Best Family Movies of 1953
Leaving the safety of their nursery behind, Wendy, Michael and John follow Peter Pan to a magical world where childhood lasts forever. But while in Neverland, the kids must face Captain Hook and foil his attempts to get rid of Peter for good.
The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.
After a prank makes Joey Norton believe he killed his older brother, he runs away from home and spends the day at Coney Island while his brother tries to find him before their mother gets home.
Members of a circus troupe "adopt" Lili Daurier when she finds herself stranded in a strange town. The magician who first comes to her rescue already has romantic entanglements and thinks of her as a little girl. Who can she turn to but the puppets, singing to them her troubles, forgetting that there are puppeteers? A crowd gathers around Lili as she sings. The circus has a new act. She now has a job. Will she get her heart's desire?
At the home of Viennese composer Johann Strauss lived Johann Mouse. Whenever the composer played his waltzes, the mouse would dance to the music, unable to control himself. One day, when Strauss was away, the house cat played his master's music. When word got out about a piano-playing cat and a dancing mouse, they were commanded to perform for the emperor.
Call Me Madam
Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy.
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
Young Bart Collins lives with his widowed mother Heloise. The major blight on Bart's existence is the hated piano lessons he is forced to endure under the tutelage of the autocratic Dr. Terwilliker. Bart feels that his mother has fallen under Terwilliker's sinister influence, and gripes to visiting plumber August Zabladowski, without much result. While grimly hammering away at his lessons, Bart dozes off and enters a fantastical musical dream.
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Marjorie Winfield's engagement to Bill Sherman, who has just arrived home from fighting in World War I, serves as the backdrop for the trials and tribulations of her family.
The Spirit of Christmas
This Christmas film, created as a special for television broadcast throughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania viewing region, was produced by puppeteer Mabel Beaton and her husband Les for Bell Telephone Company and first aired in 1953. Following a short live-action opening portion, featured are two extended marionette segments, the first dramatizing Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas", the second reverently telling the Nativity story; the two stories are staged in classic, traditional style. From 1953 onward, for several years, The Spirit of Christmas was broadcast in the intended region multiple times per holiday season. It was also available as a 16mm film licensed to schools for showings to students. This film often is misstated to have originally been broadcast in 1950.
I Love Lucy: The Movie
The film plays out, with three first-season episodes edited together into a single story: "The Benefit", "Breaking the Lease", and "The Ballet", with new footage included between episodes to help transition the episodes into one coherent storyline. As the series routinely took the format of filming scenes in chronological order, this adds to the "show within a show within a show" format of the film, as viewers watch the cast perform the episodes live. The film itself ends with a "curtain call", as the cast comes out and Arnaz thanks the audience for their support.
A Mouse Divided
A drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Cat. Sylvester is about to eat the little rodent when it calls him Daddy. Touched, Sylvester adopts the mouse as his son - which, distressingly, attracts every hungry cat in the neighborhood to his door!
Jerry and Jumbo
A baby elephant rolls off the circus train and right into Tom's bed. He quickly allies himself with Jerry, and with a rolled-up trunk and some paint, passes himself off as a giant mouse. The two then keep trading places to the bafflement of Tom.
That's My Pup!
Spike explains to his son the rules of being a dog: 1: be man's best friend (begging, lying at feet); 2: bury bones; 3: chase cats. Just then, Tom (and Jerry) run by, offering the perfect practice subject. Spike lectures Tom to be scared by the pup or else; Jerry overhears, and is soon doing his best dog impersonation, while Tom works on various strategies to neutralize Tyke
The Three Little Pups
In this variation on "The Three Little Pigs", Droopy and his brothers, Snoopy and Loopy, repeatedly outwit the big bad wolf, a dogcatcher who tries to find a way to get the pooches out of their house of bricks.
Much Ado About Nutting
A squirrel in a downtown park lugs a giant coconut back home, but nothing he does can seem to crack it open.
Kiss Me Cat
Marc Antony must convince his owner that Pussyfoot is a great mouser to keep him in the house.
Jerry Mouse befriends a newly hatched duckling who can't swim and ends up protecting him against his feline nemesis, Tom.
Ben and Me
A revisionist version of American history as a small mouse comes to live with Benjamin Franklin and turns out to be responsible for many of his ideas; including the beginning of the Declaration of Independance!
Johnny on the Run
A Polish boy runs away from his unkind foster mother in Edinburgh and finds a new home in a lakeside village for orphans of all nations, after encountering trouble through his innocent implication in a robbery.
Working for Peanuts
Chip 'n Dale live next door to a zoo and spot the elephant's stash of peanuts. They go after them, but both the elephant and his keeper, Donald, are too clever. Then the boys realized the visitors throw peanuts, so they put on a song-and-dance act. Then they paint themselves white and pose as albino chipmunks.
The Great Adventure
A vixen mother invades a chicken coop to provide food for her cubs. She continues to raid the coop until she is shot by a farmer. The cubs are attacked by the farmer and only one survives. An otter trapped in a burrow is rescued by 10-year-old Anders and his six-year-old brother, Kjell. In secret, the boys cage the animal and finally domesticate it. They obtain food for the Otter by fishing through the ice on a frozen lake. The boys manage to keep their secret from their family. On the eve of the May Day festival, Kjell reveals to family and friends the otter's presence. Anders is so distressed that he runs into the woods with the otter. The otter breaks away and returns to its life of natural freedom. The film was a prize winner at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival.
