Best Family Movies – Part 2

Posted on 27 Nov 00:00

Movies are a great source of good leisure time. A good movie can cheer one up at end of a long day at work. The only thing better than watching a movie is watching a movie with the family. It can be a good way to spend time with family and share some laughs, or tears. However, some movies are rated 18+, some show violence and other content that might not be fit for everyone in the family. Here are some suggestions for family movies that you can enjoy watching with your family.  

1.  How Green Was My Valley (1941)

This American drama film was based on Richard Llewellyn’s 1939 novel of the same title. The film is set in the South Wales Valley during the late Victorian era. The movie tells the story of the Morgans from the youngest son’s perspective. The Morgans is a hard-working family consisting of a kind and passionate mother and father, their youngest son Huw, and his five brothers. Also chronicled in the film is the South Wales coal fields' life, how that life is lost, and the effect it has on the Morgans. The Morgans are working in the coal fields that blow dust and pollute the air. Huw gets a university scholarship, but the father objects to it, making him move in with one of his siblings. The coal mine workers are constantly on strike because of lowered salaries or some other issues. A mine disaster occurs, killing Huw’s father after he reunites with Huw. 

Director: John Ford from a script by Phillip Dumme.

Main Cast: Roddy McDowall (Huw Morgan), Donald Crisp (Gwilym Morgan), and Sara Allgood (Mrs. Beth Morgan) play prominent roles in the film.

Awards and nominations: Upon its release, 'How Green Was My Valley' experienced tremendous success. It received many nominations, including ten Academy Awards. It won five awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Set Design.

2.  Like Stars on Earth (2007)

This film revolves around an 8-year-old dyslexic Ishaan who excels in art but performs poorly, causing his parents to send him to boarding school. At school, he meets a new art teacher who understands his condition and helps him overcome it.

Ishaan is dyslexic, but everyone else mistakes him for hating school and learning. His parents, classmates, and teachers belittle and ignore him. Ishaan's parents give up on him and send him to boarding school, where the fear, anxiety, and depression cause him to contemplate suicide. A new art teacher, Ram Shankar Nikumbh, joins Ishaan’s school and quickly notices Ishaan’s unhappiness. Upon reviewing his records, Ram realizes that Ishaan is dyslexic. The school allows Ram to be Ishaan's tutor, helping Ishaan improve his demeanor, grades and overcomes the reading disorder.

Director: the movie’s director and producer was Aamir Khan.

Main Cast: Aamir Khan (art teacher Ran Nimkumbh Shankar) and Darsheel Safary (Ishaan).

Awards and nominations: 'Like Stars on Earth' received many awards and nominations, among them being the 2008 Filmfare Award for Best Film and the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare.

3.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

This fantasy film was developed from J.K. Rowling’s 1997 novel with the same title as the movie. The film's plot focuses on Harry Potter during his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when he realizes that he is a famous wizard and starts off his studies.

The movie begins with the recently orphaned Harry Potter being delivered by two professors and the groundskeeper, Hadgrid from Hogwarts School to his only remaining relative, the Dursleys. Harry lives ten years of a difficult life at the Dursleys. Inexplicably, Harry starts receiving unsolicited letters from owls. Harry and the Dursleys escape to an island to avoid more letters, Hagrid re-appears and informs Harry that he is a wizard and has been accepted into Hogwarts against the Dursleys' wishes. Harry relates to Hogwarts' groundskeeper how a powerful wizard had killed Harry's parents with a curse, and how Harry came to be called 'The Boy Who Lived' after being the only person who came out the chaos successfully. Harry boards a train to Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where he excels at magic. One night the stairs change path, leading Harry and two other students to a rare floor where they find a guarded philosopher’s stone that has power to do evil. Harry and his two friends eventually retrieve the stone resulting in it's destruction, and are rewarded for their heroic acts. The three attempt entry to Slytherin, a home in Hogwarts School. When Harry returns home for the summer, he is happy that he has a real home in the School.

Director: from Steve Kloves’ screenplay, Chris Columbus was able to direct the film.

Main Cast: the movie’s prominent roles are taken up by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).

Awards and nominations: The movie was a tremendous success in 2001. It became the highest-grossing movie then and the second-highest-grossing film of all time. Additionally, it received many awards and nominations, including the Academy Awards nominations for Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.

