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Best Family-friendly Movies to Watch with Your Kids

best family movies
Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life

We’ve got some major family-friendly movie recommendations that kids and grown-ups will love for family movie night

When you’ve played all the board games, been out and about to parks for some fresh air, and conducted multiple science experiments, how about snuggling up with the kids for a family movie night? It’s a great excuse to eat popcorn, it doesn’t require you to use your brain…too much, and it’s almost guaranteed to provide some much-needed laughs. Watching classic family movies with your kids is also a wonderful way to bond. Don’t think of it as mind-numbing screen time – view it as teaching your children about great stories, interesting characters, memorable songs, and even sharing your own childhood memories. Both during and after a movie, ask your kids questions (and answer theirs); talk about what they liked and didn’t liked, or what they thought was funny.

Note that we define “family movies” as “movies for all ages that you can watch with your kids.” So for this article we have not included all the Disney cartoons and great Pixar titles like Toy Story, Up, Finding Nemo etc though those do make fun family viewing when the adults are in the mood for animation.

In terms of age guidelines for these family movies, as ever, every family is different. Mileage will vary greatly when it comes to swearing, violence, and kissing. We link to each and every movie’s review on Common Sense Media and have also noted where you can watch these movies (streaming on Netflix, Disney +, etc.).

So here are our all-time favourite family movies* to watch with the kids

Jump to:
Best Family Movies for Young Kids

Best Family Movies for Kids 6+
Best Family Movies for Older Kids 10+

And for even more great home viewing, check out our guides to the best educational TV shows for kids, and just for adults, our favourite shows to watch on Netflix as well as best Korean dramas to binge!

mary poppins family movies

Best Family Movies for Young Kids

Mary Poppins

Who doesn’t love this 1964 classic filled with fantastic songs, stupendous dream sequences, and the coolest no-nonsense nanny of all time? Kids will adore the songs in Mary Poppins that most parents will find reminiscent of their own childhood. This movie’s timelessness is unrivalled.
Stream it on: AppleTV/iTunes or Google Play 

Paddington + Paddington 2

If your children love the books about the irrepressible bear always finding his way into mischief in London, they’ll surely enjoy Paddington + Paddington 2 (which provide plenty of laughs for parents as well). The first movie has some slight scary parts – Nicole Kidman plays a mean villain, after all, and Paddington’s home is destroyed early on – while the sequel is a bit milder (Hugh Grant plays the bad guy, for goodness sake!).
Stream it on: Amazon Prime with a VPN, or Amazon/Google Play/iTunes

The Sound of Music

One of my all-time favourite films to watch with my kids, The Sound of Music stars the amazing Julie Andrews and the songs are just wonderful. “So Long, Farewell” and “Do-Re-Mi,” and pretty much every tune here will have you singing along. A heartwarming story (based on a true events) of a governess who goes to look after seven children who have no mother, and ends up marrying the retired naval officer father after bringing love, warmth and lots of music to the family. Note that the final segment turns pretty dark as the family is pursued by Nazis, but this plot point will probably go over most younger children’s heads. – Beate
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

classic family movies babe


If you have a child obsessed with farm animals, Babe is delightful live-action tale of a sweet little pig with big sheep-herding dreams makes a good family movie. Do note if you have sensitive kids, they may be upset when the piglets are separated from their mother, and there is some allusion to animal slaughter with other scary scenes (full details here). Babe was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture!
Stream it on: Netflix

Charlotte’s Web

The 1973 animated version of Charlotte’s Web, based on EB White’s classic children’s novel, will teach important lessons about love, friendship, and even death in a truly relatable way. It’s sad in parts so if your kids are sensitive check out the Common Sense Media advice. There’s also a 2006 live-action version that gets good reviews.
Stream it on: Amazon Prime. The 2006 version is available to stream on Netflix.

