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13 Classic 1970s Kids Movies Deserve an Encore

If you were a kid in the 70s, you no doubt remember skateboards and Pet Rocks and disco and your dad’s platform shoes, most of which you *wish* you could forget. But 1970s kids movies were a different story — the roster was chock full of classics that made an indelible mark on a generation. Here are 13 of the best children’s films from the 1970s you’ll want to watch again and again.

The Aristocats (1970)

A 1970s children’s movie about a family of aristocratic cats that are kidnapped and then rescued by their butler, who has been transformed into a cat himself. The Aristocats became the highest grossing animated film for several years after its release, until it was surpassed by Disney’s Robin Hood in 1973.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

A Disney musical film from 1971, based on the book by Mary Norton. The plot is about three children who travel to an island during World War II in order to find a magical bed that can tell stories and help them defeat dark forces of evil trying to take over their country.

Benji (1974)

A 1974 movie about Benji, a stray dog who gets adopted by a boy and his family. The film was remade in 1996 starring Sean Astin as the boy, but it does not hold up to the original version.

Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

A 1974 family film based on the novel by Wilson Rawls, about a boy’s quest to find two hunting dogs.

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

Starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway, the Apple Dumpling Gang featured three orphans setting out to find their fortune and end up in the wild west, befriending a gang of outlaws.

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

Two children with strange powers escape from a secret government laboratory to seek freedom and their unknown parents. They end up at an old inn in 1970s Los Angeles where they are tracked down by two men who want to capture them for future study.

The Bad News Bears (1976)

In The Bad News Bears, Walter Matthau plays Morris Buttermaker, an alcoholic former minor league baseball player who is drafted by his home town to coach its Little League team which has never won a game.

The Shaggy D.A. (1976)

A young boy’s zany schemes to save his friend from a long prison sentence inspire him to take up law himself. It turns out that the D in Shaggy stands for Dumbbell, and he soon becomes California’s youngest district attorney with hilarious results.

Freaky Friday (1977)

A teenage girl magically switches bodies with her mother after wishing for the adventure.

Pete’s Dragon (1977)

A live-action version of the classic Disney tale follows Pete (Sean Marshall), a young boy who lives in the forest and has adventures with his dragon, Elliott. But when hunters destroy their home, they are forced to flee for safety, leading them into an adventure in which Pete must learn how much he is loved by people – especially those he has never met.

Watership Down (1978)

An animated adventure based on the novel by Richard Adams. A band of rabbits leaves their warren after a natural disaster and sets off for what they believe will be safety away from humans, only to find that the world is more perilous than anything they could imagine.

The Black Stallion (1979)

A spirited Arabian horse is captured in North Africa and brought to America, where he is taken in by a young boy and taught some of the finer points for racing. With their combined skills, they develop into one of the most formidable racing teams around.

The Muppet Movie (1979)

Kermit the Frog embarks on a cross-country trip to Hollywood in search of success. Along the way, he meets some new friends, including Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy; gets engaged to one special lady (the lovely diva pig); learns that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; and discovers what really matters.

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