Best Family Movies – Part 6

Posted on 25 Dec 00:00


There are more movies out there than one can watch in one lifetime, but once narrowed down the set of movies according to choice, the numbers of options left grow fewer and fewer. The most difficult movies to find are the ones to watch and enjoy with the family. The movie needs to be fun, but the language must be appropriate, it should have action but no graphic content, romance is fine but there are limits within comfortable limits. Many find it difficult to decide on a movie to be watched with the family. 

1.  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' is one of the best family movies ever produced. Based on J. K. Rowling’s 1998's 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' novel. It is about Harry Potter, now in his second year in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, he opens the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a monster that petrifies the school's denizens.

Harry Potter spends his summer with the Dursleys, who warn him against going back to Hogwarts School. According to the Dursleys, Hogwarts School is a dangerous place, and Harry should not go back there. They go as far as locking up Harry in a room when he sabotages dinner with the Dursleys family. Ron Weasly and his two brothers Fred and George help Harry out using the father’s flying Ford Anglia. Harry goes back to Hogwarts.

Director: Chris Columbus.

Main Cast: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) acts with Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger as the leading actors. The movie includes most actors from the prequel and also has some new members added to the cast.

Awards and Nominations: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets garnered many accolades in the form of awards and nominations. It won the Golden Reel Awards for the Best Sound Editing – Foreign Film, British Academy Film Awards for the Best Sound, and Grammy Awards for the Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, among other nominations. It won several awards, including London Film Critics Circle for British Supporting Actor of the Year and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Composer.

2.  Oliver! (1968)

Based on the 1960 'Oliver' stage musical is a film that entertains and moves audiences. Both the movie and the play are based on Charles Dickens's 1838 'Oliver Twist' novel. The film's plot is about a nine-year-old boy named Oliver Twist (Ron Moody), who runs away from an orphanage and gets involved with a group of street pickpockets trained by the Artful Dodger (Jack Wild) and by criminal Fagin. A wealthy man, Mr. Brownblow realizes Oliver's heritage and allows him to live with him. Bill Sakes, a criminal in the gang, has been thinking of Oliver as a liability. But, when Oliver is taken by Mr. Brownblow, Sakes views him as an asset and plans to kidnap him and keep him enslaved. Nancy, Sakes’ girlfriend, who tolerates Sakes abuse, is torn between staying loyal to Sakes and helping Mr. Brownblow save Oliver.

Director: Carol Reed.

Main Cast: Ron Moody (Fagin), Shani Wallis (Nancy), Oliver Reed (Bill Sikes), Harry Secombe (Bumble), and Mark Lester (Oliver) are among the movie’s prominent actors.

Awards and Nominations: Oliver was nominated for thirteen Oscar Awards, including the Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Actor, and Best Costume Design. It managed to win the several Oscars (including Best Score of a Musical Picture – Original or Adaptation, Best Sound, and Best Director), Directors Guild of America Awards, (for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy), and a Top Musical Laurel Award among other acclaims. Besides, the British Film Institute ranked Oliver the 77th greatest British film of the 20th century.

3.  The Wing or the Thigh (1976)

1976's 'The Wing or the Thigh' is one of the best family movies of all time. The storyline depicts Charles Duchemin, the editor of an internationally known restaurant, and the events surrounding him and his son Gerard, as Charles retires as a restaurant critic and tries to train Gerard for the editorial role. Gerard is not interested in being a restaurant critic. He wants to work as a clown in a small circus that he co-founded and supports financially. Tricatel is an owner of a restaurant, and Charles fears for people who are eating the low-quality food at the Tricatel-owned restaurant. He decides to fight Tricatel , even ordering Tricatel’s staff to collect incriminating information about Tricatel so he can use it against him later. Charles fires Gerard for slipping from the hotel to perform in a circus. When Charles goes back to the hotel, the manager confronts him over decreasing the hotel's stars years ago. At gunpoint, he forces Charles to eat the leftovers in the kitchen, making Charles sick. Tricatel challenges the Duchemin's to a blind taste test at the show, and Tricatel is tricked into being digusted by his own food products, and the audience boos Tricatel when Gerard produces the incriminating evidence from Tricatel’s hotel.

Director: Claude Zidi.

