11 great family movies


We don’t watch a lot of TV in our home. For one, we live overseas, so there’s only so much we can comprehend. We’ve got BBC and CNN, but that’s about it in English.

But we also don’t watch a lot because there’s so much more we’d rather do. I’ve got a stack of books waiting for me on my nightstand, and I never get to sew or craft as much as I’d like.

But we love movies. When it’s a family evening, there’s little better than getting out the popcorn, propping up your feet, and dimming the lights. That’s when movies are best—when they’re treated like an event.

So in random order, here are some of our favorite family-friendly movies, good for both parents and kids of most ages.

Please note: These are not children’s movies. These are family movies, of which kids will mostly enjoy and adults will not go insane. I realize that some preschoolers may not be captivated by them. Use discretion.

1. The Princess Bride

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
the princess bride
Sure, you can quote it by heart, but that’s one of the reasons it’s a classic. Princesses, sword fighting, daring escapes, horses… what’s a kid not to love? You might need to skip over some scary-ish parts, namely the woman who yells “Boo!” and the R.O.U.S. in the fire swamp.

2. Finding Neverland

“Write about your family.  Write about the talking whale.”  “What whale?”  “The one that is trapped in your imagination, desperate to get out.”
finding neverland
The genius acting of Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet makes this a sweet movie that doesn’t turn saccharine. The adults will love the complexity of relationships and thought-provoking idea behind the value of innocence; the kids will like watching the plot of Peter Pan unfold, and the scenes of the children playing pirates and indians. Note: there is death in this movie, which is hard for some kids.

3. Wallace & Gromit

“I’m sorry, Gromit. I know you’re doing this for my own good, but the fact is I’m just crackers about cheese.”
wallace and gromit
There’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Three Amazing Adventures – both are great. The brilliant stop-motion animation will entertain the kids and amaze the adults; the parents will also enjoy the ridiculousness of Wallace and the level-headedness of his pet dog.

4. Hook

“This is an insurance nightmare! What is this? Some sort of the ‘Lord of the Flies’ preschool?”
This movie really captures the spirit of childhood and the importance of not rushing into adulthood too quickly. Robin Williams is a great Peter Pan and Dustin Hoffmann is a brilliant Captain Hook.

5. Babe

“That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.”
We watched this recently, and I forgot how well-written it is. A farmer takes in an adorable pig with whom he senses he shares a common destiny. Babe takes on the role of a sheep-pig, and his relationships with the other farm animals are just too funny. Don’t let a movie about talking animals turn you off.

6. School of Rock

“It’s gonna be a really tough project, you’re gonna have to use your head, your brain and your mind too.”
school of rock
Believe it or not, my preschooler loves this movie. A few days after we watched it, she saw a painting of Beethoven and said, “Hey! That’s Jack Black!” Hmm. The story has a hilarious plot about intelligent private school kids forming a band with their substitute teacher. And as always, Jack Black is a riot.

7. The Sandlot

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”
the sandlot
A new boy in the neighborhood makes friends through the love of baseball. Set in the early 1960s, it has classic childhood antics and summertime fun. This movie can’t help but put you in a good mood.

8. The Parent Trap

“You’ve never heard of Leonardo DiCaprio? How far away is London anyway?”
the parent trap
Though the original and remake are both good, I actually prefer the remake. Lindsay Lohan (yes, her) plays the twin sisters separated at birth, reunited at summer camp. It’s sweet, its funny, and it’s surprisingly romantic.

9. Cheaper By The Dozen

“Twelve kids later and we still got the heat.”
cheaper by the dozen
I love just about anything with Steve Martin, and this is one of his best family-friendly films. A family with 12 kids adjusts to life in the city after moving from a small town. Kids will enjoy the pranks and antics of the siblings, and parents will appreciate the message of family unity.

10. October Sky

“False hopes? Do you want me to sit quiet, let ’em breathe in coal dust the rest of their life?”
october sky
Based on a true story and set in rural West Virginia of the 1950s, Homer Hickam’s interest in rocket science has competition with his dad’s plan on him going into the family business of coal mining. Somewhat predictable, but still a very good story line of courage, passion, and being true to yourself.

11. Little Women

“Over the mysteries of female life there is drawn a veil best left undisturbed.”
little women
Sigh… I love this movie. Obviously based on the classic book, four sisters bond during the Civil War and discover what they’re gifted at, what their purpose is, and how to face adversity. I prefer the more recent one with Susan Sarandon, for the costumes if anything. Truly. One of my favorites.

