Top Family Movies

A great list of 20 non-cartoon family movies that you'll actually enjoy watching as much as your kids Friday night is movie night, along with any rainy days this summer with the girls.  I like a good Disney cartoon as much as the next guy, but they’re not my fav.  I much prefer a movie with real people, and now that my girls are a little older, I try to find a family night movie that we will all enjoy.  So, I’ve put together a list of my favourite family movies, that adults will actually enjoy as well.  A few are good old classics, some I even fondly remember from my childhood, and watching the “Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights with my own parents.  They might have a slight girly bent, since I have two girls, but hopefully there are a few here  that you and your peeps will enjoy too.

1.  Pollyanna This was a surprise favourite with my girls.  We went on a bit of Disney movie spree last year before our big trip to Disney World, and this was one of their very favourites.  It’s certainly a sweet story, and a great life lesson finding the good in life.

2. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day I remember this book from my childhood.  The movie is the perfect funny, sweet family movie.  A few good laughs, and a feel good ending -perfect.

3.  Jumanji At first we thought this one might be a little too scary, but once my girls were into it, they loved the suspense, and the all the jungle animals and stuff are so outrageous it’s wonderful!  A great family flick.

4.  Swiss Family Robinson This was a fav for me as a kid, still love the race scene with the ostrich and the zebra -a classic for sure.  Just be prepared for your kids to ask you for a tree-house afterward.

5.  The Secret Garden Such a sweet story, and what kid wouldn’t love the idea of discovering their own private special little place.

6.  The Sound of Music Another classic, that everyone should see at least once.  The kids won’t really get the war part of the story, but they’ll still love it, and be singing Doe a deer… for ages.

7.  A Little Princess Such a sweet story, full of the stuff of fairy tales, a rich girl reduced to servanthood, and then rescued in the end.  I have to say this is one I love too.

8.  Mary Poppins Such a classic, and for good reason.  My girls loved this movie, and loved realizing that Maria from Sound of Music was Mary Poppins too.

9.  Little Women I didn’t know if my girls would really like this one, I never thought of it as a family movie before, probably because I liked it so much as an adult.  My girls did too, and it’s totally family appropriate.  The Christmas scene make it a great holiday movie too.

10.  Akeelah and the Bee This is a great movie about a girl and a spelling bee. I love role model girls who are smart!

11. Second Hand Lions This is a great adventure tale, a real coming of age story about a boy and his eccentric uncles…even includes a second hand lion.

12. The Parent Trap I went looking for the old one that I remembered from my childhood and found the new one.  Still delightful.

13. Babe “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.” What more can you say?

14. Matilda A great modern fairy tale, complete with good guys, bad guys, and a little magic!

15.  Bears This one is a documentary…not everyone’s cup of tea, and there are few moments were everyone’s a little worried about the safety of the cubs, but it’s a happy ending and the cinematography is amazing.

17. Charlotte’s Web Another classic, every one should probably read, or at least watch.  It’s cute, funny, and a tear-jerker, but in a good way.

18. Anne of Green Gables This was definitely a favourite of mine, I remember when it first aired on tv.  We started watching it one rainy day, and my girls really liked it.  Once you get started there is a whole set in the series to enjoy.

19. Nanny McPhee and Nanny McPhee Returns Both are sweet movies about naughty children and the caring Nanny who teaches them to behave.

20. Fairy Tale: A True Story Two little girls take a photo of a fairy in their garden in 1917, and everyone becomes very interested.  It’s even based on a true story.

These are some of my favourites, what did I miss?  What are some of your family favourites?

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  1. Sabrina says:

    Oh what a helpful post- different than your other posts yet just as great!!! 🙂
    I’ve watched about half of these movies with my family. Another great show, yet not a movie, is “Little House on the Prairie”. We actually purchased the entire set last year and my kids LOVED it! We don’t have cable, so we borrow our movies/shows from the library. Just checked out my local library website and have ordered several that you recommended. Thanks for providing some wonderful and morally-sound flick ideas for me and my family.

  2. Thanks Sabrina,
    The library is a great place to find movies, especially the older ones. Hope you and your family enjoy!

  3. I absolutely Love “Magic in the Water” I have watched this numerous times!

  4. Thanks JoAnn, I’ll have to check it out.

  5. I have several of the movies that you mention and love them as a movie night for myself. There are a few that I think are wonderful: Christy the complete series, The Dolphin Tail 1 & 2(true stories), Soul Surfer (true story), Andre (true story). Try them you might find some favorites to add to your list.

  6. Thanks for the suggestions Karen, I’ll be sure to give them a try.

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