Best Family Movies – Part 5

Posted on 18 Dec 00:00

Movies are a good pass time activity, but you cannot watch every movie with your family. You need to do research or even watch a movie before you can select it for family viewing. 

1.  Secondhand Lions (2003)

Secondhand Lions is one of the best family films ever produced. This  comedy-drama is about a young boy ( who is sent to live with his eccentric great-uncles on a Texas farm. 14-year-old Walter's (Haley Joel Osment) mother, Mae, is irresponsible, and sends him to live with his two great-uncles, Garth (Michael Caine) and Hub (Robert Duvall), on a Texan farm. The great-uncles are wealthy, making them a target of salesman. They sit at the farm with guns, ready to meet the salesmen. Walter advises his uncle on show to spend their money, but the results turn out to be disastrous. They plant a packet of seeds thinking that they are vegetable seeds, only to see corn sprouting. When they order a lion, they end up receiving an old circus lioness. After 17 years, Walter’s uncles die, and the will appoints Walter heir of all their wealth.

Director: Tim McCanlies.

Main Cast: Haley Joel Osment (Walter Caldwell), Robert Duvall (Hub McCann), and Michael Caine (Garth McCann) are the actors with the leading roles in the movie.

Awards and Nominations: In 2004, the film was nominated for several awards, including the Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Young Artist Award for Haley Joel Osment, Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actor Age Ten or Younger Young Artist Award for Marc Musso and Mitchel Musso, and the Golden Trailer Award for Best Animation/ Family.

2.  Field of Dreams (1989)

This sports supernatural drama is adapted from W. P. Kinsella's 1982 novel 'Shoeless Joe'. Ray Kinsella, a 36-year-old man, lives in an Iowan cornfield with his wife Annie and daughter Karin. Ray had a strained relationship with his late father, John Kinsella (who was a baseball fan), and fears that he will grow old without ever achieving anything in life. While taking a walk one evening in the cornfield, Ray hears a voice whispering, "If you build it, he will come," and immediately, he envisions a baseball diamond in the cornfield and the great "Shoeless" Joe Jackson standing in the middle. Ray talks to the wife who eventually believes in him, lets him plow under part of their corn crop to build a baseball field, risking financial hardship. He builds it and realizes that Joe was his father at a young age, and people come to watch.

Director: Phil Alden Robinson was responsible for both the writing and the direction of this movie.

Main Cast: Field of Dreams starred many actors, including Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Amy Madigan (Annie Kinsella), James Earl Jones (Terence Mann), and Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson) in the leading roles.

Awards and Nominations: This film was a fair critical success. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. It appeared at the sixth position in the AFI's 10 Top 10 Fantasy Films. Additionally, in 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally and aesthetically significant.

3.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

The Harry Potter family movie franchise features excellent family films. This is true for all the series, including the 2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, whose basis lies in J. K. Rowling's 2005 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This movie depicts Harry Potter in his sixth year at Hogwarts as he receives a mysterious textbook, falls in love, and attempts to retrieve a memory that holds the key to Lord Voldemort's downfall.

Director:  David Yates.

Main Cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) stars in the movie with Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) as his two best friends while in school.

Awards and Nominations: the film was both a tremendous critical and commercial success. It won many awards, including the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain, the National Movie Award for the Best Family Movie, and IGN Award for the Best Fantasy Film. Besides, it received Oscar Award nominations for the Best Cinematography, Best Special Visual Effects, and Best Production Design. This film broke the record of the most expensive movies ever made and in the Harry Potter franchise. It grossed $934.4 against a $250 budget and was ranked eighth in the 2009 highest-grossing films list.

4.  Stardust (2007)

This movie’s storyline is about Tristan (Charlie Cox) a young man from a Great Britain fictional Wall town that borders the Stormhold magical fantasy kingdom. Tristan has asked Victoria ( Sienna Miller) for her hand in marriage, and he enters the fantasy world to collect a fallen star to give to her. Tristan collects the fallen star, a woman called Yvaine (Claire Danes), who the witches and the princes of Stormhold are also hunting. Events unfold, leading to Tristan marrying Yvaine. Tristan is the last heir of Stormhold and becomes the king with Yvaine as his queen. The two rule Stormhold for eighty years, after which they use a Babylon candle to ascend to the sky, where they live together as stars.

Director: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman scripted the material that Vaughn used to direct Stardust.

Main Cast: Stardust had an ensemble cast with Claire Danes (Yvaine), Charlie Cox (Tristan Thorn), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Lamia) being among the starred actors in the movie.

