On Monday, February 21, Hallmark Channel is showing three Disney classics back-to-back as part of a President’s Day special. Since the Billings kids are out of school through Monday, they can enjoy a day of fun in our freshly fallen snow, followed by some hot chocolate, and topped off by an afternoon of experiencing some of Disney’s finest films in their original form.
Your children are probably familiar with at least two of these movies because of the remakes that have been released, but there’s something special about the originals that everyone should experience at least once.
To kick off their President’s Day special, Hallmark is starting with the 1975 version of Escape to Witch Mountain at 1:00 p.m. Followed by Swiss Family Robinson at 3:00 p.m., and capping this Disney time warp off with the original The Parent Trap starring Hayley Mills at 6:00 p.m.
Escape to Witch Mountain
Released in 1975 with a run time of 97 minutes, it is rated G.
“Orphans Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and Tia (Kim Richards) use their superpowers to find a place called Witch Mountain — escaping from the nefarious clutches of Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland) and Lucas Deranian (Donald Pleasence), who are posing as loving relatives and trying to exploit the kids’ special abilities. Jason O’Day (Eddie Albert), a friendly loner, gives the kids a helping hand in Disney’s adventure classic. John Hough directs.”
Admittedly, this is one Disney movie that this writer hasn’t watched countless times, but a classic nonetheless and if you’re not able to catch it on the Hallmark Channel, you could add it and the most recent remake starring Dwayne Johnson to your Netflix queue and – borrowing from an earlier Family Night idea – turn it into Movie Review Night. Plan for a double feature and have each family member award ratings to each movie; perhaps writing reviews for each in your family journal.
- Family Night: Breakfast for dinner
- Family Night: Preserving the memories
Swiss Family Robinson
Released in 1960, it has a run time of 126 minutes, and is rated G.
“After being shipwrecked, the Robinson family is marooned on an island inhabited only by an impressive array of wildlife. In true pioneer spirit, they quickly make themselves at home but soon face a danger even greater than nature: dastardly pirates. A rousing adventure suitable for the whole family, this Disney adaptation of the classic Johann Wyss novel stars Dorothy McGuire and John Mills as Mother and Father Robinson.”
Unlike the other two movies airing on Monday, Swiss Family Robinson has never been remade, though it’s rumored that a Disney remake is coming our way in 2012.
There’s something utterly fantastic about this particular Disney movie. For children, just the idea of getting to live in a tree house…Well, enough said. Not to mention the additional connection viewers have the potential to make by visiting the infamous tree house at Disney World. It’s spectacular.
- Memories of the Magic Kingdom: Adventureland by Debra Peterson, Disney Travel Examiner
This Disney classic is also available to add to your Netflix queue.
The Parent Trap
Released in 1961, with a run time of 129 minutes, it is also rated G.
“Hayley Mills takes on four starring roles in this double feature about mistaken identity. In The Parent Trap, a teenage Mills plays identical twins separated at birth trying to reunite their parents. She reprises the roles in The Parent Trap II. Released 25 years later, the sequel follows one sister’s attempt to help her divorced sibling find love by impersonating her on a date with an attractive widower (Tom Skerritt).”
-Netflix (When renting through Netflix you get a two for one)
Having watched both the Hayley Mills original version and the remake of this Disney classic starring Lindsay Lohan, both have their charms. Of course you and your family can decide for yourselves which version you like best pulling your own Parent Trap double feature if you aren’t able to catch Hallmark’s offering.
Enjoy your Disney movie day and your family!
If you have a Family Night/Family Movie Night idea that you’d like to see featured in this weekly column, you can:
- Leave a comment below
- E-mail me
- Find me on Facebook
To be sure to catch all of the Billings Early Childhood/Parenting Examiner’s articles, click on the Subscribe button above.
Thanks for reading!