There are many movies aimed mostly at kids out there. Some are great, some aren’t – it can be subjective. So, if you’re at home and looking for movies suitable for the entire family, we’ve selected some that we believe belong in every home.
Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga
Age: 7+ to 12+
An epic movie feast for kids and adults alike, George Lucas’s nine-part series delving into the amazing lives of the Skywalker clan has become akin to a religion for many. We still think that the original – now known as Episode IV – A New Hope – is by far the best place to start when it comes to introducing kids to the Star Wars universe, however naturally the ability for different kids to process varying levels of confrontation onscreen is something that is best judged by their parents or guardians.
Jumanji, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jumanji: The Next Level
From the epic original starring Robin Williams to the two even more epic adventures with Dwayne Johnson bringing smoulder, Kevin Hart brigning craziness, Karen Gillan bringing spunk and Jack Black bringing, well, Jack Black, all three Jumanji movies are easy to love. Whether you adore the board game of the original or the updated video game varieties, these three adventures are great ways to keep the family entertained.
Frozen, Frozen II
If you’ve a little princess in your life then you’re likely going to wish that you had a dollar for every time that you’ve heard the word “Frozen”. But there’s a reason that the franchise is so popular, as it speaks to the princess in all of us. From the original where Elsa discovers her powers to the mysteries of the north and quest to save the kingdom in the sequel, both films are perfect escapism – especially if you love Disney musicals.
Spies in Disguise
Will Smith is super fly in this brilliant spy adventure – and we mean it, as he goes from suave human to, well, rather dorky bird! From the studio that brought us the Ice Age movies, Smith is joined in vocal duties by Tom ‘Spider-Man’ Holland. While masquerading as a pigeon may be great cover for a human master spy, Smith’s character Lance Sterling doesn’t necessarily agree, but must quickly learn to find his wings.
Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3, Minions
It turns out that there’s much competition between evil masterminds when it comes to pulling off the biggest heists. So, the appropriately despicable Gru aims high – as high as stealing the Earth’s moon! Luckily, he has his loyal band of wee, yellow minions to assist him – but Gru doesn’t count on ending up with a family of three adopted daughters. Don’t let the over-marketing of the Minions repel you, or you’ll be missing out on a clever animated joy that’s anything but despicable – and the same goes for the two sequels and the fab origin story of the Minions.
Finding Nemo, Finding Dory
Pixar’s undersea tale is possibly their greatest achievement to date. After young clownfish Nemo is captured by fishermen, it’s up to his father, Marlin, and the muddle-headed (but, of course, lovable) Dory to keep on swimming until they can rescue the fishy tyke. Many friends are made, many adventures are had, and many gasps come from the audience at just how adorable-looking – and funny – these tales are.
Kubo and the Two Strings
This is the story of a young Japanese boy named Kubo, who has a sad past. His two aunts and grandpa took his left eye when he was little, and he can’t stay outside after sunset in case they return for the other one! But when his village is threatened by supernatural forces, Kubo and friends venture out to find his father’s magic armour… Mixing computer and stop-motion animation, Kubo’s incredible story really is one of the most beautiful-looking movies we’ve ever seen. If you love this, be sure to check out Missing Link, which hails from the same animation studio, Laika.
My Neighbor Totoro
Arguably the crowning glory in the incredible canon of Japan’s Studio Ghibli, this is the story of two young sisters and their dad, who move home while their mum recovers from an illness in hospital. The youngest sibling, Mei, is adventurous, eagerly exploring the nearby forest. It’s here that she meets the ‘Totoro’ – kind of rabbit-meets-bear creatures, who are the keepers of the forest. A joy to behold, My Neighbor Totoro takes a slower pace, and revels in the little joys of life. If you love this, be sure to check out Ponyo or, for slightly older kids, Spirited Away.
Paddington, Paddington 2
In the second instalment, the beloved British – by way of Peru – bear, Paddington, needs money for a gift for his aunt’s 100th birthday. So, his latest project involves performing odd jobs to save up enough money for a special book. All’s going well until this book is stolen, and he’s blamed for the theft, so it’s up to Paddington’s family, the Browns, to prove his innocence. Both of these movies deliver a genuinely great time, while never crossing the line into saccharine – or cynical.
Big Hero 6
A technological mystery is afoot in San Fransokyo, and it just may take the heroism of young Hiro, his inflatable robot pal Baymax and a bunch of science whiz kids to get to the bottom of it. If the gripping, action-packed superhero story or tale of familial connection don’t do it for you, you’re sure to fall in love with the adorable – and delightfully squidgy – Baymax.
The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Movie 2
Everything is awesome for Bricksburg citizen Emmet, until he accidentally finds the ‘Piece of Resistance’ and is believed to be ‘The Special’ – prophesised to stop evil Lord Business, who threatens to freeze all LEGO citizens with his dreaded ‘Kragle’. With help from new friends, Emmet soon discovers that a little self-belief can go a long way… These films are a lot more than elongated toy ads, with the underdog story of the first and look at growing up of the second having more depth – and sly adult appeal – than most animated fare. Awesome!
The Princess Bride
This is the favourite film ever of many people, and for very good reason. The Princess Bride really has it all and then some – swords, sorcery, giants, princes, pirates, albinos, six-fingered men, chases, escapes, torture, revenge, miracles and, of course, twu- erm, true love. The very thought of not introducing this timelessly delightful blend of fantasy, comedy, action, romance and drama to your whole family is, quite frankly, inconceivable!
Shaun the Sheep Movie, Farmageddon
Poor Shaun the Sheep is having a baa-d day! Tired of everything always being the same, he hatches a plan for some time off. But when he accidentally sends the sleeping farmer hurtling towards the big city in a caravan, action has to happen. Faithful dog Bitzer takes control, arriving in the city only to find out the farmer has lost his memory and become a hairdresser! This is Aardman at its finest, and the best movie about sheep ever, baa none! Meanwhile, the sequel, Farmageddon, continues the mad fun as Shaun has a close encounter with a super-cute alien.
Judy Hopps is the city of Zootopia’s first ever bunny cop, but her big bully buffalo boss, Chief Bogo, just gives her boring assignments like parking duty. On one of these shifts, Judy runs into a shifty fox named Nick Wilde, who’ll ultimately be her secret weapon in solving a case that uncovers a conspiracy of enormous proportions. The most colourful and super-fun buddy cop movie romp that you’ll ever see, the twists and turns here are sure to keep you on the hop!