Movies are a great way to keep your kids entertained while you make dinner, go to the bathroom, or even to just spend a few minutes by yourself in complete silence. However, movies are also extremely beneficial for your children and add a number of positive things to their lives. Yes, not only do movies offer your little ones a break from school or the sometimes dull routine of their daily lives, but they can also learn important human feelings and emotions such as empathy and compassion.
These days, it can be difficult to find the perfect movie for your children to watch, mostly due to the insane amount of choice. So, why not try something a little bit different? For instance, silent movies are a great way to introduce kids to the early days of cinema all while keeping them glued to the screen. Here are 10 silent movies that are great for kids.
10 The Kid (1921)
While The Kid might not be the most famous movie to come out of the Charlie Chaplin cannon, it is most definitely the best. Yes, Chaplin really pulls on his audiences' heartstrings with this one, with the movie actually rather emotional at times. The Kid chronicles Chaplin in his usual Tramp getup, yet this time he decides to raise an abandoned baby all by himself. The movie is great for children for a number of reasons, with Chaplin's slapstick comedy influencing the likes of the popular and children's favorite Mr. Bean. Your kids will be glued to the screen.
9 Safety Last! (1923)
First released in 1923, Safety Last! is mostly famous for its leading man Harold Lloyd, who commits some of the most dangerous stunts ever seen on film. Yes, the movie, which follows the character of Harold (the same name as the actor) undergo a number of large mishaps, is great from start to finish.
The movie was critically praised, with Lloyd in particular highlighted for his death-defying stunts. For instance, one of the most famous scenes shows Lloyd dangling from a large slock on the outside of an even larger skyscraper. In fact, four years earlier, Lloyd lost one thumb and forefinger while attempting a stunt on set.
8 A Trip To The Moon (1902)
If your kids love cinema and want to know more then why not introduce them to the wonders of early cinema. A Trip to the Moon, directed by George Méliès, follows a group of astronomers make their way to the moon and explore the surface. It might sound basic, but for the time it really wasn't. Yes, A Trip to the Moon was one of the first movies to shock audiences all over the world, mostly due to its special effects of the time. First released in 1902, the film industry hadn't seen anything quite like it and were inspired to up their game as a result. In fact, if it wasn't for this movie, there would be no movies at all.
7 The Mask Of Zorro (1920)
For some reason, kids love swords, especially masked men with swords. Yes, swashbucklers are all the rage with little ones, therefore The Mask Of Zorro is perfect for those who love the art of sword fighting. The movie is famous for introducing the character of Zorro to the world, a character that has gone on to star in several more movies over the years. However, it was this movie that really defined the swashbuckling adventure genre, a genre that fits perfectly in a silent environment. Yes, the music and the action is all you need with a movie like this, with kids able to concentrate on the art of the dance rather than the relationships of the characters.
6 Modern Times (1936)
In all honesty, Charlie Chaplin's movies were made for children. Sure, the adult world was just as impressed, but these days, Chaplin is perfect for little ones who just want to watch a funny man who dresses funny doing funny things. Modern Times tells the story of a factory worker who is subjected to a number of awful things throughout his job. As a result, Chaplin's character eventually suffers a nervous breakdown and is sent to the hospital which results in more trauma for the young factory worker. As expected, the movie comes with all sorts of slapstick humor and giggles, but it also has an interesting message that is still quite relevant today.
5 Steamboat, Bill Jr. (1928)
Steamboat, Jr. was first released in 1928 and stars fan-favorite and silent film superstar, Buster Keaton. The movie follows the life of William "Steamboat Bill" Canfield, an owner and captain of a paddle steamer. The paddle steamer has most certainly seen better days, a plot fixture that provides most of the laughs. In fact, the movie is also known for one of Buster Keaton's most dangerous stunts, one which sees an entire house fall on top of the notorious silent movie actor. Thankfully, Keaton is just fine and can be seen posing in the perfect spot to pass through an open attic window instead of being squashed to death.
4 The Kid Brother (1927)
Back in the 1920s, Harold Lloyd was all the rage and was considered as one of the most prominent and important men in Hollywood. In fact, at one point, Lloyd was more famous than silent screen gods, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton. In 1927, Lloyd released The Kid Brother, a movie which unsurprisingly centers around the antics of a kid brother. The film was extremely popular upon its release and is now regarded as Lloyd's best-ever production. It was particularly highlighted for mixing comedy, romance, and drama, something that wasn't so common back then. Yes, your children will love it.
3 The General (1926)
The General is great for kids that love the railway and let's face it, most children do. In fact, the movie was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, a true story about a military raid that happened during the American Civil War in 1862. At the time of its release, the movie had one of the biggest budgets ever supplied by MGM, however, despite huge costs the movie bombed at the box office, forcing Keaton into signing a new restricted contract. Nevertheless, the movie is still hilarious and has recently made a comeback as one of the best American movies ever made.
2 Fantasia (1940)
Fantasia is not your average silent movie, nor is it your average kind of Disney film. Yes, Fantasia, first released in 1940, is now regarded as one of the strangest movies ever made and in some cases a little creepy. However, despite the shortcomings, it is also thought of as groundbreaking. The movie consists of eight animated chapters, all set to famed pieces of classical music. As a result of its weirdness, the movie is now considered to be a cult classic and it can be a great way to introduce different kinds of music to your kids as well as a different kind of Disney film.
1 Big Business (1929)
If your kids haven't seen Laurel and Hardy then you are doing something wrong, seriously. That's right, Laurel and Hardy are every child's dream come true, they are silly, they look funny and awful things keep happening to them. The famed duo stuck around the film industry for a long time, however, they first began in the silent era, churning out slapstick movies for a quick buck. Big Business is probably one of the best from this time, with the movie largely about selling Christmas trees. Yes, although it might not sound funny, it actually really is, with Laurel and Hardy able to make anyone laugh, young or old.