The earliest movies, some only mere seconds long, were made in the last decade of the 19th century after Thomas Edison invented the kinetoscope. As technology quickly advanced, the demand for more moving pictures, longer in length, and with more elaborate story lines, increased. By the early 20th century the motion-picture industry as we know it today was beginning to emerge. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Things in the motion-picture industry have changed dramatically since those early days, including how we rate films. For example, in 1922, in the early days of studios, William Hays formed the Motion Pictures Distributors Association of America. This governing body would go on to create the moral censorship guidelines or the Hays Code as it was often referred to, which provided regulations about the types of content that could or could not be shown on screen. The Hays Code, which remained in place for nearly 40 years, was incredibly strict with rules like “films can only present correct standards of life,” “crime and immorality could never be portrayed in a positive light,” and “religion could never be depicted in a mocking manner.”
Then, in 1968, the modern voluntary movie rating system was born. The new system rated films G, M, R, and X and focused less on determining what audiences could see and more on giving parents a system that they could use to decide what was appropriate for their families. This modern-day system has gone through several rounds of refinement over the years but since the beginning, the G rating has indicated that a film is appropriate for audiences of all ages.
In the following slides, Stacker has rounded up a list of the 100 best G-rated films to watch as a family. To do so, we’ve compiled data on all G-rated movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores. To qualify, the film had to be listed as G-rated on IMDb, have a Metascore, and have at least 5,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. From “Bugsy Malone” to “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” any one of these movies would make a great pick for your next family movie night.
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