Bored kids over Labor Day weekend? Watch these movies

The heat’s on for four long days, so why not chill in a cold movie theater? Your kids will love this last summer indulgence before school begins.



This delightfully ghoulish movie is one of the most entertaining kids’ movies we’ve seen. It’s funny, sweet and has zombies. ‘Nuff said. Third graders and up will love ParaNorman‘s sentimental story about a kid who sees ghosts.

Ice Age

Ice Age: Continental Drift

This animated adventure movie will have kids laughing while learning a lesson about the meaning of friendship and the importance of family. The best moment of the film is when Granny Sloth (Wanda Sykes) has a hallucination and sees a hunky sloth that looks a lot like male model Fabio.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

The Odd Life of Timothy Green

By now, you’ve probably seen the YouTube video of the two brothers crying over how sad this movie is. But that’s only one way to look at this fantasy where boys grow in the garden and disappear after four seasons. See what your kids think about Timothy’s atypical tale.

Okay, so you don’t want to go to the movie theater? Get these great films from Netflix:

A Red Balloon

The Red Balloon

At 34 minutes, this French treat is the perfect length to keep the younger ones interested. I showed it to some third and fourth graders recently and they were dazzled by the balloon that seemed to have a mind of its own. I was shocked by how much they laughed. With almost no dialogue, The Red Balloon is visual storytelling at its best — and you can stream it.

Mickey Mouse sorcerer's apprentice


Made in 1940, this animated Disney film shows the true artistry of Walt. Wild, weird and beautiful, this classic film will blow your young ones’ minds in a wonderful, creative way. Watch out, it may make you nostalgic for hand-drawn animation. Ah, the good old days.

Yellow Submarine Stamp

Yellow Submarine

If your kids don’t know The Beatles‘ music, this movie is a perfect introduction. I loved this movie as a kid. I remember my father playing the record from the movie on his turntable and singing along. It delighted him that he and his little girl could share this fun musical experience together. How many kids’ movies do dads sing along to these days?



Yes, that perky piglet with a dream to be a sheep dog — or at least not to end up on a dinner table. This charming movie was nominated for an Academy Award and will no doubt have your kids rooting for the cutest porcine protagonist ever put on film.

ParaNorman photo credit: Focus Features
The Odd Life of Timothy Green photo credit: Disney
Ice Age: Continental Drift photo credit: 20th Century Fox
The Red Balloon photo credit: Getty Images
Mickey Mouse Sorcerer’s Apprentice photo credit: iStock
Yellow Submarine Stamp photo credit: iStock
Piglet photo credit: iStock