Get us in your inbox

Coco
Photograph: Pixar

The 50 best family movies to stream on movie night

Looking to marathon the best family movies? We've got classics, Disney favorites, newcomers and everything in between!

Written by
Andy Kryza
Written by
Danielle Valente
Advertising

Family movie night can be a battlefield. If you’re not prepared, attempting to find a film that can satisfy the entire brood can lead to insults, eyerolls, tears and a lot of slammed doors. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. It is possible to find a picture that overlaps with every demo in your home – you just need to know what to look for. Specifically, you need to look for one of the 50 movies listed here. 

And as you’ll see, a good ‘family movie’ doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘for the kids’. Sure, you’ll find plenty of animated classics, both new and old. But there are also classics from the Golden Age of Hollywood, live action adventures from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, inspirational true-life tales, comedies with jokes that work for every age group and movies that underscore the importance of family. Whatever you’re in the mood for, throw on one of these, and feel safe in the knowledge that your house will keep the peace, at least for one more night.

RECOMMENDED:

The 100 best animated films of all-time
👪 The 50 best kids movies to watch as a family
💻 The best family movies on Netflix for all-ages
🤣 The best family comedy movies
🧒 The best kids’ movies from the ’90s

The 50 best family movies to stream

The Lion King (1994)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney Enterprises Inc.

1. The Lion King (1994)

A lion-sized hit at the cinema when it first came out, this sparkling animation has only gone from strength to strength since—with a theatre spin-off, a remake and about a bazillion rewatches on Disney+ to its name. Simba, the lion cub who grows from young pretender to regal presence at Pride Rock, is our flawed hero; Scar, the hissable villain; Pumba and Timbo, the fun and flatulent double act who provide the laughs. It’s just never not a joy. Hakuna matata! Rated G. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Kickstart an evening of witchcraft and wizardry with the inaugural story of the beloved Harry Potter series. When a young boy learns about his true identity and magicial powers, he soon finds himself on Platform 9 3/4 en route to Hogwarts, a boarding school unlike any other. Adventure awaits for our budding new wizard, and from that point on, his life—and the world's—is turned upside down. Rated PG. 

Advertising
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

It's a simple story, really: Boy meets alien. Boy and alien become best friends. Boy says goodbye to alien when his outer-space buddy has to go home, causing audiences everywhere to sob uncontrollably. How Steven Spielberg tells it, of course, makes a world of difference, as he infuses this family blockbuster with a childlike sense of awe. If you can think of a more magical '80s movie moment than E.T. and Elliott biking past the moon, we'll personally buy you a bag of Reese's Pieces. Rated PG.

Star Wars (1977)
Courtesy Lucas Film Ltd

4. Star Wars (1977)

What’s the right order to watch the Star Wars movies? Good question! Our advice is to start with the original (and best) and go from there. From its opening shot, in which that whooping great Star Destroyer whooshes seemingly endlessly across the screen, youngsters will be as entranced as if they’ve been caught in a Death Star tractor beam. Timeless heros, scary villains, adorable droids and all the mysteries of the Jedi share the screen for two hours of matinee-style magic that will keep even the most restless youngling busy. Watching the Star Wars movies has become a more complex family rite of passage with every new addition to the canon and spin-off, but even if you’re just in the mood for one trip to a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars will never let you down. Rated PG.

Advertising
Queen of Katwe (2016)
  • Film
  • Drama

Like the mostly lovely Akeelah and the Bee (minus the troubling racial stereotypes), Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe takes one of the least-exciting competitions out there – chess – and transforms it into the linchpin of a triumphant underdog story. Centering on a true story of a Ugandan teen ascending from the slums to the World Chess Olympiads and featuring solid turns from David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, it’s essentially a sports movie that ditches footballs for bishops. Rated PG.

The Goonies (1985)
Photograph: Courtesy Warner Bros.

