Family Movie Night: Best Movies To Watch With Your Kids
For many families, movie time is a beloved tradition. Whether it’s family night, a holiday, or summer vacation, watching movies together can be a great way to unwind and bond with each other. There’s nothing like sitting down on a Saturday night with your favorite people and watching a film that makes you all laugh together.
Finding the best family movies isn’t always easy, though. Everyone loves a good comedy, but how can you ensure a film is appropriate for your kids?
Thankfully, there are plenty of titles for families that appeal to adults and kids alike. These comic family movies will entertain parents and children, from animated adventures to musical masterpieces, from silly comedies to heartfelt stories.
Pop in the kids’ favorite snacks and a giant blanket, get comfortable, and press play. Here’s our list of best comedy movies for your family movie night!
2012 | 1h 33m | Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Starring Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, and Billy Connolly
A Disney-Pixar joint, Brave is a grown-up fairy tale. Merida, a Scottish princess, has the adventurous soul of a warrior who defies her kingdom’s customs by taking her fate into her own hands. This spunky and courageous character is one that young girls can look up to for inspiration! Merida is also the first Disney Princess to not have a love interest.
Lilo & Stitch
2002 | 1h 25m | Directed by Dean DeBlois and Christopher Sanders
Starring Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, and Kevin Michael Richardson
Disney’s offbeat animated feature begins as a mission of revenge, but it becomes an inspiring story of friendship and family. A Hawaiian orphan girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive that’s taken refuge on Earth and is now hiding from its creator and those who see it as a menace. The famous quote “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten” brilliantly explains what having a family truly means.
1995 | 1h 21m | Directed by John Lasseter
Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Don Rickles
The first feature-length computer-animated film and the first feature film produced by Pixar, Toy Story became a blockbuster hit when it was released in 1995. It received widespread critical acclaim, earning three Academy Award nominations and winning a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects. Toy Story is a hilarious and heartwarming tale of an old-fashioned cowboy doll named Woody and his rivalry with space ranger Buzz Lightyear for the affections of their young owner, Andy.
1990 | 1h 43m | Directed by Chris Columbus
Starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, and Daniel Stern
One of my all-time favorite childhood movies! Home Alone is a highly successful and beloved family comedy about a young boy named Kevin, who is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they’ve left him “home alone,” he learns to fend for himself and eventually has to protect his house against two bumbling burglars planning to rob every house in Kevin’s suburban neighborhood. This movie has become a holiday classic, and it’ll make you laugh until your sides hurt.
1993 | 2h 5m | Directed by Chris Columbus
Starring Robin Williams, Sally Field, and Pierce Brosnan
Mrs. Doubtfire is a flawless film in every sense of the word. And it’s also one of Robin Williams’ best roles before he became a caricature of himself in his later years. The plot is simple: a man wants to spend more time with his kids after his wife divorces him, so he pretends to be an old lady to get hired as their nanny. This is comedy gold, and you will laugh from the opening scene until the credits start rolling.
2005 | 1h 37m | Directed by Kirk Jones
Starring Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, and Kelly Macdonald
This family film is one of Emma Thompson’s best on-screen performances. She plays Nanny McPhee, a magical nanny who tries to help a widowed man raise his seven children who are out of control. This movie shares good lessons for kids to learn, but it’s also funny, sweet, and at the same time deals with serious issues like the loss of parents.
2017 | 1h 45m | Directed by Lee Unkrich
Starring Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Benjamin Bratt
Miguel is a 12-year-old Mexican boy who dreams of becoming a musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. But Miguel’s family has banned music for generations. When Miguel finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead on Dia de Los Muertos, he embarks on a journey to uncover the truth behind his family history. Coco’s heartfelt story is paired with gorgeous animation, making it one of the best animated movies of 2017.
2016 | 1h 37m | Directed by Andrew Stanton
Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Hayden Rolence
Finding Dory is the highly anticipated sequel to the animated hit Finding Nemo. A few months after Nemo is found, Dory remembers that she has a family who may be looking for her. The trio goes off on a life-changing adventure across the ocean to California’s prestigious Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium.