What are your family’s favorite movies?

You can say no to constant busyness.

To lead your family with peace, you need to know your NOs and YESes. But what are they?

Like Your Life can help you figure them out.


  1. Serena

    You have excellent taste!

  2. Monica

    Thanks! We’re going to watch School of Rock this weekend! And surprisingly enough there are 3 or 4 on there that I never even *thought* of to watch as a family it’s been so long.

    Another good family movie is Big with Tom Hanks.


    Monica´s last blog post…Latin Men in White Suits

    • Amy

      Big is a great choice! I could watch that movie over and over again!

  3. Lara M.

    What a good list! Your shop had several others that we love like Much Ado About Nothing and the Princess Bride. A few that my family enjoys as well are Willow, Ever After (Drew Barrymore – retelling of Cinderella), Fly Away Home, and the Anne of Green Gables miniseries from 80s.

  4. alex

    Oh I love Little Women … not sure if a house made up of all boys would, though!

    alex´s last blog post…Colour predictions

  5. Nicki at Domestic Cents

    Great list!

    How about Homeward Bound (the one with the 3 animals)
    The Sound of Music
    Anne of Green Gables (although, to be honest, my hubby wouldn’t want to watch the last two)


    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog post…Good Reads – Alliteration Edition

  6. Amy

    Love your choice of Princess Bride–good for girls and boys. I’d recommend that you add the book (by William Goldman) to your bedside stack–a bit different than the movie, but still hilarious.

    The Goonies is another great movie; one that kids today enjoy and children of the ’80s still quote :o)

    • Meili

      Goonies is my kid’s all time favorite (at least, of the movies from my youth that I’ll let them see!) I wish they were still making innocent kid adventure movies like that one.

  7. Nisha

    Thanks for your post on family movies. Some of my favorites are Sound of Music, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Its a Wonderful Life and The Goonies.

    Have a great weekend!

    Nisha´s last blog post…My Confession…I am not Ms.Suzy Homemaker

    • simplemom

      Goonies! I hadn’t thought of that being a movie that kids today would enjoy, but I guess that makes sense, since I liked it when I was a kid. 🙂

    • Sara

      Fun movie for sure, but make sure you preview it before turning the kids loose. It had more swearing than I had remembered. Selective memory, I guess. : )

      • Edlow

        Goonies has a ton of swearing. I dont remember all the bad words when I was a child. perhaps we had recorded the movie off tv. ( wow does that sound old or what!?) but i was shocked to hear the bad words all through this one

  8. Aimee

    Thanks for this list! We watched little to no movies when I was growing up, so I don’t have much to draw from when it comes to my own children. I’ve only seen about half of these, but the rest will be noted!

    Aimee´s last blog post…Orange Madeleines and a Holiday Relapse Recap

  9. Southern Gal

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with these picks.
    My youngest son is in love with Princess Bride. I am reading the book to him now while he stands in the middle of the floor having pretend sword fights. (He’s 6.) We like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Sound of Music, Anne of Green Gables (my daughter’s favorite). We watched Little Women last night although it was on TV and was the older one with June Allison as Jo. I love Elizabeth Taylor in that version!! PLUS we love Pixar movies. Just do.

  10. Mandy

    Sound of Music should definitely be included but we also like Swiss Family Robinson. Great list!

    Mandy´s last blog post…Building the Discipline Bridge

  11. Briana

    Great pics. I’ve seen most of them, but am trying to gather titles as good family movies to watch as our kids are finally reaching the age where we might be able to begin doing movie nights and enjoy it. Today has been declared “movie day” as all three of my kiddos got sick over night last night. YIKES.

    Briana´s last blog post…Questions and Answers

  12. Dana @ Letters to Elijah

    Thanks for the list. I will have to look into some of those for tonight!

    Lately my kids have been on a Beethoven kick! Finding good movies that are great for a 3 and 9 year old can be challenging!
    I think I’m going to go rent Hook tonight!

    Dana @ Letters to Elijah´s last blog post…Always Proofread

  13. Jennifer

    I really like An American Tale (with Fieval the mouse) and I think Tuck Everlasting is a really quality movie…although maybe not too interesting for very young kids.

    Veggie tales were always a favorite in my house growing up…my parents loved them too!

  14. Dina

    Great list! Some that my 4 year old loves that’s not been mentioned includes Annie, Mary Poppins, and Singing in the Rain. She loves the musicals. 🙂

  15. Kim

    National Treasure is a film that my older two ,ages 6 and 8, really enjoyed. They liked the info on American history, as well as the suspense, and it was surprisingly clean.

    • simplemom

      National Treasure is good, but I know my preschooler would find it scary. Heck, I find it scary in some parts. 🙂

  16. Mom's Marbles

    We’re big Shrek fans but I also LOVE almost every single one of the movies you mentioned. I may just have to whip out Little Women tonight! Hope my boys will like it. 🙂

  17. Half Assed Kitchen

    We’re so not there yet. My six and four year olds still find Cars too scary. Sigh. Someday.

    • simplemom

      Hey, that’s not a bad thing! 🙂

  18. Writer Dad

    We don’t watch TV in our home either. We canceled cable two and a half years back, and it was one of the best things we could have ever done. It’s fair to say, Writer Dad wouldn’t exist if we still had TV, the stuffs just too addictive.

    Great list… except for Hook, which happens to be my least favorite Spielberg film. My wife does love it, however, and she’s right about a great many things.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Lobster Racing Part Duex

  19. shirley rempel

    Little Women and Anne of Green Gables are my faves, as is The Princess Bride. Also, I would add the Chronicles of Narnia: Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe & Prince Caspian in there too….Also, Stepmom, My Girl, Milo & Otis

    shirley rempel´s last blog post…Avaliable in Lethbridge!!!!

    • simplemom

      We watch Narnia, though with my 4-year-old, we skip so much that the movie ends up being about 15 minutes. 🙂

  20. Lizzy

    The Wizard of Oz is a favorite in my house. Muppets take Manhattan, too (well, any of the Muppet movies). My 6-year old loves Napoleon Dynamite.

  21. Sara

    Great choices! We enjoy finding hidden gems at our house… here are a few that haven’t been mentioned:
    Secret of Roan Inish (Irish family tale, with some folklore mixed in)
    Miss Potter (the true historical account of how Peter Rabbit was created)
    Black Beauty (we like the 1994 remake)
    Duma (Boy befriends cheetah — set in Africa)
    The Adventures of Ociee Nash (sweet movie, mostly for girls)
    Mr. Bean (the old BBC shows are better than the movies)
    Nature show episodes from PBS (especially Cloud: Stallion of the Rockies)
    Secret of NIMH (classic – also a fantastic book)
    Whale Rider (great New Zealand film!)
    I Am David (more serious, WWII, but excellent and suitable for kids)
    Heidi (the 1993 version)
    Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken (true story of horse diving)
    Love Comes Softly (the whole series, there are 4 I believe)
    Eragon (fantasty and dragons – there are battle scenes)

    For the record, my kids are 9, 7, and 5 so that’s my target audience.

    • simplemom

      Great list, Sara! I haven’t seen some of those – I’ll have to add those to my “must check out” list. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amy

      I’m sooo glad you mentioned ‘Secret of NIMH’. I love that movie. It might be a little scary for some kids though.

    • louise hummel

      Great list! My family also enjoys the movie A Knight’s Tale. A fun middle evil movie set to music.

  22. Mist

    Your list was great, Tsh! The Princess Bride is one of those movies that never gets old for me OR my kids. To your list I would add:

    Anne of Green Gables (as someone else said, my husband isn’t that into it, but my son loves it)
    The Neverending Story (classic from my own childhood)
    The Wizard of Oz (although I do have to fast forward some of the scarier parts still for my 5-year-olds)
    The Lord of the Rings (my kids LOVE these movies, all of them)
    Star Wars (my daughter actually requests this far more often than my son)
    Meet the Robinsons (someone else mentioned Pixar movies, and this is my absolute favorite one… makes me cry every single time!)

    I’ll admit that I’ve also let my kids watch Pirates of the Caribbean, but I found that it isn’t always appropriate for them, so we limit its availability for now.

    Mist´s last blog post…I Love…

    • simplemom

      Yes, I was going to mention a few Pixar movies – Toy Story 1 & 2, Cars, The Incredibles – and then I realized they would take up the entire list! So I think someday I’ll make a post of kid movies that adults will enjoy.

  23. Joan

    We just got into the Muppets & they’re a huge hit with the 4yr old

    My son has now seen all of the Star Wars movies & is on the verge of becoming a Jedi himself… maybe when he turns 6 we’ll have Yoda over for dinner. Does Yoda even eat?

    Flight of the Navigator is a household favorite, too. “See you later, navigator!”

    Joan´s last blog post…The Need for Nature: defined.

    • simplemom

      Yes, the Muppet movies are great! Forgot about those.

      And I completely forgot about Flight of the Navigator. Oh my gosh, the amount of times we watched that as a kid…

      • Amy

        OMG, I didn’t think anybody else watched Flight of the Navigator!! My brothers and I STILL talk about that movie!

  24. simplemom

    I came very close to adding The Sound of Music, but I didn’t simply because it’s long, and I wanted this to be a list of movies you could watch in their entirety as a family with small children.

    And I love Anne of Green Gables! But I think several of you hit it – my husband… not so much. He enjoys Little Women, but that’s as far as he’ll go in that genre.

  25. Amberlynn

    Great movie taste! (And we don’t do TV either…) With the Peter-Pannish movies, I’m surprised you missed the live-action Peter Pan. My kids love the adventure (“Captain Hook is my Fave-it,” says the two year old), and we love the depth of the love story involved.

    Another knew one that *might* even surpass Princess Bride is Stardust. Pirates, witches, princes, love, magic… fun.

    Then, there’s the more obscure Alice Through the Looking Glass with Kate Beckensale. I love that is have a very relaxed quiet part toward the end where the littles often fall asleep. A good bedtime movie.

  26. Amberlynn

    Darn, can I edit and spell the correct new? (vs. knew?)

  27. sb

    Such a great list! Many of our favorites plus some I’ll have to watch with our boys soon! We just got School of Rock last week (for anyone looking for it… it’s in the $5 bargain bin at Walmart!) and I cracked up when I found my son playing air guitar in his bedroom and saying “now raise your goblet of rock!”… hilarious. My boys are also bog fans of the Narnia movies…

    sb´s last blog post…baby gnome…

  28. Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net

    Great list! It is so hard to find stuff our entire family can enjoy nowadays! These are all classics that are sure to get a gigle from my kids and from me too!

    Thanks for putting this together!

    Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net´s last blog post…Soul Snack: Death of a Plant

  29. Becky

    LOVE THESE MOVIES! Little Women is such a classic. My sisters and I always quote “I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.” I still get steaming mad when Amy burns Jo’s manuscript. Ughh I cannot even speak of it!!! 🙂

    Becky´s last blog post…The Love Affair Continues

  30. Jenni at My Web of Life

    My 7-year-old daughter is now a huge fan of Jackie Chan now that we’ve watched ‘Around the World in 80 Days’.
    We also watched ‘Wall*E’ recently and I LOVE the environmental message. The movie was still fun but my daughter really clued into *why* we are supposed to recycle, compost and take care of our Earth.

    Jenni at My Web of Life´s last blog post…Friday Faves

  31. V. Higgins

    I personally am a Disney ADDICT, I grew up watching Aladdin so much the tape wore out (seriously, the singing sounds terrible now, thank goodness for DVDs). I’m appalled that you prefer the remake of The Parent Trap! *huge sigh* Such lack of taste *tsk tsk* 😉 The only thing I can count against the original is how long it is, but oh, such a favorite of mine!!
    Basically anything Pixar is entertaining, Nemo came out while I was in college and everone would go “Mine, mine mine”. But I’m a big fan of classics too, like Swiss Family Robinson and Old Yeller (oh how that made me cry!). If you want a fun one (I don’t know if it would capture the attention of littles, but it’s adorable), see if you can dig up a copy of Two Weeks with Love. It’s an old movie with Debbie Reynolds (from Singing in the Rain) and it’s one my all time favorites. Libraries would be your best bet to find it.

  32. Janet

    Great list! I haven’t watched any Wallace and Gromit in a long time. Maybe this is a good weekend for a Wallace and Gromit marathon.

    Janet´s last blog post…Yep, Michael Smith AGAIN…

  33. Cynthia

    Family movie nights are my favorite. We have almost every movie you listed. We even have all 3 Sandlot movie. My son is big baseball fan, so he really likes them.

    I think someone may have mentioned it, but Homeward Bound is a good family movie. We also like Tuner and Hooch and the Beethoven movies, but these may not be classics. My son also loves the “Buddy” movies, you know the one with the dog that plays basketball. Now they have several “Buddy” movies, again these aren’t classic, but bareable for parents. Thanks for the list and our Friday’s are usually family movie night, so I think I’ll be popping one of these in tonight.

    Cynthia´s last blog post…Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken and Beans

  34. Shannon

    Quite a few here we haven’t seen. I worry Finding Neverland would be much too sad for children. You didn’t find that! (excellent movie though) I’ll add Secondhand Lions. EXCELLENT movie about real life issues, family relations, fantasy and sword fighting. It’s got it all. The main characters are male but in our family it appeal to everyone.

    Comment on Meet the Robinsons: some of our children were adopted and the adoption theme caught me off guard at the start of this movie. Our children who were adopted are too young to understand the movie anyway or the adoption themes but I did want to put this out there for other families this may affect. I’m becoming quite aware how many books and movies have an adoption theme and realize this will be an issue to deal with in a few years.

    We love some of the ‘usuals’ also…Incredibles, Robots, Horton Hears a Who, Shrek (only the first, didn’t like the followups).

    • jessica

      Our son is adopted & I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure why you think this movie would be an issue for adoptive or traditional families?

  35. Eryn

    You have some of our faves listed! You forgot one, though… Daddy Day Care! It is so cute and funny and very family friendly. Thanks for not mentioning “Shr&k” – even though kids love the big green ogre, we have found those movies have some adult humor that we don’t particularly want our kids exposed to (yet). Here’s to family movie night!

    Eryn´s last blog post…works for me: vacuuming

  36. NatureMom

    Great picks! I love most of those, especially The Parent Trap, it was even better than the original.

    NatureMom´s last blog post…Organic Baby Food Giveaway

  37. Myrrh

    While I have seen and enjoyed most of these movies, I couldn’t get my preschooler, or even my six year-old to sit through any of them (even as a family watching them together)…except maybe Babe and Wallace & Gromit. Princess Bride is my favorite on the list, but it would be way too violent/scary to them (the fighting/torture scenes) and the content of the others is just over their head, and they’re very bright girls (both taught themselves to read around the same time they were potty trained), or in some cases too sad, esp. Neverland (they’re quite sensitive). If they were in animated form, we might be able to pull it off, but the only non-cartoon Disney movie they like is Mary Poppins (it’s all about the penguins). I look forward to when they’re read for some of these, but I’m just surprised that so many here have little ones who can actually get through these.

    One little point I’d like to make is that if at all possible, if there’s a book version, read them (or have them read) the book before they see the movie. That way they get to use their imagination rather than having a visual picture already in their head from the film.

    I’m holding off on the Chronicles of Narnia (book and films) until I think they are mature enough to appreciate the stories and understand the symbolism, probably age 9 or so. I have found that reading or showing movies too young tends to dull their senses to it so that by the time they can really grasp the meaning, they’ve read/heard/seen it too many times to be interested. I know every child is different, though, so some are ready earlier than others, and some love the repetition at all ages.

  38. Nancy

    Seen ’em all. Nice list. Most of these would also be on our list of family favorites. Our absolute, all time favorite is The Goonies. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

    Nancy´s last blog post…A Word of Wisdom

  39. rachel

    These are awesome picks (well, 8 of ten. I haven’t seen the other 2). Our current faves:
    1. The original star wars trilogy. The kids are head over heels for these movies right now and hubby is in heaven. Our whole family is going to be Princess Leia for Halloween.
    2. “What’s Up, Doc?” Particularly the chase scenes.
    Some other older comedies are fun to watch with the kids. The one that comes to mind is “Support your local sheriff”.

  40. Vintage Mommy

    This is good, thank you everyone!

    Vintage Girl has enjoyed Mary Poppins, and I was delighted to watch it with her. She’s easily scared and very sensitive, so at first there were tears when Mary left, but she’s better now. The first (and only) movie she’s seen in the theater (at the ripe old age of 7) is Kit Kittredge. I know lots of people who take their kids to movies I would never want VG to see – even if she wanted to!

    Vintage Mommy´s last blog post…I Want to Say “I Told You So”

  41. Taylor at Household Management 101

    Love your list. We just watched Princess Bride the other night, because it was my oldest daughter’s birthday (age 7) and she got to choose. My son (age 4) was mad because he said it was “dumb,” but that was only before he watched. He loved the whole thing, especially the sword fight and the giant, and wants to watch it again.

    We also love the remake of Parent Trap. Both my daughter and I think it is much better than the original. She could watch the scene over and over where the want-to-be-stepmother has the lizard crawl from her hair into her mouth. She just squeals and thinks it is hilarious!

    Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog post…Household Notebook: Use It To Organize Your Home Life

  42. Myrnie

    Our family LOVES Hiyao Miyazaki’s films- they’re from his studio, Studio Ghibli, in Japan but Disney has released them here. Howl’s Moving Castle, Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Cat Returns are all super sweet. Nausicaa is a little more adult, with a war story running in the background. Oh, they’re all just GOOD!

    Myrnie´s last blog post…My Beautiful Corner, and a Giveaway!

  43. Keilah

    Love the list! I would most definitely add Goonies!
    *Annie-my daughter loves the songs and dancing and I love Carol Burnett
    *Follow Me Boys-Walt Disney film about a boy scout troop in the 1930’s a little long but my kids march around and sing along with it
    *Spy Kids 1, 2 & 3 are a lot of fun too.
    *The Ugly Dachshund-another great old Walt Disney about a Great Dane that thinks he is dainty dachshund, cute and slapstick humor
    *Calamity Jane- with Doris Day
    *Seven Brides for Seven Brothers-so funny, great songs and dancing
    *Pollyanna-with Hayley Mills, teaches to find the good in every situation
    *Chicken Run- from the Wallace & Gromit guys, Mel Gibson is the rooster’s voice
    *Shrek-we love all three and love how they incorporate cool songs in the sound track.
    I could probably go on and on since my husband and I love movies but I will restrain myself.
    Good post!

    Keilah´s last blog post…Child Psychology 101

  44. ElizabethBarr

    My 3-year-old daughter loves “Amelie.” I don’t even think she has noticed it’s in French. There are two quick scenes where I either FF or get her out of the room by telling her to go grab her teddy or something, but otherwise it’s charming. The CGI effects are appealing to kids.

    We also love the two “Eloise” movies (one is a Christmas story). Also, “Wall-E” and “The Sound of Music” (though usually I skip from one song to another … my daughter isn’t much interested in the plot yet).

    Another good option for kids are concert DVDs, especially if your kids are musically inclined. My daughter would watch the Dave Matthews Band for hours if I let her. Music can be a nice change from the hyper-action animation of so many kids’ movies and shows.

    Simple Mom monthly columnist – Family Food

  45. rosesmama

    Family movies are ones we watch together, so they may have some language or more adult situations, which is why we watch them together, so we can talk about any questions. Right now the girl is 7, a very good reader, and mature, but not sophisticated. Some of our favorites are: To Kill a Mockingbird, Bend It Like Beckham (which for many years was the only movie she wanted to watch and was called “Girls Playing Soccer” in our house), Mr. Mom, Miracle on 34th Street, The Odd Couple, Singing in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Blue Crush, Whale Rider, South Pacific, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, and oddly enough, Il Postino, which is about Pablo Neruda and is in Italian and Spanish. I think that many movies that are “for” adults can be enjoyed by children, as long as there is a trusted adult there to explain the more difficult parts.

    • Sara

      We are very similar with our family movies. Il Postino was well-loved at our house! Some other foreign and unconventional favorites:
      Fiddler On The Roof (great musical)
      The Dish (moon landing story from New Zealand perspective)
      Door to Door (true story of a disabled salesman)
      Rabbit Proof Fence (aboriginal integration in the 1930s)
      The Road Home (childhood sweethearts in rural China)
      Spitfire Grill (redemption story in small-town Maine)
      Story of the Weeping Camel (Mongolian documentary)
      The Straight Story (reunion of two stubborn old brothers)
      Behind the Waterfall (children rekindle their imagination after losing their father)
      Children of Heaven (Iranian brother and sister must share shoes for school – excellent!!)
      Lagaan (East Indian village learns cricket to challenge British colonials)

      Oh there are so many more… my kids actually like ones with subtitles, often easier for them than ones with thick accents/dialects.

      I’m getting some great movie ideas here — thanks everyone!

      • Tsh

        So many of those are good, and I forgot completely about them! Thanks for the reminder.

        Tsh´s last blog post…11 Great Family Movies

      • Angelina

        Your list is unique – have not heard of most of these titles. You mentioned there are so many more. Do you have a list posted? If yes, could you provide a link?


  46. Kaye

    I 100% agree with that entire list!
    I would add (at least) these:
    The Last Unicorn (a lesser-known animated film that still amuses me every time)
    The Pagemaster
    Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (I’m 22 and this is one of MY favorite movies! I think ‘whimsical’ best describes it…)

  47. Tonya

    One of our favorites is Sound of Music…you can’t help but sing through the whole movie. Great way to sneak a little history lesson in, too!
    The Pink Panther with Steve Martin: “I wuld li twa bu u dambuger”!
    One more favorite is Fun with Dick and Jane with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni. We do the “elevator ” scene EVERY time we are in the elevator.

  48. Tonya

    Sorry, one more, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”….ahhhhh!

  49. Sandy

    My kids absolutely loved the 1958 version of Tom Thumb with Russ Tamblyn. Another favorite was the BBC version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (not nearly as graphic, but just as enjoyable). My youngest loved the 1984 version of Alice in Wonderland with Sammy Davis Jr. Other favorites were The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Disney films (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.), and various musicals such as The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.

    Sandy´s last blog post…Heart Joys

  50. bfs ~ Mimi

    Oh, you MUST see the original Parent Trap sometime!!! Loved your list!

    bfs ~ Mimi´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday

    • Tsh

      I actually have seen the original Parent Trap. 🙂 I just prefer the remake.

      Tsh´s last blog post…11 Great Family Movies

  51. jessica

    When I was kid two of my faves were The Journey of Natty Gann (John Cusack, way back when), we borrowed it from the library dozens of times. Also, Space Camp. Two oldies, but goodies:)

    • Monica

      These were my two favorite movies as a kid!

    • Stacie

      I was hoping someone would mention Journey of Natty Gann! I had totally forgotten about Space Camp! Love that one too.

  52. jessica

    Oh, how about The Apple Dumpling Gang.

    • Stacie

      Loved those movies!

  53. Amy

    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with Dick Van Dyke. Loved it! Oh, and The Explorers with Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix.

  54. Amy

    Oops! I forgot ‘Batteries Not Included’!

  55. Krista

    our son is 4 – so while hubby and i love most of the movies on your list (Princess Bride is a favorite with both of us), they are not really something our little guy would be interested in. we are more likely to be watching the Fox & the Hound, Cinderella, Aladdin… any animated Disney or Pixar vehicle is pretty much something that our son will watch with us.

    Krista´s last blog post…Book Review: The Moon Shines Down

  56. Marlena

    This is a great list I stumbled upon! I am 18, and I remember several of these from when I was younger… A few of my other favorites were All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Land Before Time, and FernGully.

  57. Amiyrah

    oooh! great list! Our favorite movie to watch over and over nowadays is that new Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. My son loves movies with great soundtracks. We also watch “happy feet” all the time too.

    Amiyrah´s last blog post…Good Bye Bank of America

  58. Amiyrah

    Oh yeah,

    the Never Ending story is another great family movie

    Amiyrah´s last blog post…Good Bye Bank of America

  59. Laura

    We love Parenthood with Steve Martin. Pollyanna is fabulous – I could still watch it everyday.

    Someone else mentioned Fly Away Home and Goonies – both Great!

    And THE best, although it is a Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street – the original!!!

  60. Gina

    I think pretty much all our favorites have been listed by someone except Indian in the Cupboard (unless I just missed it!).

  61. tara

    great list. i am the mother of three girls. little women is a favorite in our home. another great show is the never ending story. it’s one that our entire family enjoys.

  62. shirley rempel

    Some others…original parent trap, pollyanna, freaky friday (both), the neverending story, old yellar, flicka, and veggie tales.

    shirley rempel´s last blog post…100 + Books in 2009 Challenge!

  63. Linn

    Wow…what a great list here! I’ll definitely be referencing it for our Sunday night movie nights. I’m with previous poster Myrrh, though. I don’t want to introduce my kids to a movie if there’s a great book that it’s based on. I find that movies are generally watered down and lose the strength of the characters, and once a kid sees the movie they generally (in my experience as a teacher) feel like they already know the story and don’t want to read the book. That really limits our watchables…but even more so, the fact that our boys are 3 and 5 and scare easily! But perhaps I’ll favorite this thread for later and pick out the ones to watch now. Thank you!

    Linn´s last blog post…Taking Flight…

  64. Kika

    I’ve enjoyed all the movies on your list before apart from School of Rock which we watched just last night at your recommendation. It was funny but parents should be aware that there is more “language” in this movie than in your other picks. Thanks for your wonderful site!

    • simplemom

      Thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  65. Jamie

    I disagree about Finding Neverland. Very deep and really sad.

    BUT, you forgot Secondhand Lions which I think is hands down one of the best family movies ever.

