Figuring out what to watch on family movie night can be a struggle. Parents with young children want to put on something appropriate but probably can’t stomach the idea of watching Frozen for the 20th time. Here are some ideas that are totally appropriate for kids (every one is rated PG or below) and genuinely entertaining for adults.
The Lego Batman Movie
Hot off the heels of The Lego Movie, this offshoot feels like a kid’s movie made for adults. The Lego Batman Movie is full of witty and subtle humor that will make you laugh out loud while being entertaining and silly enough for kids. Plus, the plot is actually solid and contains a great message about working together.
This 2001 movie has gained newfound internet fame in recent years and for good reason. Shrek is full of jokes and innuendos that are crudely funny but subtle enough that most kids won’t understand them. The entire franchise is good, but the first movie is a step above the rest.
You may be sick of Frozen, but hopefully not its sequel just yet. Frozen 2’s theme is more complex and darker than the first, but there are still enough recognizable characters, songs, and lighthearted moments to keep young fans entertained. Adults will also appreciate the mythological storyline and references to Icelandic and Norwegian cultures.
The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride combines adventure, romance, and humor is a PG-rated film that’s incredibly well done. Don’t let your kids write it off as a “kissing movie” before they give it a chance. There’s plenty of action and (kid-appropriate fighting) to balance out the romantic scenes.
Similar to Shrek, the Madagascar franchise is totally kid-appropriate but contains plenty of jokes to keep adults laughing the entire way through. The first movie sets the tone for the series, while movies 2 and 3 add to the characters’ storylines. They’re all great and did we mention super funny?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
There’s no better way to bring magic into your home than by watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first movie in the franchise. If your kids love them, work your way through the series as they get older (the later films are more appropriate for children above age 12).
Another Disney masterpiece, Coco combines beautiful animation and music with deeper themes about death and family all done in a kid-friendly way. It also represents Mexican culture beautifully. Watch it any time of the year, although it’s perfect to play toward the end of October for Día de los Muertos.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Sorry Gene Wilder fans, this version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will resonate more with younger audiences. But you’ll still get a great story and fantastic acting by Johnny Depp. Tim Burton’s version adds the right amount of quirkiness to this magical and slightly bizarre story.
The Emperor's New Groove
An underrated Disney classic, The Emperor’s New Groove is full of great jokes for kids (“Okay, why does she even *have* that lever?”) and adults (“I know. It’s called a “cruel irony”, like my dependence on you.”) that you’ll be quoting forever. It also features a unique storyline that won’t feel like a copy of any other movie.