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Five for Families: Films show the importance of family
Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in "The Sound of Music" - photo by Caresa Alexander Randall
Here are five movies from various platforms families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, from a musical group of siblings to an adopted mouse to an extra-terrestrial fugitive. Here are five family friendly movies that show the importance of family, no matter how different.

Amazon Instant: 'The Sound of Music'

Based on the real-life story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews as an Austrian woman who is studying to become a nun. She leaves the convent to become a governess to the seven children of Capt. Von Trapp, a naval officer and widower, played by Christopher Plummer. Common Sense Media said this classic film is rich in character, music and story, as well as filled with positive messages. The website warns that the final minutes of the film contain a number of suspenseful scenes that may be frightening for some children. The film is an adaptation of Rodgers and Hammersteins 1959 Broadway musical. recommends the film for viewers ages 5 and older.

iTunes: 'Stuart Little'

A young mouse is adopted into the Little family, but the family cat is less enthusiastic. The Dove Foundation says that throughout the course of several adventures the film teaches the importance of family, friendship and loyalty and that in the end the Littles learn that everyone has a little bit of a Stuart in them: tenacity, courage and spirit, which all play active roles in their lives. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Netflix: 'Lilo & Stitch'

A young girl adopts the galaxys most wanted alien and teaches him about family. The Dove Foundation says that this film is one that appeals to both young girls and boys as it teaches the importance of family. Lilo and Stitch is a clever fantasy with some strong messages about the importance of love for everyone, the website says. The film is rated PG for mild sci-fi action. recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.

Amazon Instant: 'Despicable Me'

Three orphan girls melt the heart of a criminal mastermind. refers to the film as a very witty, heartfelt film, adding that the ending "is so uplifting and redemptive that it overshadows some of the action violence, slapstick comedy and light scatological references. Minions, a spin-off of Despicable Me, is now on DVD. recommends the film for viewers 7 and older.

Amazon Instant: 'Little Women' (1994)

A post-Civil War movie follows the lives of the March sisters. says that Little Women is appropriate for all ages as it contains no violence, a few polite kisses and a couple of the mildest of swears. The film may be difficult for younger viewers to understand, but the website says those who watch will be rewarded for their time. recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.