Top 5 Movie Musicals

By Co-Artistic Director Matt Giles

I know that being stuck at home, I have been craving some cheery positivity in my life and for me, that means movie musicals (note—not filmed productions of live shows, that’s a different list). So I thought I’d give you my list of top 5 family-friendly musicals you can stream right now! Here they are, in no particular order. And in case you’re wondering, no. I did not include The Phantom of the Opera. You’re welcome.  

Mary Poppins: This movie never fails to make me smile. The songs by the Sherman brothers are so fun, Dick Van Dyke’s dialect is so charmingly terrible, and Julie Andrews is pitch-perfect as the title character. It’s a smashing good time from start to end. (Also, might as well stream Mary Poppins Returns when you’re done. All new plot, all new songs, same wonderful experience.) Stream it now on Disney+. 

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: I know it’s not for everyone, but I love it. Gene Wilder gives one of my favorite movie musical performances of all-time. Fun fact: the whole entrance with the cane followed by a forward roll was all Wilder’s idea! Talk about a bold acting choice. Stream it now and sing along with all the Oompa Loompa songs. You know you remember them. On Amazon Prime. 

The Sound of Music: My family and I loved this movie so much we watched it until our Betamax tape broke. (Kids, ask your parents about a Betamax and watch them feel really old.) The score in this movie is one hit after another. There’s not a bad song in the bunch. Make a bowl of popcorn and turn up the volume whenever a song comes on and sing along at the top of your lungs. But don’t choke on the popcorn. Better yet, maybe save the popcorn. Stream on Disney+ or Amazon. 

Singin’ in the Rain: The movie musical to end all movie musicals. The movie musical about making movie musicals. This movie is endlessly funny, and contains one of the most iconic musical numbers in the history of cinema. Watch it. Especially all you musical theatre dancers out there. They just don’t do choreography like this anymore. Rent/Stream it on Amazon. 

Hairspray: I debated on this last spot. Moulin Rouge and Rent were both contenders, but I said we were looking for happy movies, so it has to be Hairspray. I love the infectious 1960s styled score and the endless positivity of Tracy Turnblad. It also packs a punch in moments and has a lot of heart. If you don’t know it, time to tune in. Stream it on Nextflix or Amazon.