6. The Goonies (1985)

Goonies never say die (well, almost never), and neither does this Richard Donner-directed, Steven Spielberg-produced gem. The '80s comedy follows young tweens as they embark on an adventure to save their home from forclosure. The overly enthusiastic Mikey, the leader of the pack, convinces his buddies that searching for One-Eyed Willy's treasure is a great way to keep their roots, but their quest for the jewels is incredibly dangerous... espesically when the Fratelli crime family catches on! Rated PG. 
 

Advertising
The Mitchells Vs. the Machines (2021)
Photograph: Netflix

7. The Mitchells Vs. the Machines (2021)

Gen X-er-friendly Vacation riffs meet Z-er tech preoccupations in a dizzyingly entertaining road-trip caper that’s backdropped by a kind of digital apocalypse. Representing humanity is the chaotic Mitchell family, while Olivia Colman’s ruthless A.I. takes charge of the villainy. One of Netflix’s finest original movies – and definitely one of its funniest. Rated PG. 

Home Alone (1990)
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

8. Home Alone (1990)

Who wouldn't want to spend the holidays in the City of Lights? The McCallister clan is more than ready to leave the burbs behind for Christmas in Paris. But things go slightly awry (to say the least) when the realize one very important item has been left at home: their son Kevin. The youngster has no problem having the digs all to himself—especially since he's watching mature gangster flicks, munching on ice cream for dinner and causing chaos. But a pair of burglars set their sights on the gorgeous home, and soon Kevin is left to fend for himself against Harry and Marv, both of whom need a little help in the crime department. Rated PG. 

Advertising
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney

9. The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Take a trip to Louisiana with this children’s book-inspired story, where smooched amphibians turn into royalty. The bayou comes to life with bright colors, moody environments, mystical interference and top-notch original music that fully embraces New Orleans love of jazz. The Princess and the Frog introduces a long-awaited African American princess who’s no damsel in distress, and you’ll be cheering for her to accomplish her biggest dream—opening a restaurant—the entire time. Rated G.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
  • Film
  • Animation

Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki's tale of a young witch finding her way in Scandinavia is unique in almost every sense, from its wide-eyed worldview to its smart-alec cat sidekick (voiced by Phil Hartman in the American dub). But perhaps most spectacular is that this is a film that contains no central antagonist and no actual conflict: It's just a joyous tale of a little girl getting into adventures both grand and small. That's not to say that the film doesn't have tension—the climactic catastrophe is one of Ghibli's most spectacular set pieces—but for the most part, this is a magical hangout movie that delights in small moments. Rated G

Advertising
Finding Nemo (2003)
Courtesy Channel 5 Broadcasting/Finding Nemo

11. Finding Nemo (2003)

Parents will take a liking to clownfish, Marlin. The sea critter is particularly relatable since he is so protective of his youngster, Nemo. No surprise there! Also unsurprising? Nemo’s defiance. When the little guy goes missing in the deep blue sea—and encounters one large great white along the way—it’s up to Marlin to bring his fella to safety. Kiddos, we hate to tell you, but Mom and Dad know best! Let Nemo’s experience be a lesson to you! Rated PG. 

The Baby-sitters Club (1995)
Photograph: Courtesy Sam Emerson/Columbia/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

12. The Baby-sitters Club (1995)

The '90s classic follows a group of young girls who want to turn their baby-sitting jobs into a legit summer camp, but there's a grumpy old neighbor who's determined not to let that happen. Along the way there are family issues, health scares and of course, crushes. Rated PG. 

Advertising
Coco (2017)
Photograph: Pixar

13. Coco (2017)

Pixar delivers a sparkling, full-throated celebration of Mexican culture that’s filled with songs, colour and life. The twist? Most of the characters are dead. Music-obsessed kid Miguel finds himself in the land of the dead searching for a way out before he’s skeleton-ified forever. Helping (and hindering) his mission are a dazzling array of characters, including his lifelong musical idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, and Héctor, a shady but loveable con-man (con-skeleton?) voiced by Gael García Bernal. Rated PG. 

