Best Family Movies – Part 13

Posted on 12 Feb 00:00


You cannot just check the IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes rating of a movie and decide that it would be a good option to watch with your family. All the great movies are not good family movies. A good family movie must be appropriate for everyone in the family. The movies listed here meet that criteria. 

1.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)

This movie is based on Jeff Kinney’s 2007 book, 'Dairy of a Wimpy Kid'. The movie’s storyline depicts the adventures of a twelve-year-old boy who is just out of elementary school and is moving on to middle school, where he has to learn consequences and responsibilities to survive the year.

Director: Thor Freudenthal.

Main Cast: Zachary Gordon (as Greg Heffley), Robert Capron (as Rowley Jefferson, Greg's childish best friend), Devon Bostick (as Rodrick Heffley, Greg's older brother), Steve Zahn (as Frank Heffley, Greg's father), and Rachael Harris (as Susan Heffley, Greg's mother).

Awards and Nominations: 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' received five Young Artist Award nominations for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor, two Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Awards (for Alex Ferries and Robert Capron), Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress, and Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast. At the 2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award, the movie received the Favorite Movie Award nomination. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has never received an award.

2.  Doctor Dolittle (1998)

This fantasy film was adapted from Hugh Lofting’s children stories, 'Doctor John Dolittle'. The movie barely uses any material from the novel. The only existing connection between the 'Doctor Dolittle' film and the children's stories is that the main character can speak to the animals, and the inclusion of the Pushmi-Pullyu, a much-loved feature of the books, who makes a brief appearance in a couple of scenes. Throughout the movie, we see a doctor make a wonderful discovery of himself - that he can communicate with animals.

Director: Betty Thomas.

Main Cast: Eddie Murphy (Doctor Dolittle), Ossie Davis (as Grandpa Archer Dolittle), Oliver Platt (as Dr. Mark Weller), and Peter Boyle (as Mr. Calloway).

Awards and Nominations: This film was a box office success, and was received positively by audiences who praised its humor and theme, but, it received mixed reviews from critics upon release. Due to Eddy murphy’s performance, the movie developed a cult following. The film contained catchy music, which caused the soundtrack's only charting single, "Are You That Somebody?" by Aaliyah, to be successful, and become 21st on the Billboard Hot 100. The same soundtrack received a nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards.

3.  The Karate Kid (2010)

'The Karate Kid' is a martial arts drama of a renowned series, 'The Karate Kid'. The film’s plot is about a twelve-year-old boy, Dre Parker, originally from Detroit, Michigan, who moves to Beijing, China with his mother, and runs afoul of the neighborhood bully. The plot also features Dre Parker as he forms an unlikely friendship with an aging maintenance man, Mr. Han, a kung fu master who teaches him the secrets of self-defense. 

Director: Harald Zwart.

Main Cast: Jaden Smith (as Dre Parker) and Jackie Chan (as Mr. Han).

Awards and Nominations: Jackie Chan won the People's Choice Awards for Favorite Action Star and Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Buttkicker. 'The Karate Kid' won The Kids' Choice Favorite Film Awards.

4.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

This family comedy  was written by Rob Lieber, who loosely based the script on Judith Viorst’s 1972 children’s book 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'. The plot features the neglected member of the family, Alexander, who goes through a string of bad experiences, and his family’s nonchalant reactions. On his birthday, Alexander makes a wish that his family might learn to be more sympathetic, only for the events to take a chaotic turn.

Director: Miguel Arteta.

Main Cast: Steve Carell (as Ben Cooper), Jennifer Garner (as Kelly Cooper), and Ed Oxenbould (as Alexander Cooper), who plays the role of the third born of the Cooper children and the movie’s protagonist.

Awards and Nominations: This film received seven nominations, including the 2015 Golden Trailers Award nomination for Golden Trailer, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards nomination for Best Family Live Action Family Film and Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role – Male (for Ed Oxenbould), and two Young Artists Award nominations for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (Ed Oxenbould), and Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast, among other nominations.        

