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We love a good musical at Bach to Baby! There's no better way of getting your kids excited about singing, dancing and music. While you might have to wait until your children are a little older before taking them to a full-blown stage musical, they'll love watching musical films on the small screen with you at home, or even in the cinema. And the great thing about musicals is that they are usually good fun for the adults too.
Bach to Baby's favourite films in this genre range from classics like Singing in the Rain, to the latest CGI wonders such as The Lion King. We've given age recommendations for these films, and picked our favourite songs from each movie. All of the songs mentioned are in our special Spotify playlist. Listen now and let the fun begin!
A gauche but spirited young woman becomes a governess to seven unruly children in Austria. Through music and kindness she tames the children and wins their love. She also manages to the do the same to the stern but manly father, a heart-broken widower, despite the intentions of a rich widow.
But the film is so much more than the storyline; Julie Andrews is beyond compare as Maria and the rest of the cast turn out to be perfect as well. There is a reason why TSOM is shown almost every Christmas - if you can get beyond cynicism, this is a truly heart-warming film.
In this Arabian tale, the hero Aladdin transforms from a lowly street rat into a wealthy prince, with the help of a lamp-dwelling genie.
There is a pantomime villain, Jafar, and Aladdin's love interest, Princess Jasmine, and a whole swathe of great songs.
In the film, our protagonist faces not only physical dangers, but moral ones too. We are happy to say that he eventually defeats both types of peril and wins the hand of the girl.
Whether you see the original 1994 cartoon or the 2019 live action film you are in for a treat. Young Simba 'just can't wait to be king'. But when his father is killed by his uncle and he is banished to the badlands, he gives up his rightful position at the top of the food chain. It takes his child (cub) hood girlfriend to bring him back to his senses.
The songs are spine-chilling, the supporting cast are amazing. An absolute must for the whole family.
Belle is a beautiful, intelligent woman, out of place in a provincial French village. She not only has to manage her absent-minded father, but also fend off the attentions of the local lothario Gaston. If this is not enough, she is then imprisoned by a cursed Beast who lives in a dilapidated castle.
You'll be glad to hear that love eventually wins and the Beast becomes a handsome prince and a much better man than he was before his beast-stage.
The live action remake (2017) has some slightly scary parts such as when Belle is attacked by wolves but the 1991 cartoon is suitable for the whole family.
Orphan Oliver goes to London to seek his fortune. He is soon in a criminal gang (although he appears so high-minded that he doesn't seem to notice the thieving all around). Oliver Reed is at his brooding best as Bill Sikes, a violent burglar.
After a series of adventures and surprising coincidences, he is eventually rescued by an elderly relative, Mr Brownlow.
The overall themes of the film, the length (it is 2.5 hours long) and the fact that at the end, Sikes murders his girlfriend Nancy just off-screen, mean that we think this is better for older children.
The film that launched a thousand princesses!
Princess Elsa is locked away to stop her inadvertently freezing everyone around her. Eventually her true nature breaks free, she freezes the town and escapes to the mountains to live in an ice palace ('The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway').
It takes her brave but clutzy sister Anna to bring her back down to unfreeze the town. 'Let It Go' is a beast of an anthem, almost as overplayed as it is good.
Another oldy but goody. Gene Kelly is a silent movie actor who has to learn to speak on camera as cinema technology develops. His squeaky-voiced leading lady can't manage this and has to be dubbed by Kelly's new girlfriend. It all unravels publicly and satisfyingly at the screening of the new movie.
Kelly sings, dances and acts his way to screen immortality and there is quite a lot of comment on celebrity culture that wouldn't be out of place today.
Nothing that younger children shouldn't see, but may be enjoyed more by slightly older kids.