By August Ewert-Harpold
Thanks to streaming services, musicals have become a fun (and sometimes slightly educational) way to watch Broadway shows without having to leave your living room. Here is a list of some of my favorite musicals throughout the last few decades. The shows are all family-friendly and are all classics which I’ve watched multiple times throughout my life. Honestly, the older musicals make me reminisce about my childhood when I would to sit by the TV and watch with my dog (Ariege), parents, or grandparents! The newer musicals were fun to watch in theaters with my friends and just make me want to sing and be happy! Included are just a little about each of the musicals and the trailer to watch if you think you might enjoy the film!
The Sound of Music – Rated G
Released on April 1, 1965
This musical was inspired by the Von Trapp family, a family of singers who ultimately had to flee their home in Austria to escape Nazis in World War II. Julie Andrews plays Maria, the nun-turned-governess who takes care of the Von Trapp children, teaches them about music, and earns their love. This musical is an oldie, but a goodie!
The Music Man – Rated G
Released on June 19, 1962
The Music Man was originally a Broadway show but was later adapted to be released as a movie. The story follows Harold Hill (Robert Preston), a con salesman who stumbles into River City and attempts to steal money originally designated for a band. In the process of his elaborate scheme, he falls in love with the librarian and the town. There is even a little magic at the end (but don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it!). This is such an amazing film to watch, even though there are some sad parts.
Beauty and the Beast – Rated PG
Released on Sept. 29, 1991
First released on Sept. 29, 1991 this Walt Disney production won countless awards along with many adaptations of the film. The original fairy tale, written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, was printed in 1740 and has since been rewritten and re-told in numerous languages and cultures around the world. In the Disney version, however, a young bookworm named Belle wants to save her dad from doom and gloom after he breaks into a castle and becomes a prisoner of the “Beast”. While that sounds a bit on the depressing side, there are many musical scenes including pots and teacups singing and dancing. Beauty and the Beast is a Disney classic that is amazing to watch as a child or as an adult!
Aladdin – Rated PG
Released on Nov. 25, 1992
This fully animated musical became one of the highest-grossing films of 1992 which lead to a live action version released in 2019. The story is about a princess named Jasmine, an evil villain named Jafar (who wants to rule the kingdom), a dude named Aladdin (who finds a random genie lamp), and of course the Genie that comes out of the aforementioned lamp. Aladdin is granted three wishes which he uses to get closer to Jasmine, but things do not turn out all that swell for Aladdin. This movie is a perfect way to teach kids about the important of thinking before speaking!
The Greatest Showman – Rated PG
Released on Dec. 20, 2017
This is one of the newer musicals with an amazing cast: Zendaya, Zac Efron, and Hugh Jackman. The story is based upon an adaptation of P.T. Barnum life as he rises through the world to create the Barnum and Bailey circus. The musical is known for its amazing musical numbers such as “The Greatest Show” and “Rewrite the Stars”. While The Greatest Showman is rated PG, it does include some more mature topics.
Hamilton: An American Musical – Rated PG-13
Released on July 3, 2020
This musical first premiered at The Public Theater in New York City and is a “sung-and-rapped-through” musical which recaps the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States. Lin-Manuel Miranda composed, wrote the lyrics, wrote the playwright, and stared as Hamilton in the off-Broadway-then-Broadway musical debut in 2015. In that same year, the cast was filmed over three days so the musical could be seen outside of a stage. With the closing of Broadway (amongst other things) last spring due Covid, it was decided to release Hamilton on Disney+ earlier than anticipated to help people get through the pandemic. Like The Greatest Showman, Hamilton deals with mature topics such as adultery.