Enjoy a family movie night! The Newy with Kids team has brainstormed and have come up with an extensive list of family movies that you can watch with your kids no matter how old they are.
We’ve got a family film for everyone: classics, animals, sports, Disney Princesses, sci-fi, fantasy and comedies, even some cringeworthy gems from the 80s and 90s. We’ve chosen a selection from around the world including some great kids films produced here in Australia. So choose a movie, pop the popcorn, settle in and get ready for some family viewing.
Please note: Parents and caregivers have different ideas about the suitability of movies for their children. We have included ratings but we recognise that everyone has their own opinions about appropriate content. Also PG ratings have changed dramatically since the 1980s before society got more politically correct. We recommend visiting Common Sense Media or the Australian site Know Before You Go to determine whether a film is suitable for your family.
And now our list….
Aladdin (1992 & 2019)
Whether you want to watch the original animated movie or the recent live action remake, Aladdin is one to watch with your family. Enjoy a magic carpet ride and enjoy the magic of the Genie especially Robin William’s version in the original. Original rated G. Remake rated PG.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
This classic tale begins with Alice following a curious White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole and falling into Wonderland. There she meets some unforgettable characters. Choose from the animated Disney film rated G or Tim Burton movie rated PG.
Anne of Green Gables (1986)
A heartwarming movie about Anne (spelled with an ‘e’!) Shirley, a 12-year-old orphan girl who finds herself in Green Gables in Prince Edward Island. She gets up to ridiculous adventures with her imagination. A childhood classic, this movie is a must-watch. Rated G.
If you want to watch the film of Annie, take your pick of movies. There’s the 1982 version, 1999 version and 2014 remake of this classic musical. All feature the spunky orphan Annie as she leaves her nasty foster mom and goes to live with Daddy Warbucks. Rated PG.
Babe (1995) 🇦🇺
A sweet, heartwarming film about an adorable sheep-herding pig named Babe who learns how to herd sheep. (We love a movie where the animals talk to each other). Just be ready in case the kids ask for a pet pig, Follow up with Babe in the City. Rated G.
Back to the Future (1985)
The professor, the DeLorean, time travel. This 80s family classic has it all. Follow Marty McFly’s adventures as he travels back in time to the 1950s to avoid being shot by terrorists. If your family likes this, follow up with the two sequels. Rated PG.
This animated film follows the incredible journey of Feliciee, a French orphan who escapes from her orphanage in Brittany with her best friend Victor, and enrols herself in a ballet academy in Paris! Rated G.
The BFG (2016)
Based on the Roald Dahl book, the BFG follows the unlikely friendship of an orphan Sophie and the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) who abducts her and takes her to Giant Island. Rated PG.
Billy Elliot (2000)
In 1984 England, Billy Elliot is the story of a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer but is opposed by his macho father and brother. Great movie to smash gender stereotypes. Rated PG-13.
Black Panther (2018)
This is the first Marvel movie to feature a superhero of colour Black Panther. After his father dies, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to become the new king. However, when an enemy appears, he has to defend Wakanda and the entire world. Great movie to demonstrate racial and gender diversity. Rated PG-13.
BMX Bandits (1983) 🇦🇺
In this movie, Nicole Kidman’s debut film role, a trio of teen BMX bikers discover stolen walkie-talkies left behind by a gang of bank robbers. It’s full of BMX stunts and 80s hair and fashion. Rated PG.
Charlotte’s Web (2006)
A heartwarming story between a pig Wilbur destined to be a dinner and Charlotte, a spider who vows to save his life. Rated PG.
Despite his family’s ban on music, a young boy Miguel pursues his love for singing. On the Day of the Dead, he stumbles into the Land of the Dead and learns about his great-great-grandfather who was a legendary singer. Rated PG.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Follow the adventures of Greg Heffley who is trying to make himself more popular in middle school. Based on the popular series written by Jeff Kinney, there are four movies to enjoy. Movies rated PG.
