So, if you’re in the mood for a little movie fun for the fam and the new Batman flick feels way too rough-edged, what’re you gonna do? Well, you could, uh, March right over to your TV or computer screen and swing into a bit of streaming action. Let’s see what’s on offer.
There’s not a whole lot new and family-worthy in the Netflix queue, but you can find:
Where the Wild Things Are (PG, 2009):
Nine-year-old Max escapes to the imaginary land of the Wild Things. It’s a place where majestic and sometimes fierce creatures allow him to become their leader, and he promises to create a kingdom where everyone will be hunky dory. But being a king and keeping everyone happy isn’t as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot to appreciate in this kid’s book adaptation, but it may be a little heavy for actual kids. As Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov states, “I would say it’s a movie for adults first and for a certain kind of child second. It doesn’t completely fit your expectation of a pure family film. It’s all good, but it is surprising.” So keep that in mind, Mom.
Next, let’s head over to HBO for a few pics that are a bit airier.
Around the World in 80 Days (G, 1956):
This classic adventure frolic follows a Victorian-era Englishman named Phileas Fogg (played by David Niven) who proclaims that he can circumnavigate the globe in a mere 80 days. And all sorts of craziness ensue. This is indeed a wacky big-screen Warner Bros. film that your own parents (or grandparents) might remember watching on the tube … when TVs actually had tubes. And you probably get to enjoy it on a bigger screen than they had.
Fly Away Home (PG, 1996):
Young Amy must move away to live with her quirky inventor dad after her single mom dies in a car accident. Amy and Dad have a rough time of it until Amy finds a nest of abandoned goose eggs, and the two work together to help teach the motherless birds to fly south for the winter. A few profanities might mar this for the littlest ones in the fam, but there’s lots to enjoy here for teens and adults.
Hulu’s the big winner this month for family fare. Here are four of the best ones.
Evan Almighty (PG, 2007):
Newscaster Evan Baxter wins a seat in Congress and moves to Virginia with his family. But out of the blue, Evan discovers that God has a biblical-sized task for him to fulfill: The Lord wants him to build an ark. Coming out a few years after Bruce Almighty, this follow-up is even stronger when it comes to being family pleasing. It’s funny, sweet and thoughtful all at once.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (PG, 2005):
A guy named Arthur is desperately trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when a friend whisks him into outer space. It turns out that Arthur’s pal is an alien who has just saved him from Earth’s total annihilation. Our Steven Isaac went in wondering how this pic would adapt one of his favorite books, but he came out stating that “no one’s going to get very far arguing that this movie fails to entertain, or that it’s not good-natured. It’s certainly adoring of its source material.” You might want to hitch a cinematic ride, too.
The Princess Bride (PG, 1987):
An insightful gramps tells his sick grandson a fairy tale adventure about a beautiful young woman and her one true love. The sick kid isn’t so sure about the romance … until he hears about the crazy adventure, too. Let’s face it, this enchanting fantasy frolic fits for both young and old. Dive in, it’s inconceivable that you won’t like it!
Sense and Sensibility (PG, 1997):
When Elinor Dashwood’s father dies, her family’s finances are crippled. And so the Dashwoods must move to a modest cottage in Devonshire, and the two marriage-age sisters must manage their love interests with the sake of the family in mind. “Sense and Sensibility is an uplifting story with a witty spirit of justice,” our Bob Smithouser noted in his review. “It is wonderfully crafted entertainment appropriate for all ages, though it may not hold the attention of very young children.”
If you don’t have Hulu but Paramount + is more to your liking, the two streaming services share the next two entries.
Forever My Girl (PG, 2018):
Liam Page is a country music superstar who left his bride, Josie, at the altar to pursue fame and fortune and later returns home and face the consequences of his actions. Our Kristin Smith liked this movie: “This film, based on the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, tells the story of a man who is transformed by the power of forgiveness, fatherhood and undeserving love.” But she also noted that “the film’s admirable emphasis on forgiveness and redemption, however, is told within the context of a sometimes raw story that doesn’t sugarcoat its protagonist’s flaws.” So, younger kids probably won’t work with this one.
The Greatest Story Ever Told (G, 1965):
It’s the story of Jesus’ life, of course. And it’s also a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George Stevens. It’s the greatest ever told, what can I say.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (PG, 2014):
Hassan Kadam is a talented and largely self-taught culinary novice. When he and his family are displaced from their native India and start an eatery in a quaint French village, they discover that some aren’t happy they’re there. And that includes the proprietress of an acclaimed restaurant just across the street. Our Paul Asay called it—which is based on the novel of the same name—a “sweet and savory treat of a film.”
Puss in Boots (PG, 2011):
Puss may be a fairy tale character, but in his world, he’s a swashbuckling bad-cat-turned-hero who’s been falsely accused. This is a fun, family friendly movie. Or as I said in my review, it “gives families a character-driven, intelligently conceived story that practically dares us all to earn our own pair of boots for our own acts of heroism and efforts to do the right thing.” So there!
-Thank you so much for these recommendations! It can be hard to find family friendly shows these days!
-Love princess bride= one of my all time favorites and honestly a classic. Also liked hundred foot journey and sense and sense ability is also a must have classic. Plus how can one not like the greatest story ever told?;)
-Love the princess bride=ultimate classic. Plus at doesn’t have any hidden modern clearly unbiblical agenda….
-I’m a little surprised that Focus on the Family would recommend The Princess Bride as a good choice for a Christian family to watch. As much as we love this movie otherwise, the little kid uttering a GD in the middle is enough to disqualify it from being watched in our home.
-I’ve never liked the princess bride simply because it’s a boring stupid mess of a movie. I’ve never noticed any type of swearing in it though.
-Out of all the movies mentioned I’d say where the wild things are and Evan almighty are by far the best.
-I know of two instances of swearing in Princess Bride.
1. The grandson exclaims “Jesus!” to the grandpa during a disagreement about how the story should go.
2. The character Inigo Montoya, as he dispatches Count Rugen near the end of the movie, states “I want my father back, you son of a b****!”
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