5.  Christopher Robin (2018)

This fantasy comedy-drama was developed from a story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson. The film was inspired by  A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard's 'Winnie-the-Pooh' children's books and is a live-action/CGI follow-up of the Disney franchise called 'Winnie the Pooh'. 'Christopher Robin' is about Christopher Robin (as an adult) as he loses his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Director: Mark Forster.

Main Cast: Ewan McGregor (as Christopher Robin), Hayley Atwell (as Evelyn Robin, Christopher Robin’s wife), Bronte Carmichael (as Madeline Robin, Christopher and Evelyn's daughter), and Mark Gatiss (as Giles Winslow Junior, Christopher's boss).

Awards and Nominations: 'Christopher Robin' received several award nominations, including Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, two Golden Trailer Awards for Best Animation/Family and Best Home Ent Family/Animation, Annie Award for Character Animation in a Live Action Production, and the Golden Tomato Award for Best Kids and Family Movie.        

6.  Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

This is a comic science fiction film, the first installment in the Honey, 'I Shrunk the Kids' movie franchise. It features an inventor who shrinks two children (his own and his next neighbor’s) to a quarter of an inch with his electromagnetic shrinking machine after which he accidentally throws them out with the trash, where the two children are forced to traverse their backyard to return home, and in the process, fend off insects and avoid hazards.

Director: Joe Johnston.

Main Cast: Rick Moranis (as Wayne Szalinski, the inventor), Amy O'Neill (as Amy, the inventor’s daughter), Robert Oliveri (as Nick, the inventor’s son), Marcia Strassman (as Diane Szalinski, the inventor’s wife), and Kristine Sutherland (as Mae Thompson, the inventor’s next door’s neighbor).

Awards and Nominations: James Horner won an ASCAP Award for Top Box Office Films and was also nominated for a Saturn Award. Saturn Awards nominated the movie for Best Science Fiction Film and Thomas Wilson Brown, Jared Rushton, Robert Oliveri for Best Special Effects. The same Special Effects Crew was awarded for and won a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects.

7.  The Golden Compass (2007)

This is a fantasy adventure movie based on the 1995 book 'Northern Lights', the first novel in Philip Pullman's trilogy 'His Dark Materials'. The scenes of the film feature the adventures of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan living in a parallel universe where a ruling power called the Magisterium is opposed to free thought. An unknown group called the Gobblers is supported by the Magisterium, and the group kidnaps children in that universe. In an attempt to find the missing children, Lyra joins a tribe of seafarers on a trip to the far North, the land of the armored polar bears.

Director: Chris Weitz.

Main Cast: Dakota Blue Richards (as Lyra Belacqua),  Nicole Kidman (as Mrs. Coulter) and Daniel Craig (as Lord Asriel).

Awards and Nominations: although the movie was a commercial disappointment, it was a massive critical success. It won several awards, including an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects, an Excellence in Production Design Award for Fantasy Film, and an IFMCA Award for Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction Film, among other numerous awards.          

8.  Flubber (1997)

This movie is a  remake of 1961 The Absent-Minded Professor starring Fred MacMurray, and is about an absent-minded professor and his discovery of flubber, a rubber-like super-bouncy substance. This is after the professor missed his wedding to his sweetheart, Sara, twice, and now attempts to come up with a brilliant invention to save Medfield College from closure. This mysterious rubber hybrid elastomer can lift objects, as it bounces and stretches as if it has its own mind. The professor has to protect his unique but untamed invention from a ruthless rival whose greedy intentions are to get his hands on the professor’s extraordinary substance.

Director: Les Mayfield.

Main Cast: Robin Williams (as Professor Philip Brainard), Marcia Gay Harden (as Dr. Sara Jean Reynolds), and Christopher McDonald (as Wilson Croft).

Awards and Nominations:  In 1998, Robin Williams won the Best Actor/Actress- Family Award by Blockbuster Entertainment Award while Danny Elfman won the BMI Film Music Award. The movie won a Bogey Award and was nominated for Worst Screenplay for a Film Grossing More than $100 Million Using Hollywood Math Stinker Award.            


There is a unlimited multitude of family movies to choose for family movie night.  To make the selection of family movies easier listed here are some excellent selections. 

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