Generational Gap: 15 Movies Parents Adore, Kids Abhor

All parents have been there: we obsess about movies we loved as a kid, which means our kids will love them too, right? Not always. Sometimes, those films we devoured as children just don't translate to this distracted, indulged generation of low-attention kids. A recent online post shares movies that parents adore but to which kids just say, “Meh.”

1. Harry Potter 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2008) Daniel Radcliffe
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

A forum member noted that they were a teenager when the first movie came out and became a fully-fledged adult by the time the anthology ended. Nowadays, kids regard the series as old. And there I was, thinking all young people loved Harry Potter. Maybe an obsession with books is necessary; however, this generation of kids doesn't read. So there's that.

2. The Muppets

Image Credit: Patrick Wymore – © Disney Enterprises, Inc.

No, all kids love the Muppets, surely? A commenter recalls showing kids at a summer camp Muppet Treasure Island and Mouse Hunt. The kids loved Mouse Hunt but were bored by Muppet Treasure Island. 

3. The Sound of Music (1965) 

sound of music house
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

This movie is pretty divisive, and people of all generations either love it or hate it. The story itself is compelling- a family has to escape Germany through the Alps- but it happens to be a musical, which some can find boring. I can't sit through this film either — but I just don't like musicals.

4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Thankfully, I have yet to meet a child who didn't enjoy E.T., but the following description would just about finish me off. A dad on the forum shared his daughter hated the movie because she didn't like how E.T. looked.

5. Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Dads will persist in making their kids experience their sense of joy when seeing a movie for the first time, but it rarely works. I remember 1993's groundbreaking Jurassic Park, the huge scale of the CGI, the absolute spectacle of its set pieces. However, try telling Gen-Z this. 

6. Footloose (1984)

Footloose (1984)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

We can call this progress, but who is trying to get a Gen-Z kid to watch Kevin Bacon dancing in the desert? Footloose is dated, and the only reason we love it is for the nostalgia it grants us. 

7. Labyrinth (1986)

Image Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

A former teacher shared they put Labyrinth on for their middle school class. After 30 minutes, the kids asked if they could watch something else. Now, that would be a kick in the nostalgic gut. These kids don't deserve Jim Henson's magical animatronics!

8. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

As far as new millennial criticisms go, this indictment of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey sums it up: a parent shared that their daughter didn't like this movie because the animals' mouths don't move. Let's be honest; these kids have grown up with incredibly sharp CGI, so I get this one.

9. Mary Poppins (1964)

mary poppins 1 e1694002835541
Image Credit: Walt Disney Productions.

Julie Andrews stole young Boomers' and Millennials hearts for three decades before fading into obscurity. However, one dad explains how his wife is still upset that their son preferred the Mary Poppins with Emily Blunt over the original.

10. John Hughes Movies

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
Image Credit: Hughes Entertainment.

Other than Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, a commenter  shared their kids have not liked any of the John Hughes movies. They were somewhat amused by Ferris Bueller but pretty much couldn't stand any of the others. I must be strategic when revealing movies to my ten-year-old son — Ferris Buller is coming soon.

11. Original Star Wars 

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in "Star Wars A New Hope"
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

I have yet to show my son the sequels; I am trying to curate a parallel universe for him in which they do not exist. One day, we will watch them just as a historian may watch past tragedies for research and reflection.

12. The Land Before Time (1988)

The Land Before Time (1988)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

A father said he was devastated five minutes into this movie when his son said the animation looked like it was made in the olden days. 

13. The Lord of the Rings 

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Frodo, Elijah Wood
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

A dad attempted to screen the trilogy to his children, only for them to be indifferent. I would ensure you don't attempt this on kids younger than eight years; each film is long, full of dialogue, and needs a patient, well-fed, well-exercised audience.

14. Alien (1979)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“My 13-year-old loves horror, loves suspense but just couldn't hang in there through the slow build-up,” writes another dad. Again, why is a 13-year-old watching Alien? The movie was 18-certificate when I grew up, and I remember feeling terrified when I saw it. Then again, I am not one of today's distracted kids.

15. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

How can you not like Big Trouble in Little China? Is it possible to divorce one's own kids? I secretly fear the day my son tells me John Carpenter is lame.

(Source: Reddit).