After a long day of school and work, it’s time to settle down with the whole family and enjoy a wonderful movie night at home. But what to watch? With so many streaming options, choosing something that appeals to all tastes can be as tricky as ordering pizza for everyone. Do not worry. Whether you’re hungry for wacky musicals, outrageous adventures, whimsical whimsy, sweet nostalgia, or fresh fun, we’ve got you covered. Bonus: they all go very well with popcorn!
Here are the best family movies now available on HBO Max:
1. All dogs go to heaven
Don Bluth is the visionary director behind such beloved animated adventures as Anastasia, The Secret of NIMH, and An American tail. Yet perhaps the most entertaining of his filmography is this 1989 adventure, which centers on a stray dog ââwho shakes up the skies but finds his soul. Burt Reynolds lent his bravado and voice to Charlie B. Barkin, a naughty mutt who flees the afterlife in revenge on the rival who sent him there. Despite this dark premise, All dogs go to heaven has a sweet sweetness, born of Charlie’s weakness for an orphan girl in need. With the help of his whiny sidekick (Dom DeLuise), this mean dog sets out to do good. Along the way, they will encounter wacky characters, wild situations, and wickedly catchy song numbers.
How to watch: All Dogs Go To Heaven airs on HBO Max.
2. Spies in disguise
The premise of this 2019 film is so insane it’s even shocking that it was made. But the result is that Troy Quane and Nick Bruno’s top-notch comedy skyrockets into splendid silliness. Will Smith and Tom Holland embody an unlikely team of heroes. Lance Sterling (voiced by Smith) is an ultra-suave super spy, who never stumbles on a mission. That’s until he crosses paths with socially awkward inventor Walter Beckett (Holland), who has concocted a potion that can turn a human into a pigeon. A wrong sip, and … poof! Sterling is a bird. Not only does he have to fight the forces of evil, but also, he has to survive an outrageous fish-out of the water premise. And his only help is a clumsy child-genius and a bunch of fiercely loyal birds! Action packed and deeply wacky, Spies in disguise is sure to please kiddos, while parents can further enjoy a brave spy movie spoofing.
How to watch: Spies In Disguise airs on HBO Max.
3. Follow this bird
HBO Max is the home of over 50 seasons of Sesame Street from which you can choose. But don’t overlook the wonderful 1985 feature film by Ken Kwapis, which topples these memorable Muppets across America on an exhilarating road trip. Trouble begins when Big Bird (Carroll Spinney) is sent to live with a feathered family away from his friends. Realizing that home is where your heart is, he begins to hitchhike back to Sesame Street. Meanwhile, worried friends (Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Burt and Ernie) set out to find him. Along the way, they’ll be a plethora of misadventures, song numbers and celebrity cameos including Waylon Jennings, Chevy Chase, Sandra Bernhard and John Candy. Human or Muppet, they all take pleasure in this magical world imagined by Jim Henson.
How to watch: Follow That Bird is streaming on HBO Max.
a great Will Arnett of all time
Credit: Warner Bros / Kobal / Shutterstock
Fancy a superhero movie that won’t give the little ones nightmares? Scroll through the live Batman movies (there’s plenty of time for those later) and hit play on this toy-centric treat. A dazzling spin-off of Lego movie, this animated adventure follows a surly – but silly – Batman as he takes on a barrage of villains with a little help from his friends. Far from the why-so-serious of other Gotham films, this 2017 cartoon celebrates the wackiest aspects of Batman’s lore, from ridiculous costumes to Z-listers at his Rogues Gallery. (Looking at you Condiment King!) Director Chris McKay masterfully stacks this brightly colored game with thrilling action, crazy laughs, fan favorite enemies (from the DC Universe, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and far beyond), and a flurry of familiar voices, including Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes and Michael Cera as a very brave boy. Bursting with energy, whimsy and wit, it’s no wonder critics were won over by this charismatic crowd pleaser.
How to watch: The Lego Batman movie is streaming on HBO Max.
5. happy feet
Want to have a good time tapping your feet? Then check out this cool cartoon about a bunch of penguins who love to sing and dance. Elijah Wood lends his voice to Mumbles, an emperor penguin who feels left out because he’s not really a singer, like the rest of his raft. Instead, he prefers to shake a feather from the tail. This charming fable about learning to love is directed by George Miller. In addition to numerous musical numbers, it brings together a star cast of Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Steve Irwin and many more. Together, they lend their voices to cuddly creatures who break into a variety of popular songs, such as “Somebody to Love”, “Kiss” and “Heartbreak Hotel”. A delight from beak to toe, it’s natural happy feet won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2007.
