The Best Family Movies of the 1970s: Feel Like a (Groovy) Kid Again

The best family movies of the 1970s ran the gamut from cartoons to witches to body-snatching (sorta, at least). In case you missed any of those gems — or just want to relive the warm, fuzzy, zany moments — here are some of the best family films the Disco Decade had to offer …

The Aristocats (1970)

A cat named Duchess and her three kittens live in Paris with their butler, Edgar. When the family fortune is lost due to a bad investment, they are forced to flee for their lives from France to escape Madame Adelaide’s plan for some aristocratic catnip.

Snoopy Come Home (1972)

When everyone’s favorite beagle leaves home after a beach outing and in search of a friend, his family is heartbroken. Snoopy’s adventures and mishaps take him to many states of emotion, from sadness to joy as he faces his fears–and finds the true meaning of love in the process.

Robin Hood (1973)

This Disney film follows the adventures of Robin Hood and his band of merry men as they fight to bring justice to England.

Pete’s Dragon (1977)

A live-action/animated film about Pete, an orphan boy who was raised by a dragon named Elliott on the Oregon coast in the 1920s. When Pete needs help, he meets Nora, a girl whose father is a forest ranger.

The Black Stallion (1979)

In this film based on the novel of the same name by Walter Farley, Alec Ramsay is the new owner of a wild stallion in post-war France.

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

A group of kids form an outlaw club and embark on adventures with their horse, Skippity Doo, and dog, Butch Cassidy. They eventually save the town from two mean land developers who plan to destroy the town.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

An affluent couple’s marriage falls apart when the husband decides to leave his wife and young son without warning. The wife then tries to raise their son as a single parent, with mixed results.

The Swiss Family Robinson (1975)

An adaptation of the book by Johann David Wyss in which a family becomes shipwrecked on an island and must fend for themselves. Starring John Mills, Dorothy McGuire.

The Black Stallion (1979)

An orphaned 15-year old American teen is sent to live with his uncle in France for the summer where he befriends Nora, whose father is a forest ranger. The two become best friends after the American learns how to ride the Black, an untamed stallion.

The Little Prince (1974)

A little boy from another planet meets a pilot who crashes near his home and stays with him for several days in order to repair his plane and return home. The story follows their adventure together as they draw closer through shared experiences, the little prince telling the pilot about his planet and life there.

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

A young boy wins a golden ticket to the factory where chocolates are made and finds himself in an adventure that includes meeting strange people, catching glimpses of odd things happening behind-the-scenes, and also touring through seemingly endless rooms full of treats.

Charlotte’s Web (1973)

Wilbur the pig is saved from a slaughterhouse only by Charlotte, who starts to weave words about his life onto her web.

The Cat From Outer Space (1978)

A cat crashes on Earth and learns that he’s developed superhuman powers. He sets out to use them for good–and it seems like a pretty sweet gig until he accidentally sets off a chain reaction which causes the Earth to be destroyed.

Tom Sawyer Island (1974)

Keying on Mark Twain’s famous stories of childhood adventures, the attraction features a Fort with cannons where kids can fire blanks, tunnels to explore and the Haunted Mansion.

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)

Bugs Bunny and his best friend, Roadrunner, are up to their usual antics in this animated feature-length film that follows them on an exciting adventure at home in Acme Acres.

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