Picture from 7 Great Grandparent Movies
Two generations come together in the animated movie Up. Image ©Disney/Pixar

7 Great Grandparent Movies

Whether you call them Grandma and Grandpa, Papa and Nana or Ona and Bobo, grandparents can play a positive role in the lives of their grandchildren. While Hollywood isn’t always so kind to this intergenerational relationship, here are seven movies that depict the grandparent/grandchild relationship.

The Princess Diaries—Mia Thermopolis sees herself as hopelessly geeky and eternally klutzy until she meets her grandmother—the Queen of Genovia. While these two see life from very different perspectives, Mia’s grandmother helps her teenaged granddaughter blossom into the perfect princess/

Dolphin TaleWhile he plays a minor role in the movie, Kris Kristofferson stars as a grandfather who plays a positive role in the lives of his son and granddaughter. Without saying much or stealing any scenes, he is a quiet, steady presence as the family faces the fear of losing their livelihood and a special animal they have begun to care for.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants—It might feel a little like Romeo and Juliet when Lena meets the son of her family’s sworn enemies. But Lena only discovers the feud after she is sent to Greece to spend her summer vacation with her grandparents. Luckily her grandfather is able to make some concessions for love and Lena learns more about her family heritage in this teenaged drama based on a book series.

Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory—When Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, he takes his grandfather along as his guest. The factory offers every confection and treat a kid could imagine. Before long many of the other children have received their “just desserts” for giving into their appetites on the magical tour. But even though Charlie and his grandfather find their character tested, this pair finds their way to the end of the tour and reap a big reward.

Secondhand Lions—Not all grandparent figures have to be actual grandparents. In this movie Walter is unceremoniously dropped off on the rundown farm of his elderly and grumpy great uncles when his mother decides to take off with her new boyfriend. The crotchety pair of old men initially want nothing to do with the timid little boy but over time he proves he can match wits with his ornery relatives and a rich family bond grows between the boy and his uncles.

Up—Some grandparent figures don’t even have to be related. In this animated movie, an elderly man named Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house with plans to fly to South America. But he soon finds he as a stowaway on board. Russell is a nine-year-old neighbor who earnestly wants a father figure in his life. Though these two passengers take a while to warm up to each other, Carl eventually takes on the role of mentor in the young boy’s life.

In Her Shoes—A no-nonsense grandma plays a role in reuniting her adult grandchildren. Rose and Maggie Feller are two sisters who can’t find anything in common other than their last name. For most of her life Maggie has used her good looks to get money, sex and gifts. And her sister Rose is tired of the antics. Then both girls show up at the retirement home when their grandmother lives. With her help and the help of other residents in the facility, both girls are forced to confront their own issues and rebuild their relationship.

More details about the movies mentioned in this post…

The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries