The best family movies ever made

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What are the best family movies? That’s it, the whole family is gathered for a movie. Lots of popcorn and drinks for everyone, and everyone has promised not to use their phones. But, what to watch? There is so much to choose from among all the streaming services.

Between Disney movies, Pixar movies, fantasy movies, adventure movies and everything in between, choosing the movie can take just as long as watching it. You are spoiled for choice, and there is nothing more crippling than too many options.

We have the solution. We’ve narrowed the selection down to the best movies suitable for everyone – as long as a parent or guardian is present, that is. From beautiful and captivating animations to joyful and fantastic lovemaking to pure rock riffs, each of these movies will provide an enjoyable viewing experience for everyone in your household. Kick back, relax and let the magic of the cinema take care of the family for the evening.

What are the best family movies?

  • To hang up
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
  • Space Muppets
  • jurassic park
  • Wolf walkers
  • Howl’s moving castle
  • The Mummy
  • The nightmare before Christmas
  • The Grand Muppet Caper
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Rock school

Hook (1991)

Has there ever been an actor more affable than Robin Williams? The powerful comedic actor is absolutely magnetic to everyone, regardless of their age. Playing an older Peter Pan in director Steven Spielberg’s return to Never, Never Land, Williams’ ability to turn you from laughter to sob in an instant is fully operational.

Fun for all ages: The best children’s films

When Dustin Hoffman’s Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an old Wendy reminds corporate lawyer Peter Branning that he was Peter Pan, and if he is to save them he has to remember the magic. Give a prolonged, Spielbergien reminder of the importance of staying young at heart.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Best Family Movies: The Wizard of Oz

At over 80 years old, Victor Fleming’s hit musical is as haunting as ever. While young viewers can get restless during the first black-and-white scenes, the transition to technicolor is sure to calm itchy feet.

Judy Garland’s Wendy and her loyal companion dog Toto are ideal audience surrogates for Oz’s tricks, gradually accompanied by the Cowardly Lion, Iron Man, and Scarecrow. Occasional glimpses of the Wicked Witch of the West keep an ominous vibe through the musical numbers, and once we reach the Emerald City, greatness comes at the cost of knowing the adventure is over.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Best Family Movies: Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse

Instead of doing just one Spider-Man movie, why not make five at a time, each with their own unique aesthetic and tone. On paper, Into the Spider-Verse looks fun: a group of Spider-People from across the Marvel Multiverse come together to stop the bad guys. But with several different art styles, from anime to black and white to CGI all neatly interwoven, it’s a revelation.

More gorgeous colors: The best animated films

Miles Morales runs this one, along with a middle-aged Peter Parker. Then there’s Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir, and other characters we won’t spoil. In an era when the Marvel Cinematic Universe delivers a lot of Spidey, writer Phil Lord and co-directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman treat him like ubiquity and go from there. Watch, then dive into the story behind each version.

Muppets from Space (1999)

Best Family Movies: Space Muppets

None of the Muppets ever needed origin stories, but there is ample justification for this exploration of Gonzo. Although his muppet family have always taken care of him, Gonzo becomes very aware that he appears to be the only one of his kind, which leads him to try to find his roots.

Talking fish appear, invisibility spray is used, and at one point there is a conversation with a sandwich. All at the right time with Kermit and co, who bring their usual beneficial warmth. Plus, it starts with “Brick House” by The Commodores, and it’s never a bad decision.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Best Family Movies: Jurassic Park

Dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum – come on. Spielberg’s horror film about a dream theme park that becomes the complete opposite is pure popcorn that hasn’t lost an iota of its charm or terror. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is an eyesore, the Velociraptor the stuff of nightmares, and when does the theme hit the Brachiosaurus? masterful.

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The cast is led by Laura Dern and Sam Neill, who seem rightly baffled by much of what is going on. Few blockbusters even come close to prehistoric sensations here. Show it to young people for the first time to see their gaze, then try to explain why computers look and sound the way they do.