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Courtesy the Wizard of Oz

14. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

For over 80 years, this Hollywood classic has continued to wow one generation after the next. Its staying power has been attributed to many things, but what keeps enthralling each new wave of underage viewers is the sheer vibrancy and charm of the movie's imaginary world: flying monkeys and good witches, fleet-footed scarecrows and fraidy-cat lions, eye-poppingly pastel towns of Munchkins and a garishly green Emerald City. And then there's its timeless message: You can go out and see the world, have adventures, make new pals and experience life at its most grand. But in the end, there's no place like home, and no one quite like your family and friends. Rated G.

Advertising
Frozen (2013)
Courtesy Disney

15. Frozen (2013)

In the off chance you haven't heard about the sisters who've turned the world of Disney princesses upside down, let us get you up to speed: Anna and Elsa live in Arendelle, and we learn that Elsa has a very unique gift: She's able to turn things to ice. Soon, their beloved land is stuck in an eternal winter. Yikes! That's certainly difficult for those who are affected by the cold. Anna, with the help of her new fella and few other friends, goes in search of Elsa when she goes into hiding. Will she be able to accept these powers? Will the two sisters figure it all out. And, most importantly, will your kids ever stop signing “Let It Go?” Rated PG.

The Sound of Music (1965)
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

16. The Sound of Music (1965)

As the camera swoops down from the heavens toward a young woman running through a field, this angel opens her mouth to exclaim “The hills are a-liiii-ve...”; from that moment on, Robert Wise's Oscar-winning musical has you right in its grasp. Julie Andrews' star was born as soon as she trilled the first line of Rodgers and Hammerstein's score, but this classic really is an ensemble affair: Every one of the von Trapps—from dear old dad Christopher Plummer to 16-going-on-17-year-old Charmian Carr and the youngest, 5-year-old Kym Karath—pitch in to this juggernaut of sing-along fun. To hear the cast belt out staples like “So Long, Farewell” and watch a family band together to prove that it takes more than Nazis to break up a tight-knit clan, is to understand why, generation after generation, this movie continues to be one of our favorite things. Rated G

Advertising
Inside Out (2015)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney/Pixar

17. Inside Out (2015)

This family flick is one of Pixar’s most creative storylines—prepare for a roller coaster of emotions! The key characters of this sweet movie are actually a little girl’s feelings—Disgust, Joy and Sadness, to name a few—and accompany her on an unexpected move from the Midwest to the West Coast. Clever, charming, heartbreaking and gut-busting funny, this is a movie the whole crew will love! Rated PG.

  • Film
  • Comedy

It’s true: in 1988, a bobsledding team from the not-particularly-wintry climes of Jamaica qualified to compete in the Winter Olympics. Just about everything else in this Disney production based on that historical footnote is made up or exaggerated. But it doesn’t matter – while indulging in plenty of sports comedy clichés, the mood is lively throughout, filled with genuine laughs and charming performances, particularly from Doug E Doug as the team’s leader and John Candy in one of his final roles. Rated PG

Advertising
Despicable Me (2010)
Photograph: Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment

19. Despicable Me (2010)

Steve Carell is the voice of Gru, a suburban supervillain whose seemingly innocuous home sits above a vast underground lair populated by hordes of yellow gibberish-speaking minions. Gru is prone to freeze-raying passers-by and plots to steal the moon, but when he adopts three adorable tow-headed orphan girls it’s not long before their plucky charm and winning optimism begin to melt his cold, cold heart. Rated PG. 

 
 

Rated PG. 

  • Film
  • Animation

With a record-breaking soundtrack by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this story of a super-powered, multi-generational Colombian family borrows from the magical realist literary traditions of Gabriel García Márquez to explore the importance of familial bonds and staying true to yourself. The colourful, expressive animation keeps Encanto engaging and intriguing, and with the help of some mystical mishaps it will keep your kids... enchanted. Rated PG. 

