5 movies you can watch with your tots: Smooth-talking race cars, a singing mermaid, and a kid who just wants a BB gun for Christmas -- there's something for everyone among these new family-friendly releases

By Keith Staskiewicz
November 01, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Turbo 2013
Snails aren’t the cuddliest of animated protagonists, but they can still be lovable. The Cool Runnings of gastropods, Turbo tells the story of an unlikely contestant: a slimy, shell-toting hero who dreams of winning the Indy 500. Now on Blu-ray, it’ll teach viewers to always keep their eyestalks on the prize.

Cars 2006
As surely as kids love to play with Tonka trucks and Matchbox racetracks — or, more likely these days, their equivalent iPad apps — young autophiles will delight in watching Cars‘ Lightning McQueen and the rest of his anthropomorphized pals burn rubber in 3-D. The Pixar megahit is now speeding into extra-spiffy high-def in a special new Blu-ray 3-D edition.

A Christmas Story 1983
It may not be a Red Ryder BB Gun, but at least the 30th-anniversary Blu-ray release of this bittersweet holiday classic won’t shoot your eye out. (There’s also a new featurette and the UltraViolet HD upgrade.) The hilariously clear-eyed coming-of-age story proves that Christmas isn’t just about candy canes and mistletoe. It’s also about creepy Santas, disappointment, and festive humiliation.

The Little Mermaid 1989
The movie that jump-started Disney’s second golden age has swum out of the vault onto Blu-ray for the first time. It’s hard to believe it has been nearly a quarter century since Ariel and friends splashed onto screens, but now the underwater tale — with its classic songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman — can be shared with a new generation.

Monsters University 2013
Sure, a 6-year-old probably thinks Animal House refers to a zoo, but just because young ‘uns don’t get the collegiate references in this prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. doesn’t mean they can’t laugh at Mike and Sulley’s antics at the titular school, where the tuition bills aren’t the only things that are monstrous.