Hair Love

The Oscar-winning animated short film Hair Love (it comes in at just under 7 minutes) is heart-warming and lovely, but makes a particularly wonderful watch for families given the Black Lives Matter movement and increased emphasis on inclusion and diversity in children’s media. With very few words, Hair Love focuses on a little girl named Zuri and her father’s sweet attempts to style her hair in her mother’s absence (explained by a heart-wrenching reveal near the end). – Kate
Stream it on: YouTube

Best Family Movies for Kids 6+

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (old school version with Gene Wilder) is almost 50 years old but still holds up extremely well with its fantastical chocolate waterfall, lickable wallpaper, and blueberry-licious Violet Beauregarde. The only scary moments: the acid-trippy boat scene, the Oompa Loompas themselves potentially, and Willy Wonka yelling at Charlie at the very end.
Stream it on: Netflix (with VPN); Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes


What little girl hasn’t belted out The sun’ll come out…tomorrow! in front of the mirror at some point in her life? You might as well show her where the song comes from in Annie, a delightful classic movie about a plucky optimist who overcomes her hard-knock life. Miss Hannigan who runs the orphanage is a little scary (in a sloppy drunk kind of way).
Stream it on: Netflix

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is an all-time classic family movie sure to enchant your kiddos with its scenes of the cuddly alien and bicycles that lift off the ground to fly across a moonlit sky. As Common Sense Media puts it, E.T.’s “themes of loyalty, trust, and caring are both affecting and easy to understand, and Elliott and E.T.’s extraordinary friendship is one of cinema’s most enduring.” Plus was Drew Barrymore ever cuter?
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

Tried & Tested - Disney+ Big Shot

Big Shot

This is a great family-friendly show to watch with older kids. It’s about a college men’s basketball coach who gets kicked out for bad behaviour and the only job he can find is coaching at an elite private girl’s school. He has to learn how to adjust his coaching style and manage his temper. The overall messaging is all very positive (lots of discussion about teamwork and resilience). Both my boys enjoyed it. – Marisa
Stream it on: Disney+

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting movie for the whole family with lots of (slightly scary) flying monkeys, good witches, colourful towns of Munchkins, a scarecrow for good measure and a scaredy-cat lion. The message is timeless: You can go out and see the world and have amazing adventures, but in the end, there’s no place like home (and family)!
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

Spirited Away

Spirited Away is an animated film directed by the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki. It was released in 2001 in Japan and dubbed in English a year later. Like its Studio Ghibli predecessor “My Neighbor Totoro”, this movie is beautiful, if a little darker and more complex with a strong  heroine as the lead. Like most of Miyazaki’s anime, expect fantasy and surreal elements in the epic adventure. Well worth watching as a family if your children are older and can cope with scary and disturbing scenes. Common Sense Media rates it for 9 yr olds+. – Emilie
Stream it on: Disney+

My Octopus Teacher

We sat down to watch My Octopus Teacher with my eldest as it’s a stunning nature documentary set in South Africa about filmmaker Craig Foster who is looking to regain his passion for life. By free diving every day he falls in love with nature and in particular a resourceful and intelligent octopus. If you have very sensitive viewers do note there is some suspense wondering if predators will kill the octopus (unavoidable themes with nature programmes). – Beate
Stream it on: Netflix

streaming movies mrs doubtfire amazon

Mrs. Doubtfire

It’s a proven fact that all children love the larger-than-life zaniness of Robin Williams, and they also love watching men dress up like women. Put the two together and you’ll start to understand why Mrs. Doubtfire is such a hit with families. The story – about a divorced dad doing whatever he can to spend more time with his children – is also lovely and unusual, and quite moving. Expect kids to ask questions about divorce.
Stream it on: HBO (with VPN); Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

