Movie time between a father and his daughter can be a special time. Disney obviously knows this, as so many of their classics center around an overprotective father who hides his princess daughter away from the scary world and the guy on a horse who she's going to fall for the second she sees him. But, the fact is, there are many movies a father simply must make sure his daughter sees, and with him, no less. They include the following.
1. The Bad News Bears: The only film to appear on both the "son" and "daughter" movie-must list (not that your daughter won't love Indiana Jones or Rocky Balboa), The Bad News Bears might just be the best movie a father will ever watch with his daughter. For the most part, it's about a father and his daughter. Sure, the late, great Walter Matthau is a boozing loser, foul-mouthed and estranged from plucky Tatum O'Neal. And, yeah, basically he's just using the kid by putting her on the pitcher's mound because his little league team is atrocious and he notices she's got a hell of an arm. But their interaction is priceless, both hilarious and heartwarming.
2. Annie: Look, she's going to see this one without any prompting from you necessary. You may groan at the mere mention of this time-honored tale of a lil orphan, her pooch and a man who eventually opens his home to her for good. Don't. That little girl of yours will be jubilant; it's like there's something subliminal in that exhilarating ditty Tomorrow that triggers pure joy. While the Broadway show beats the movie, you still get a very funny Carol Burnett, and Annie melting Daddy Warbucks' heart will bond the two of you forever.
3. Paper Moon: It's Tatum time again. Here her dad is played by her actual one, Ryan, and while the '70s classic is filmed in black and white, and takes place during the Great Depression, those won't be the turn-offs you'd think they would be. Somehow it works. It did then — earning Tatum an Oscar, making her the youngest recipient ever of the award at the time (she was 10) — and it still does. Tatum's Addie, who meets her dad for the first time at her mother's funeral, is basically a variation on Annie, but there ain't no singing or dancing here, and this Annie is down for learning her conman father's tricks. When they drive off into the sunset together at the end, you'll either share the fact that you need to wipe a tear from your eye or you'll hide it. Your call.
4. Gone With the Wind: The sprawling saga might need to be tackled over the course of two nights, dependent upon your daughter's age, but the technicolor is as spectacular as that of The Wizard of Oz, and they were both released the exact same year. Vivien Leigh slices the ham thick, but her Scarlett remains a sight to behold, even while Clark Gable's insouciant Rhett chews up his own scenery. It's a war movie and a love story all in one. Everyone wins.
5. Pippi Longstocking: While merely a handful of episodes of the popular Swedish TV series strung together and presented as a movie, your daughter simply must meet Pippi—and not just through the books. The whimsical Pippi, living in her father's cottage, blow the minds of her brother-and-sister neighbors with her antics. It will no doubt dare your daughter to do same. No, the flick hasn't aged well, especially in this day and age of glorious CGI, but until somebody does to Pippi what they just did to Pete's Dragon, this is all we've got.
6. Terminator 2: What? Just because we're talking daughters you thought some Sly or Van Damme or, as is the case here, Arnold, couldn't make the cut? This is a must, largely due to Linda Hamilton's jacked arms and ability to kick ass and take names. James Cameron's follow-up bests its predecessor in large part due to Hamilton's beefed-up bod and role, but also by flipping the script and having Arnold's Terminator as one of the good guys.
7. My Girl: Just... be ready, OK? For some serious bawling. Spoiler Alert: The adorable, bespectacled best friend of our precious pre-teen female lead dies. And he's played by Macauley Culkin. A bittersweet, coming-of-age story about a young girl who's mother passed away during childbirth, so she is being raised by her single dad (Dan Aykroyd)—who runs a funeral home no less. It flings everything at you: life, death, laughs, tears and a coupla solid messages, too. You get Aykroyd reuniting with Jamie Lee Curtis, at least 10 years out from Trading Places, and your daughter gets her very own Wonder Years, where she's the lead.
8. Titanic: Speaking of James Cameron, his masterful recreation of the doomed ship's descent into the sea after hitting an iceberg still manages to amaze, some 20 years later. Sure, they wove a fictional tale of star-crossed lovers into the fabric of the film, but it's Leo, man. Your daughter's gonna meet DiCaprio eventually. Be the bigger man (unlike Billy Zane) and make the arrangements yourself. She'll love you for it, plus see what a spectacle a film can be at the same time.
9. Pretty in Pink: Often overlooked when it comes to'80s icon Molly Ringwald's hits is the fact that, in more than a few of her John Hughes comedies, she had a key scene with her father. You can go with 16 Candles, if you'd prefer, wherein Molly's 16th birthday is forgotten by all, yet dad makes sense of the catastrophic oversight in a touching moment. Or this gem, where Ringwald's hot mess of a father is an embarrassment to her, as is her address, until it's revealed he's just a man still pining the wife who left them both. Give her Ringwald, who marched to the beat of her own drum, and the flicks hold up.
10. Flashdance: Welder by day, and dancer at night. Damn, it's still a solid elevator pitch! Jennifer Beals rocketed to stardom as the mercurial wannabe professional dancer, living in a warehouse with her dog Grunt, and occasionally seeking the counsel of a wise mentor named Hanna, a former ballerina. The whole premise reeks of the '80s, plus it's got the mammoth synthesized soundtrack to prove it. But, oh, what a feeling!