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Great Family Movies this Year

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm on the lookout for some good family movies to watch during the upcoming school break. Anyone have good ones to suggest? I need some that are good for a family with children of various ages. 


Maybe if we can get a good collection of recommendations I can turn it into an article to feature on the site. I'll throw in a gift from Mothering for a lucky random poster. :love

post #2 of 9

Our seaonal family favorites:

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Polar Express

How the Grinch Stole Christmas


Other favories:

Sound of Music

Finding Nemo

Shrek (and sequels)


Mary Poppins

The Sword in the Stone

The Wizard of Oz


Monsters, Inc

Toy Story (and sequels)





Edited by revolting - 12/3/13 at 7:04am
post #3 of 9

warning: if you have a uber sensitive 3 or 4 year old - i cant recommend any movie that multiple age children can watch together. depending on your child's temperament - which aspect scares them some movies even v. mundane ones might be hard for some. for instance dd could watch spiderman teh movie with no problems, but she could never tolerate a bugs life. 


(i am not including the films the pp posted either) 


some of our favourite family movies have been listed by pp so i am not repeating them. as a parent i really have enjoyed children's movies too - like Ice Age for instance. 


miyasaki films (except Spirited away and some others for the very young) - studio ghibli



milo and otis


Jungle book

all those dog movies - lassie, benji, beethoven, digbi

cats and dogs

home alone

honey i blew up the kids

happily ever after

black beauty

little rascals

the secret of roan inish

wallace and gromitt

mathilda (not sure if a 3 year old will sit through this one)

post #4 of 9

My kid was super-sensitive for a long time, and we had good luck with the documentaries March of the Penguins and Babies. (Some children might be frightened by March of the Penguins, though, because one of the penguins gets eaten by a leopard seal.) He also loved Yellow Submarine, Let It Be (a Beatles rehearsal/concert movie) and Stop Making Sense, a Talking Heads concert movie. In some ways, children's movies are scarier for him than adult movies. We can be ruthless with kids in our culture. 


If you wind up with a movie that freaks out the children in spite of your best precautions, you can sometimes make it OK if you take breaks for snacks and discussion. Asking children to predict what will happen next, asking them to tell you about how special effects are made (they often know how, but you can share information about green screens, costumes and acting if they don't) or to try to figure out how someone got a nifty camera shot--they all turn the experience of movie-watching into an opportunity for the child to be engaged rather than frightened. In old movie theaters, there was always an intermission between reels, and you could play music for the kids to dance around before you play the second half of the picture. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much! 


My children are all 14 and up so no worries there. But I do have younger nieces and nephews so I'd like a variety of films that would be good for them too. 


The Life of Pi anyone?

post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

Thanks so much! 

My children are all 14 and up so no worries there. But I do have younger nieces and nephews so I'd like a variety of films that would be good for them too. 

The Life of Pi anyone?


Whoa! I did not see that movie, because the book was absolutely terrifying. I'd be interested to hear about how other people's children liked it. 


As far as things that are current, I'm a big fan of all the Marvel movies. I loved Thor 2 and I'm planning to take my son to see it. I think he's ready to see it in the theater. He saw all the Iron Man films and the Avengers on a small screen where he could control the experience. I really like being able to stop and ask questions and get him to use his literary analysis skills.

post #7 of 9

CO - you HAVE to see that movie. it isnt as terrifying in the movie. cinematography was just way out excellent. excellent acting.


but i can see children 5 and younger either being frightened by Life of Pi or bored by it. dd saw teh movie at 10 and really liked it. its got some absolutely breathtaking scenes. 


i do agree with you that distracting the child while the movie is on - making it a party atmosphere instead of totally focused on watching the movie helps with downplaying the intensity of the movie. i saw march of the penguins first and then kinda distracted dd or fast forwarded the scary/sad parts. 


oh a few other movies that dd enjoyed when she was young (there are some she really enjoyed when she was young but they were off beat movies and i cant remember the names - many of them foreign films like the following two) 


the cup

la gran final


fly away home

post #8 of 9

See, I think it's better not to distract them, but rather to focus them on the mechanics of the story. Last winter, we watched The Incredibles with a mixed age group, and had to have a break for Chinese food. (Because we eat Chinese food on Christmas.) One of the kids got scared by the dramatic tension, so it was good that we had a break. As we were eating, I asked, "What superpower do you think the little baby brother has?" and "Why does the costume lady say 'no capes'?" Once we remembered that it was a movie, they were ready to watch the ending with interest. 


I have become shameless about relating movies and TV series, like Avatar: The Last Airbender, to books we're reading and concepts from school. 

post #9 of 9

CO - again it depends on the personality of the child. 


my dd is a huge imaginary child. she does not just watche a movie. she becomes it. even today at 11 she becomes the movie or the book. so trying to see it for what it was - not real - is hard for her. intellectually she understood it but emotionally she struggled to draw the line. even though she knew clifford the big red dog in the last scene in the movie just went into the forest, she could not stop from silently weeping because it felt like he disappeared forever.  


so for her distractions work so she does  not get so into the movie and thus intensifies her experience. joking with her or asking her random inane questions kinda stops her from becoming too much a part of the movie. that was the reason why we kept her away from the movie theater till she was older. 

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