Awards and Nominations: at the 34th Annual Saturn Awards in 2008, Stardust was nominated for Best Fantasy Film, Best Costume Design, and Best Supporting Actress Saturn Awards. It won the 2008 Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, the 2008 Empire Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and the 2007 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Overlooked Films of the Year.

5.  A Christmas Story (1983)

The 1983 family film named A Christmas Story continues to move and entertain movie lovers. This American Christmas comedy is partly based on Jean Shepherd's semi-fictional anecdotes in his 1966 book 'In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash', while the rest of it comes from Jean’s 1971 book 'Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters'. The movie is told in a series of vignettes, where an adult Ralphie Parker (Jean Shepherd), during one Christmas when he is nine years old, he wanted one Christmas gift: a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. His teacher Miss Shields, his mother, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee's department store deny the gift warning him : "You’ll shoot out your eye". He is disappointed when he receives other gifts and not the rifle. His father finally tells him to open one more present, and he finds the gun. While shooting at a target perched on a metal sign in the backyard, the pellet ricochets and knocks off his glasses slightly injuring his eye. which fall off. He searches for the glasses (thinking that he shot his eye) and steps on the glasses and breaks them. Ralph lies on his bed on Christmas night, and he narrates how this red Range Ryder gun turned out to be his best present ever.

Director: Bob Clerk controlled the movie’s direction.

Main Cast: Peter Billingsley (Ralphie Parker), Jean Shepherd (adult Ralphie (voice) / man standing on the Santa Claus line at Higbee's), Ian Petrella (Randy Parker), and Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker) take up the film’s leading roles.

Awards and Nominations: at the 5th Genie Awards in 1984, the movie won the Best Director and Best Screenplay Awards. Besides, 2012 saw the US Library of Congress preserving A Christmas Story in the National Film Registry for being culturally and aesthetically significant.

6.  March of the Wooden Soldiers a.k.a. Babes in Toyland (1934)

'March of the Wooden Soldiers' is one of the best family films ever released. This Laurel and Hardy Christmas movie was adapted from Victor Herbert's famous 1903 operetta 'Babes in Toyland'. It uses most of the characters and the original songs from the former version. Unlike the previous 1903 version, this film has a slightly different plot. Its story takes place entirely in Toyland, where Mother Goose and other well-known fairy tale characters live. The movie features Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum as they try and fail to pay off Mother Peep's mortgage in an attempt to oppose the evil and Barnaby and jeopardize his plans to marry Little Bo.

Director: Gus Meins and Charles Rogers worked together to direct the film.

Main Cast:  Virginia Karns (Mother Goose), Charlotte Henry (Bo-Peep), Felix Knight (Tom-Tom), and Florence Roberts (Widow Peep).

Awards and Nominations: the records revealed no accolades by the movie. However, the critics were generally positive. For instance, Andre Sennwald of The New York Times called the film "an authentic children's entertainment and quite the merriest of its kind that Hollywood has turned loose on the nation's screens in a long time."

7.  The White Balloon (1995)

The Best Family Movies List would not be complete without 1995's 'The White Balloon'. It is the Iranian New Year eve, and seven-year-old Razieh is shopping with her mother in the Teheran market.Even though they have goldfish in their home pond, Razieh finds them skinny nags her mother to buy the goldfish at the market. On their way home, they witness men watching snake charmers. Razieh wants her mother to stop to watch, but her mother doesn't want to. The mother finally agrees to let her buy a goldfish, and gives her a 500-toman-note, asking her to use a hundred toman and bring back the change. Razieh loses the money to a snake charmer and then in grate near the shop. The efforts to retrieve the cash prove futile until a young Afghan boy offers them the stick on which he was hanging the balloons he is selling. Using the stick, they pick the money from the grate. The film ends with the Afghan boy playing a major part in the saga.

Director: Abbas Kiarostami penned the script with which Jafar Panahi was able to direct the movie.

Main Cast: the film stars Aida Mohammadkhani (Razieh), Mohsen Kafili (Ali), and Fereshteh Sadr Orfani.

Awards and Nominations: The White Balloon received numerous critical reviews, consequently winning many awards at international fairs. For instance, it won the Prix de la Camera d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival and Gold Award at the 1995 Tokyo International Film Festival. Besides, it appears on the Guardian list of the 50 best family films of all time and the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.


Most people enjoy watching movies, whether young or old, male or female. Of the films ever shot, the family movies have become critical in educating and entertaining audiences. 

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