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Family Friendly films


PeteJ
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When the first lockdown started in March 2020 we introduced Friday Film Night in our house, and the only rule we set was the film must be something the kids hadn't seen before.

 

We've ran this every Friday since and now I'm at the point of really struggling to find something good to watch. Help!

 

I've got Disney, Netflix and Amazon Prime, and also happy to rent films if required. Nine and five year old to entertain so can't really do the Marvel films yet. Starwars went over their heads. 

 

We've done;

All of Aardman 

All of Ice Age

All of Pixar

All of the Lego films

All of the main Disney films

All of the Muppets

All the Alvin and Chipmunks

All the David Walliams films

All the Home Alone films (yes...even beyond Home Alone 2!)

Angry Birds 1 & 2

Babe

Ballerina

Barnyard (pretty awful)

Bee Movie

Beethoven 1 & 2

Beverly hills chihuahua 1, 2 & 3 (desperate times...)

BFG (original and remake)

Boss Baby

BoxTrolls

Despicable Me series + Minions

Dora the Explorer (film) (way better than you think it'd be!)

Fantastic Mr Fox

Ferdinand

Gnomeo & Juliet 1 & 2

Happy Feet 1 & 2

Horrid Henry The movie

Hotel Transylvania 1, 2 & 3

Journey 2

Madagascar 1, 2 & 3

Magic Camp

Malibu Rescue (+ series)

Middle School: The Worst Years of my life

Missing Link

Mr Bean & Johnny English films

Mr Poppers Penguins

Open Season 1, 2 & 3

'Orrible Histories the movie

Over the moon

Paddington 1 & 2

Pants on Fire

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure & Big Holiday

Peter Rabbit

Playing with Fire

Puss in Boots

Rango

Richie Rich

Saw 2

School of Rock

Scooby Doo (including Scoob)

Sing

Sonic

Space Jam

Spiderman Spiderverse

Spongebob (latest film - kids hated it)

Spy next door

Tad the Explorer films

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

The Adams Family (latest animated one)

The Book of Life

The Grinch

The Jungle Bunch

The Lorax

The Main Event

Trolls 1 & 2

Turbo

Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory original + remake

Wonder (our 9 year old's favourite film, one he goes to when feeling overwhelmed with the world)

 

I guess I'm asking for reasonable family friendly films that may not be immediately obvious! 

 

Doesn't need to be the best films ever, just films that will entertain children! 

 

EDIT - I've added in the films we have seen already mentioned in this thread and others I've remembered. 

 

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Suppose some of this depends on age but Spirited Away and a fair few of Studio Ghiblis films are worth it. My 6 year old loved Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. 

 

She also likes Over the Moon but you've probably done that one.

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The Dora explorer film? Seems like it would strike a balance for a 9 and 5 year old. I know the cartoon is for younger kids but the film would probably work for slightly older.

 

What about expanding out to series? Things like Avatar last airbender are supposed to be good too (not seen it myself).

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Some films we watched recently

 

All the classic Herbie films

Lots of the Ray Haryhausen films (Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad, Land that time forgot etc)

Police Squad/Airplane/Naked Gun series (the risque parts go over their heads)

Last Starfighter

Goonies

Tron

 

 

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55 minutes ago, iknowgungfu said:

What about expanding out to series? Things like Avatar last airbender are supposed to be good too (not seen it myself).

 

The Last Airbender would be good for a 9 year old, but probably not for a 5 year old (especially if Star Wars went over their head).

 

 

Matilda

Honey I Shrunk the Kids

The Christopher Reeve Superman films (I first saw them between the ages of about 4-7)

Jumanji

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Some Studio Ghibli easy for kids to enjoy, all on Netflix

 

Spirited Away

Howls Moving Castle

My Neighbour Totoro

Ponyo

Secret World of Arrietty

 

Then if you want you've got all the Disney live action remakes that the kids might enjoy.

 

Looking back on Letterboxd and also on the kids DVD shelf, other family friendly films I'd suggest that went down well with my kids the last few years

 

Jurassic Park*

BTTF Trilogy*

Labyrinth*

Goonies

Harry Potter films*

Hocus Pocus*

Secret if Kells

Song of the Sea

Wolfwalkers*

Pokemom Detective Pikachu

Enola Holmes

Enchanted

Home Alone 1 & 2

Adams Family*

Adams Family Values*

The Iron Giant

Honey We Shrunk the Kids*

Honey We Blew Up the Kid

The Book of Life

Homeward Bound 1&2

Willow

The Kid Who Would Be King

Cheaper by the Dozen 1 & 2

Beehoven 1 & 2

Casper

Boss Baby*

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Fantastic Mr.Fox

Jumanji Films*

Maltida*

Mouse Hunt

Sing*

Teen Titans Go to the Movies*

 

I've put a * next to ones they loved/watched repeatedly. But deffo start on the Ghibli films.

 

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Where the Wild Things Are is worth a try. It's perhaps not the most accessible film and could end up being a borefest for some but I reckon for certain kids it can be one of those seminal films that embeds into their psyche and makes a massive impression. It's a real emotional heart-grabber of a film but because it has that surreal vibe to it, it operates in a kind of dream-like, unconscious way.