Advertising
A Christmas Story (1983)
Photograph: Courtesy Hulton Archive

21. A Christmas Story (1983)

Every year, director Bob Clark’s warmly weird comedy climbs the ranks of the most loved holiday movies of all-time. Its appeal is obvious – it’s nostalgic but not sentimental, funny without being cynical, and the anecdotal structure makes it infinitely rewatchable. But it is also, as mentioned, a very weird movie. The leg lamp? The frozen-tongue-on-a-lamp-pole bit? Christmas movies don’t get any more fun. But it’s still a film that can be watched year-round as a snapshot of midwestern American life circa the 1940s - and perhaps as a reminder of your own strange family. Rated PG

The Princess Bride (1987)
Photograph: Courtesy 20th Century Fox/The Princess Bride

22. The Princess Bride (1987)

One of our favorite feel-good films of all time, the action-packed tale of Princess Buttercup and Farm Boy/Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley (as read to young Fred Savage by his grandfather) steals our hearts with great one-liners, suspense and even some romance. Also...who could forget the fire swamp and Rodents of Unusual Size? Rated PG.

Advertising
Toy Story (1995)
Courtesy Channel 5 Broadcasting/Toy Story

23. Toy Story (1995)

It feels like Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Bo Peep, Hamm and pals have been in our lives forever. The inhabitants of that magical place called Andy’s Room feel like friends who are always there in good times and bad—a bit like for Andy himself. The breakthrough movie that led Pixar onto other classic animations like Inside Out, Monsters Inc., Wall-E, Up and three other Toy Story movies, it has the gang rescuing a depressed Buzz from their toy-vandalising neighbor Sid. Rated G. 

The Karate Kid (1984)
Photograph: Courtesy The Karate Kid/Channel 5 Broadcasting

24. The Karate Kid (1984)

You may have heard “wax on, wax off” a hundred times by now—that’s about the amount of times we could watch this movie in a row without tiring. Young Danny finds himself to be the target of a group of bullies, but with repairman (and martial arts master) Mr. Miyagi’s help, he trains to master martial arts and eventually sweep the leg of his foes. Rated PG.

Advertising
Mary Poppins (1964)
The Walt Disney Company.

25. Mary Poppins (1964)

Compared to even 'sophisticated' juvenile fodder, the sheer exuberance of Disney's adaptation of PL Travers' children's classic should tickle the most jaded fancy. Indeed, the film can hardly contain itself with its catalogue of memorable songs, battery of dance routines and strong supporting cast. As for the leads, Julie Andrews, after beating off other pretenders to the role (in part because Walt liked the way she whistled), produced an Academy Award-winning portrayal of the Edwardian nanny whose mad magic seethes beneath a patina of respectability that is, as Mary Poppins' references state, ‘practically perfect in every way.’ But oh, Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent! Rated G.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney Enterprises Inc.

26. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

To say Jack Skellington is over Halloween is an understatement. The Pumpkin King has had his fair share of frightening hijinks, and he just can't seem to muster up the spooky spirit that one expects from his prestigious title. Instead, Jack finds himself drawn to Christmas, a holiday he hasn't encountered beforehand. He does a bit of research and soon decides to step on Santa's turf. Naturally, his holly jolly plan is nothing short of a disaster. This Tim Burton-produced stop-motion classic delivers all you've come to expect from the artist: odd, yet totally lovable characters. Viewers will also delight in some toe-tapping tunes along the way. Rated PG. 

Advertising
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Photograph: Photograph: © 20th Century Fox

27. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

Robin Williams has the power to move us to tears—first with laughter, then with heartbreak. In this popular flick, a funny, carefree husband named Dan must face the music when his marriage starts to take a tumble and his wife asks for a separation. Dan devises a plan to get more time with his kids by going undercover as a nanny, gaining an even closer relationship with his family in the process. Rated PG–13. 

