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Last year, we created a running list of musicals the kids and I wanted to watch together. We are about half way through this list and I thought I’d share with you all the ones we have seen that we loved.
As with any movie or media, some shows are more suitable to teens or older kids. Some subject matter is more of an adult theme. Please double check anything before you watch it to make sure it matches up with your values and what your children can handle.
This is not an exhaustive lists of the best musicals. These are some of the ones that we watched in the past year and my kids enjoyed.
Musicals to See Live or on a Screen:
- Fiddler on the Roof — This is a classic! Originally on broadway in 1964, the movie version was filmed in 1971. The story is about a Jewish family living in Russia at the turn of the 20th Century. A father, who wishes to follow tradition, and his five daughters who want to marry for love. Probably best for a slightly older audience (maybe ages 11 and up only because of attention span and understanding of the content.) Some of my favorite songs from this are “If I Were a Rich Man,” and “Sunrise Sunset.” Watch it now —>>>https://amzn.to/302lBin
- Bye Bye Birdie — This one was on broadway in 1960 and made it to film in 1963. The plot is set in 1958 and it surrounds a popular singer “Conrad Birdie,” being drafted into the army. Some of our favorite songs from Bye Bye Birdie are “Put on a Happy Face,” and “Kids”. Although this is rated G, it contained some innuendo and a lot of high school “crushes”, nothing too bad but maybe better for the slightly older crowd. The plot is cute and it features Dick Van Dyke! Watch it here —->>>https://amzn.to/2LAocZ3
- The Sound of Music — A Rogers and Hammerstein original, this is a classic with songs like, “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” and “My Favorite Things.” I grew up singing these songs and more from this beautiful show. This musical is based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers: A retired naval officer and widower, his seven children, and Maria the governess who eventually marries. It was set in Austria, 1938, right before the Nazis annexed Austria. A mesmerizing story. We love the 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews —–>>>https://amzn.to/2Qez03c and the British 2015 live version is fun, as well. —–>>>https://amzn.to/2LvFdn1
- The Greatest Showman–An amazing tale of P.T. Barnum and his circus. Starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron, this 2017 musical does not disappoint. We have the album on replay in our house as our dance party music. “The Greatest Show,” is the personal favorite of our 2 year old who sings and dances to it repeatedly. “This is Me,” “Rewrite the Stars,” and “From Now On,” are personal favorites. If you haven’t seen this one yet, it’s time. Watch now —–>>>https://amzn.to/2O3MZ9
- Annie (1999) — This is a very family friendly version of Annie starring Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan. We probably watched this a dozen times last year. Featuring the classic songs which originally appeared on Broadway. If your kids haven’t watched this, they’ll be singing Maybe, Tomorrow, and It’s the Hard Knock Life, in no time! Watch it here–>>>https://amzn.to/2NfG9hp
- Annie (2014) — Normally I’m more old fashioned, but this new version of the old classic “Annie” completely stole my heart. It features a story based on the original, instead of an orphanage, the setting is a foster home with a especially mean Hannigan (played by Cameron Diaz). Jamie Foxx plays the billionaire who eventually adopts Annie (Quvenzhane Wallis). The songs you remember have been updated. Its fun to sing and dance to this remake. Watch it here —>>>https://amzn.to/30kbZf1
- Mary Poppins — It’s Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. In this 1964 original of Mary Poppins your kids will be mesmerized by A Spoonful of Sugar, Chim Chim Cheree, Step in Time, and Let’s Go Fly a Kite. This is a classic. Watch it now —->>>https://amzn.to/309YrXC
- Mary Poppins Returns — It’s the 2018 sequel to the original Mary Poppins and it absolutely stole our hearts. If you haven’t seen this one yet, you can’t miss out. It truly keeps the spirit of the 1964 Mary Poppins but with a new cast and all new songs that are reminiscent of the original score. It’s truly delightful —–>>>https://amzn.to/301saBR
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — This is a fantastic musical with a fun adventurous storyline that children are sure to love. I watched this one over and over again as a kid. It also stars Dick Van Dyke (one of my favorites)! Watch it now —->>>https://amzn.to/305S20o
- Wizard of Oz — This musical gives me the warm fuzzies. When I was a little girl I memorized every line from this show. I’m not joking. I was completely obsessed. Not to mention it was made in 1939, it’s timeless, and stars Judy Garland. This musical is legendary and needs to be part of our repertoire for every young and aspiring actor or musician. Watch it here —>>>https://amzn.to/2LwToIj
- Newsies — The 1992 version. A favorite of my son’s. Such fun songs! Watch here —->>>https://amzn.to/30iHZjM
- West Side Story — My kids absolutely loved this. This has some heavy content for younger kids but it is a classic love story and should be seen (at the proper age) by a fan of musical theater. Watch here —>>>https://amzn.to/2LPCyn4
- The Music Man — It’s a must see! It’s packed with favorite songs and a cute storyline. Watch here —->>>https://amzn.to/2O4Rssu
Musicals to See Live:
- Cinderella — The classic fairytale made into a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. This is a must see. We loved seeing this one live!
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat — An amazing show full of playful songs! We saw it live this past year and my kids were enthralled.
- The Little Mermaid — Delightfully fun to watch. With characters like the frightened Sebastian and the hilarious Scuttle, kids everywhere are sure to enjoy the live version of their favorite animated movie.
- You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown — Such a cute storyline with Charlie, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the gang, this is a funny show that kids will love.