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Banned by Mussolini, this film is considered a comedic masterwork. The Marx Brothers are the epitome of anarchy: rude, insulting, pranksterish, and loyal to no one. Laugh and enjoy -- and if some of the military madness and government misfits remind you of today's leaders, discuss with the kids.

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The young Velvet Brown (Elizabeth Taylor) bonds with Mi Taylor (Mickey Rooney) over a love of horses. Messages about dreams, risk, determination, and honesty, with two strong female role models who succeed in sports previously closed to women: long-distance swimming and British horse-jumping. 

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This tender, enchanting, mostly silent short film about a red balloon that befriends a little French boy is a rare and invigorating pleasure. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, the Cannes Grand Prize, and the 1968 Best Film of the Decade Educational Film Award. 

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Errol Flynn stars as Lord Robin of Locksley, who's enraged at the mistreatment of his people. What's fascinating about this version is the distinctly 1930s American sensibility -- it's less a sweet and cartoonish fairy tale than it is a thinly veiled attack on capitalism and an absentee leader. 

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Pauline Kael said this "may be the greatest children's movie ever made." After a shipwreck, only Alec and a horse survive. Back at home, the horse runs to a farm, where Alec meets a trainer (Mickey Rooney). They enter the formerly wild horse in a race. Breathtakingly beautiful, genuinely magic.

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Common Sense Tips

Common Sense Tips

  • Ask your kids why these movies have lasting value. How are they still relevant, and how are they not?
  • Discuss the historical context of Gandhi. What was his goal? What do you think about his methods?