The Best Classic Family Movies for Movie Night

Settle in, pop some pop-corn, and snuggle up for a fun movie night with these all time favorite classics. Here are 14 of the best classic family movies for movie night:


We have, for 6 or 7 years, been doing weekly movie nights.

It’s one of the hallmarks of our week, and every child and adult in the family looks forward to it. If you are wanting to start a movie night – or continue one you’ve already started – and need some movies, you’ve come to the right place.

Mary Poppins (1964)

Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, chem chem cherree, and of course…

“Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious…”

This movie tells of family, real life struggles, and keeping your head high in adversity. It’s full of fantastic imaginations and tales of adventure. It’ just the right mixture of art, music, and drama.

Now, I know those songs will be stuck in your mind the rest of the day!

Other movies like Mary Poppins:

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Nanny McPhee

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The Parent Trap (1998)

Two girls from opposite ends of the world collide at summer camp. Little do they know, but they are actually twins separated at birth.

Sounds like a crazy plot with lots of drama and hilarious moments, right? Well, it is!

These girls decide to switch places in order to bring their biological parents back together. It’s witty, charming, and heart-felt.

Other movies like The Parent Trap:

  • Freaky Friday
  • Princess Diaries
  • Ella Enchanted

ET (1982)

“ET phone home.” For most, that line probably brings back childhood memories.

ET is an extraterrestrial who happens to make friends with a little girl. The movie is funny, heartfelt, and tragic. For some, parts may seem a bit dramatic.

Other movies like ET:

  • The Neverending Story
  • Gremlins
  • Hook

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

There’s nothing quite like the original Oz film. You can see an original version it in “updated color” if you choose. Either way, you won’t go wrong with enjoying this classic on movie night.

First of all, the music is absolutely beautiful. And of course, the storyline is… well “The Wizard of Oz.”

Your kids will be singing “Over the Rainbow” and “If I Only Had a Brain” for days.

Other movies like the Wizard of Oz:

  • Annie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Robin Hood (1938)

Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Honestly, integrity, and family values. Great themes for a movie, don’t you think? These are the core themes in Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Undoubtedly, the twist at the end proves it.

In this movie, a group of children are selected to visit the infamous chocolate factory. Little do they know, but one will be selected to “take over” the business. There is a test of integrity, and one child passes.

Other movies like Willy Wonka:

  • BFG
  • Doctor Dolittle
  • Christopher Robbin

The Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

There’s not a more exciting tale of shipwreck, survival, ingenuity, animals, and family ties that exists. This classic is better experienced in it’s original form.

If you haven’t sen the 1960 version, treat yourself to it. Like so many of these classic family movies, I like to read the book with the kids beforehand.

Other movies like Swiss Family Robinson:

  • Old Yeller
  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
  • Polyanna
  • Treasure Island

The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music is a movie that has been enjoyed for generations. I love watching it every time I’ve seen it. I will be singing the songs for days following…

“The hills are alive with the sound of music…”

This story tells of a broken family with love and too much structure. These children aren’t able to keep a nanny, until Mary comes along. In the end, the family is restored just in time to face political trials, but overcame them with unity and joy.

Other movies like The Sound of Music:

  • The King and I
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Ben Hur

Toy Story (1995)

A beloved of almost every young boy born in the 90’s. In Toy Story, a child’s bedroom toys have a life of their own.

It’s a coming of age tale of adventure, misfortune, and love.

To summarize, the main characters (Woddy & Buzz Lightyear) compete the win over the heart of the young Andy. In the end, they end up working together to beat the odds.

Other movies like Toy Story:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Anastasia
  • The Incredibles
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Hercules

The Karate Kid (1984)

“Wax on, wax off…”

“Fighting always last answer to problem.”

“You trust in quality of what you know, what quantity.”

In The Karate Kid, a troubled young boy learns some valuable lessons from an older mentor. This movie does have some violence and tells of some difficult family situations.

Other movies like The Karate Kid:

  • 3 Ninjas
  • Little Giants
  • Rookie of the Year

Finding Nemo (2003)

Nemo is a little fish, raised by a single dad, and kept very protected until one day…

He ventures too far out and get’s taken away. This story tells of his (and his father’s) journey to reunite. The characters and adventures that they go on are full of life and excitement.

Other movies like Finding Nemo:

  • Finding Dory
  • Pocahontas
  • Aladdin
  • Alice in Wonderland

The Lion King (1994)

Have you seen the updated 2019 version. I don’t know how they make the animation look so real. In my opinion, it’s just as fantastic as the original 1994 musical.

Simba is born to the king of the pride lands. But, tragedy strikes as a jealous uncle plots to take over the nation. In some ways, this story resembles the story of the prodigal son.

There’s a happy ending and “The Circle of Life” continues.

Other movies like The Lion King:

  • The Prince of Egypt
  • Mulan
  • The Land Before Time
Family watches movie for movie night.

Jumanji (1995)

Oh, my. Want to spark imagination on your family movie night?

In this movie, a magical game board unleashes a world of adventure inside a family home. While there is some adult humor, this story is exciting and shows lots of team work.

Other movies like Jumanji:

  • Babe
  • Night at the Museum
  • The Pagemaster
  • Series of Unfortunate Events

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In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.

Matilda (1996)

Don’t recommend if your children are mischievous… just kidding. It’s hilarious and completely outrageous.

This was another one that we read the book first as family, then watched the movie on movie night.

Matilda is a young girl who is unlike her family in every way. Where they like to watch TV and practice dishonesty… she loves book so very much.

She develops some special powers and helps to make her school and life a much happier situation.

Other movies like Matilda:

  • Dennis the Menace
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Stuart Little

Free Willy (1993)

Free Willy will tear at your heart strings. A young man gets into some pretty serious trouble and is going to help out around a water park.

There, he meets and forms a relationship with an orca. This relationship changes both of their lives.

Although this movie does contain some vandalism, the core values ​​of honesty and becoming a role model are very strong.

Other movies like Free Willy:

  • Homeward Bound
  • Fly Away Home
  • Flipper

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