Family Movies News

The Final Frontier: Space Movies for Kids

I’ve been watching the previews for Gravity, and while I’m excited about seeing the movie, there is this feeling of squirmy claustrophobia to the previews that’s both fascinating and nerve-racking. 

The previews, at the very least, have piqued my daughter’s interest, particularly because she loves the chance to see a movie involving a woman astronaut. However, I’m concerned the PG-13 movie will be too scary for her. So instead, she and I have been reviewing other movies about space that are more suitable for her seven-year-old mind. 
It turns out there are plenty of fun space movies out there that are perfect for you and your kids to watch together. Here are a few I plan to show mine.
We’re going to start with a movie that she was too young to see when it came out – Wall-E. I actually took her to see it when she was two years old, but she got too restless in the theater, we had to leave. I love the simple love story between the two robots, and the overall message about preserving the Earth -- although there may have to be a bit of a chat about why all the humans in the movie are on the “large” size.
Next up, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (which, of course, was just called Star Wars when we were kids). I was only a few years older than my daughter is now when I saw the first Star Wars movie, and while I’m not a huge fan of the series (Star Trek is my thing), Star Wars is so deeply embedded in our pop culture, it's a must-see for kids. Besides, Princess Leia is one of the finest female action heroes on-screen.
As we were chatting about why kids don’t go into space, I remembered Flight of the Navigator. Featuring an adorably young Sarah Jessica Parker and a 12-year-old boy (played by Joey Kramer) who takes over an alien spaceship, there’s no way my daughter won’t love this movie. Plus, it involves time travel, and as Doctor Who fans, this is right up our alley.
I’m also eager to show my daughter Zathura, a movie I saw in the theater before she was born and just loved. Directed by Jon Favreau, it features a pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart as the big sister of two brothers who begin playing a board game that hurtles their house into space. This movie is the right mix of drama, mayhem and danger. If you loved Jumanji, you will just adore Zathura.
Last of all is the absolute awesomeness of SpaceCamp. While this movie had the unfortunate problem of being released only a few months after the Challenger space shuttle disaster of 1986, it is the perfect movie for kids interested in space. It’s centered around a group of teenagers who attend a space camp (modeled after the real U.S. space camp in Alabama), only to accidentally end up on the space shuttle Atlantis. It’s a great movie with strong girl characters, too.
Do you have a favorite kids movie about space? 
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