best family movie night

Are you in the mood to make some popcorn, snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie the whole family can enjoy?  Here are 9 movies that all ages can enjoy.  Some are classics you probably know, but most are films you probably aren’t aware existed.    Some are silly, while others cover issues that might be important to your child.


The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Space

Video cover of The Cat in the Hat knows lot about Space

Kids interested in space and Dr. Seuss’ fans may enjoy The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About Space adventure. Kids from 2 to 8 years may like the rhyming lyrics typical of a Dr. Seuss story. The Cat in The Hat takes Fish, Sally, and Nick on a space travelling adventure in search of a robot dog. During their adventures, the movie explores the solar system teaching kids about space debris, gravity, a dust storm, and an asteroid belt.  

Year: 2017 

Director: Paul Hunt 

Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is an American girl story that tweens may enjoy as it is told from the eyes of 10-year-old Melody. How she experienced tough situations and how she coped. Melody is an African-American girl living in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement. She is a typical tween with the joys and troubles characterized by that age. The story shows how this young girl finds inners strength and hope when national events threaten her security and the safety of the world she knew.  

Year: 2016 

Director: Tina Maybry 

The purpose of the movie Inside Out was to find out what director Peter Docter’s daughter Elie was thinking, feeling, and why. As a father, he noticed a change in his daughter when she turned eleven. The movie also relates back to his school years and the difficulties he experienced.  

The movie shows what goes on Riley’s mind, not her brain; what she is thinking, her emotions, perceptions, feeling, and how it affects her growing up process. The transition from childhood to adulthood is unsure and often fearful considering that everything is changing, inside and outside. Often tweens and teens have difficulty in expressing what they are experiencing, and parents feel powerless because they are locked out.  

Year: 2015 

Director: Peter Docter 

Zootopia is an amusing and entertaining movie involving a cop drama and a governmental conspiracy with a deeper message about discrimination. The animal characters species stereotype themselves with what they say and do and how they react.  Although funny, the deeper message is that people stereotype and label others. Zootopia is close to the truth in the world today. People may identify with characters and situations which could confirm their beliefs and values, or they may realize the repercussions of their actions and reactions.

Year: 2016 

Director: Byron Howard and Rich Moore 

Co-Director: Jared Bush 

Big Hero 6 is an action-packed movie that deals with grief, friendships, and helping others.  The movie may attract kids who are Marvel universe fans. The movie is an animated adaption from the comic.  Although and uplifting message, there are sad parts too. Hiro’s immediate family is his brother. He tragically dies early in the movie which may upset younger and sensitive kids.  

The story portrays how Hero handles his grief; it shows the strength in brotherly love; and displays character strengths like teamwork, courage, and empathy.  

Year: 2015 

Director: Don Hall and Chris Williams 

April and the Extraordinary World is a steampunk animated adventure that takes place in over polluted France. Mixing science with an alternate history, the story starts with Napoleon and a science experiment went wrong. The dubbing and subtitles are done so well, that you may almost forget the original was in French.  

The story may be confusing for younger viewers but aged 9 and older may love it. The story may inspire interest in the real history of France and stimulate interesting conversations regarding science and its effect. It may also stimulate ideas regarding role models and who makes a great role model.  

Year: 2016 

Director: Christian Desmares and Frank Ekinci  

Making wise choices is what Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is about, and of course food. The story shows the positive effect of when parents teach kids that it is okay to fail. Flint’s mom encourages him with her love and belief in him to try again. His father expresses his love differently and is there to protect him.  

Recommended for 7 years and older, parents will laugh as much as their kids at the non-stop comedy. A spectacular animated movie that’s visually thrilling and impressive vocal performances.  

Year: 2009 

Director: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller 

Hidden Figurines is based on a true story of three African-American women at NASA. Their brilliant minds functioned as ‘human computers’ making calculations the space program depended on. Although their jobs were crucial, they suffered discrimination in 1961 where their race and gender were against them. Despite the racial and gender tension, these three women are an inspiration how they overcame their circumstances and continued giving their best.  

They are excellent role models portraying integrity, perseverance, teamwork, communication, and courage. 

Year: 2017 

Director: Ted Melfi 

Arrival may intrigue kids from 11 years and older with its compassionate sci-fi story. Despite being a sci-fi movie, the focus is peace and violence is about absent in the movie. A thought-provoking movie that may be difficult for younger kids to follow.   

The overall message is of peace, bravery, and to follow your instincts. Based on a short story by Ted Chiang, the movie builds up the mystery until it reveals satisfying answers.  

Year: 2016 

Director: Denis Villeneuve 

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