The Sandlot (1993)
Photograph: Courtesy Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

28. The Sandlot (1993)

This coming-of-age tale is a true classic—after all, what’s more American than baseball? Quirky youngster Scottie Smalls (Thomas Guiry) moves to a new neighborhood and manages to make some friends at a local baseball diamond. Together, they get themselves into tons of trouble (and must even band together to retrieve a piece of precious baseball memorabilia). More than a basebal movie, The Sandlot plays like Stand By Me for a younger crowd: A love letter to a bygone era that's timeless in its understanding of yourthful aloofness. Rated PG.

Advertising
Tangled (2010)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney Enterprises Inc.

29. Tangled (2010)

Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from her crib by a woman intent on staying forever young with the help of the princess’ magical long locks. Rapunzel grows up within the confines of her tower, always wishing she could explore the world and the lanterns that float outside her window. When her endless stream of creative activities no longer satisfies her, she ventures out with a tower thief and begins a journey to discover that the danger never lurked beyond the walls of her tower, but rather within them. Rated PG. 
 

Jumanji (1995)
Photograph: Courtesy Channel 5 Broadcasting

30. Jumanji (1995)

While taking a gander around an old mansion, a brother-sister duo discover an old jungle game nestled in the attic. However, the boardgame is much more than that, and soon they'll be on an adventure with wild creatures while attempting to free a feral man—manically played by Robin Williams—who has been trapped inside the game for years. Rated PG. 
 
 

Advertising
Matilda (1996)
Photograph: Courtesy Channel 5 Broadcasting

31. Matilda (1996)

Roald Dahl’s sweet bookworm Matilda comes to life in this go-to ’90s movie. Matilda (Mara Wilson) is discouraged from reading—her only escape in a house where she isn’t wanted or encouraged. Though her school is horrible—just imagine the worst principal you’ve ever met—she seeks refuge in learning and in the kindness of her teacher Miss Honey, eventually showing ‘em all what she’s really made of (telekinetic powers and all!). Rated PG.

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Photograph: © 2010 DreamWorks Animation LLC.

32. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Hiccup isn’t like the rest of the Viking clan. He aspires to be like his dragon-hunting father, but when he befriends the Night Fury dragon, he learns a thing or two about this feared creature. And surprisingly, there’s a bigger issue at hand for vikings and dragons alike. Rated PG.

Advertising
Moana (2016)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney

33. Moana (2016)

With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and an eye-popping Polynesian setting, Disney ditches its princess routine (kind of) for the tale of a headstrong girl seeking to save her island from an oceanic plague with the help of a swole demigod voiced by Dwaye Johnson. The film is as empowering as it is entertaining, and smartly sidesteps traditional conflicts for a more introspective, internal voyage of discovery... but don't worry, there's also a giant David Bowie-inspired crab monster thrown in to keep things moving. Rated PG.

 
 

Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney/Alice In Wonderland

34. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

Disney's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's fantasy takes you down the rabbit hole with a whirligig of dazzling color, delightful wordplay (a very merry unbirthday to you, Mad Hatter) and visual absurdities around every corner. Looking for a way to introduce kids to a great work of literature? Go ask Alice. Rated G.

Advertising
The Jungle Book (1967)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney/The Jungle Book

35. The Jungle Book (1967)

In Disney's rendition of the Rudyard Kipling story, young orphan Mowgli sets out on a quest to learn more about his identity, with the help of animal companions. The episodic nature of The Jungle Book is hit or miss—you'd be forgiven for forgetting entire swaths of Mowgli's journey to find his way back to man. But the movie is a marvel of animation, and any time King Louie or Baloo is on screen, the entire affari comes to unforgettable life. Rated G. 