The Muppet Movie

The Muppet Movie is one of those movies that, on its face, seems like it is purely for kids. It’s a bunch of puppets, after all! And yet after recently watching this 1979 classic with my daughter, I found myself cackling at the jokes that come a mile a minute. The songs are particularly brilliant. It’s a road trip buddy film with a dash of frog-pig romance thrown in, and mild slapstick violence. – Kate
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is an animated Japanese classic from Studio Ghibli themed around family and friendship as two little girls befriend (gentle) mystical creatures in the forest near their grandparents’ house.
Stream it on: Netflix

best family movies the princess bride

The Princess Bride

With the classic movie The Princess Bride look forward to indelible performances and so many memorable quotes (“As you wish…” “Inconceivable!” “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”). It appeals to kids with its fairytale costumes, sword fights, pirate ships, and slight magical touches, plus a dash of slapstick. There is some real violence and torture, and a couple of scary witches appear (one in a dream sequence), but its irreverent take on fairytale tropes will surely be a hit with kids. – Kate
Stream it on: Available for purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes


Hoosiers is an all-time classic sports movie about a small-town basketball team in 1950s Indiana overcoming the odds manages to be inspiring without being cloying, owing in part to strong performances from Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper as coaches who both undergo redemption arcs while teaching the kids about teamwork.
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

Best Family Movies for Older Kids 10+

best family movies

Jungle Cruise

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and featuring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, Jungle Cruise is inspired by Disney Parks’ theme park attraction of the same name. Jungle Cruise is fun, colourful, and funny, and while it may not rival Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean, it offers similarities with its quest for a sacred object in a race against the conquistadors who have been cursed. All in all a good family movie for older kids (some scenes of peril). – Emilie
Stream it onDisney+ with Premier Access 

All Things Marvel

If you have older kids, the fact that all the Marvel movies are now on Disney+ is a pretty persuasive argument for signing up! Older Marvel movies are available from Iron Man to Thor, Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy to newer shows like WandaVision, Loki, and Falcon and Winter Soldier. My husband watches all of them with the kids while I pop in and out. WandaVision is probably the most interesting of the Marvel shows for mamas who aren’t really into the whole Marvel universe. All of the throwbacks to the various styles of sit-com TV through the years are really fun. – Marisa
Stream it on: Disney+

The Harry Potter series

Like JK Rowling’s iconic books, these movies – eight in total! – get darker and more complex as the series progresses. The first entry, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is a truly enchanting introduction to the magical world of Harry Potter, from the Hogwarts Express, to Diagon Alley, to the talking paintings at Hogwarts and of course quidditch. The cast – kids and adults alike – is so good. There is always some darkness and death hovering around the edges.
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

family movies black widow disney+

Black Widow

Black Widow is a good family film for jumping into the Marvel universe without having seen the other movies. It’s an origin story, so you don’t have to know about the rest of the films to enjoy it. It’s more like a spy story supercharged with comic-style action. It also has interesting themes of what it means to be a family. Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh have great sister chemistry and there’s lots of comic relief. – Marisa
Stream it on: Disney+

That Thing You Do!

The 1996 film That Thing You Do! is a lighthearted, wholesome and funny look at the rise of a band in 1964. After winning a local talent contest in Pennsylvania, The Oneders (pronounced Wonders) release an EP and are quickly scouted and brought to the attention of Playtone record executive Tom Hanks. The movie was written and directed by Tom Hanks (the original COVID-19 survivor!) and features a cameo from Rita Wilson as well, as a sultry cocktail waitress. The music is super fun – especially The Oneders hit song ‘That Thing You Do’, which you’ll be humming for days afterwards. Sadly Adam Schlesinger, the composer who wrote the hit song, died recently of COVID-19. (He also wrote many of the songs from Crazy Ex Girlfriend.) Rated PG, the only thing to watch out for is a bit of swearing and some kissing. – Jessica
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes


Cruella is Disney’s uber-stylish (think lots of Vogue style fashion) but dark live-action origin story about Cruella de Vil (played by the wonderful Emma Stone). Sensitive viewers should know that Cruella becomes an orphan early on in the film (in a rather visually dramatic way) and the tone throughout is very punk rock (with an amazing soundtrack). Performances by Emma Stone and two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (who stars as fashion legend Baroness von Hellman) are spelling binding. For parents and older viewers (Common Sense Media says 12yrs+) this will surely become a modern classic! – Beate
Stream it on: Disney+

