Family movie night is the best. It’s the perfect chance to spend some time with the people that we love most and also watch an entertaining flick. When we have kids, we can’t wait to show them some of our favorite movies and have them fall in love with the stories that we adored when we were growing up. Another great thing about family movie night is that it gives us the opportunity to talk about some of the characters and themes in the films that we’re curling up in front of.
It’s time to pass the pizza and popcorn (and maybe some chocolate) and get watching. Here are the 10 best movies to watch with your kids on family night.
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10 Inside Out
The 2015 Pixar film is all about emotion… literally.
The story follows Riley Anderson (Kaitlyn Dias) as she and her mom (Diane Lane) and dad (Kyle MacLachlan) move to another city. The movie goes inside her head to explore five emotions: Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Joy (Amy Poehler and Anger (Lewis Black). It’s a truly sweet and heartwarming film that any kid (and adult) will love since the themes are realistic and perfect for chatting about afterward (while munching on more popcorn, of course). It’s hard to imagine a better film to teach kids about their feelings and how to properly process them.
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9 Toy Story
Is there a more classic kids movie than Toy Story? Probably not, which is why it’s another perfect pick for family movie night.
The 1995 Pixar movie may look primitive by today’s moviemaking standards but it’s also historic because it was the first feature-length computer-animated film. These days, everything is computer animated, so it’s cool to look back at this flick. The storyline follows toys who can talk and act real, namely Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen) as they settle their differences and become friends. That’s a great lesson to impart to children, and we’ll enjoy the nostalgia of this movie, too.
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8 Wreck-It Ralph
The 2012 Disney film follows video game/arcade characters Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly), Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Jane Lynch), Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) and Fix-It Felix Jr (Jack McBrayer).
It’s one of the best movies for family night because kids will enjoy the colorful animation and adults will be impressed by the well-written script and feel a sense of nostalgia for playing video and arcade games while growing up.
The sequel, Ralph Breaks The Internet, comes out in late November 2018, so in just a few months we can watch that for another family movie night. Our kids will beg us to watch that one, too.
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7 The Emperor’s New Groove
The voice cast of this movie is perfect, it’s endlessly quotable, and it’s silly enough for kids but clever enough for adults. Released in 2000 by Disney, The Emperor’s New Groove is another great pick for family movie night.
David Spade is the voice of an emperor named Kuzco who is turned into a nice llama and has to figure out that being a good person is something that he should consider (another awesome lesson for little ones). John Goodman voices Pacha, the leader of the village. It’s a simply hilarious movie that anyone will enjoy and it should be on our list for sure.
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6 Over The Hedge
Do we want to watch a hilarious animated film about animals who dare to go over the hedge to steal food from humans who live in the suburbs? Of course we do. If we’ve seen the 2006 Dreamworks film Over The Hedge, we can’t wait to show this hilarious flick to our children.
The voice cast is stellar, from Garry Shandling’s turtle named Verne who decides to brave the human world to find food for his animal pals to Steve Carrel’s squirrel named Hammy who can’t stop moving around. It’s sweet to watch these animals care for each other and also just plain funny to watch them see how much junk food humans eat.
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5 The Lion King
Classics exist for a reason and there are many animated movies which stand the test of time. The Lion King is one of them.
As we get older, we realize how totally sad this movie is, but when we’re kids, we simply enjoy the fun story of Simba (voiced by Matthew Broderick) and his sidekicks Nala (voiced by Moira Kelly), Pumbaa (voiced by Ernie Sabella), and Timon (voiced by Nathan Lane).
The 1994 Disney movie is a perfect movie night pick for our family since it has beautiful music (written by the super talented Elton John) and colorful animation and a plot that keeps everyone interested. And we can all hate Simba’s uncle Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons) together.
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The R.L. Stine book series was most likely a staple of our childhoods and the 2015 Rob Letterman-directed film, starring Jack Black and Dylan Minnette, should be a staple of our kids’ childhoods as well (along with the books, of course). This movie is a charming tale about Minnette’s teenage boy character Zach who moves next door to Hannah (Odeya Rush) and realizes that her dad is none other than R.L. Stine. They open some of his novels and all of the monsters and creatures descend upon the town. Oops. We’ll need extra popcorn for this fun and thrilling film.
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3 The Princess Bride
“Inconceivable.” “As you wish…” “This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”
These are just a few lines from the classic movie The Princess Bride. Released in 1987, the Rob Reiner-directed film stars Robin Wright as the Princess Bride, also named Buttercup, along with Cary Elwes as Westley and Wallace Shawn as Vizzini. It would be a crime not to watch it at least once during your childhood (and it definitely needs multiple viewings). Your kids will fall in love with the story of star-crossed lovers who must face many obstacles (and the film includes a story within a story since it is also about the tale that a grandpa tells his ill grandchild).
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2 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
A list about the best movies for family movie night has to include the Steven Spielberg-directed E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial In the 1982 film, Henry Thomas stars as a boy named Elliot who meets an alien and becomes friends with him, along with his brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore in a beloved role). It couldn’t be more heartwarming and adorable if it tried. It’s a must-see.
We should definitely watch this with our kids, if only so they can hear the classic line “E.T. phone home” (and repeat it to us all the time and then laugh hysterically as kids are prone to do).
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Finally, we have Coco, the 2017 animated Pixar film that follows 12-year-old Miguel who dreams of making music (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) and his great-grandma, Coco.
There has been a lot of buzz around this film and for good reason. What is so wonderful about this movie (and what helped it win Best Animated Feature Film at the 2018 Academy Awards) is the singing and dancing. This movie is what can definitely be described as a feast for the senses, and our kids won’t be able to stop smiling and humming along. These ten films are movie night magic and perfection.
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