2003 | 1h 37m | Directed by Mark Waters
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, and Mark Harmon
Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan play mother and daughter who wake up on Friday morning to realize they switched bodies. Freaky Friday takes you on a wild ride as they try to figure out what happened while dealing with each other’s issues. Kids will enjoy watching their favorite stars in a new light, while adults will be able to relate to the mother-daughter tensions that come with the territory. This is one of the best family movies that capture the humor of dealing with everyday life.
2020 | 1h 42m | Directed by Dan Scanlon
Starring Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on a journey to discover if there’s still a little magic left out there to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him. Onward is an incredible film, especially for anyone who loves the Pixar world and its characters. The last few years have been filled with serious and heartbreaking movies from the studio. While that’s not bad, it is refreshing to see such a fun and light-hearted family movie again.
2004 | 1h 55m | Directed by Brad Bird
Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Holly Hunter, and Jason Lee
This Pixar movie is geared toward older children and adults, but the hero action will keep young kids riveted (and may even inspire them to do their homework so they can grow up to be superheroes themselves). This movie is definitely one that the whole family will enjoy, especially if you like superheroes and the sense of family values so prominent in this film.
#19 Finding Nemo
2003 | 1h 40m | Directed by Andrew Stanton
Starring Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, and Eric Bana
Probably one of the best kid movies ever made! Finding Nemo is a wonderful animated movie that follows a father clownfish, Marlin, and his son, Nemo. After Nemo is captured by scuba divers, Marlin and a forgetful blue tang fish named Dory set out to find him. Along the way, they meet some interesting characters and learn valuable lessons about friendship, determination, and finding courage along the way.
2003 | 1h 37m | Directed by Jon Favreau
Starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Bob Newhart
This list wouldn’t be complete without this holiday classic! The story of Buddy the Elf is heartwarming, with Will Ferrell hilariously playing Buddy’s hilarious and innocent character, who was raised in the North Pole by Santa. He soon discovers he’s adopted and sets off to New York City to find his biological father. But it’s not that easy for a giant elf to fit in with the rest of the world.
The Parent Trap
1998 | 2h 8m | Directed by Nancy Meyers
Starring Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, and Natasha Richardson
In The Parent Trap, a pair of identical twins, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together. Any remake of a classic is hard to do, but The Parent Trap is one of the few movies that may actually rival the original!
2018 | 1h 58m | Directed by Sean Anders
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, and Isabela Moner
Sometimes life takes you by surprise. When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one young child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious teenage girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. The film was inspired by director Sean Anders’ experience with adoption.
2013 | 1h 42m | Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Starring Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Alan Tudyk
No list of funny family movies would be complete without this mega-hit. Besides the music and the story, kids love the magic of this movie. Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. This movie is great for everyone in the family: even parents will find themselves singing along to Let It Go.
Cheaper By The Dozen 2
2005 | 1h 34m | Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring Steve Martin, Eugene Levy, and Bonnie Hunt
In Cheaper By The Dozen 2, the Bakers return to the lake house for a family reunion. Everything is going well until they discover that their arch-nemesis family, the Murtaughs, are also vacationing at the same lake. The movie is one hilarious moment after another for the whole family.
The Princess Diaries
2001 | 1h 55m | Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Starring Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, and Héctor Elizondo
A socially awkward but very bright 15-year-old girl raised by a single mom discovers that she is the princess of a small European country because of the recent death of her long-absent father, who, unknown to her, was the crown prince of Genovia. She must choose between continuing the life of a San Francisco teen or stepping up to the throne.
2015 | 1h 36m | Directed by Sean Anders
Starring Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, and Linda Cardellini
A mild-mannered radio host strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling real father arrives, forcing him to compete for the kids' affection. In an interview with the New York Times, Sofia Coppola listed Daddy’s Home as one of her favorite movies of the 21st century.