Top 5 Summer Camp Movies for Kids

Summer Camp Movies for Kids

What's a more appropriate summer activity than a couple of weeks spent away at summer camp? The closest thing that we can think of is sitting down for a reviewing of some of the zaniest, wackiest summer camp movies that we can think of. And with an inflatable movie screen, you can even turn your summer camp movie night into a summer camping experience. Set up your screen from Open Air Cinema, pitch you tent, and enjoy one of these classic summer camp comedies outside under the stars.

Addams Family Values

Addams Family Values

(Barry Sonnenfield, 1993)

While necessarily a traditional summer camp movie from start to finish, the large section of the plot which focuses on Wednesday and Pugsley's misadventures at Camp Chippewa are the stuff of summer camp movie legend. Particularly memorable is the scene where Christina Ricci turns a saccharine and historically-inaccurate Thanksgiving pageant into a raging inferno and escapes the clutches of her overly-perky counselors with all the aplomb of a pint-sized Steve McQueen.

Camp Nowhere

Camp Nowhere

(Jonathan Prince, 1994)

What happens when the reality of summer camp fails to live up to your fantastic expectations? For the kids in Camp Nowhere, the only answer is to take the matter of summertime fun into their own hands - with the help of a rascally old burnout played by Christopher Lloyd. These youngsters aren't fit for any William Golding novels - in this case seeing a small world run by people who haven't even graduated high school is a delight, rather than a terror. В  A kid-friendly cross between Animal House, Peter Pan, and Meatballs, this film is a delightful look at a world where the kids take over and end up having the summer of their lives.

The Parent Trap (1961)

The Parent Trap

(David Swift, 1961)

The original version of TheВ Parent Trap is still highly enjoyable, largely in part due to the enthusiastic dual performance of a young Haley Mills in a dual role as two recently reunited twins. Memorable musical numbers also abound, including the very hummable "Let's Get Together" - at this point in Disney history, the song was probably the closest Walt and co had ever come to writing a real rock and roll number. A fun family comedy of mistaken and switched identities, this classic from the golden era of Disney Studios will still put a smile on faces of all ages.

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

(Wes Anderson, 2012)

Wes Anderson has dabbled in more family-friendly fare before, but never with so much screen time for younger characters. As it turns out, Anderson's distinct style of dialogue and direction are the perfect guides to the long-forgotten summers of our youth, where small things seem very large and fantastic things seem very realistic and possible. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are perfectly cast as Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop, playing a sort of innocent Bonnie and Clyde with all the wit and weltschmerz of a "Peanuts" comic strip. As can be expected, the film' set and costume design are incredible as well, creating a detailed world for a very nuanced and charming story.

Heavyweights

Heavyweights

(Steven Brill, 1995)

The summer camp movie genre typically follows a classic slobs-versus-snobs paradigm. But the real problems in this movie come not from an separate camp across the lake, but from a psychotic fitness guru played with menacing over-the-top glee by Ben Stiller. Heavyweights quickly moves from being a genre comedy reliant on stereotypical jabs at obesity to being a sort of big and tall Lord of the Flies, all the while still maintaining an easy, innocent sense of humor. It's a cult classic for all the right reasons, and one that is accessible to both children and adults. Summer camp may or may not be an option this year. But thank to the magic of outdoor cinema, the experience can be easily imitated. A couple of tents, a few minutes setting up your inflatable screen, and voila - all the fun of camping with some much better entertainment that a singalong around the fire.

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