Hypnosis doesn't help the Coyote catch the Road Runner, nor do a clutch of string-controlled rifles or dozens of mousetraps, but they all manage to backfire on him, naturally.
After losing their father in the Boer War, orphaned brothers Harry and Davy must leave their home in Scotland to live with their grandmother and cantankerous grandfather in Nova Scotia. The boys want nothing more than a pet dog, but their grandfather refuses to get them one. Then, when the brothers find an abandoned baby, they decide to keep it – but the foundling may not have been abandoned after all.
Forward March Hare
Bugs Bunny gets a draft notice by mistake and joins the army, with disastrous results, especially for the sergeant of his platoon.
Elmer Fudd, on a fourth of July picnic, throws some of his firecrackers into an ant colony, and the ants declare all-out war on him.
Wild Over You
A wildcat escapes from the zoo, disguises herself as a skunk to fool her pursuers, but that only attracts lovestruck Pepe le Pew.
The Alaskan Eskimo
Oscar Winning short documentary
Rocky the gangster kidnaps Tweety Bird for a million dollar ransom and holes up in an abandoned city building...
The Simple Things
Mickey and Pluto go fishing. Pluto has a run-in with a clam, who eventually lodges in Pluto's mouth; Mickey thinks the clam is Pluto's tongue and can't understand why Pluto keeps begging for more food. After they get rid of the clam, Mickey's attempts to use his minnows as bait are thwarted by a hungry seagull; he brings his friends, and they chase our heroes away.
The Clue of the Missing Ape
Story of how two youngsters round up crooks planning to blow up the British fleet off Gibraltar.
Francis Covers the Big Town
A man who has a talking mule gets a job on a newspaper, and both get mixed up in a murder trial.
It's the middle ages (sort of); Popeye is working in Bluto's Beanery. Bluto is going to the ball where Princess Olive will choose her mate. Popeye's fairy godpappy appears and it's a reverse Cinderella story, with a car created from a can of spinach.
Texas cattleman Opie Bedloe comes to Maine to visit his son Joe, a college instructor, and his wife Connie in the hopes of persuading Joe to give up his teaching career and come back to Texas and take over the ranch. When Opie finds out that Connie, who is expecting a baby, can not afford the steaks she yearns for on Joe's salary, Opie, who believes that pregnant women gotta have meat, arranges for the local butcher, Spangenberg to cut his prices in half (with Opie paying the difference) so that Connie can have the meat she desires.
Don't Get Angry
This short film offers a children's guide to anger management.
The Hound of Heaven
Recently drowned Hyder Simpson refuses to pass through the Pearly Gates if it means leaving his beloved, possum hunting hound Rip behind.
A String of Blue Beads
A STRING OF BLUE BEADS is a slight little Christmas tale that was a pilot for an anthology series of short stories that never came to be. What makes this little film fascinating is it was one of the earliest color broadcasts on television and happily is one of the few early color productions for TV that can be seen in color now. Early color television productions seem to have had a limited color capability much like the early 1930's attempts at Technicolor. This actually adds to the charm of this little Christmas story giving in an "old time" feel.
The Secret Cave
Story of what happens to village stream when diverted by young boys who discover its source in a cave.
Barney's Hungry Cousin
Barney Bear heads to a national park for a vacation while another bear, native to the park, notices Barney's picnic lunch and makes various attempts to steal the food.
I Beheld His Glory
Cornelius is a Roman Centurion who, upon orders from the Apostle Thomas, is sent to proclaim the glories of Christ. Cornelius recounts Jesus' Entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and His appearance before Mary Magdalene.
A Good Pull-Up
Story of a handyman who gets into trouble at a workman's cafe.
Cobs and Robbers
In this Barney Bear animated short, Barney is plagued by crows.
The Dog and the Diamonds
A group of children establish their own zoo in the garden of a disused house, which proves to be the headquarters of a gang of crooks.
Barney Bear sets out to capture the world's smallest horse.
Dogs 'n Ducks
A boy trains his new golden retriever for duck retrieving competition, much to the chagrin of his first dog, a lovable but untrained mutt.
Escapades of Dickie Duffle, handyman, as he tours a film studio.
Heights of Danger
Tale of profiteer who seeks to prevent father and children from winning motor car rally which would preserve their garage business.
Good Health Practices
Young Jim and Judy learn about proper eating, keeping clean, proper rest and good toilet habits.
This movie starts with a Mother and her two children nonchalantly going to the window when someone knocks on the window. Shouldn't they be on their guard? And what good is their huge German Shepherd Shep? But wait! It's only Dad! Silly man! He's brought home Halloween stuff! Junior makes a truly hideous mask from a paper bag and sets it in the lamp to make it look more ominous. (archive.org)
Twice Upon a Time
A pair of twin girls are separated when their parents divorce. They meet again by accident when they are both sent to the same Summer camp and they start to hatch a plot to get back together. - Steve Crook
Juno Helps Out
A Great Dane helps the children with the housework while their mother is ill.