 

Annie (1982)
Photograph: Courtesy Film Forum

36. Annie (1982)

In the classic musical, red-headed orphan Annie lives with other little girls in terrible conditions under the control of neglectful and vindictive Miss Hannigan, but the pint-sized optimist can’t be beaten down. When a wealthy businessman, Mr. Warbucks, agrees to foster an orphan to improve his public image, he is eventually won over by Annie’s charms. There’s trouble brewing, however, as Miss Hannigan and her seedy friends concoct a plan to get rich. Rated PG.

Advertising
The Parent Trap (1998)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney

37. The Parent Trap (1998)

A smart, unexpectedly effective remake of the Haley Mills classic, Lindsay Lohan's breakout film retains the original's madcap plot about separated twins who switch places in order to fool their divorced parents into falling back in love.​ But in updating the story for modern audiences, the film somehow became more iconic than the original thanks to its fantastic performances, wry humor and feel-good ridiculousness. Rated PG.

Elf (2003)
Photograph: Courtesy Alan Markfield/New Line Productions

38. Elf (2003)

Buddy never quite fit in with the other elves in the North Pole, and he couldn't never pinpoint why. Once he learns that he's part human, part elf, everything changes. During the holidays, Buddy heads to NYC to become aquainted with his family, but he soon realises things aren't always so holly jolly...at least at first. In order to celebrate one of the merriest Christmas movies out there—and seriously, what's better than laugh-out-loud moments with funny man Will Ferrell—we recommend stocking up on candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup (aka the four main food groups for elves). Rated PG.

Advertising
Ratatouille (2007)
Photograph: Courtesy Pixar

39. Ratatouille (2007)

Ah, to be a chef in the culinary capital of the world! Remy dreams of whipping up delicious dishes in Paris kitchens. The only problem? He's a rat—certainly cause for alarm among diners. However, after crossing paths with the clumbsy Linguini (a human), the duo partner to make his dream become a reality... but not without a few disasters along the way. Rated G. 

  • Film
  • Animation

A strong contender for best animated film of all time, Hayao Miyazaki's journey into the world of forest spirits vacationing in a mystical bath house is truly one of its kind. Vivid and adventurous (if a little scary for the easily frightened kids), it's a visual feast from start to finish as a human girl finds herself trapped in another realm when her parents turn into pigs. Just go with it: This is a film steeped in dream logic, and it's easy to surrender to its hypnotic artistry and singular storytelling beats. Rated PG

Advertising
The Lego Movie (2014)
Photograph: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

41. The Lego Movie (2014)

The world’s first-ever full-length LEGO adventure tells the tale of a superweapon called the Kragle; evil Lord Business (yep, you heard us) stole the coveted weapon from good wizard Vitruvius, the Kragle’s protector! There’s only one thing to stop him: the “Piece of Resistance,” a brick capable of stopping the Kragle. The film boasts a script that’ll make both parents and kids laugh, plus it has a star-studded cast—you’ll hear the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson and more! Against all odds, everything here is awesome. Rated PG.

The Witches (1990)
Courtesy Warner Brothers International Television

42. The Witches (1990)

A witch convention is certainly not the first thing you expect to come across while staying at a hotel in England with your grandmother. Unfortunately, little Luke's curiosity gets the better of him, and he's caught spying on their evil gathering. It's up to Luke and his Grandmother to fight back against the witches, but it's just a hair more difficult now that Luke has been turned into a mouse. Directed by cult filmmaker Nicolas Roeg, of all people, The Witches doesn't skimp on the body horror, so be sure to avert easily scared kids' eyes once the ghoulish villains start shedding their skin. Rated PG.

Advertising
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Photograph: Disney

43. The Muppet Movie (1979)

Kermit & Co.'s first big-screen adventure is a wild, meta road-trip comedy in which the frog leaves his swamp to pursue fame, pursued by a Colonel Sanders-esque frog-leg restauranteur all the while. With appearances by countless celebrities (look kids, it's Steve Martin and Mel Brooks), the film translated the absurdism of The Muppet Show seamlessly to screen, setting the bar impossibly high for any future entries. Simply hearing Kermit sing ”The Rainbow Connection”—still an all-time great movie song in any context—is worth the price of admission. Rated G.

