6. Annie (1982)
Want to remind your kids how good they have it? Introduce them to Annie, the scrappy redhead who lives in an orphanage run by bitter lush Miss Hannigan (a brilliant Carol Burnett) while waiting to be adopted. It sounds tragic, but the orphans sing such great songs together–from “It’s a Hard Knock Life” to “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and “Tomorrow.” So don’t worry, it all works out when billionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks realizes Annie is the child he never knew he wanted.
7. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
If you’ve never watched Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece about a boy who befriends an alien accidentally left behind on Earth, know that it is an emotional rollercoaster, and someone is probably going to cry, so definitely stick close to your kids. But once you’ve seen it, E.T. will “be right here” in your heart forever.
8. A Christmas Story (1983)
Nine-year-old Ralphie’s got troubles, from almost shooting his eye out with a B.B. gun to getting his mouth washed out with soap after cursing. But at least he’s not the boy in the schoolyard who gets triple dog dared to lick a frozen flagpole, because that does not go well. This kid-centric holiday classic is hilarious and oh-so-relatable, which is probably why it airs in a constant loop on basic cable every December.
9. Back to the Future (1985)
Crank up the DeLorean to 88 mph, we’re going back in time, kids. This epic time-traveling adventure is pure pleasure, with brilliant performances by Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Christopher Lloyd, a wildly original and quotable script (Great Scott!) and a romantic plot that proves even frumpy middle-aged parents were young once too.
10. The Princess Bride (1987)
Hilarious and utterly charming, The Princess Bride has everything a kid could want: swashbuckling pirates, rodents of unusual size, a fire swamp, a rhyming giant (“anybody want a peanut?”) and a swoony PG love story between feisty beauty Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright), and the dashing Man in Black (Cary Elwes). When the kiddos want to watch it again, just say, “As you wish.”