35 of the best kid-friendly family movies to watch all together

Klaus Vedfelt
·12 min read

There's nothing like coming together with family after a long week — preferably, with a bowl of popcorn. These kid-friendly movies, which are all streaming, make for excellent movie night options.

Ideally, family movies are ones that kids an adults will enjoy equally — and we're living in a golden age of those. “Encanto,” a recent Pixar movie, showed that family movies are part of the cultural conversation. "We Don't Talk About Bruno," a song from the movie, became a veritable sensation.

With that in mind, we selected a few family movies, ranging from classics to contemporary ones, that are streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and beyond, featuring comedies that will keep you laughing and musicals that will have you singing.

Below, find a list of movies that, while watching, may create family memories for families with toddlers, tweens, teenagers and more.

'E.T. the Extra Terrestrial' (1982)

"E.T." is all about letting possibility into your universe. Oh, and it's also about aliens. This Steven Spielberg classic follows what happens when a boy (Henry Thomas) discovers a friendly alien and tries to help him find his way home.

'The Greatest Showman' (2017)

Ideal for families with older kids, "The Greatest Showman" is an irresistible musical starring Hugh Jackman, consummate showman himself, as circus maestro P.T. Barnum. The musical takes its liberties with Barnum's life story, but — featuring music by duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — is likely more entertaining for the editorializing.

'Paddington' (2014)

Paddington the Bear, the classic character from children's literature, was revived for a new generation through these charming movies featuring just about every famous English actor. You might even like the sequel more than the first one.

'The Goonies' (1985)

"The Goonies" was a classic children's movie for one generation, and still holds up. An old pirate map found in an attic leads to real-life treasure. This movie will have kids looking for avenues for magic in their own lives.

'Luca' (2021)

Travel to the coast of Italy in this Pixar movie about a pre-teen sea monster who explores the land, and finds there's a lot to love (including gelato).

‘Turning Red’ (2022)

“Turning Red” sparked conversation between parents when it premiered on Disney+ in 2022. For all its use of fantasy plot lines — our protagonist is from a line of women who turn into red panda bears — the animated movie takes a real look at what it’s like to be a preteen girl, marked by unabashed enthusiasm, intense feelings and forever friendship.

'Sing' (2016)

This animated movie takes place in a world where anthropomorphic animals live side-by-side, and follows a particularly talented bunch. Matthew McConaughey is a koala bear theater owner who launches a singing contest to save his theater. Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton are among the animals shooting for stardom. "Sing 2," out in 2022, is just as song-filled (and might even be your favorite of the two).

‘Are We There Yet’ (2005)

Suzanne Kingston's (Nia Long) two kids are determined to keep her from finding a romantic connection. And while Nick Persons (Ice Cube) has a crush on Suzanne, he's not interested in raising anyone's kids. Nick offers Suzanne and her kids a ride to the airport — but ends up driving them all the way from Oregon to Canada. The road trip is long, not only in miles, but teaches everyone a few lessons along the way. This family comedy has a sequel, "Are We Done Yet" (2007), that's worth watching next.

'Encanto' (2021)

The Madrigal family, the family at the center of this Pixar move, captivated viewers with their array of powers, their enchanted magic house, and their original songs written by Lin-Manuel. One family member, Mirabel, doesn't have any powers but ends up being the key to solving a family dilemma. We all ended up talking about Bruno, thanks to this movie.

'Cheaper By The Dozen' (2003)

"Cheaper By The Dozen" features Steve Martin and Kate Baker as parents who've put their career and dreams on the back burner to raise 12 rambunctious kids. The 2022 remake starring Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff puts a new age spin on the classic movie.

'Ice Age' (2002)

For parents who can handle talking animals (and we know that some simply cannot), "Ice Age" is for you. In the movie, animals across species band together to survive in a changing environment. Ray Ramano and Queen Latifah lead this four-movie series that, despite its name, is nothing if not warm.