Wolf Walkers (2020)

Best Family Movies: Wolfwalkers

The final part of Cartoon Saloon’s Irish Mythology trilogy, Wolfwalkers ends on a beautiful high. Young wolf hunter Robyn befriends Mebh, who comes from a tribe that can turn into wolves. Despite their differences, they grow closer, forcing Robyn to ultimately choose where the allegiances lie.

Magnificent as always from the Irish studio, Wolfwalkers perpetuates the spirit of the Book of Kells and Song of the Sea by exploring an ancient Ireland rarely seen elsewhere. The land is treated with mystique and grandeur, and you will leave with the impression of knowing the country and its cultural heritage, a little better than before.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Best Family Movies: Howls Moving Castle

Director Hayao Miyazaki created plenty of films suitable for this list, but we picked one with lots of action and more mature themes. The titular wizard travels the country in his dilapidated farmhouse with a small team. He soon gets Sophie back, who has been cursed to become an old lady. While helping her, they fall in love, all in the midst of a growing war in the background.

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The light comedy keeps the pace between the fiery battle sequences and the introspective drama of the characters. In the end, everything would have been a lot easier if everyone had just learned to speak. A good lesson at any age, well given for those who want to take it into account.

The Mummy (1999)

Best Family Movies: The Mummy

Brendan Fraser deserves a lot more love and adulation than he gets, and if you’re wondering why, put it on and see for yourself. He and Rachel Weisz take on one of the Universal Monsters in an epic way. Equipped with multiple guns, Fraser’s Rick O’Connell is the kind of fearless hero who screams in the face of a mummy when he’s out of options.

Director Stephen Sommers takes a really good shot at Indiana Jones, setting up a dark and charming adventure that stands out on its own merits. A fascination with beetles gives him some silence, and Jerry Goldsmith’s score hits all the right notes. Underestimated.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Best Family Movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Perhaps the great millennial musical, you’d be hard pressed to find a gothic or 2000s emo who still can’t sing every word. Henry Salick’s marvelous claymation leaves you speechless at the detail level when you’re not grooving.

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Jack Skellington, one of Halloweentown’s main organizers, accidentally lures a bag of Oogie Boogie susceptible insects to Christmastown, threatening the holiday season around the world. Fortunately, Jack has allies in Sally, a Lady Frankenstein, and old Saint Nick himself. The midpoint between Halloween and Christmas runs year round for ghoulish entertainment.

The Muppets Movie (1979)

Best Family Movies: The Muppet Movie

If you want to give origin to the Muppets, make it weird and irreverent, and start with Kermit singing “Rainbow Connection”. That’s what The Muppet Movie, produced while The Muppet Show was still in progress, did, and it’s a time capsule filled with laughter.

Kermit finds and recruits each member of the troop on a roadtrip in Hollywood. Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Dr. Teeth, and Electric Mayhem, all the usual suspects are gathered, each with their own gag or theme. Absolutely enjoyable.

Super Mario Bros (1993)

Best Family Movies: Super Mario Bros

This thing is a mess, but gosh, what a fun mess. John Leguizamo and Bob Hoskins are perfectly cast as Nintendo’s iconic plumber duo, who are magically transported to the Mushroom Kingdom and must fight Dennis Hopper’s King Koopa.

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Beyond the color-coded combinations, almost nothing looks like platform games. But what it looks like is a kiddy-park version of Blade Runner, full of cutting edge technology and seven foot tall lizardmen. Princess Peach’s father is a literal mushroom, and Yoshi is a little raptor. Daft, but it will make everyone laugh if you let him.

School of Rock (2003)

Best Family Movies: School of Rock

Swinging is good for you. We are not doctors, but you can take our word for it. Jack Black is rarely more in his element than Richard Linklater’s ode to cool substitute teachers and the art of riffing. Dewey (Black) becomes a substitute in a preppy middle school where, over the months, he gradually teaches the students to let go and find their voices through heavy metal and distortion.

Watching the kids come out of their shells is encouragement enough for anyone to do the same, all under the tutelage of senior rocker Black. Some of the best licks ever are peppered with a lot of worthy dialogue. Save some room afterward to stick to a few tunes before bed.

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