Films made for families are usually filled with fun colors and moral lessons. Most families have young children, and it is ideal for parents to only choose what is good for their kids – even when it comes to movies. For a good dose of bonding between parents and their kids, we are giving the best family movie that they can always watch in their free time.
Before going through our list, we based our picks on Rotten Tomatoes for their exciting Top 100 Kids & Family Movies. We then selected our personal favorites out of the 100 titles on RT’s list. Also, we included links to where you can purchase or rent copies. Without further ado, check out our take on the best family movie!
Our Pick: “Finding Nemo” (2003)
“Finding Nemo” is – no doubt – a Disney classic. It is also one of the earliest masterpieces of Pixar Animation Studios. It takes you to a dazzling world underwater that will trigger everybody’s imagination about life in the deepest parts of the ocean. This all-time favorite family movie received critical acclaim for its touching story and unbelievable visuals. It won the Academy Award for the Best Animated Feature Film in 2003.
The story centers on the clownfish Marlin’s (Albert Brooks) journey to rescue his only son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), who was captured by a diver. Marlin’s adventure starts to get even more exciting when he meets the very mischievous Dory (Ellen DeGeneres). Along with other hilarious characters – fish, reptile, bird, crustacean or human – this film is packed with humor to make the whole family laugh out loud.
Runner Up: “Up” (2009)
“Up” is another masterpiece from Pixar. While “Finding Nemo” takes you to a world underwater, this heartwarming family movie brings you to the skies.
The plot focuses on a retiree named Carl Fredricksen who spent most of his life selling balloons. Even in his old age, Carl is still a huge dreamer, successfully making his house fly with thousands of balloons just to make his childhood dream turn into reality. However, as Carl travels the skies to get to his destination, the eight-year-old Russell is on the porch all along. Russell has been annoying Carl for a long time to accomplish one of his Wilderness Explorer goals. Eventually, though, Carl will have a soft spot for Russell.
More lovable characters such as Dug the dog and Kevin the extremely tall bird are going to entertain your family until the credits roll. Oh, prepare a box of tissues though. You are in for an emotional surprise in the first part of the film.
Also Great: “Inside Out” (2015)
“Inside Out” is even more emotional than “Up” because of its straight-to-the-heart impact. However, it has a bunch of adorable, colorful characters to lighten up the mood. It is one of the most imaginative products of Disney-Pixar. This family movie will remind you that everybody is unique with their own personality and private thoughts. Everybody deserves to be understood.
The story highlights the daily activities inside Riley’s Headquarters or the control center of her mind. The 11-year-old has five emotions that are ready to help her anytime. Joy is an optimist, Fear a scaredy-cat, Anger a hothead, Disgust a snobbish fashionista, and Sadness an outright pessimist. However, chaos eventually dominates Riley’s mind when her family moved to San Francisco from their beloved hometown Minnesota.
Also Great: “Moana” (2016)
“Moana” is one of the latest products of Walt Disney Animation Studios. It tells a legendary journey filled with humor, action, and heart. It also has a set of memorable songs that your family will sing over and over again.
The stubborn teenager Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) was born to rule the village. However, her quirky grandmother reveals that Moana is meant to go further to save her people from their current predicament that might throw them into hunger and despair. Moana needs to find the arrogant demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) to solve her land’s problem. But, she will realize something very important from the exact cause of her village’s looming downfall.
Also Great: “The Jungle Book” (2016)
“The Jungle Book” is a larger-than-life adventure movie that is a remake of the original animated film. It centers on the story of the iconic “man-cub” Mowgli who was raised by a pack of wolves in a jungle. Unfortunately, Mowgli is forced to leave the jungle and stay with his own species in a village just to keep himself and others safe.
Directed by Jon Favreau from “Iron Man,” this film is a jaw-dropping masterpiece because of its flawless visuals. It also has a star-studded cast featuring Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Lupita Nyong’o. The breakout star Neel Sethi is the perfect human form of Mowgli’s animated version.
Budget Pick: “Toy Story” (1995)
“Toy Story” started it all. It is the flagship product of Disney-Pixar which is also their first critically acclaimed film. Its plot is simple, but the impact is long-lasting. After all, almost every person has played with toys.
The story simply revolves around the idea that toys can come to life whenever they want to. Focusing on Andy’s collection of toys, a big conflict arises when the cowboy doll Woody (Tom Hanks) gets jealous of his owner’s new modern toy Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen). As the movie progresses, the two stubborn toys are forced to get over their differences and work together in order to go back to Andy.
If you are finding for a budget Blu-ray copy, then this is the most affordable one out of our top six picks.
How to Select the Best Family Movie
In choosing the best family movie for your household’s bonding moments, there is actually another way to look at it. You can select one by considering the moral lessons or values you want your family to see. Here are some essential values that can be your references in picking the best family movie for your loved ones:
Revenge is unhealthy.
While other movie genres are promoting the “what goes around comes around” benefits of revenge, family movies are totally not crossing that line. Revenge is purely negative; nothing good comes out of it. An example of a family movie that directly addresses that is “Big Hero 6.”
The movie’s young main character, Hiro, is seeking revenge for the untimely death of his older brother Tadashi. However, he realizes in the end that his goal is completely opposite to Tadashi’s great sense of humanity. The film’s theme seems a little bit heavy for children, but we assure you that the movie perfectly balances it out with its awesome visuals and adorable humor – mostly thanks to the huggable Baymax.
Everybody needs kindness.
With bad things happening around the world, it is best to remind ourselves all the time that it is always good to be kind. The ideal family movies showing this value are the two “Cinderella” films – both animation and live action – and “Charlotte’s Web.”
Always have courage.
Bravery is a broad idea, making it relatable to kids as well. Ultimate learning has something to do with taking risks and exploring the great outdoors, so children should learn how to be brave starting at a young age. Family movies that can help teaching kids this value are “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Secret of Nimh,” and “Brave.”
Love your siblings.
There is no doubt about it; “Frozen” perfectly represents sibling love. It is obvious that Elsa and Anna have their differences, but their love for each other makes everything okay in the end.
Let’s face it: life is incomplete without friends. “Up,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and “My Neighbor Totoro” are some excellent family movies that remind us how special friendship is.
Do not judge people.
“Shrek” and “Beauty and the Beast” come to mind whenever we think about ugly fictional characters. However, the outer appearances of Shrek and the Beast are nothing compared to how much they are accepted by people they love. Everybody deserves love and friendship, no matter how they look like.
Be honest about your mistakes.
One factor that can aggravate conflicts is people not admitting their mistakes. Being honest is essential to avoid or stop a problem. It can also free a person from guilt. Two family movies that show the importance of integrity are “The Lion King” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
We selected “Finding Nemo” as the best family movie because modern technology completed it, but it turns out to be one of the classics in animation. Its beauty is just mind-blowing and heartfelt that most animation films cannot surpass it. Aside from our top choices, feel free to explore other themes based on moral values.
If you are looking for a new television to improve your movie marathon experience, check out our take on the best 40-inch TVs. For a more enjoyable viewing time with your family, why not indulge yourselves with delicious potato chips? Also, if you are looking for more movie options, find out films from different genres such as sports-related film that you can watch whenever your boredom strikes.