Main Cast:  Louis de Funès (Charles Duchemin) and Coluche (Charles’ son Gerard).

Awards and Nominations: in 1978, The Wing or the Thigh a Goldene Leinwand Award for Golden Screen in Germany.

4.  Big (1988)

This fantasy comedy-drama is about a young boy named Josh Baskin who makes a wish to become 'big,' and is mysteriously transformed into an adult overnight by a machine. The twelve-year-old Young Josh believes that being ‘big,’ will help him to overcome many of the challenges he is currently facing. He carries some coins from home and roams the street wher he encounters a fortune telling machine, Zoltar. He inserts his coins and wishes to be 'big'. The machine dispenses a card with a message stating, ‘Your wish is granted.’  The next day he awakens in an adult body, and is chased out of his home as an intruder.  As an adult, Josh now faces even more challenges. He has to work to sustain himself. Josh gets a girlfriend named Susan, hoping that things will be better. However, adult life is challenging, and young Josh looks for Zoltar, makes the wish 'to be a kid again,' and he transforms into a child. His relationship with Susan ends. Josh asks Susan to become a child like him, to which Susan responds, "being a child once was enough".

Director: Penny Marshall was responsible for the movie’s direction.

Main Cast: Tom Hanks (Joshua "Josh" Baskin), David Moscow (Young Josh), Elizabeth Perkins (Susan Lawrence), and Robert Loggia (Mr. MacMillan) are some of the cast members with the leading roles in the film.

Awards and Nominations: upon its release, Big was a critical and commercial success. The Academy Awards nominated it for two Oscars, including Academy Award for Best Actor (Tom Hanks) and the Best Original Screenplay for Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg. Tom Hanks won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The movie grossed $151million against the $18milion budget and became the first film directed by a woman to gross more than $100million. 

5.  Paddington (2014)

2014's 'Paddington' is a classic movie any lover of the family films should not miss out on. This live-action and animated film was adapted from a story by Paul King and Hamish McColl. The film is about the adventures of Paddington who has human characteristics, as he travels from the jungles of Peru to the streets of London, where he is adopted by the Brown family.

Director: Paul King wrote and directed Paddington.

Main Cast: Ben Whishaw (the voice of Paddington Bear), Hugh Bonneville (Henry Brown), and Sally Hawkins (Mary Brown) are some of the Paddington movie’s primary cast members.

Awards and Nominations: 'Paddington' received many nominations, including the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film during the 68th British Academy Film Awards, Best Comedy Film and Best British Film on the 20th Empire Awards, and the Best Movie for Families Award during the Movieguide Awards. It won the Best Comedy Film Empire Award and the British Academy Children's Award for Feature Film.

6.  Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

The 2007 'Bridge to Terabithia' is an ideal option for family viewing. David L. Paterson and Jeff Stockwell adapted the movie’s screenplay from Katherine Paterson's 1977 novel, 'Bridge to Terabithia'. It is about two twelve-year-old neighbors who are bullied and decide to create a fantasy world called Terabithia. They spend most of their free time living together in a treehouse. Jesse Aarons (Josh Hutcherson) and Leslie Burke (Anna Sophia Robb) are the bullied kids. At home, Jesse's mother takes more interest in her daughters, while his father doesn't spend a lot of time with him. One day Leslie dies while crossing a creek. At first, Jesse cannot accept the loss, but he eventually does. He introduces his sister May into the fantasy world, and the two enjoy the adventure.

Director: Gábor Csupó.

Main Cast: Josh Hutcherson (Jess Aarons), Anna Sophia Robb (Leslie Burke), Bailee Madison (May Belle Aarons), and Robert Patrick (Jack Aarons).

Awards and Nominations: Bridge to Terabithia was a tremendous critical success, receiving seven nominations and winning five. It won five Young Artist Performance Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (Josh Hutcherson), Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast, Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress (Anna Sophia Robb), Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Actress Ten and Under (Bailee Madison), and Best Family Feature Film (Fantasy or Musical).


We can never run out of movies to watch, but when it comes to watching a movie with your family, the numbers of options  are unlimited, and give the viewer a chance to lose themselves in the stories.

Movie Buffs Forever stocks classic movies on DVD from the 1940's to the early 2000's. Browse our vast collection of old, rare and out of print classic movies on DVD. 

Why We Still Love DVDs