4.  Finding Neverland (2004)

The movie is about J.M. Barrie, a playwright, and how he relates with a family that gave him the inspiration to write 'Peter Pan'. Shortly after his 'Little Mary' play is dismissed, Barrie meets a widow named Sylvia and her four sons. With Barrie becoming the sons’ foster father and getting ideas from the sons on working on his play, a close relationship is forged. People; Barrie's wife and Sylvia's mom, question the tie that Barrie has with Sylvia and her sons, Barrie finds the family special. The time and adventures he shares with the sons form the basis for his play, 'Peter Pan'. On the day of Peter Pan's release, only Peter shows up for the show despite Barrie having planned for many kids in attendance. Peter attends the show and realizes it's about his brothers and Barrie. Barrie sets out looking for Sylvia and misses the show. The movie ends with Peter and Barrie sitting on a bench at a park after Sylvia's funeral.

Director: David Magee developed the screenplay that Marc Forster followed to direct the film.

Main Cast: Johnny Depp (J.M. Barrie), Kate Winslet (Sylvia Llewelyn Davies), and Dustin Hoffman (Charles Frohman).

Awards and nominations: Finding Neverland garnered many accolades, including seven Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Direction, Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Actor. It won the British Academy Films Award for Top 10 Films and the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

5.  The Never Ending Story (1984)

This fantasy film is based on Michael Ende’s 1979 'The Neverending Story' novel. The film’s storyline revolves around a boy who finds a magical book that tells of a young warrior who is given the task of stopping the Nothing, a dark force, from engulfing the wonderland world of Fantasia.

Ten-year-old Bastian Bux (Barret Oliver) is running away from bullies when he comes across a bookstore with a bookseller reading a book entitled, The 'Neverending Story'. Curious to read it, Bux takes the book, leaves a note assuring the bookseller that he will return the it, and heads for the school attic where he reads the book. The book is about the Fantasia fantasy world's adventures where a force called Nothing is a threat, especially to the ruling Childlike Empress that is ill at that time.

Director: Wolfgang Peterson.

Main Cast: Barret Oliver (Bastian Balthazar Bux), Noah Hathaway (Atreyu), and Tami Stronach (The Childlike Empress/Moon Child, are among the film’s starring actors.

Awards and nominations: In 1985, the film received two Saturn Award nominations for Best Fantasy Film and Best Music.  It also won the Bambi Award National film the Golden Screen Award.

6.  The Wizard of Oz (1939)

One of the classic movies of all time that also happens to be among the Best Family Movies List is 1939's 'The Wizard of Oz'. This American fantasy musical film is adapted from L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy novel called 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'. The plot is about a girl, Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), who, upon being swept from his Kansas farm by a tornado, is set down in Oz, magical land, where she meets various characters who accompany her on her quest to find the wizard who can assist her return to her home in Kansas and help her friends too.

Director: Victor Flemming, Richard Thorpe and King Vidor.

Main Cast: Judy Garland (Dorothy Gale) works alongside Ray Bolger (“Hunk” or Scarecrow), Jack Haley ("Hickory" or Tin Woodman), Bert Lahr (“Zeke” or Cowardly Lion), and Margaret Hamilton (Miss Almira Gulch or Wicked Witch of the West).

Awards and nominations: In 1989, The Wizard of Oz was taken to the National Film Registry for preservation after it stood out as aesthetically and historically fit. Besides, it won a place in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register and was among the top ten films in the 2005 BFI (British Film Institute) list of "50 films to be seen by the age of 14." The movie was also nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won the Best Original Score and Best Original Song Academy Awards.

7.  It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

One of the best family films of all time is 1946's 'It's a Wonderful Life'. The film focuses on George Bailey ( James Stewart), a man who gives up his personal dreams and aspirations to commit to helping the community but later contemplates suicide on a Christmas day, leading to his guardian angel Henry Travers' (Clarence Odbody) intervention. Clarence points out to George how George has changed his (Clarence's) and the other community members' life through. He points out how life would be different (in a negative way) for the community and Mary, George’s wife, without George. George's spirit is raised, and he accepts his life's path with gratefulness.

Director: Frank Capra directed the movie from Philip Van Doren Stern, Frances Goodrich, and Albert Hackett’s script.

Main Cast: the film stars James Stewart (George Bailey) and Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) as the prominent actors.

Awards and nominations: It's a Wonderful Life is one of the most excellent movies of all time. It received five Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) among other nominations. Besides, the American Film Institute recognized it to be among the 100 best American films ever made. It also won the Technical Achievement Award and was taken by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1990 for being historically and aesthetically significant.


These movies range in time from the Golden Age of cinema to now, and from comedy to drama but all of them have one thing in common and that is; any family will have a good time watching them. Movie goers especially enjoy those with a heartfelt message.

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