Five-Star Family DVDs

Child's media expert names his top ten picks.

Five-Star Family DVDs 1 - 6

1. E.T.
(Universal Studios Home Video, PG, ages 6 and up)
This 1982 film is the ultimate boy-and-his-pet story. While the DVD extras are nice, it's the magic touch of Steven Spielberg that makes the movie sublime.

2. Where the Wild Things Are... and Other Maurice Sendak Stories (Scholastic Entertainment, ages 3 to 8)
This beautifully animated version of three Sendak classics is one of the finest made-for-video children's titles ever produced. The DVD includes a Spanish version of Where the Wild Things Are.

3. The Yearling
(Warner Home Video, ages 6 and up)
Based on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this often-neglected 1946 movie tells the poignant story of a poor farm family in 1870s Florida. A fun DVD extra is the Oscar-winning 1946 Tom and Jerry short, "The Cat Concerto."

4. Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
(Disney, G, ages 3 and up)
The smart heroine, brilliantly conceived songs, and to-die-for animation are among the many top-notch elements that make this Disney's best animated feature of the past dozen years.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia
(BBC/Home Vision Entertainment, ages 5 and up)
The best treatment of C.S. Lewis's seven-book fantasy series, this live-action version is an intelligent rendering of the tale of four British children in a battle between good and evil.

6. The Thief of Baghdad
(MGM, ages 6 and up)
One of the greatest adventure fantasies ever filmed, this 1940 Arabian Nights fable tells the colorful tale of an escaped genie and Sabu, the elephant boy. It's a wonderful alternative to the more sterile hardware and special effects of the most recent Star Wars movies.

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