How to watch: Happy Feet is streaming on HBO Max.
6. A little princess
In uncertain times, a good story can support us. That’s the lesson learned by Sara Crewe (Liesel Matthews), an imaginative young aristocrat whose loving father puts her in a boarding school before joining combat in WWI. Sarah’s battle will be against the strict headmistress, an arrogant and cruel classmate of the tricks of fate that threaten to tear her away from her father forever. Yet in that darkness, she finds light by sharing stories of heroism and love, making friends, and illustrating how every girl can be a little princess. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s turn-of-the-century children’s novel comes to life thanks to acclaimed director Alfonso CuarÃ³n. Upon the film’s release in 1995, critics adored the richly realized world of fantasy and friendship that CuarÃ³n constructed through vivid colors, lush production design, and a strong sense of casting.
How to watch: A Little Princess is streaming on HBO Max.
Credit: Moviestore / Shutterstock
HBO Max has an entire hub dedicated to Studio Ghibli productions. So, subscribers have their choice among Hayao Miyazaki gems including My neighbor Totoro, mad with rage, and Howl’s Moving Castle. The best for a fun evening with the family; However, this 2008 treasure is about a magical goldfish who longs to become a real girl. It all begins when a benevolent boy rescues the little fish, sparking a friendship that will anger his wizarding father and shake land and sea. In this critically acclaimed cartoon, Miyazaki’s artistry is rapturously exposed, which ‘it animates crashing waves, frolicking children or homemade ramen. Children will feel seen in the free-spirited young heroes, while parents will revel in the fantastic and heartfelt storytelling. Better yet, viewers can choose between the original Japanese track or the English overdub, which features vocal performances by Tina Fey, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett and Liam Neeson.
How to watch: Ponyo is streaming on HBO Max.
8. Pee-wee’s great adventure
If you’re looking for something off the beaten path of family entertainment, check out Tim Burton’s animated feature debut. The strange but enchanting worlds he had come to create in films like Edward in the hands of silver, Beetlejuice, and Batman Returns made their debut in this awe-inspiring travel film about a boy looking for his stolen bike. Comedian Paul Rubens stars as Pee-wee Herman, a live-wire (lonely and rebellious) whose determination to recover his beloved bike takes him on a jubilant journey across the country. At every pit stop, he finds friends, problems, or both! With this dizzying film, adults can revel in the nostalgia for the crazy humor of the âTequillaâ dance and the appalling thrill of Large Marge. Kids can enjoy Pee-wee’s madness and marvel at what a 1985 PG movie looked like.
How to watch: The Great Pee-wee Adventure is streaming on HBO Max.
9. First man
Stone Age and Bronze Age collide with silliness and football in this 2018 comedy. Caveman Dug (voiced by Eddie Redmayne) must defend his tribe against the invading tyrant Lord Nooth, who is armed and armored to the max. ‘teeth ! Rather than going to fight, they take to the football field in a match where the winner takes everything and full of shenanigans. Realized by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, First man delivers its signature British humor and charming stop-motion animation, creating slapstick and clay laughs and a top notch cast. Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall, Miriam Margolyes, Richard Ayoade and What we do in the shadows’ Kayvan Novak lends their voices, bringing a lot of wit to these cheerfully goofy characters. If your family laughed at Aardman’s entertainment offerings like Chicken coop, Shaun the sheep, Where Distant, then you will applaud for this unconventional sports film.
How to watch: Early Man is streaming on HBO Max.
ten. The Wizard of Oz
Savor the wonderful world of Oz with this 1939 classic. Adapted from the fantasy novel by L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), a brave farmer who is magically taken to a distant realm of flying monkeys, deadly poppies, and a cascade of curious characters. In her quest to get home, she – and her little dog, too – befriends a sleazy scarecrow (Ray Bolger), a cowardly lion (Bert Lahr) and a heartless iron man (Jack Haley) . Together, they must face the dreaded Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) and meet the mysterious wizard. With vibrant colors, imaginative production design, and an array of upbeat songs, director Victor Fleming has led audiences along the yellow brick road on an adventure cherished for generations.
How to watch: The Wizard of Oz airs on HBO Max.