Dr Dolittle (1998)
Ever wondered what your cat or dog are trying to say to you. In this movie, Dr Dolittle is suddenly able to “hear” animals. Full of rude humour, this movie will inspire family conversation about what animals around are saying. Rated PG-13.
Dolphin Tale (2011)
Based on the true story of an injured dolphin named Winter, this is a heartwarming story about the bond between animals and humans. When Winter’s injured tail fin is amputated, two preteens Hazel and Sawyer get involved and arrange for a prosthetic tail to be made and fitted on to the dolphin. Rated PG.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
In this retelling of the classic Cinderella story, Ella is cursed with obedience. However, she refuses to meekly accept the curse and instead attempts to get rid of it. Movie rated PG.
This family classic is a must watch. Elliot discovers an extraterrestrial left behind by fellow aliens and what follows is a unique friendship as they try to send a message home to E.T.’s planet. Rated PG.
A heartwarming lovely film for small children. It tells the story of a bull who doesn’t like fighting but loves flowers. Great movie to teach the message of non-violence. Rated PG.
Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest (1992) 🇦🇺
An animated film that also has a strong environmental message is a great one to get kids talking about conservation. It tells the story of fairies who have to educate humans about the importance of protecting forests, instead of cutting them down. Rated G.
Finding Nemo (2003)
A father’s love for his son is evident in this much-loved family movie. After his son is captured at the Great Barrier Reef, his dad Marlin embarks on a journey with a forgetful fish Dory and attempts to bring him home. Follow up this movie with Finding Dory. Rated PG.
Adventure ensures when an absent-minded professor discovers “flubber,” a rubber-like substance that can bounce, stretch, fly. Rated PG.
Let it go! There’s no need for a long description. Everyone with kids knows the story of Anna and Elsa in this celebration of sisterhood. Follow up the classic with Frozen 2, fast tracked onto Disney+. Rated PG.
The Goonies (1985)
It’s a blast from the past in this 1980s adventure movie. After finding a treasure map, a group of friends go on a hunt for pirate gold but along the way encounter a family of criminals, dead bodies and a perilous booby-trapped tunnel. Even though it’s rated PG, probably best for older kids.
Happy Feet (2006) 🇦🇺
Meet Mumble, an Antarctic penguin who can’t find his “heart song,” but he can tap dance. Cute animated family movie that will get you dancing around your living room too. Rated PG.
Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone (2001)
Discover the magic of Harry Potter, an 11 year old boy wizard. This film brings to life the incredible debut book of J.K. Rowling. The first installment of the Harry Potter movie series is a fun and family-friendly introduction to the Wizarding World. You can follow it up with additional movies but keep in mind the movies get darker and more intense as the kids get older. Rated PG.
Hidden Figures (2016)
Based on the inspiring true story of three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1950s and ’60s as “human computers”, this movie reveals their contributions that helped launch the manned spaceflight program. This empowering film explores the issues of racism, the civil rights movement and sexism. Rated PG.
Home Alone (1990)
Usually associated with Christmas, this movie makes for great watching all year long. Watch Kevin thwart a couple of bumbling would-be thieves. It reminds you how ingenious kids can be. Rated PG.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
This movie is perfect for animal lovers especially those who think that their pets can talk. Three family pets, bulldog Chance, golden retriever Shadow, and Himalayan feline Sassy face adventures as they try to make their way home. Rated G.
In this Spielberg classic featuring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, Peter Pan’s story continues. When Peter Pan’s children are abducted by Captain Hook, he is forced to return to Neverland. With some help from Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys, he must battle against his old foe to save his kids. Movie rated PG.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Loosely based on a bestselling book series, this film is about Hiccup, a clever young Viking and his friendship with a Night Fury dragon who he names Toothless. This is in contrast to the rest of the village who are trained to kill invading dragons. It’s a feel good story about standing up for what you believe in. Plus the animation of this film by Dreamworks is superb. Follow up with the two sequels. Rated PG.