    Jamie´s last blog post…Wordless Wednesday

  66. Marni

    We LOVE the old Disney movies. Some have been mentioned like Swiss Family Robinson, Pollyanna, and Parent Trap (love the Hailey Mills version way better than the new one). We also love Gus, The Ugly Dachshund, Hot Lead and Cold Feet, the Apple Dumpling Gang, etc. etc. It’s great to know we can all sit down and watch a movie together and not worry about what is going to surprise us on the screen.

    We happened upon one on netflix called Hawmps! that was hilarious. Not Disney, but very Apple Dumpling Gangish.

    Marni´s last blog post…Random Post on Children’s Books

  67. patmom4

    What great lists!! For some reason, “The Princess Bride” tops off our family’s list too. We like the golden oldies too, but I haven’t seen one mentioned—“The Court Jester” with Danny Kaye…it is SO good! You have to look it up! Singing, dancing, sword fighting, romance, comedy. I would say it is the great-grandma of “The Princess Bride”.

  68. Suzanne

    I know I’m late on this one, but just had to say that our family watched “Enchanted” last night, and really loved it! (I agree with many on your list, too. “School of Rock” is a fave at our house.)

    Also, “Elf.” We watch it even in the middle of summer.

    Suzanne´s last blog post…Buffalo Chicken Dip (or, "Ode to Texas Pete")

  69. Adnan M.

    Wow, a great list of suggestions, we actually watched Princess Bride this morning too. But another great movie from my time that my daughter (age 6) LOVES…

    The Labyrinth (the one with David Bowie as the Goblin King)

  70. MamaB

    “Tuck Everlasting” is a great story that I read every year with my fifth grade class, then we watch the movie. My own children also love it…18, 14 and 10.

  71. Richard

    Ah, I can’t believe that you mentioned Princess Bride. It’s one of my all time favs! Finding Neverland was also very moving. I like your taste 🙂

    .-= Richard´s last blog ..DVD Movies New Releases =-.

  72. Luke

    Four more family film gems to check out, definitely worth a look.
    1) The Secret Garden- 1993 movie
    2) Second Hand Lions
    3) Last of The Dogman
    4) The Little Princess

  73. Susanne Costume Snow White

    You have some great films here, I loved the princess bride, my daughter read the book first and then wanted to watch the film. This is the one film I would love to see remade. The other film that we still watch and my daughter is 16 is snow white. I still think this film is charming and when you think how long ago it was made it still has that touch of magic.
    Another film for your list is Stardust, this is the first film that my daughter says she prefers to the book.

  74. Amber

    Don’t forget the never ending story 🙂 great list btw 🙂

  75. Donna

    Lots of our favorites have already been mentioned. We also love these ~
    Back to the Future series
    City Slickers (both 1 and 2)
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Support Your Local Sheriff with James Garner
    October Sky
    Rat Race
    Night at the Museum and the sequel, Battle of the Smithsonian

  76. Monica Longoria

    The Labryinth
    Don’t tell mom the babysitters dead

  77. Kevin

    Great list of flicks for a family event, and worthwhile contributions in the comments.

    The Neverending Story
    Not sure that she would get it, I showed this to my 3-year-old daughter, remembering that it had made an impact on me when I was around 7-10. She got completely absorbed into this one and couldn’t stop talking about it afterward. A pretty deep movie for a kid.
    I wish my wife hadn’t mentioned the sequels, though having Jack Black in the third one was a novelty.

  78. Sara Hooper

    The Education of Little Tree, a wonderful heartwarming family movie. I have two boys 5 & 9.

  79. Sharon

    Thanks for the list. My number one family movie is Second Hand Lions.

    • GraceMarie

      This was going to be my comment – LOVE Second Hand Lions!

  80. Kit

    My four boys have enjoyed these:
    Facing the Giants
    Narnia (all three, Wardrobe, Caspian, & Dawn Treader)
    And, of course ALL the Star Wars movies

    Thanks for the great list!

  81. Sara

    Love the Princess Bride – still a favourite (the movie AND the book)

    Elf is a huge family favourite. So funny. It’s a Christmas movie but it’s humour we all get around here.

    Up and Lorax are two fav’s for both kids and us. Considered kid-movies but are too good not to mention.

  82. Krystal

    Great list. This just showed up on Facebook today. I’d add a couple we love….Mr.Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Bridge to Terybithia.
    Both wonderful family movies that touch your heart with a sense of wonder and good will.

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