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Watching family friendly movies provides a great opportunity to spend time with the kiddos or get a chance to take a break for 90 minutes.
Here are some great movies to consider watching with your children during the holiday break—or anytime. Some are new, some are old. They all share the same spirit of humanity and wonder.
My favorite family friendly movies
Song of the Sea
This poetic story about loss, difference and love is a visual masterpiece with lots of color contrasts and interesting creatures. The story highlights the pain we carry in our hearts, and shows that sometimes the way to feel better is to help someone else. Song of the Sea also features some beautiful Celtic music and folklore. (Watch for free online if you’re an Amazon Prime member.)
Ernest and Celestine
This 2012 French movie was released in English in 2014, offering a tasteful perspective on discrimination. The drawings are wonderful watercolors, the characters are interesting, and there is a scene where music is represented visually. Beautiful! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll want to watch it again. (Watch for free online if you’re an Amazon Prime member.)
Rise of the Guardians
If you like action movies and wonder, Rise of the Guardians is for you. Imagine: Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost on a fast-paced adventure together to stop a villain from removing all sense of wonder in the children of the world. Sounds like a weird scenario? Yes, it is—and it works. You’re left wanting (the kids) to believe a little longer. (Rent to watch online via Amazon.)
This 2008 movie from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki is a love story but not in a traditional way. Ponyo touches on what unconditional love could be. It also talks about disrespecting nature, feeling misunderstood and different. This movie is very touching. It’s like being in a dream or watching our kids make up stories with a fish that loves ham, giant waves that are also fishes, a gigantic and benevolent sea goddess, etc. It all ends well and leaves you with so much to talk about with the kids. (Buy the DVD on Amazon.)
And if you really need a suggestion for holiday-themed family friendly movies, here are my two favorites:
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The short animated version from 1966 – not the recent over-the-top version with Jim Carrey.
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town: From 1970, narrated by Fred Astaire.
What are some of your favorite family friendly movies to watch with the kids? Please share your picks in the comments below!