By Heather Leszczewicz Special to Published Aug 21, 2006 at 5:17 AM
Prices at the movies have definitely skyrocketed. A family of four could expect to spend well over $30 just to get into the theater, not to mention the requisite snacks. Summer movies with a G or PG rating haven't been all that fun or exciting, either.

So, rather than spending a fortune on going out to the movies, only to be disappointed, here's a list of children's and family friendly movies available at your local video store or online rental company. It's a list of old and new movies, and by no means is it a comprehensive list. If you feel there's a movie we missed that's a must-see, tell us by using the talkback feature.

The Last Unicorn Rated G
An '80s animated movie voiced by Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Jeff Bridges and Angela Lansbury. A unicorn (Farrow) hears that she is the last unicorn on earth. She journeys across the land to find out for herself. On the tip from a butterfly she heads towards King Herrod's castle. The red bull forces all the unicorns into the sea, and he only has one left to deal with.
OMC tip: There are a few scenes that touch on death, but do not include blood and gore. The scenes with the red bull could also be a bit scary toward the end of the movie.

Ferngully Rated G
One of the first children's movies to address cutting down the rainforest and how fragile nature is. The rainforest's occupants -- bats, bugs, pixies and more -- band together to stop the Hexxus (bulldozer) from destroying their forest. Robin Williams, Christian Slater and Tim Curry all lend their voices.

The Brave Little Toaster Rated G
After being left in a cabin by their owner, a ragtag group of household appliances heads out into the world to find him. The talking appliances -- including a toaster, vacuum, blanket and lamp -- band together on a single mission that takes a lot of heart and courage to complete.
OMC tip: There may be a few scenes that younger children may find very frightening including a scene involving cars being crushed by an evil crane.

A Little Princess
Rated G
Sara Crewe is brought to a boarding school by her father, who is heading off to war. The headmistress treats her well until it's reported that her father is killed in battle. Sara is then made to be a servant, but to make her time in servitude more interesting; she uses her imagination. She tells stories to fellow students and befriends everyone, but the headmistress looks for anything to be able to throw Sara out onto the streets.
OMC tip: There are two versions of this movie, "The Little Princess" is the original Shirley Temple version.

Spirited Away Rated PG
A Japanese adventure by Hayao Miyazaki that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Chihiro and her family are moving to a new town, but get sidetracked on their road trip. They get pulled into a magical world run by a witch with a bathhouse as the main attraction. By eating the food, Chihiro's parents are turned into pigs. To save them, Chihiro must take on a position at the bathhouse and mature.
OMC tip: The movie can be intense at time and the characters that aren't human are a bit bizarre. But it is a picturesque movie that conveys a few good qualities and is perfect for the family.

Matilda Rated PG
With parents that aren't the brightest bulbs, Matilda craves learning. She reads books and discovers she can do magical things with her mind. All grown-ups tell her that she is a child and they put her down, but Matilda overcomes it all. She teaches a few lessons on why it's not nice to treat people a certain way and name calling can hurt.

Hocus Pocus Rated PG
Halloween is on its way and that's when the witches come out to play. The Sanderson sisters (a trio of great actresses, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker), three witches that were hanged during the Salem witch trials, are released on the world once again by a boy named Max. They must suck the youth from children otherwise they will be sent back to the grave. Max and his friends do everything they can to make sure the sisters don't succeed.
OMC tip: Most likely a movie better suited for older children unless it's made known that witches aren't real and cannot suck out youth.
Heather Leszczewicz Special to

Originally from Des Plaines, Ill., Heather moved to Milwaukee to earn a B.A. in journalism from Marquette University. With a tongue-twisting last name like Leszczewicz, it's best to go into a career where people don't need to say your name often.

However, she's still sticking to some of her Illinoisan ways (she won't reform when it comes to things like pop, water fountain or ATM), though she's grown to enjoy her time in the Brew City.

Although her journalism career is still budding, Heather has had the chance for some once-in-a-lifetime interviews with celebrities like actor Vince Vaughn and actress Charlize Theron, director Cameron Crowe and singers Ben Kweller and Isaac Hanson of '90s brother boy band Hanson. 

Heather's a self-proclaimed workaholic but loves her entertainment. She's a real television and movie fanatic, book nerd, music junkie, coffee addict and pop culture aficionado.