By Meaghan Walsh Gerard
The Shaggy Dog, released in theaters in 1959, was Disney Studios first live-action comedy. It was a departure from their popular animated films. The gambit paid off – it was a huge hit and it launched a slew of wholesome, funny, adventuresome movies from the studio. These goofball comedies, light-hearted family fare, and suspenseful mysteries became the cornerstone for Disney and raised a generation of young viewers. Make some popcorn, get a blanket, and revisit these childhood classics, or introduce them to a new generation.
A family is shipwrecked on a tropical island and adapts to a new life among the wildlife and in the coolest treehouse you have ever seen. The adventure escalates when they must battle nefarious pirates who want to land on their island home.
Hayley Mills made her American movie debut with character so infused with charm it became an adjective. Recently orphaned and living with a strict aunt, Pollyanna has every reason to be angry and dour. Instead she reminds a feuding town what makes life wonderful.
Fred MacMurray flexes his comedic muscles as a brilliant but forgetful scientist who invents an anti-gravity substance. Many of the film’s antics revolve around the professor trying to prove his invention is useful. The special effects are charming.
Loosely based on a Jules Verne story, Hayley Mills and her little brother embark on a wild adventure to find their ship captain father. They follow clues, escape from cannibals, avoid volcanoes and more. It also features songs by the Sherman brothers, best known for Mary Poppins.
A kidnapped bank-teller manages to give a message to a roaming neighborhood cat. Hayley Mills finds the clue on the kitty making his nightly rounds and soon she FBI agent Dean Jones try to catch the bad guys using unconventional means.
The highest grossing film of the year, The Love Bug introduces Herbie. A VW bug with a personality helps a race driver win and helps him find love. It’s a feel-good underdog story with plenty of unlikely capers along the way.
The Parent Trap and The Moon-Spinners will be joining us soon! Save them to your queue now and they’ll be added to your main queue when they become available in a few weeks. :)
Hayley Mills plays a pair of twins trying to keep her parents from getting a divorce. As a child, my mind was completely blown that she played both parts. Movie magic! I also desperately wanted to go to a summer camp like theirs.
Hayley Mills visits a Greek island with her aunt and uncovers a ring of jewel thieves. I have very vivid memories of seeing it when I was little, but for years, I didn’t remember what it was. I was so grateful to be able to find it once again. It’s a wonderful mystery-adventure.
Head to our list of sixties movies and shows, then use the filters on the right to narrow the offerings down to find your next great movie night!
Meaghan Walsh Gerard has been writing about films (especially classic ones) and books (especially gothic ones) for more than ten years on her site. She is obsessed with the art of storytelling and holds a master’s degree in cinema studies. Meaghan has been a DVD Netflix member since 2003. Follow Meaghan at mwgerard.com, on Twitter @mwgerard, or Facebook and Instagram.