'The Parent Trap' (1998)

Imagine Hallie and Annie's surprise when they learn they are each other's twin while at summer camp. Their parents, they realize, split them up as kids. At the end of the summer, the twins go home with the unknown parent to get their questions answered and reunite their family. This classic stars Lindsey Lohan as both the twins.

'Holes' (2003)

"Holes" has a dark premise — but kids will enjoy the movie's twists nevertheless. The movie is set at a brutal boot camp where teens in need of "straightening out" are sent. There, they dig holes. All day. eventually, they find out what their days of toil are for, but it takes some ... digging.

'Finding Nemo' (2003)

"Finding Nemo" might cause tears before laughter, and that's thanks to the sad opening scene. In this classic Pixar movie, a clownfish named Marlin tragically loses his wife in an accident that destroyed all their unhatched babies — except one, Nemo. When Nemo goes missing, Marlin has to face his agoraphobic tendencies and venture out into the ocean.

'Matilda' (1996)

Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson) is a genius — but hardly anyone seems to acknowledge this. The only bright spots in her life are her beloved books and her teacher, Mrs. Honey (Embeth Davidtz), who's sympathetic to her situation. Matilda's unused brainpower leads her to develop powers that surprise her family and delight the rest of us.

'Honey I Shrunk The Kids' (1989)

This classic family comedy is a whirlwind of adventure. A scientist (Rick Moranis) accidentally shrinks his four kids with a shrink ray he thought didn't work. When he throws it out, his quarter-of-an-inch-sized kids have to get from the garbage can in the yard back to the house while combatting now-dangerous sprinkler systems and stampedes of ants.

'Lion King' (1994)

Sing along in this coming-of-age classic as Simba rediscovers who he is after tragically losing his dad, Mufasa, and learns to inherit his birthright.

'Queen of Katwe' (2016)

A 10-year-old chess prodigy (played by the late Nikita Pearl Waligwa) from the slums of Kampala, Uganda becomes a widely recognized chess player and uses the opportunity to escape her impoverished lifestyle. Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo star in this family drama, based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi.

'Home Alone' (1990)

As his family prepares for a Christmas vacation to Paris, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets accidentally left behind. While home alone, hence the title, Kevin tries to outsmart the two criminals trying to ransack his family's house. Kevin was initially criticized for his mischievousness — but it ultimately saves the day.

'Inside Out' (2015)

Feel every feeling through this Pixar movie, which alternates between showing a teenage girl's perspective and the viewpoints of the five main emotions in her brain. "Inside Out" shows how to balance the voices of joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust — for we all have them inside us.

'The Incredibles' (2004)

When they're not suiting up and saving the world, the family in "The Incredibles" are doing laundry and homework. They're almost normal — but not quite, and that's why they've been tasked with taking down villains. This classic movie and its sequel feature America's favorite superhero family.

'Johnson Family Vacation' (2004)

This road trip movie stars Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams, Bow Wow, Solange Knowles and Steve Harvey as estranged family members heading on a road trip from California to Missouri for a reunion.

'Mrs. Doubtfire' (1993)

In one of his most enduring roles, the late Robin Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a dad who, amid a divorce, goes to great lengths to get more time with his kids. He dresses up as a nanny, Mrs. Doubtfire, in the hopes that he can remain a caregiver — and his ex-wife hires him, not knowing who's really behind that prosthetic nose. As Mrs. Doubtfire, he learns what's really going on with his family, and how to fix it. The movie's legacy is continued in a Broadway show.

'Moana' (2016)

Moana (Auli'i Cravalho) is a princess of a Pacific island that no one ever leaves — but she wants to. The daring teenager hopes to save her community by sailing away and embarking on an ancestral quest. Music by Lin-Manuel Miranda punctuates her journey. After seeing this movie, which co-stars Dwyane Johnson as a demigod, you'll say, "You're welcome."

'Shrek' (2001)

Journey into Shrek's swamp — actually, on second thought, best not to. This Scottish ogre, voiced by Mike Meyers, hates visitors on his land. Follow, instead, as Shrek falls in love with the princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz).