 

 

 

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Some of the Muppets films are really good and quite funny. 

 

I have a soft spot for 'Batteries Not Included' too. 

 

Time Bandits is one of my favourites but it might be a bit weird and scary for a 5 year old. 

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Iron Giant

Annie

BFG (the old cartoon one)

Scooby Doo films (depending on 5 year old who may not like ghosts and such)

The old BBC Narnia films

Sing

 

edit: Spy Kids, How to Train Your Dragon, Rugrats movie, Spongebob movie, Bugsy Malone 

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I tried them with Ghibli but they keep protesting, I'll try again though as they are largely wonderful. 

 

Our nine year old has major anxiety issues so anything remotely scary he won't do. The thought of watching something new is pretty terrifying for him so this was an attempt to break through that. Every week it's a battle to get something on!

 

Matilda for example scared the shit out of him. But to be fair the scene in the big house could have come straight from a horror film. Our five year olds obsessions range from Princess and the Frog to Spiderman, so shes more willing to explore new things. 

 

Thankfully most of my choices have been successful and Friday nights film then ends up on repeat through the week. There have been a few duds mind - the biggest swing and miss was The  

Willoughbys, the only film we turned off before the end!

 

Last nights film was one of the most popular choices yet: Mr Poppers Penguins. 

 

Thanks for the recommendations so far, we've seen a lot already but many good ideas in there too. Keep um coming :)

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Next Christmas you must introduce the family to The Box of Delights as well. 

 

Just something about it and don't think it's just nostalgia as in the main it holds up well considering its from 1984.

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13 hours ago, Nifta said:

Lots of the Ray Haryhausen films (Jason and the Argonauts, Sinbad, Land that time forgot etc)


Land that Time Forgot isn’t a Ray Harryhausen, did you mean one million years bc?  Land is all puppets not stop motion.

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10 hours ago, PeteJ said:

I tried them with Ghibli but they keep protesting, I'll try again though as they are largely wonderful. 

 

Our nine year old has major anxiety issues so anything remotely scary he won't do. The thought of watching something new is pretty terrifying for him so this was an attempt to break through that. Every week it's a battle to get something on!

 


Yeah, there's a lot of peril even in kids' movies. Aardman are usually goofier, but you say you watched all of them.

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11 hours ago, Welrain said:


Land that Time Forgot isn’t a Ray Harryhausen, did you mean one million years bc?  Land is all puppets not stop motion.

Plastic dinosaurs, both are fun. Whatevs :D

 

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On 22/01/2021 at 20:37, cassidy said:

No ET, No Goonies? No Ghostbusters?No BTTF? 

 

Where's Bedknobs and Broomsticks? 

 

One of our Dinosaurs is missing? (Joke it's boring tbh) 

 

The Love bug? 

 


I’d say Goonies is too mature for a 5-year-old. Stuff about having your tongue cut out, Chunk stuck in a fridge with a corpse, the sleazy lad angling his mirror to ogle one of the girls. Quite (mild) sweary too. 
 

My theory is most of us grew up with edited TV versions, so when you watch with kids now, you end up going, “erk, I don’t remember this bit…”

 

Dunno if it’s still on Prime but Song of the Sea is a really lovely animated movie. A bit sad in places but really excellent. Kids have watched it a few times.


Also “Missing Link” is still on Netflix, is hilarious, and the stop motion animation really remarkable. 
 

And another vote for Studio Ghibli. EXCEPT Princess Mononoke, which really isn’t suitable for young kids (or some older kids, really).

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3 hours ago, Twinbee said:

Dunno if it’s still on Prime but Song of the Sea is a really lovely animated movie. A bit sad in places but really excellent. Kids have watched it a few times.

 


We (wife and I, plus our 7 and 5 year-olds) watched Wolfwalkers last week and it was a smash hit in our house. I thought it was beautiful, touching, and kept all of us entertained for its entire runtime. It's one of very few animated films I look forward to re-watching.

 

Song of the Sea is on our to-watch list because it's from the same studio. Together they make a thematic trilogy with Cartoon Saloon's first film, The Secret of Kells, which I'd also watch based on how good I think Wolfwalkers is.

 

 

 

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On 22/01/2021 at 20:37, cassidy said:

No ET, No Goonies? No Ghostbusters?No BTTF? 

 

Where's Bedknobs and Broomsticks? 

 

One of our Dinosaurs is missing? (Joke it's boring tbh) 

 

The Love bug? 

 

Read up or pre-watch 80s movies like these before letting your kids watch them. Goonies and Ghostbusters definitely have scenes I am not comfortable showing my young kids. Never ending story was another one. 
 

Our girls love the secret life of pets and zootopia. They also like the lighter Ghibli films such as Totoro, Ponyo and Howl’s Moving Castle. I’ll browse the dvd shelf and see if there are any others not mentioned. 

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More recommendations from our girls:

The Book of Life

Ferdinand

Wizard of Oz

Arietty

Spirit (the movie isn’t really like  the series)

Gnomeo & Juliet

Sherlock Gnomes

Alvin and the Chipmunks

The Lorax

Puss in Boots

Trolls

Peter Rabbit

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