Recommend Some Good Slapstick

My daughters, who are under 5, enjoy a good film about someone falling down or having other unfortunate things happen to them. Schadenfreude is hard wired after all. I thought introducing them to some Charlie Chaplin would be good, but in checking a couple movies out ahead of time I realized there was a lot of gratuitous violence.

They are far too impressionable at this age to be showing them movies where someone knocks another person over just because they were a little annoyed at them. So can you recommend some good slapstick comedy that’s more about people falling down than poking each other in the eye?

What about Katherine Hepburn’s Bringing Up Baby? Slapstick and hijinks and a leopard ensue.

All other slapstick-y films I can think of have people beating each other up, like the Home Alone films (granted, the bad guys get the brunt of the violence).

Some of the old classic cartoons (Looney Tunes, etc.) may fit what you’re looking for. There’s no eye-poking in the Coyote/Roadrunner cartoons, for example; none of the harm that comes to Wile E. is directly caused by the Roadrunner or anyone else but his own bad luck/poor planning + the laws of nature.

Some of the “America’s Funniest Home Videos” would be just the thing, I’d think. Sure, it’s lowbrow, but they are under 5 after all.

The Muppets do some slapstick, though mixed in with other sorts of humor; maybe the old Muppet Show or something like this would be good?

The Pixar short films have a good dose of slapstick, especially Presto, which appeared before WALL-E and features a magician and his rabbit locked in a duel to the not-quite-death over a carrot. I think you can download them from I-tunes.

The Wallace and Gromit short films are hilarious and charming for everyone. I wouldn’t say they are slapstick necessarily, but they feature a lot of visual humor and kid-friendly action. “Shaun the Sheep” is a TV spin-off of Wallace and Gromit and is done entirely silent film-style. No dialogue whatsoever! It is a visual comedy with very gentle slapstick, definitely directed at a younger audience. Both are at Cost-Co.

I’d agree with this. It wasn’t until I had daughters that I realized what age group it was aimed at :wink:

My daughters call it “The Falling Down Show.”

They love Wallace and Gromit, and we have all 40 Shaun the Sheep episodes (even a stuffed Shaun that a friend brought home from England). I’ve been meaning to get some more Looney Toons in here, since that was what I was raised on. Disney is a bit over represented in our house at the moment.

I’d like to get some more classic live action films going that aren’t necessarily Disney movies or even “kids” movies. I was looking for slapstick because they laugh out loud at that stuff, and that is always fun to hear.

Oh my. I soooo want to be there when you give in to their demands to Netflix the movie version of that, with Michael Douglas.

Try some Buster Keaton or Harold Lloyd. I seem to remember them being gentler than Chaplin or the Stooges, but still pretty physical with their comedy.

" Whats up Doc", is perfect. It is full of sight gags. Then" It’s a Mad,Mad,mad World", has a bunch too.

I introduced my daughter to the Marx Brothers when she was around that age. They may not be fully slapstick, but they have sight gags (the mirror scene from Duck Soup should be good fun for their age), and Harpo did some other good sight gags, such as making a googie face.

W.C. Fields juggling scenes aren’t so laugh out loud funny, but they may enjoy those as well. If nothing else, you could introduce the girls to comedians they otherwise may never know about.

Buster Keaton’s One Week is a howl.

He and his new bride try to build a house. It’s a Sears kit-type house–All the parts are in numbered boxes. Except that the guy that the bride had jilted re-numbered all the boxes. Oops!

I don’t think that there is any gratuitous violence in there.

Try The Gods Must be Crazy. Some lovely slapstick sequences in it.

Yes. And the sequel, IIRC.

The Music Box. When Stan and Ollie try to get that piano up those stairs . . . classic, I tell ya.

Dinner For One is a legendary B&W stage skit, worldwide (but curiously not in the UK or America). The ultimate punchline is a bit risque, but will go over the heads of any kids. And the performance by Freddie Frinton is masterful. The wiki page has links to the video.

Laurel and Hardy. Anything Pre-Utopia is hilarious. Be sure to warn the kids that pots and pans on the head are just for movies, tho.

The Great Race, with Tony Curtis was pretty good. I enjoyed it when I was 7 or so.

That’s all that I can think of.


Our Gang/Little Rascals is broadly physical comedy without being violent or mean. And they’re kids, which is a big plus for kids.

Are there compilations of those Japanese cat videos?

They might enjoy a mid-eighties movie called Scavenger Hunt. It has a great cast, Clevon Little, Roddy McDowell, James Coco, Richard Benjamin, Cloris Leachman, Tony Randall, Richard Mulligan, Scatman Crothers. It’s about a bunch of people having a scavenger hunt for the dead Vincent Price’s fortune. Very slapsticky, but not mean.

There’s also an extremely early appearance by Arnold Schwartzenegger.

Oops, hadn’t thought about that. :eek:

Suggest you preview Allegro Non Troppo. I know nothing about children so I’ve no grasp of the appropriateness but you might like it even if you decide it is not for the children.