'Ramona and Beezus' (2010)

Joey King and Selena Gomez star as sisters (and total opposites) trying to save their family home. Ramona (King) is a rambunctious grade schooler who uses her imagination to make sense of her changing reality. Beezus (Gomez) is an older sister just trying to keep up with all Ramona's shenanigans, all the while trying to secure their family home. The movies is based on a children's book series by Beverly Cleary.

'Bridge to Terabithia' (2007)

In this classic book adaptation, two teenagers (AnnaSophia Robb and Josh Hutcherson) create an imaginary world that magical creatures inhabit. The young adults find freedom and empowerment in this world, a stark contrast to the their home lives. "Bridge to Terabithia" has a notoriously tear-jerking ending — you've been warned.

'The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl' (2005)

What's a lonely boy to do? Create an imaginary world filled with superheroes, of course. In this film, a kid with an overactive imagination is drawn into the world that might be more real than he originally thought.

'Because of Winn-Dixie' (2005)

Families with pets will appreciate "Because of Winn-Dixie," the story of Opal Buloni (AnnaSophia Robb), a 10-year-old girl who finds companionship in a stray dog she encounters outside of a Winn-Dixie supermarket. Through the relationship she has with Winn-Dixie and new friends in the community, Opal helps come to terms with the mom who abandoned her, and connect with the preacher father who she's suddenly living with.

'Up' (2009)

Since "Up" celebrates intergenerational friendships, it's a great pick for grandparents to watch with their grandkids. In "Up," 78-year-old widower Carl Fredricksen (Edward Asner) is about to fulfill his and his wife's lifelong dream of flying, via balloon, to a vista in South America. To his surprise, a kid named Russell (Jordan Nagai) and his dog are in the house when he takes off, disrupting his plans of a solitary, contemplative journey.

'The Lorax' (2012)

12-year-old Ted (Zac Efron) is on a mission: He wants to win over his crush, Audrey (Taylor Swift), and she loves Truffula trees. Unfortunately, that simple gift is impossible to get in their town, which completely lacks vegetation. His efforts to find a tree lead him closer to an explanation of why all the plants disappeared.

'Spy Kids' (2001)

Carmen (Alexa PenaVega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) are roped into their parents' gadget-filled life as spies. All four "Spy Kids" movies are a blend of "James Bond" and kid-friendly hijinks.

'The Princess Bride' (1987)

As you wish. With its blend of adventure, comedy and romance, "The Princess Bride" is likely to appeal to everyone in the family. Based on the novel by William Goldman, "The Princess Bride" is about a couple wrenched apart by a king — but the side characters, from Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) to Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), are largely what render the spoof film a cult classic.

'Horton Hears A Who' (2008)

Jim Carrey played the Grinch in one Dr. Seuss adaptation; here, he plays an animated elephant named Horton who, oddly enough, hears sounds coming from a tiny speck of dust. Turns out these the speck of dust is home to Whos of Whoville (where "The Grinch" takes place). Horton mounts a campaign to convince others what he hears is real.

'Fighting With My Family' (2019)

Perfect for watching with teenagers, "Fighting With My Family" is the story of an English family who lives and breathes wrestling, and what happens when two of the children are invited to try out to be part of WWE.

Despicable Me (2010)

Gru (Steve Carrell) is a proud supervillain, and with good reason — he's good at it. When he ends up getting custody of three orphaned sisters, though, he has to get a whole new skill set. "Despicable Me" will open up a universe of movies, including sequels and movies based on the minion side characters.

'The Princess and the Frog' (2009)

"The Princess and the Frog" uses Disney's classic style of animation for a new story. In this New Orleans-set story, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) kisses a frog and becomes one herself. There go her dreams of starting a restaurant — or so she thinks.

'The Sandlot' (1993)

"The Sandlot" captures the feeling of childhood, especially for those '90s kids who grew up watching it over and over. Set in the '60s, the movie follows a group of baseball-loving kids over the course of one pivotal summer.