Family movie night is a great tradition for many households, but it can sometimes be tricky finding a film that both the kids and parents can enjoy equally. A place to start looking for them is IMDb TV, which has a wide selection of movies ready for the whole family.
IMDb TV, the free, ad-supported streaming service of the IMDb website, features thousands of classic movies and shows available to watch, as well as a lineup of original programming, with titles from all different genres, including action, comedies, dramas and documentaries.
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Here’s a look at some of the best family movies that are on IMDb TV right now.
This adaptation of the classic Cinderella fairy tale is a musical from the legendary duo of Rodgers & Hammerstein. People of my generation may remember the 90s TV movie of the duo’s Cinderella that starred Brandy, but this is the original iteration of the musical from 1965.
It once again tells the classic story of Cinderella, with Jo Van Fleet playing the wicked stepmother, Celeste Holm the fairy godmother, Ginger Rogers and Watler Pidgeon as the queen and king, Stuart Damon as the prince and Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella. The production features memorable songs that include “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible, It’s Impossible” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful.”
Harry & Snowman (2015)
Harry & Snowman is an inspiring documentary that tells the story of Harry deLeyer, a Dutch immigrant who came to the U.S. after World War II, and Snowman, an Amish plow horse deLeyer rescued from being sent to the glue factory and would go on to win show jumping championships with.
This is a great story for kids who love horses or anyone for that matter who can appreciate the special connection between deLeyer and Snowman.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
How to Train Your Dragon has become probably the second biggest franchise for Dreamwork Animations behind the Shrek series, featuring a trilogy of movies and multiple TV series and specials. However, like Shrek, its best outing is still its first.
The original How to Train Your Dragon is a magical film about a young, scrawny viking who learns that there are more to dragons than his village knows; that they can live in peace with dragons if they just give it a chance. Beyond the story, gorgeous visuals (especially the first time Hiccup rides Toothless) and sweeping score are worth the price of admission (in this case, free on IMDb TV).
The Kid (1921)
Silent films can be a tough sell for younger viewers, but if anybody can keep them entertained it will be Charlie Chaplin as his lovable character, the Tramp. Chaplin was a wizard composing ballets of physical comedy that not only get you laughing but tell the story in such a clear way without words.
The Kid is one of Chaplin’s masterpieces and sees the Tramp take in and care for an abandoned child (Jackie Coogan). There is a rescue sequence in the movie that is one of Chaplin’s most emotional bits of filmmaking in his entire career.
The Kid was made 100 years ago, but it still is an example of filmmaking at its best and a movie all ages can enjoy.
Marley & Me (2008)
Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston star in Marley & Me, the film adaptation of the best-selling book, but let’s be real here, the star of the movie is the yellow lab that portrays the adorably troublesome Marley. This film about how a dog can impact a family is a tear-jerker, but one that any pet lover will be glad they watched.
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Kermit and the whole Muppets gang have always been great family entertainment, and in The Muppets Take Manhattan they decided to show off their antics with a Broadway show.
Starring alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the Muppets are a typical array of great cameos that include Art Carney, Joan Rivers, Elliot Gould, Liza Minnelli, Dabney Coleman and Gregory Hines.
Jim Henson’s puppets can always be counted on for some good, wholesome family fun.
Red Dog (2011)
Based on a true story, Red Dog is about a canine who roams the Australian outback looking for his owner, but along the way has a profound impact on the people that he encounters. He was a very good boy indeed.
The human cast of Red Dog features Josh Lucas, Rachel Taylor, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Noah Taylor, among others.
The Road to El Dorado (2000)
The Road to El Dorado was early in DreamWorks Animation’s tenure, while they were still trying to find their stride. The film definitely tries to fit into the classic Disney mold (even recruiting Elton John, who famously did the music for The Lion King), and while it’s not on the same level as the best of the Mouse House, The Road to El Dorado is an underrated gem of a film.
A large part of that is due to the voice work by Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh as the Spanish swindlers who stumble upon the famed ancient city of El Dorado and are mistaken for deities. Rosie Perez, Armand Assante and Edward James Olmos round out the strong voice cast.
DreamWorks Animation would very soon become the studio behind the likes of Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, but The Road to El Dorado is an early entry that is worth a rewatch.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996)
If you grew up watching ABC’s TGIF Friday night lineup, you certainly remember Sabrina the Teenage Witch. But before it was a TV show, it was a made-for-TV movie that introduced Melissa Joan Hart as the titular teenage witch.
The story takes place just as Sabrina turns 16 and it is revealed that she is a witch. She must learn how to control her new powers and how best to use them as she deals with the usual pressures of high school.
A young Ryan Reynolds plays a love interest for Sabrina in the TV movie. Though, like most of the cast outside of Hart, he doesn’t make it over to the TV series.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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