Once two of the greatest crime fighter, Bob and Helen have adopted civilian identities and retreated to the suburbs to live normal lives with their three kids. But fifteen years later, they have the opportunity to be involved in a top-secret assignment. Follow up with the Incredibles 2 sequel. Rated PG.
Inside Out (2015)
The story of Riley and her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust and Sadness is a great one for families. This Pixar movie is bound to get kids talking about their own emotions. I’m sure we’re all feeling a bit like Fear and Sadness but let’s listen to Joy as well. Rated PG.
An action-packed movie about a board game which unleashes vicious beasts into a small town. In this movie, two kids find an old game and start playing it not realising the effect it will have. In order to return the town to normal, they’ll need to play the game to the end. The game’s animals might not be suitable for younger viewers. Rated PG. There’s also the 2017 & 2019 sequels of Jumanji. Rated PG-13.
The Jungle Book (2016)
Follow the adventures of Mowgli, the mancub raised by wolves and his bear companion Baloo. Live action movie rated PG. Animated Disney movie rated G.
The Karate Kid (1984)
Wax on, wax off! The 80s version of the Karate Kid is a family classic. Rediscover Mr Miyagi’s unorthodox ways of teaching karate like waxing cars, painting fences and catching flies. If you like the classic version, follow up with the two sequels afterwards. You can also watch the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid. Rated PG.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1998)
This lovely Studio Ghibli movie follows Kiki, a young witch who has left her home to complete her training as a witch. She eventually settles down by a seaside city in Europe. Upon arrival, she decides to open up her own delivery service on her broom. Rated G.
A League of Their Own (1992)
There’s no crying in baseball! But you will laugh and cry when you watch this inspirational movie about the Rockford Peaches, a newly formed team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. It features a great cast of characters including Geena Davis, Tom Hanks and promotes a message of teamwork, compassion and fighting stereotypes. Rated PG.
Little Women (2019)
This American classic tells the story of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy growing up in Boston during and after the Civil War. So many remakes of this movie but the latest one is from 2019. Movie rated PG.
The Lion King (1994)
Hakuna matata! Follow Simba, a lion cub as he takes his rightful place as King thwarting his evil uncle’s plan to assume control. Cute animated animals, memorable songs – this is a family classic. Just fast-forward the scene of Mufasa being trampled to death if you have younger kids who are easily traumatised. You can also watch the 2019 computer-generated remake of The Lion King. Both are rated PG.
Mary Poppins (1964)
A much-loved musical, this movie features a magical nanny named Mary Poppins who looks after two spirited children. Sing along to the much-loved songs like a Spoonful of Sugar and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Rated G.
Adapted from the Road Dahl book, this movie is about Matilda, an intelligent little girl with the worst parents ever. She uses her telekinetic powers to teach her parents and others a lesson, such as her demonic headmistress Ms. Trunchbull, who is known for throwing pupils over the school fence! Rated PG.
Mighty Ducks (1992)
This movie is about a lawyer who is ordered to serve his community service coaching a misfit boys hockey team. It’s a classic underdog sports story and teaches kids about teamwork and perseverance. If you don’t like the violence of hockey or swearing, skip this family movie. Rated PG.
Follow Moana, a Polynesian island chief’s daughter who sets off on a quest to save her people. Along the way, she meets demi-god Maui and adventures ensue. Packed full of Polynesian mythology and music, this film demonstrates the power of self-belief and courage. Rated PG.
Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
A newly separated dad dressing up as an older Scottish housekeeper so he can see his kids? It sounds ridiculous until you actually watch the movie. Robin Williams as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire is funny and heartwarming in this movie about soon to be divorced parents. It’s a heartwarming movie and reinforces the message that parents still love their kids even in the midst of marital discord. Rated PG-13.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
This is a lovely film to introduce kids to the magic of animated films from Japan’s Studio Ghibli. Two sisters move into a new home and discover that there are magical creatures that inhabit their house and neighbourhood including the large Totoro. It’s a wonderful movie (dubbed in English) about the power of friendship. Rated G.