Back to the Future

Back to the Future –  is this time-travel classic dated, anachronistic, or totally timeless? It’s hard to say, but it’s a super fun watch and so inventive and different from almost anything else out there. There’s some bullying and mild violence, some swearing, and some racial epithets in the 1950s parts to which Marty McFly travels from 1985.
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

jumanji the next level netflix

Jumanji The Next Level

Jumanji The Next Level had my kids laughing a lot. Though parents beware there are some bad language warnings that you can check out at Common Sense Media! If you caught the first Jumanji, you’ll love this one too. It’s hard not to laugh at The Rock and Kevin Hart’s hilarious on-screen chemistry (combined with Jack Black’s antics!), and there are multiple levels of humour for kids and adults alike. – Emilie
Stream it on: Netflix

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

There may have been a ‘Keanussance’ in 2019, but Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is where it all began. Get ready for lots of “whoa’s!”  I distinctly remember my father shaking his head and muttering about losing brain cells as we walked out of the theatre, but I LOVED this movie, and absolutely credit it with introducing me to a bevy of important historic figures, from Socrates to Genghis Khan to Napoleon and Sigmund Freud (“Frood dude!”). Two slackers have to travel through time in a magic phone booth to ace a history report and save the galaxy, with some guidance from a droll time traveller played by George Carlin. It’s totally bonkers and silly but really fun. – Kate
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is an early 90s Bill Murray classic – in which a selfish weatherman wakes up on the same day over, and over, and over again – particularly resonates where it’s easy to forget exactly what day it is. The humour is dry and witty, with bits of slapstick and romance mixed in. Violence (and failed suicide attempts played for laughs) are the only red flags.
Stream it on: Netflix (with a VPN); available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

When you combine Tom Hanks with Mister Rogers, could things really get any more gentle and good? Younger kids might find the plot in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – following a jaded journalist who learns important lessons about the power of kindness, love and connection from Mister Rogers – a bit dull, but there’s so much warmth and positivity to be drawn from it.
Stream it on:  Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

The Blind Side

The Blind Side is an uplifting sports drama is based on a true story (that actually had a pretty happy ending!), and won Sandra Bullock an Oscar for playing an indefatigable mama grizzly with Southern grit to spare. The film glosses over a lot of the challenges and obstacles that African-American football player Michael Oher faced before meeting the wealthy Tuohy family – and the white saviour aspects might be slightly unsettling – but the story is uplifting and the acting performances are all solid and moving.
Stream it on: Netflix

Jurassic Park

I remember watching Jurassic Park in a packed theatre and being blown away by how realistic and lifelike the dinosaurs seemed. It might not have the same effect on today’s kids, but is still an interesting story with plenty of scary (but not too scary) surprise moments. There is also mild gore (people getting eaten by bloodthirsty velociraptors and whatnot).– Kate
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

The Karate Kid

The original 1984 film The Karate Kid – in which scrappy underdog Daniel learns the ways of Karate, and along the way, all about life from the wise Mr. Miyagi – spawned three sequels and a 2010 remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. It’s a story about resilience and friendship, and given how popular martial arts are with kids here in Singapore, we think they’d love all the action scenes. There is some swearing and racial slurs.
Stream it on: Available for rental/purchase on Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes; the 2010 remake is available on Netflix

The Mighty Ducks & D2

Can you name any other kids’ movies that inspired the name of a real-life professional sports team? I recently watched this early-90s kids’ hockey movies The Mighty Ducks & D2 with my own children and they enjoyed the same slapstick humor and exciting game action that I remembered (they were also awed by all the snow in Minnesota). The sequel, Mighty Ducks 2 (D2 to those in the know) is one of the dumbest movies ever made and yet my husband and I are both obsessed with it (you just have to watch it to understand). In addition to Emilio Estevez as imperfect Coach Gordon Bombay, keep an eye out for a young Joshua Jackson and Kenan Thompson. – Kate
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes


Legendary director John Waters is known for outrageously campy films with brilliant casts. Hairspray, which starred a young Ricki Lake alongside legends like Sonny Bono, Deborah Harry, Ruth Brown, Jerry Stiller, and the infamous drag queen Divine, is a body positive story about a teenage girl who loves to dance and becomes passionate about racial integration (the film is set in 1962 Baltimore). It has a killer soundtrack and features lots of dance sequences. The humour is totally off-kilter and there is some bad language, mild kissing scenes, and racial violence depicted, but Hairspray is wacky in the best possible way and has lots of heart. NB: the subsequent Broadway musical and 2007 film version based off that are less risqué, with catchy new original songs.
Stream it on: Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes 


For a good chunk of my childhood this Steven Spielberg-directed film Hook – in which Robin Williams plays a grown-up Peter Pan returning to Neverland – was my all-time favourite movie. The scenery is magically inventive, the cast (also including Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Smith) is star-studded, and the story is moving without being too sappy. There is some violence and death, and mild bad language, but most kids will be captivated. – Kate
Stream it on: Netflix (with VPN); Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes


In Big a young boy makes a wish to be turned into a grown-up…and becomes one overnight. While the comedy is ostensibly told from a kid’s perspective (Hanks was nominated for an Oscar for playing a 12-year-old in a man’s body), mature topics like sex and swearing are addressed. It’s a really fun watch, though; who didn’t want to grow up and work in a toy store?
Stream it on: HBO (with VPN);  Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

best family movies clueless


Clueless is a modern reinterpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma that came out 25 years ago but is just as quotable and appealing to middle and high schoolers today as it was back in the day. Much like its star Paul Rudd, it’s basically ageless. There is just so much to love – the fashion, the slang, the soundtrack – and the humour still holds up incredibly well. There is mild drug use, swearing, and kissing.
Stream it on: Netflix

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, leads a charmed existence in the Chicago suburbs and decides to play hooky one day with his best friend and girlfriend. They get into some mild misadventures while being trailed by their vindictive vice principal, but it’s clear that only good things happen to Ferris. There’s some swearing and kissing, but nothing major. And of course there’s the all-time quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” A good lesson for us all as we take a gigantic pause from normal life.
Stream it on: Netflix

A League of Their Own

I saw A League of Their Own – yet another Tom Hanks classic – when I was 10 years old and I’m hard pressed to think of another film that’s delivered a better story about women’s empowerment and sisterhood (both literal and figurative). There’s lots of great sports action, it’s so funny, and it’s where Hanks’s famous line about No crying in baseball came from. There is some mild swearing and very slight sexual innuendo, and Tom Hanks is drunk for parts of it, but that’s not what kids will remember. – Kate
Stream it on:  Google Play and AppleTv/iTunes

family movies the matrix

The Matrix

The Matrix is a mind-trippy movie that features incredible special effects and a somewhat confusing plotline about disconnecting from our perceived reality to break free in rebellion. This was Keanu’s first big comeback. There’s lots of violence, and some swearing. The overall effect is pretty bleak, but the action sequences are imaginative and very cool.
Stream it on: Netflix (with VPN); Google Play and AppleTV/iTunes

The Truman Show

This sweet Jim Carrey film The Truman Show about a man whose entire life is unknowingly filmed for a reality show was eerily prescient. As Common Sense Media points out, it raises thought-provoking points about how “society’s insatiable appetite for entertainment leads to our own lives being led vicariously through characters on-screen.”
Stream it on: Netflix

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Updated in 2021 (first published in 2020 and written by Kate McFarlane); Lead image, Mary Poppins, Big Shot, Jungle Cruise and Black Widow images courtesy of Disney+ (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures); Babe image courtesy of Kennedy Miller Mitchell; Mrs Doubtfire image courtesy of 20th Century Fox; The Princess Bride image courtesy of Act III Communications; Jumanji and The Blind Side images courtesy of Netflix; Clueless image courtesy of Paramount Pictures; Matrix image courtesy of Warner Bros.

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