It’s Friday night, and your family settles in on the couch with popcorn, movie candy, and fuzzy blankets — it’s time for family movie night! But it can be hard to choose a movie that makes everyone happy. Here are a few of our favorite, family-friendly films that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest movie critic!
This popular Pixar flick is perfect for all ages. You spend the movie inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, who’s coping with her family’s move to San Francisco, and you watch as her emotions — brought to life as Anger, Joy, Sadness, and Disgust — process these changes. Through bright animation and creative storytelling, Inside Out helps children understand their own emotions and sets the foundation for important conversations.
Arguably one of Pixar’s most beloved stories, Toy Story offers outstanding family entertainment without sacrificing quality, animation, or emotion. If your child has ever suspected that his toys come to life when he leaves the room, he’ll be delighted to join Woody and Buzz Lightyear in their adventures, and he’ll also learn the importance of friendship, dreaming big, and putting others first.
How to Train Your Dragon
This thrilling story will take you and your family back in time to the years of the Vikings. You’ll go on a journey with Hiccup, an average, everyday hero, as he befriends one of the most fearsome dragons of all time, learns how to ride dragons, and becomes determined to teach his village to see these creatures as more than brutes — but emotionally intelligent equals.
The Emperor’s New Groove
This underrated Disney comedy follows Kuzco, a pampered and spoiled Emperor after he’s transformed into a llama by his sneaky, ambitious advisor. Kuzco partners with the kindhearted Patcha on a journey to reclaim the throne, and along the way, he discovers the importance of honesty, friendship, humility, and treating others with kindness and respect.
Sequels are often known to disappoint, but Finding Dory is far from that; this sweet sequel to Finding Nemo will remind you of how much you loved the first movie. Rather than a Nemo-driven story, this movie focuses on Dory and the epic adventure she embarks on to find her long-lost parents. Finding Dory teaches us about loss, the importance of family, coping with handicaps, being a good friend, and loving others.
Another Pixar favorite (and winner of two Academy Awards), this film follows the life of Carl Fredricksen. Carl and his future wife Ellie meet when they’re both children, and after spending a long, happy life together, Ellie passes away — and Carl is left alone. This heartwarming movie follows Carl as he tries to fulfill the promise he made to Ellie by tying thousands of balloons to his house, embarking on a journey to Paradise Falls, and saving their home.
The LEGO Movie
The year of 2014 was a never ending cycle of this movie’s theme song, “Everything is Awesome,” and with good reason — LEGO’s attempt to make it on the big screen was met with rave reviews by parents and kids alike! Your entire family will enjoy this silly, classic tale of good guy vs. bad guy, and your child will learn the importance of believing in themselves, working together, and using her imagination.
The Greatest Showman
Inspired by the story of P.T. Barnum, this musical will capture your family’s hearts and imaginations. The Greatest Showman offers amazing songs (that you’ll be singing for the next week) and important life lessons. Your child will learn to value family, chase her dreams, and to embrace what makes her special and unique.
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