So you're taking a road trip with the whole family. You've played the license plate game, you've run through every podcast and Kidz Bop CD you have, and if you have to hear "Let It Go" one more time, you might make good on that time-old threat to "turn this car around."
Instead of all the tired car games, why not fuel everyone's ride with the spirit of adventure? Welcome to the new age of car trips, where you can travel with your favorite movies and TV shows and no longer be haunted by the refrain: "WE'RE BORED!"
To get you started, we've rounded up nine classic adventure movies that will transport your kids from the backseat into a land of imagination.
1. The Rescuers (1977)
LIFE LESSON: Sometimes, it's the littlest guys that win.
It's definitely not one of the more well-known Disney flicks, but it's a classic tale of adventure. A little girl named Penny sends a message in a bottle and it ends up in the hands of the Rescue Aid Society, a group of mice in the basement of the United Nations building dedicated to, well, rescuing those in need. It turns out that Penny has been kidnapped and it's up to the adorable Miss Bianca and her beau, Bernard, to save the day.
2. The Goonies (1985)
LIFE LESSON: When kids stick together, they can do anything.
A ragtag group of kids are trying to save their homes from being demolished, and they discover an old Spanish map. Pirate-themed adventures (and a lot of hijinks) ensue as they hunt for the treasure of the storied One-Eyed Willie. It's a rambunctious tale with a typically Spielbergian ending, but in the end, it's about finding friendship in the unlikeliest of places.
3. Finding Nemo (2003)
LIFE LESSON: Never, ever give up.
A feast for the eyes and a delight for both adults and kids, this film traces the journey of Marlin the clownfish as he searches for his abducted son, the adorable Nemo. It's a long trip for Nemo, from sea to tank and back again, and it's as funny (see Ellen DeGeneres' Dory) as it is heartbreakingly sweet.
4. Where The Wild Things Are (2009)
LIFE LESSON: Sometimes, a trip through your wild and wooly imagination is the best trip of all.
This film expands on the beloved book by Maurice Sendak, a 338-word tale of a young boy named Max who has a penchant for wolf suits. In movie form, this tale takes off on breathtaking flights of fancy: the Wild Things are wonderfully differentiated, and we get some scene-setting glimpses into the root of Max's loneliness. It's a sensitive adaptation that will tug at your heartstrings.
5. Neverending Story (1984)
LIFE LESSON: Reading is actually pretty good; dragons are AMAZING.
Loosely adapted from a 1979 novel from Michael Ende, this is the story of an unusually named kid (Bastian) who is getting bullied at school. But then, as with most things in life, a magic bookstore changes everything. Filled with imaginative characters and unforgettable imagery, this epic film will keep your kids glued to their (car) seats.
AGE RANGE: 8+
YOUR KIDS WILL BE QUOTING: "STARCHILD!"
6. Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989)
LIFE LESSON: Your family might be a little nutty, but you wouldn't want it any other way.
Seemingly taken straight from the brain of an actual child, this film is definitely silly, and your kids might laugh at the rudimentary special effects. But it's all part of the fun. Wayne Szalinski is a wacky inventor who accidentally shrinks the kids with a ray gun and takes them out with the trash. Expect giant insect battles, accidental baths in giant bowls of Cheerios, and harrowing rainstorms brought on by sprinklers.
AGE RANGE: 6+
YOUR KIDS WILL BE QUOTING: "Honey ... I shrunk the kids."
7. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
LIFE LESSON: There's no place like home.
Seventy-five years later, this classic film still hasn't lost its charm. Judy Garland's version of "Over the Rainbow" still soars, the change from black-and-white to Technicolor is still striking, and the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion remain as lovable as ever.
AGE RANGE: 6+
YOUR KIDS WILL BE QUOTING: "I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dog, too!"
8. The Sandlot (1993)
LIFE LESSON: Don't judge a book by its cover, especially if it's James Earl Jones.
It's that age-old summer tale: the baseball goes over the fence and lands in the yard of your "scary neighbor." It's a film that is universally beloved by most kids: it has sports, it has friendship, it has hijinks and is immensely quotable. And it also teaches kids a valuable lesson -- if you start with telling the truth, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.
9. Jumanji (1995)
LIFE LESSON: Life is indeed a game, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take it seriously.
Two children, Peter and Judy, play a board game and discover that it has VERY real consequences. As they play, they are subject to all sorts of danger -- stampedes, earthquakes, giant spiders -- and end up meeting a man who has been trapped in the game since 1969. Together, they face danger and attempt to finish the game to reverse all the consequences it had years ago. It's a suspenseful film, but perhaps a bit scary for the younger ones.
With the Hopper from DISH, you can transfer recorded TV to your mobile device, so you can watch movies and shows on the road, even without an Internet connection.