Spending time with the whole family on a day off is some of the best ways you could spend your day. Mom, dad, and the kids getting together to have fun before getting busy with their daily work and school routines is something to be cherished, and definitely something you will fondly look back on and miss when your children are all grown up. And though outdoor activities with the kids are great, equally so are the activities you can do indoors. Especially on a very hot, very cold, or just rainy day.
These activities can include either playing board games like Monopoly, Chess, or a tabletop RPG, video games, or just kicking back and watching a movie. But with so many movies out there, you might have slightly fallen out of touch with the industry and must now be lost as to which movie you could safely watch with your children if they are still sort of on the younger side. Fret not, for below we will list some of the best age appropriate and family friendly movies available today that the kids and even you are sure to enjoy immensely.
Inside Out (2015)
Bet there’s no surprise there in seeing an animated movie start off the list, but Inside Out barely qualifies as “just another cartoon movie”. Inside Out is, frankly speaking, a true masterpiece. And we would expect nothing less from the fine folks over at Pixar. You might have already watched this one however, or are at least very likely aware of its existence as it was heavily marketed and very well received by both critics and audience alike.
The movie is about a young girl who is recently hitting puberty, entering her teenage years, and has just shifted cross country to a new and unfamiliar place (that place being San Francisco). The twist of the movie is that it doesn’t just focus on this girl, it instead also shows us the inside of her mind. And, kudos to the creativity team at Pixar for this, her mind is populated by literal manifestations of her emotions.
The movie is a wonderfully delightful mixture of good comedy, some really clever takes on common phrases (the train of thought being an actual train inside her mind), and some surprisingly deep and emotional scenes that might have you holding back your tears because of how relatable and beautifully done those moments are. If you haven’t watched this one yet, grab your children and settle down for a movie that is sure to earn a spot on your good movies list.
The ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ Trilogy
If you’re in the mood for more than just one movie, and are also looking to get heavily invested in some really loveable characters, the How to Train Your Dragon movies are perhaps the best animated movies on the market today. DreamWorks really pulled out all the stops when making these films, resulting in some of the best form of entertainment media ever made.
The How to Train Your Dragon movies not only feature excellent writing and brilliantly acted characters; it also features one of the most legendary scores ever composed for any movie ever. And the movies aren’t all fun and games either; they tackle some really important concepts of friendships, going against the herd mentality, growing up, and loss. These movies are going to make you cry no matter how hard you try not to. And all three movies also have shows and short movies released between them to make up for the time gaps between the movies, and they are just as brilliantly well done as the movies.
Another movie that’s probably going to leave you teary eyed more than once throughout the duration of the film, this movie is about a kid that loves music but has to hide his passion from his family who are extremely hateful of anything related to music because of something that happened in their family’s past. One thing leads to another and our friend finds himself in the Afterlife, where he gets to actually meet his dead ancestors.
The movie is a very touching love letter to singing and composing music in general, and also has some very interesting takes on certain topics people have to go through while growing up. The characters are really well written and the plot is strong enough to easily carry the movie’s runtime, and there’s also a pretty decent twist near the end. Definitely one to watch with the whole family together, and bonus points if one of you is an aspiring musician.
Spirited Away (2001)
Moving away from the monopoly Disney and Pixar had on this list until now, we come across one of the most critically acclaimed movies ever released by the word-famous Studio Ghibli. Spirited Away follows the story of a young girl who ends up going through an experience she’ll never forget. In a brief summary, said girl’s parents are turned in to pigs and she has to work extra hard in a parallel dimension to try to win her parents and their humanity back. Hey, it’s an anime film, it was bound to be somewhat weird.
But don’t let its relatively early release date fool you; Spirited Away is a brilliant work of art when it comes to the animation and the story and characters you’ll encounter throughout the film are guaranteed to leave a strong and lasting impression on you for the rest of your life. It’s that good.
Coraline is a pretty impressive film because it is a feature-length movie that was shot in stop-motion from start to end. But its method of production isn’t the only thing going for it. The movie is a very interesting, and also quite eerie and creepy, story about a young girl that is fed up of parents and wants to find a better home. Well, lo and behold, her wish comes true and she discovers a secret portal in her new house that leads to an alternate dimension where she also finds alternative version of her parents. The fact that they have large black buttons for eyes doesn’t faze young Coraline at the start, but soon comes back to haunt her later in the movie.
Spooky, creative, and very original, Coraline is a really great movie to watch with whole family. The only thing you might be slightly uncomfortable with is the slight nudity and sexually suggestive scene that comes around the middle of the movie, and how uncomfortable that is for you depends on how you’ve raised your children. Perhaps view that scene beforehand to judge for yourself if you are comfortable watching the movie with your children.
And that brings out brief list to an end. Hopefully you found something you and the kids and haven’t watched yet and are planning to watch it soon. All of the movies listed above are excellent choices; though feel free to look around a bit more if you’ve already watched them all. Studio Ghibli and Pixar are guaranteed to always deliver. If you’re specifically planning to watch a movie with your daughter, we’ve got a post about adventure movies featuring women as the lead roles in case that is something you’re interested in. Part of a blended family and looking for tips on how to bond with everyone? We also have a post talking about exactly that.