There are few family activities that beat watching some of the best kids movies with pizza and pajamas. Family movie night is a beloved tradition for many. Parents and kids of all ages look forward to hours of warmth and entertainment. Revisiting old favorite movies reinforces good memories and strong family bonds.
There’s almost no better reward for children than to watch a movie with them on a Friday night. Even an oft-viewed oldie feels like a special occasion when you watch together as a family. If you need some inspiration for choosing the best kids movies that will keep your family wholesomely entertained, check out our list of hand-picked suggestions.
Whether your children prefer an adventure animation, a Christmas comedy, or a Halloween horror move, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out what movie you need to stream next. Then grab the popcorn!
1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
An all-time favorite, the Harry Potter series is a must both for kids and adults. If you want to introduce your kid to the world of wizards, start with the first movie that hit the theaters at the beginning of the 2000s. Not only does the movie convey a fantasy world, it is also educational. Kids will have the chance to learn about a little boy rescued from abuse that gets a second chance when he starts studying at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rated PG for some scary scenes, but overall the movie is kid-friendly and can be watched by children who are under 7 years old.
2. Jumanji (1995)
Probably one of the best kids movies of that decade, Jumanji is bound to conquer both younger and older viewers. This mystery and family movie will spark the imagination of kids and will make adults reminisce of the times when they watched Jumanji themselves back in the day.
The title of the movie is also the name of the game two kids discover in their new house. Little do they know that they’ll have to do much more than toss the dice to play Jumanji. The siblings release Alan, who has been stuck in the game for years, but their adventure doesn’t stop there. This might not be a James Bond movie, but it will keep you and your kids on the edge of your seat.
3. Tangled (2010)
If your kids prefer animated movies, you can’t go wrong with Tangled. Admittedly, more girls than boys will enjoy this movie, but it’s worth watching by the entire family. Tangled tells the story of a different type than the classic Disney princess. Rapunzel is adventurous and feisty.
The gorgeous animation is paired with a catchy soundtrack that will entertain viewers of all ages. Tangled is PG rated for mild violence. However, Rapunzel’s journey is dotted with beautiful scenes that are suitable for children under 7 years old.
4. Annie (1982)
Ready for a walk down memory lane? Nothing will cheer you up on a holiday or Thanksgiving Day like this ‘80s version of Annie. The fun adventures of a young orphan accompanied by a dog are funny and entertaining. The movie will definitely help the little ones appreciate what they have and ignite their imagination.
Annie is a girl in the 1930s who lives in an orphanage run by cruel Miss Hannigan. Her luck changes when she gets the chance to spend some time at the mansion of a wealthy industrialist who sets out to help the little girl find her parents. Annie could easily qualify as one of the best kids movies ever made.
5. Hunger Games (2012)
Kids who are over 8 years old are probably going to enjoy watching the Hunger Games series. The movie might even act as an incentive and prompt them to read the books. Set in a dystopian world, this sci-fi movie will engulf children who are passionate about action and superhero movies.
Katniss, 16, is the heroine of the movie. Shechooses to protect her younger sister and volunteers to take her part in the Hunger Games. These are a TV entertainment/reality show meant to amuse the people living in the Capitol, Panem’s rich capital. Due to the upsetting images and violent materials, the movie was rated PG-13.
6. Frozen (2013)
The movie that made Xmas 2013 ten times better was Frozen. Long gone are the days when cartoons could convey only so much. Frozen is proof that nowadays, animation has reached a new level of sophistication . Your children will fall head over heels in love with the characters and soundtrack in this movie.
The storyline revolves around Anna, who is trying to find her sister, Elsa. Anna is not alone on her adventure, but accompanied by Kristoff. If this was a regular movie, the two would also have a faithful animal to help them on their quest. Instead, they have a snowman that gives rise to some of the funniest jokes.
7. The Little Mermaid (1989)
The renowned fable by Hans Christian Andersen inspired the beautiful Disney cartoon from 1989. The catchy soundtrack is bound to follow parents and kids around for days. When Ariel decides she doesn’t want to live in the sea anymore, she makes a deal with the Sea Witch, Ursula. But not all the Little Mermaid’s wishes go according to plan.
The Little Mermaid won two Oscars and offers a powerful lesson about how far you should go to follow your dreams. Rated G, the movie is suitable for all ages and can also be found on DVD and Blu-Ray.
8. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
It’s never too early to introduce your kids to the world of anime. The fantasy worlds created by Hayao Miyazaki are truly one of a kind. My Neighbor Totoro is the beautiful story of Mei and Satsuki, two sisters that move into the countryside to be closer to their sick mother. They will soon discover that magical creatures that will become their friends reside in the forest near their house.
My Neighbor Totoro doesn’t include the regular characters your kids might be used to: a spy, a robot, a horse or a dinosaur. Instead, the movie introduces a unique kind of creatures: totoros. They teach the two little girls how to defeat their fears and open their hearts. No viewer is likely to get bored watching this movie. Need more anime best kids movies inspiration? Your children might also like From up on Poppy Hill (2011) and Summer Wars (2009).