won an Academy Award and is done in old-school clay animation (they don't do that anymore!). It's amazing how much communication there is between the dog (Gromit) and his person (Wallace), just by facial expression. The story is hilarious, and you'll watch it over and over.
We're reading Tolkien's The Hobbit to the kids right now, and it's making me want to re-watch all three of the Lord of the Rings films again–they're under $4 each on DVD! I think these are too scary for my kids, but if you have tweens or teens, it's a great film series. Start with The Fellowship of the Ring, then move on to The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
It's old-school, it's the original, and it's the one I love the best. Not only is Gene Wilder wonderful in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, but this is the musical version! You get “The Candy Man,” Wilder singing “Pure Imagination,” and my kids' favorite–the “Oompa Loompa Song.” This is such a fun movie to watch together. If you prefer the recent remake by Tim Burton version starring Johnny Depp, that Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is just $3.99 as well.
I'm now flying my nerd flag nice and high. I love this version of Annie. I love Carol Burnett, I love Tim Curry, and I love Albert Finney. I know the “Tomorrow” song is annoying, but all the others are great. My sisters and I reenacted all the song & dance numbers from this movie many times when we were young. It's part of my childhood, and I will force my children to watch it with me many times while I sing along under my breath.
Have you read the Harry Potter books as a family yet? If so, start into the fabulous film series with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is just $3.99. Several others in the series are $3.99 as well.
Inexpensive movies also make a nice stocking stuffer–if you're shopping for teens or adults, find more movies under $5 at Amazon.
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