Night at the Museum Series (2006)
After dark, the exhibits come to life in the quiet museum providing a challenging task for the newly recruited night watchman, and it comes with crazy situations such as tiny Roman and Western figurines staging miniature battles. One memorable scene is watching the T-Rex play fetch. Rated PG.
Nim’s Island (2008)
After her scientist father is delayed from returning home on his sailboat trip, Nim who lives on a tropical island must survive on her own. Movie features Jodie Foster and Gerard Butler. Sequel Return to Nim’s Island features different cast. Rated PG.
Oddball (2015) 🇦🇺
Penguin, chicken and a dog, this movie has it all. It’s about a Victorian chicken farmer who proposes to use sheepdogs to protect a penguin colony. Rated PG.
This new relase takes you on a grand adventure with elf brothers, Ian and Barley as they get to spend a day with their late dad when he returns to life for one day. When their mum realises her sons are gone, she teams up with The Manticore to find them. The movie deals with themes of love, loss and grieft so may not be appropriate for some kids. Rated PG.
This adaption of the children classic book features a bear who stows away from Darkest Peru and arrives in London’s Paddington Station with his red hat and jars of marmalade. There he meets the Brown family who take him in as one of their own. If you like this, follow up with the Paddington 2 sequel. Rated PG.
Paper Planes (2015) 🇦🇺
An inspiring Australian movie about a young boy whose talent for making and flying paper planes helps him deal with a family tragedy. After winning the Australian National competition, he gets the opportunity to prepare for the World Paper Plane Championships. Rated G.
Paper Towns (2015)
In this coming of age story targetting teen readers, Quentin lives next door to Margo, a popular teen who has mostly ignored him. However, one night she convinces him to accompany him on a night of pranks. She soon disappears after leading Quentin to discover what happened to her. Rated PG-13.
Peter Pan (1992)
This classic Disney movie features Peter Pan, who flies through the window of the Darling nursery in search of his shadow. After meeting Wendy, Michael, and John, he teaches them to fly, and leads them to the home of the Lost Boys in Neverland. Rated G.
A sci-fi comedy about video game players who experience 80s video games coming to life. In order to ward off this attack, they go on a quest to take on the video characters like Pacman and Centipede to protect the city. Rated PG-13.
The Parent Trap (1999)
It’s a young Lindsay Lohan who stars in this remake about twin girls separated at birth who meet up at summer camp and decide to switch places. Filled with amusing pranks and devious tricks, it’s a funny yet outlandish story. Rated PG.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Inconceivable to leave this off a list of family movies! This fairytale story about a beautiful young woman Princess Buttercup and her one true love is a classic. So many funny scenes and full of great dialogue that you and the family will be quoting for ages after. Rated PG.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
In this modern-day Cinderella story, Mia, a high school student discovers that she is actually the princess and heir to the throne of a small European country named Genovia. Sequel is The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Rated G.
This animated Disney film manages to make rats lovable! It’s about Remy, a unique French rat who appreciates gourmet food. He ends up in Paris helping a young kitchen helper cook up delicious meals in a Michelin-starred restaurant. Rated G.
Red Dog (2011) 🇦🇺
Based on true events, this is the story of Red Dog, a stray Kelpie cross who lives in the Pilbara. He’s an intelligent, loyal dog who changes the lives of everyone he meets along the way. If you enjoy this movie, you can follow up with the sequel: Red Dog: True Blue. Rated PG.
The Sandlot (1993)
Set in the 1960s, this film follows the story of Scotty who moves to a new neighbourhood and joins his local baseball team. It begins a summer of adventures with his new friends. Rated PG.
The Sapphires (2013) 🇦🇺
Based on a true story, this movie follows a talented Aboriginal music group who audition to entertain soldiers serving in the Vietnam War. Great message of having pride in your heritage. Rated PG-13.
