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.
Here’s a look at some of the best family movies that are on IMDb TV right now.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Based on the popular children’s book series, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs follows a local scientist, who after years of seeming to be a failure invents a machine that makes food fall from the sky, but it quickly gets out of his control.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was the first feature directing job for Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo who would go on to write and direct The Lego Movie and write Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
The voice cast of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs includes Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Bruce Campbell, James Caan, Andy Samberg and Mr. T.
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).
Isle of Dogs (2018)
Wes Anderson brought his unique sensibilities to the world of stop animation for the second time with the film Isle of Dogs. As he proved with Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s a fantastic playground for Anderson to create a distinct style for the film and his dry wit.
The story is set in Japan, where an evil government leader has banished all dogs to an island. However, a young boy travels to the island to search for his lost dog, getting help from a pack of dogs voiced by Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Murray.
Anderson is two for two in making stop-motion films, so it would certainly be a delight to see him return to the format at some point in the future (as it is always fun when we have a new Wes Anderson movie).
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.
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.
Paddington leapt off the pages of children’s books and onto the big screen in 2014 with amazing success, creating one of the best family film franchises in recent memory.
Paddington is a Peruvian bear who travels to London and is taken in by the kindly Brown family. Antics ensue, but with Paddington’s mantra of “if we’re kind and polite, the world will be right” things tend to work out and the Browns become closer than ever.
Ben Whishaw voices Paddington, while Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Josin also starring.
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.
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.
Sing Street (2016)
One way for parents who may want to introduce the music of the ‘80s to their kids would be to watch Sing Street with them. This Irish-set film from John Carney pays homage to classic ‘80s bands like Duran Duran, The Cure, Hall & Oates, The Jam and more, while also infusing original toe-tappers.
While the main crux of the story is about a shy teenager who forms a band to impress a girl, his confidence growing with each new song he writes, there is also a strong story of sibling connection at the heart of Sing Street that adds to its endearing quality.
Sing Street is a movie the whole family can rock out to.
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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