CATEGORIES Movie NewsThis week, Steven Spielberg's classic dinosaur thriller "Jurassic Park" gets rereleased in theaters -- in 3D! I vividly remember being in high school when it came out in the summer of 1993 and jumping out of my seat next to my best friends. It was an amazing year in theaters, with a mix of unforgettable Oscar-winning dramas ("Schindler's List," "Philadelphia," "The Piano"), hilarious comedies ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Groundhog Day") and action flicks ("The Firm," "The Fugitive," "In the Line of Fire").
If you've got a tween or teen who has yet to see "Jurassic Park," get yourself to a theater, but if your clan isn't ready for lawyer-gobbling t-rexes and Samuel L. Jackson-chomping velociraptors, take a look at three more family friendly 20-year-old movies.
Animated Classic - "Nightmare Before Christmas" (PG, 1993, 76 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes
Kids Will Love: The stop-motion animated Christmas-meets-Halloween musical is irresistible to kids who will get a kick out of Jack Skellington's home of Halloween Town, all of Danny Elfman's catchy songs, and the sweet romance between Jack and Sally. There are hundreds of reasons to adore this animated masterpiece, and everyone from primary schoolers to parents should love it.
Parents Will Love: What's not to love? It's a tale that's sophisticated and witty enough to please parents but accessible and funny enough to make kids die-hard fans. After you stream it, you'll want to make it a permanent addition to your DVD collection.
Did You Know? Although Tim Burton wrote and produced the movie, he didn't actually direct it. The director, Henry Selick, went on to make the other stop-motion animated films "James and the Giant Peach" and "Coraline."
Sweet Romance - "Sleepless in Seattle" (PG, 1993, 105 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes
Kids Will Love: For kids skirting the double digits, this is a fabulous introduction to romantic comedies, especially because of young star Ross Malinger, who plays Tom Hanks's son, Jonah. This is as much a father-son story as a love story, and it will lead to some great conversations and perhaps even the willingness to see the classic "An Affair to Remember."
Parents Will Love: It's Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in one of the best romantic comedies of all time, written and directed by the inimitable Nora Ephron. Seriously, both actors at their peak of charm making us believe in the magic of "what ifs" and the idea that maybe, just maybe, love is out there waiting for us on top of the Empire State Building. Did You Know? Jason Scwhartzman, of the Coppola family and "Rushmore" fame, auditioned to play young Jonah, but didn't get the part. Also, this is the second of three Ryan-and-Hanks rom coms: "Joe vs. The Volcano" and "You've Got Mail" complete the Tom and Meg trifecta.
Heartfelt Drama - "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (PG-13, 1993, 124 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant
Teens Will Love: Jack Dawson and Captain Jack in a movie together? Absolutely, kids. Johnny Depp plays the titular Gilbert Grape, a young Iowan who has to take care of his mentally challenged little brother (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his hermit of a mom. It's a fine drama for teens and parents to see together (despite a few family fights and kissing scenes).
Parents Will Love: Seeing a young Leo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp is an undeniable treat, especially if you've ever nursed a celebrity crush on one or both actors. They were babies, but they were such accomplished actors -- even that early in their careers. Lasse Hallstrom is known for blurring the line between sentimentality and sincerity, and this drama perfectly blends both, in a tender way. Did You Know? Momma, a morbidly obese, clinically depressed woman, was played by a non-professional actor, Darlene Cates, whom the casting director discovered on the popular daytime talk show "Sally Jessy Raphael."