My son is eighteen months old now, and he loves listening to stories, turning the pages of books, listening to music, and watching cartoons. I’m not sure how much of any of it he understands, but it’s exciting to watch him experience those things.
A colleague recently told me how he was watching through all of the Star Wars movies with his eight-year-old daughters, hoping to bring them to the theater to see The Rise of Skywalker. He managed to catch it with them just last week, and he said their reactions and excitement in the theater was well worth it.
That got me thinking about the types of stories — movies, books, TV — I’m looking forward to sharing with my son. So here’s my top 10.
Top 10 Stories to Share with my Son
1. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
We can probably just call this one the Tolkien lore, because I absolutely love these stories, and the LotR films still rank among my favorites ever. The music, the acting, the conematography, the world-building. They’re basically perfect.
The Hobbit is my favorite book, so I can’t wait to read that to him for the first time… maybe in a few years.
2. Harry Potter
I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books, nor seen the movies, which for someone of my generation, is basically blasphemy.
I didn’t willfully avoid these stories, they just weren’t on my radar as a kid, and I wanted to read the books before watching the movies. As time passed, I realized how cool it could be to experience these with my son without either of us really knowing what would happen.
So, I promise I will get to them. Just give me a few more years.
I’ve written about the Redwall series more than once here. I’ve even gone back to a few of my favorites recently. This series marked an important transition in my reading life. My mom started reading these books to me when I was little, and I grew up listening to her tell them.
Then, I started reading them for myself, trying to understand their meaning and following the vivid imagery in my mind without being able to stop and ask my mom to explain something.
I hope Nugget enjoys them half as much as I have.
4. The Lion King (obviously the original)
This is easily my favorite Disney movie and still ranks among my favorite movies of all time. I was eight when this came out, and I still remember the Saturday-morning specials on the Disney channel about the innovative CGI techniques they used to create the herd of wildebeest. This movie is flawless.
I haven’t had the stomach to watch the “live action” version.
5. Star Wars
Okay, of course Star Wars had to make an appearance on this list. I first saw Return of the Jedi at my grandpa’s house in the third grade. It came on TV while we were hanging out, and he noticed I was interested in the Ewoks.
I’m still a little miffed that I won’t get to see Daisy Ridley as Rey (my favorite SW character) anymore, but I’ll always come back to these.
6. Avatar: The Last Airbender
This is probably one of my favorite cartoon series of all time. I actually didn’t watch it until years after it aired, but the storytelling is fantastic, compelling while being kid-friendly, and hilarious. The action is also incredible, and it has some great voice work.
7. Samurai Jack
This ranks right up with Last Airbender for me, but I actually watch the original series as it aired on Cartoon Network. Show creator Genndy Tartakovsky is an incredible storyteller, and the action and hero’s epic-style plot of this show fueled my imagination for years.
8-10. Quick Hits
The Rescuers Down Under, Moana, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Honestly, I haven’t watched Rescuers in at least 15 years, but it was absolutely a favorite of mine as a kid.
Moana is my favorite among the newer Disney films.
And I know, the MCU is a little bit much for a young kid, but I’ll hold out on watching these with my son until he’s at least… eight?
It will be cool to see which of them hold up after so long, and if the MCU is still going strong in the late 2020’s.
That’s my list right now, and I really just want to go watch and read all of these things right now.
What stories do you want to share with your kids? Or what stories have you already loved sharing with your kids?