Up (2009)
Photograph: Courtesy Disney/Pixar

44. Up (2009)

Up's heartbreaking opening montage rightfully gets all the attention when discussing Pixar's Best Picture nominee, but beyond the tears that open the film is an absolutely bonkers yarn that includes prehistoric birds, sky-high real estate and talking dogs engaged in aeronautic dogfights. Those opening tears are essential, but this is also a story overcoming grief through the healing powers of friendship and adventure. Rated PG.
 

Advertising
Wall-E (2008)
Photograph: Courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

45. Wall-E (2008)

One of Pixar's most dazzling films, Wall-E is a masterpiece of visual storytelling, spending its entire first half worldlessly following a beat-up robot tasked with cleaning up an Earth long-abandoned by humanity. But once Wall-E finds a spark courtesy of fellow robot Eva, things truly begin to soar... both literally—the pair head to space to save humanity and share a dance amid the stardust—and figuratively. Rated PG. 

Free Willy (1993)
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

46. Free Willy (1993)

Jesse lands himself in a mess of trouble when he's caught vandalizing a local theme park. As punshiment, he's tasked with working at the attraction. Soon, this becomes something he looks forward to after he develops a close relationship with the Orca named Willy. The two become so close, in fact, that they start doing tricks... which is problematic once the venue's owner catches wind of their friendship. Rated PG.  
 

Advertising
Back to the Future (1985)
Photograph: Courtesy Universal Studios

47. Back to the Future (1985)

Robert Zemeckis' time-travel classic is one of the weirder blockbusters of its time: This is, after all, the story of a boy whisked back to the past and forced to fend off the lusty advances of his teenage mom. But that weirdness is what makes Back to the Future such a unique blast: Here's a Boomer-pleasing period piece that manages to be wholly subversive without losing the sight of its fish-out-of-water charms. Plus, that Huey Lewis theme really is timeless.  Rated PG. 

Zootopia (2016)
Photograph: Courtesy ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

48. Zootopia (2016)

Perhaps Disney's most overtly political flick, Zootopia leverages the appeal of its ultra-cute anthromorphic animals—led by adorable bunny-cop Judy Hopps and conman fox Nick Wilde—to sneak in a sly story about segregation and racial profiling. That sounds heavy, but the reason Zootopia works so well is that it seldom beats viewers over the head with its politics, choosing instead to tell an old-school Hollywood noir tale for the kiddie set and letting the subtext do the talking. Rated PG.

Advertising
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Photograph: Courtesy Channel 5 Broadcasting

49. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

A magical tale for sweet-toothed kids, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory tells the story of a little boy from a poor family and his dream—and eventual reality—of getting a peek inside Willy Wonka’s mysterious enterprise. After several children find the elusive golden ticket inside their chocolate bars and win a tour of the factory, it turns out there’s something even bigger at stake. Rated G.
 
 

Labyrinth (1986)
Photograph: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

50. Labyrinth (1986)

Jim Henson’s cult classic centers on a dark premise: a teenage girl (yes, that’s a very young Jennifer Connelly) is forced to enter a fantasy world and solve a wild labyrinth in order to rescue her baby brother, who’s been kidnapped and is being held by the Goblin King. The plot, though, is really just for director Jim Henson to delight the audience with all manner of strange puppet creatures and musical numbers—the Goblin King is played, of course, by David Bowie, who takes over the movie at several points for some delicious musical interludes. The little ones will be singing “Magic Dance” for weeks. Rated PG.

Looking for more awesome movies?

Recommended

    More on Time In

      You may also like
        Advertising

        The best things in life are free.

        Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

        Loading animation
        Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

        🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

        Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!