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The best family movies of all time to stream

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

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Family movie night usually goes one of two ways: it’s either a moment of bonding and joy that creates fond memories that’ll take up residence in the hearts of everyone involved for the rest of their lives, or it’s a stressful evening of eyerolls, yawns and annoyance from both kids and parents. The key is finding a film that satisfies the entire brood, and that is no easy task. But it’s not impossible. 

We’re here to help. Among these 50 picks of the all-time best family movies, you’ll find plenty of animated classics, both new and old, along with live-action adventures with generational appeal, inspirational tales of empowerment and comedies sure to make every person on the couch laugh, from tot to tween to grandparent. So take a deep breath, and feel comfortable in the knowledge that whatever you choose, you’ll be everyone’s hero – at least for the night.

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👪 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

Family-friendly movies to stream

1. The Lion King (1994)

Older kids might lobby for the ‘live action’ remake with Beyoncé, but parents should hold fast and expose them to the ageless joys of this animated classic from Disney’s renaissance years. In case you need a primer: Simba is the young heir to the kingdom of Pride Lands – that is, until his villainous uncle, Scar, stages a violent coup against his own brother usurps power. Will Simba gain the courage to confront his nemesis and take his rightful place on the throne? No spoilers. No shade on Shakespeare, but this is the superior version of Hamlet. Because lions. Rated G. 

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. 

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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.

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.

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  • Film
  • Drama
Queen of Katwe (2016)
Queen of Katwe (2016)

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.

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. 
 

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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. 

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. 

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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.

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Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

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

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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. 

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. 

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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. 

14. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

This technicolor fantasy has been alternately thrilling and frightening audiences of all ages for fast-approaching a century. What’s the secret to its agelessness? The eye-popping colour palette? The catchy songs? The munchkins? The flying monkeys? It’s probably all those things. (Probably not the monkeys, but they’re still pretty terrifying.) But at the core of its lasting appeal is a message anyone from any era can relate to: no matter where you go and what you do in life, there’s truly no place like home, wherever that happens to be. Rated G.

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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.

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

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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.

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  • 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

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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. 

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  • 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. 

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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

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.

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23. Toy Story (1995)

Pixar’s first classic has aged a bit visually, but in every other aspect, it’s as perfect as it was on the day it was released. After three sequels – all great – it’s hard to imagine a time when Andy’s misfit toys weren’t part of our lives, but it’s striking to go back to the beginning and see how fully realised each character and the world of Andy’s Room was straight from the start. The other movies refined the humour, and the CGI got better, but the series was rarely as charming as the original, in which Woody and Buzz initially butt heads, then eventually discover their close bond in the face of a greater enemy: toy-mangling miscreant neighbour boy Sid. Rated G. 

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.

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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.

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. 

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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. 

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.

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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. 
 

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. 
 
 

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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.

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.

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33. Moana (2016)

Disney has begun teasing the sequel to its insta-classic oceanic adventure, and while it’s a world we’re excited to return to, it’s got a pretty high bar to clear, as the original is one of the liveliest and most unique non-Pixar animations the House of Mouse has produced in ages. Putting a Polynesian twist on the typical princess fable, it tells the story of the strong-willed daughter of a tribal chief who sets off (with her googly-eyed pet chicken in tow) to save her island from a terrible curse. Boasting great songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda and the best performance of Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson’s career as the buff demigod Maui, it’s fun and empowering, with some absolutely wondrous imagery. Rated PG.

 
 

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.

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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. 

 

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.

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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.

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.

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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. 

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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

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41. The Lego Movie (2014)

Recently, a Twitter user went viral with a story about how one man’s infectious, uproarious laughter at The Lego Movie spread through an entire airplane during a cross-country flight. We believe it. In some ways, the animation, from the duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, was the proto-Barbie: a movie based on an iconic toy that turned out to be much sharper, more irreverent and funny than anyone could have guessed. Adults will indeed enjoy the meta-jabs at corporate culture and A-list voice cast that includes Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Morgan Freeman, while kids will thrill to the action-packed story of an ordinary construction worker (Pratt) tasked to save the Lego Universe from destruction – as well as the superhero cameos. Rated PG.

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.

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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.

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.
 

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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. 

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.  
 

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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. 

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.

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49. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Your children will be like kids in a candy factory watching this scrumptious adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic novel about the titular dandy candyman – just hope they’re a little more like Charlie Bucket than Veruca Salt or Violet Beauregarde. With its chocolate rivers and edible meadows, the movie quite literally looks good enough to eat. If it’s been a while, though, be forewarned that there are some genuinely scary moments for wee ones. Shoot, ‘The Wondrous Boat Ride’ musical number is so freaky Marilyn Manson once recorded a cover of it. Rated G.
 
 

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.

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