Secret Life of Pets (2016)
What do pets get up to when you’re not around? This family movie spills the beans. Follow the adventures of dog Max and his new “brother”, a shaggy rescue dog named Duke. Like this movie? Watch the sequel. Rated PG.
Filled with inside jokes that adults will understand, this family movies is full of laughs. The big green ogre Shrek is happy living alone in a swamp until Lord Farquaad decides to engineer the perfect kingdom by getting rid of all of the fairy tale characters and sending them to “a designated resettlement community.” Filled with fairytale characters and a princess, this movie is a great send-up of the classic princess films. Follow this up with the Shrek sequels. Rated PG.
In this animated film, a theatre-owning koala decides to revive his flagging business by holding a singing competition. Only problem is, the prize has been incorrectly increased, attracting a ton of contestants including some not-so-nice characters. Rated PG.
The Sound of Music (1965)
For a classic feel-good family musical, spend a few hours watching The Sound of Music. Julie Andrews delights as a would be nun who is much better as a nanny. The film is full of wonderful songs that you’ll be singing for days after. Skip the ending if you don’t feel comfortable with the appearance of Nazis. No rating.
Spirited Away (2002)
Produced by Studio Ghibli, this Japanese anime dubbed into English tells the story of Chihiro 10-year-old girl. On atrip to her new home, her family wanders into a new world that is ruled by spirits at night. After her parents are transformed into animals, she must take up a job and use any means possible to win her parents back. Rated PG.
Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
We could do a whole article just on the Star Wars franchise but we won’t. Set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away”, this was the original sci-fi movie that kicked off the Star Wars trilogy (and then all the other movies). It introduces kids to the main characters, Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and R2D2 and C3PO and the ultimate villain Darth Vader. Rated PG.
Storm Boy (1976 & 2019) 🇦🇺
This classic Australian film is about a lonely boy and his pet pelicans living in a secluded coast in South Australia. This bittersweet story charts the relationship between Mike and the pelican named Mr Percival. A remake was made in 2019. Rated PG.
Strictly Ballroom (1992) 🇦🇺
Dancing, dancing and more dancing. This feel-good movie will get you up dancing with your kids while teaching the importance of taking a risk and following your heart. Rated PG.
Stuart Little (2000)
What happens when a family adopts a charming little mouse as a brother for their son. Their cat doesn’t respond well to the family’s new addition. If you enjoy this movie, you can follow up with the two sequels. Rated PG.
Toy Story (1995)
To infinity and beyond, this is a great family movie. Cowboy Woody who takes pride of place as a boy’s favourite toy is threatened by a birthday gift, a new toy called Buzz Lightyear. Organise a movie marathon and watch all four movies in the Toy Series series. Rated PG.
In this emotional movie, a widower Carl goes off on an adventure in his flying house powered by balloons in search of Paradise Falls, his late wife’s dream destination. Rated PG.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971 & 2005)
Who doesn’t want to win a Golden Ticket? This film follows the story of Charlie Bucket and his adventure in visiting the mysterious chocolate factory with four other kids. Whether you’re watching the Johnny Depp version or the original Gene Wilder one, be sure to watch the movie with lots of chocolates nearby. Rated PG for 2005 version and G for 1971 version.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
It’s the oldest film on our list but this musical is still a family classic. After a tornado, Dorothy and her dog Toto are transported into another world where she accidentally lands on the Wicked Witch of the East. With a pair of ruby slippers, Dorothy embarks on an adventure-filled journey down a yellow brick road to Emerald City, where she hopes to find the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. No rating.
Based on the New York Times bestseller, this inspiring and heartwarming film follows August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time. The movie features great messages about bullying, friendship and the power of being kind. Rated PG.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
In this film based on the classic science fiction story, Meg is struggling with the mysterious disappearance of her scientist father. One evening, a group of three mysterious women, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, who take her, her brother and a friend through time and space. Movie rated PG.
Got more movies to add? Drop us an email and nominate a kids movie that your family loves to watch.
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