Outside the Orchestra: Music Movie Marathon

There are so many amazing films that bring our love of music to the big screen. From biopics, to documentaries, to stories based on true events, movies can be a great way to teach your children about music in a relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for a rainy day, sick day, or low-key night at home, these are our top kid-friendly movies about all things music!

These films have also all been approved for children by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that helps parents and educators make informed decisions about the media and technology we expose to our children.

Coco (2017)

Despite his family’s generations-long ban on music, a young boy named Coco longs to be a musician. Through a mysterious turn of events, Coco eventually finds himself in the Land of the Dead. There he encounters new friends and reconnects with his family’s past in this music-centric film.

The Sound of Music (1965)

Based on the true story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, a widower hires a new caregiver to look after his many children after a difficult time in their lives. The caregiver, played by Julie Andrews, unites the family through music and song in this heartwarming tale set in pre-WWII Austria.

Fantasia 2000 (2000)

While many people consider the original Fantasia to be the pinnacle of music-movies for children, we think it’s predecessor is just as wonderful. Fantasia 2000 features gorgeous animation set to world-renowned classics such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and the last movement of the Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns.

Classical music can be intense, but Fantasia 2000 does an amazing job of honoring the pieces and the children watching them without dramatic scenes that some children find scary in the original.

The Music Man (1962)

A traveling con artist visits the town of River City and convinces the residents to purchase instruments and equipment from him to start a local children’s band. Although they have been lured into a trap, the town unites around the band, music, dance, and the promise of possibility it brings. Eventually the con artist changes his ways and the townspeople are forever changed.

Motown Magic (2018)

Motown Music is actually a TV show, but it’s so great we had to include it on our list. A young boy named Ben who “uses a magic paintbrush to bring the street art of Motown to life.” This upbeat and imaginative story seamlessly weaves in dozens of Motown classics that your little ones will be singing along to in no time.

Do you know a great kid-friendly movie all about music that’s not listed here? We want to know about it! Let us know what you think in the comments. You can also follow our Pinterest page for other recommendations for music-related movies, books, activities, and more.

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