Kids Movies with Great Ensemble Dancing
February 25, 2012 6:35 PM   Subscribe

My almost six-year-old son has fallen in love with the Step In Time (youtube) ensemble dance scene from Mary Poppins. What other movies should we get for him? Remember, he's not quite six years old.

In terms of the dance, West Side Story comes to mind. Great high-energy dancing. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie is completely inappropriate for a five year-old. Any suggestions for movies that have great ensemble dance numbers and are also young-kid-friendly?
posted by alms to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2012

The Music Man is probably a safe bet, and a great show.

I watched The Sound of Music endlessly around that age as well (on a very primitive Betamax machine). The last half hour or so went right over my head, but I mostly watched the first hour or so over and over again.
posted by sueinnyc at 6:38 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Newsies, Disney's 1992 live action musical and cult classic. Here's my favorite dance number!
posted by afton at 6:39 PM on February 25, 2012 [9 favorites]

Newsies is great. Also: Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Annie, Singing in the Rain, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
posted by erstwhile at 6:45 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

And of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder edition)
posted by erstwhile at 6:46 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely Annie. Also, The Wizard of Oz!

Maybe Oklahoma?
posted by SisterHavana at 6:56 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding Singin in the's my 7 year old's favorite movie. She also absolutely loves this video with the musical numbers from lots of great movies.
posted by hellochula at 7:02 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has a practically identical piece to Step in Time (was going to caution that it's scarier due to the child-catcher, but I used to be v scared of the bankers in Mary Poppins, so I revised that!)
posted by lokta at 7:12 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fascinating fact: The yellow-jacketed old man dancing in "That's How You Know" in Enchanted was a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins.

The High School Musical films are unobjectionable in content and have very good dancing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: I loved the "Step in Time" number as a kid, and I also loved the entirety of "Singin' in the Rain." (Well, except for the weird 10-minute interlude where he does ballet with Cyd Charisse.) Oh man, your kid would like the "Make 'em Laugh" number so much.
posted by enlarged to show texture at 8:17 PM on February 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Try That's Entertainment, Part II. It's better than Part 1, probably because it's more structured (and it's "presented" by Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire).
posted by bentley at 8:24 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Happy Feet, if you don't mind your ensemble being animated. It was too scary in parts for my son when he was that age, but I think most kids would be okay.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:37 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: Why, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, of course!
posted by Lisitasan at 8:55 PM on February 25, 2012

There isn't any way of your almost 6-year-old will deal with some of the creepier parts of Willy Wonka. Also, not much dancing.

I'd recommend 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, if you can get past that whole "abducting women to make them your brides" thing. Newsies is a good rec. I betcha he'd really like some of the dancing in the middle of Fiddler on the Roof, especially the Russian guys dancing with the bottles on their heads, but the rest of the movie might be a little much for an almost 6-year-old.
posted by themanwho at 9:10 PM on February 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by cazoo at 9:44 PM on February 25, 2012

West Side Story!

Legion of Extraordinary Dancers: LXD (but screen the episodes -- I know Fanboy is pretty awesome, but there's one routine based on the robot that's a little scary)
posted by spunweb at 10:14 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wonka, and mmmmmmmaybe Bye Bye Birdie, if it's Dick Van Dyke in particular your tyke is responding to. "The Old Bamboo" in Chitty is clearly a direct attempt to duplicate "Step in Time," and of course it features Dick.

When I was a little kid, I saw Chitty first and was later quite flabbergasted by seeing Poppins, and in particular "Step in Time."
posted by mwhybark at 12:26 AM on February 26, 2012

Ella Enchanted has a pretty awesome dance number, too.
posted by spunweb at 2:19 AM on February 26, 2012

And depending on your kid, Moulin Rouge -- it had just the right amount of pathos to seem like high tragedy to my niece when she was that age.

There's also Honey, BRING IT ON (there are some risque jokes, but just the cheer scenes are great)...

but wait: does your kiddo like the directions part of the routine? Or the peppy dancing?
posted by spunweb at 2:33 AM on February 26, 2012

Can't believe no one's mentioned Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!! The barn dancing scene in particular.
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 3:53 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's Dancing! (1985) has clips from tons of movies including West Side Story (1961), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and around 40 other MGM musicals.
posted by dgeiser13 at 4:58 AM on February 26, 2012

Plenty of Bollywood dance numbers are relatively un-scandalous for a kiddo.
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 2:40 PM on February 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all, these are great recommendations. I think we'll start with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Singin in the Rain.

Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder edition) is definitely on our watch soon list, though I don't remember that it has dance numbers in particular.
posted by alms at 5:28 PM on February 26, 2012

Anchors Aweigh! And "On The Town," which was not lying when it billed itself as "Twice as Gay as Anchors Aweigh!" There are romance plots in both movies but they're pretty negligible, if I recall. Oklahoma has some good dance scenes, and the "June is Bustin' Out All Over" scene from Carousel is great, but both movies involve fatal stabbings. So.
posted by mskyle at 5:37 PM on February 26, 2012

I'd like to add a vote for Newsies. It was my favorite movie from when I was 7 onward for many, many years.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:45 PM on March 3, 2012

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