Best Thanksgiving movies for kids and families

Pair these Thanksgiving movies for kids with a great turkey dinner, fun football games and quality time with the family.

Photograph: Courtesy American Broadcasting Company/CBS

Get comfy with a piece of pumpkin pie and start a marathon of the best Thanksgiving movies for kids and families. From classics cartoons such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and hysterical comedies such as Home for the Holidays, our roundup of flicks is as irresistible is that extra scoop of mashed potatoes. 

RECOMMENDED: Thanksgiving for kids in New York City

A few of these films will certainly put you in the holiday spirit (as will seconds once dessert is served). Don't miss out on the laughs, the tasty food and time well spent with the people you love. Happy holidays!

Looking for more ways to take advantage of the season? Have a look at our November events calendar for kids, scope out the best hot chocolate in NYC and curl up with a bunch of fun Thanksgiving books for kids.  

Thanksgiving movies for kids

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Addams Family Values (1993)

Wednesday and Pugsley are in for a bit of a shock when they realize their baby brother is here to stay. Little Pubert is a thorn in their side, and they try endlessly to rid the Addams clan of its newborn. That's when Gomez and Morticia step in and hire Debbie, the kids' new babysitter. Debbie, however, has her eyes set on Uncle Fester (more so for his wallet than his looks), and in turn, Wednesday and Pugsley are shipped off to summer camp so she can concentrate on wooing Fester and stealing his cash. At the torturous camp, Wednesday sets the Thanksgiving play ablaze (quite literally) as the rest of the family tries to knock some sense into Fester when they catch wind of Debbie's wicked ways. Will things end smoothly for the creepy and kooky clan? Rated PG-13. 


A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1965)

Oh, Charlie! Another day, another adventure. While the gang's Christmas special is probably the most famous installment in the T.V. series, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is an equally heartwarming tale that's worth watching over and over. The Emmy-winning episode has all the Thanksgiving essentials: football (well, Charlie Brown’s pitiful attempts at the game), delicious meals and, of course, a bit of bickering amongst the Peanuts. As the kids try to whip up a meal of their very own, Peppermint Patty is less than impressed with the menu of buttered toast, popcorn and jellybeans. Rated G.

Photograph: 20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Dutch (1991)

To get to know his girlfriend’s son, blue-collar guy, Dutch (Ed O’Neill), offers to pick Doyle up from school in Atlanta to bring him home for Thanksgiving dinner in Chicago. The preppy kid turns out to be a piece of work, but a few mishaps during their cross-country journey, including a fireworks display gone wrong and run-ins with some interesting characters, end up bringing the two together. Rated PG-13.

Photograph: Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

Home for the Holidays (1995)

This comedy/drama hybrid stars Holly Hunter as Claudia, a down-on-her-luck single mother who returns to her parents’ Baltimore home for a bit of comfort over the holidays. However, her dysfunctional family provides anything but. Her sister Joanne’s attitude and dramatic brother Tommy (Robert Downey Jr.) stir up trouble, and on top of it all, her daughter Kitt (Claire Danes) decides to spend the holiday with her boyfriend. This film is an after-dinner flick for families with kids on the older side, but is sure to draw some laughs. Rated PG-13. 

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The New World (2005)

This live-action take on the story of Pocahontas and the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia gives viewers a peek into the period when the first Thanksgiving took place. When English settlers come ashore on strange, new land, they begin to set up a colony in the “New World” to the dismay of the Native Americans who call it home. Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) is captured and brought to Chief Powhatan, the father of young Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher). Families will love the beautiful landscapes, celebrity appearances (look out for Christopher Plummer and Christian Bale) and the blossoming love story. Rated PG-13.


Free Birds (2013)

Reggie (Owen Wilson) is the smartest gobbler in his flock. He knows his fellow turkeys are being fattened up for human consumption come Thanksgiving, though his dimwitted brethren are happily ignorant. Fortunately, fate puts our hero in the path of a muscular birdbrain (Woody Harrelson) with a magic doorknob that leads the duo to a time machine, which takes them back to the very first Thanksgiving. Rated PG. 


Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Sure, this is as classic a Christmas film as they come, but its jumping-off point is none other than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC! When Santa Claus gets tipsy before his annual ride on the parade float, he gets the boot—but his bearded replacement, Kris Kringle, be the real deal? His commitment to the job has all the kids in awe and sets off a media firestorm that ends up in a court of law. What a perfect way to close out Turkey Day and get the kids excited for Santa's visit! Rated G. 


Alvin and the Chipmunks - Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration (2008)

Think you can handle Alvin, Simon and Theodore's super high-pitched voices for a little over an hour? If you're up to the challenge—and lets face, it, you'll do anything for those kiddos of yours—you might switch on this gem: Alvin's Thanksgiving Celebration. Believe it or not, Dave is getting married—and there's a lot that goes on there! The Chipmunks will also explore some famous momens in U.S. history, too. Not rated


Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999)

This direct-to-video flick is worth unearthing when the season of pumpkin pie is near. Go on an adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the rest of the gang as they sleuth for Thanksgiving dinner ingredients to see if they can find everything they need to make the day perfect. Some versions also offer additional episodes, so do your research! Not Rated


The Blind Side (2009)

When an African-American boy from a poor neighborhood is taken in by a wealthy Tenneessee woman, life changes for both of them. Thanks to Leigh Anne Touhy (Bullock) and her family, “Big Mike” Oher is given an opportunity to put his athleticism and protective instincts to use on the football field, eventually becoming a first-round NFL draft pick. A Thanksgiving Day scene when Big Mike causes the family to pause and appreciate their meal and one another is particularly touching—one that might even convince your family to flick off the game for a while next year. Rated PG-13.

Photograph: Courtesy Courtesy Columbia Pictures Industries Inc./Beverly Blvd LLC

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)

You and your loved ones might be chowing down on drumsticks and loading up on Thanksgiving carbs, but there are some professions that cannot skip work, even on a holiday. A mall cop just so happens to be one of those fields, as Paul Blart proves. He takes his role quite seriously, even if everyone else doesn't seem to think his work is a top priority. After you've settled in with dessert, get ready to LOL as Blart (Kevin James) takes on the mall's threat—aka Santa's helpers—as they take shoppers, including his daughter and girlfriend, hostage. How's that for holiday mayhem? Rated PG.  

Photograph: Courtesy Sergei Bachlakov

Turkey Hollow (2015)

An appropriately named flick for the holiday season, Turkey Hollow is perfect for those in search of an adventure after dinner. The Emmersons make their way to visit Aunt Cly in her small town, and naturally, young Tim and Annie find the nabe's happenings to be a snooze fest. All of that changes, however, when they duo go in search of an urban legend—the howling hoodoo. Is this creature really just the work of fiction? Rated PG. 


Dora the Explorer: Dora's Thanksgiving Day Parade (2012)

Who can say no to an adventure with Dora and the gang? Make the holiday extra memorable this season by tuning in as Dora swoops in to help—with some guidance from your little sidekicks. Our leading lady is ready to enjoy the Thanksgiving parade, but when the Pirate Piggies accidentally float away, it's go time. Will she be able to save Turkey Day from a disaster? Not rated. 

Photograph: Courtesy Paws Inc.

Garfield's Thanksgiving (2017)

Thanksgiving is all about indulging, and it's certainly the most inappropriate time to start thinking about healthy eating...especially when you're as enamored with food as Garfield. Our favorite hungry cat is looking forward to the most magnificent eating day of the year, but his plans come to a screeching halt when his owner decides it's the perfect day to begin a new diet. Talk about bad timing! Not Rated.


National Lampoon's Holiday Reunion (2003)

What holiday isn't filled with a little craziness? Expect a whole helping of mayhem in this new rendition of the National Lampoons series. In this take on the wacky sensation, we find an anesthesiologist uprooting his family to Idaho to visit his hippie cousin for the holidays. What could go, we mean wrong? Rated PG-13.