Finding comfort during these uncertain times can be the difference between miserable and content. So, why not make staying indoors a fun experience by sharing some of your favorite films and watching the latest kids’ movies to hit the small screen.
Watching a childhood favorite can bring back pleasant memories and good feelings. We need all the positivity we can get these days, so try watching (or re-watching) some of these nostalgic flicks.
1. The Three Caballeros (1944) - Disney+ – While this might not have been a childhood favorite. It is full of Latin American culture and music that can’t be seen anywhere else. It was originally created to promote good relations with Latin America during WWII and follows Donald Duck throughout Central and South America. It’s a bit old-fashioned, but the cultural exposure is great.
2. Charlotte’s Web (1973) - Hulu – This heart-warming tale of a girl and her pet pig is full of emotion, music and a great message about friendship. Watching this film with your children would be a great way to segue into reading the novel of the same name by E.B. White.
3. The Lion King (1994) - Disney+ – Not much has to be said about this classic film. It is a favorite of kids and parents alike. The comeback story of Simba and his return to Pride Rock is a musical journey no family member will forget
4. A Goofy Movie (1995) - Disney+ – Any 90s kid will tell you that this film was what got the summer started off right. The music and animation are up to Disney standards and the sweet storyline about a boy and his father navigating an evolving relationship is sure to pull at your heartstrings.
5. Mulan (1998) – Disney+ - if you want to empower your daughters, then show them Mulan. It is a great tale of how a girl has to overcome family traditions and a man-centric culture to save her people. And even though she does find a love interest in the end, that is not the focus of the film.
6. Lilo & Stitch (2002) – Disney+ - This was never my favorite film (probably because I was too old to appreciate it at the time), but watching it as an adult and an adoptive mother has given me a new perspective. Although the story is cloaked in sadness, there is a spark of love and hope that makes this movie more than just another animated film.
7. The Princess and the Frog (2009) – Disney+ - If you’ve ever wanted to take a trip to New Orleans in the 1920s, then you’ll love this film. It has a great message about overcoming economic struggles to achieve your dreams. And the French Quarter-style music will create a party in your living room.
These new films have a wide range of cultural and fantastical elements that will have your kids on the edge of their seats.
8. Abominable (2019) – Hulu – This film takes place in China and is full of cultural gems, including Boazi ( a traditional dumpling) that the main character, Yi, uses to make friends with a Yeti who crashes her rooftop hangout. It’s a suspenseful and hear-warming film that shows the power of friendship.
9. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) – Hulu – If your kids are a fan of the other How to Train Your Dragon films, then they will love this continuation of the story. It includes a new character who becomes quite infatuated with Toothless, and eventually leads the humans to a realization they were not ready for.
10. The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) – Netflix – The sequel to the first successful film in the franchise is just as charming and endearing as the first. In this film, Max has to deal with the arrival of a new little person in the family and his anxiety about being the perfect protector.
11. Onward (2020) – Disney+ - This film takes place in a modern world that is part fantasy/part reality. It follows the journey of two brothers – Ian and Barley—as thy embark on a quest to get their father back for one day. It has heart, suspense and even some humor for mom and dad. Note: It might not be great for younger viewers. There is a “scary” scene that involves an angry Manticore that was not our five-year-old’s favorite.\
12. Feel the Beat (2020) – Netflix – If you have kids who love to dance, then they will love this film. Main character, April (Sophia Carson from The Descendants franchise) is an aspiring Broadway performer who finds herself back at home in the small town where she grew up. She agrees to teach a class of misfit dancers, that she is then tasked with taking to competition. It is an underdog story that is great for the whole family.
13. Trolls World Tour (2020) – iTunes – The Trolls gang is back and Poppy and Branch must save their tribe and their way of life from the Techno Trolls. This film is full of catchy tunes and will expose your family to new types of music.
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.