Not Just for Kids: The Best Family Movies For...Everyone
Whether you’re rounding the family up for movie night or just had a hard day at work and need something that's a little less serious and more easy-watching fun, here is a list of family films that are not just for kids.
So, grab your popcorn and choose which movie you want to watch!
What kid hasn’t wished to be older? And on the flip side as an adult, who hasn’t fantasized about having fewer responsibilities? Just like when you were younger! Or even unapologetically speaking your mind in work meetings, the same way Josh Baskin shoots down Paul’s silly idea about a building that turns into a robot.
This film is so relatable to both young and old -- not to mention it’s a fun and entertaining watch with some iconic scenes! I mean, all you have to say is “giant floor piano” and immediately you’ll think of this movie!
Space Jam (1996)
This movie may be one giant product placement to some, but to many who grew up in the 90s, Space Jam is an easy watch and showcases the possibilities that can arise from a “weird” idea. Where else could you watch the incredibly popular Michael Jordan shooting hoops with the Looney Tunes cast in a 90-minute feature-length?
It's a great film to get all ages together and watch some silly fun and the adults can laugh at Billy Murray's scenes as well as some of the product placement repping all things 90s…one big nostalgic memory!
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
This film is a perfect watch for the whole family, teenagers, and adults without kids. There is a childlike wonder when young Charlie’s dreams come true, and he wins the golden ticket to spend the day in the magical Chocolate Factory.
There are also more adult scenes and lines in the script that would go over kids’ heads, for example, when Willy Wonka speaks about cannibalism, “Of course it’s edible. Everything in this room is edible. Even I'M edible. But that is called cannibalism, my dear children, and that is frowned upon in most societies.”
Demonstrating true female empowerment, Moana really helped move Disney Princess characters away from the "damsel in distress" trope. She doesn’t have a romantic subplot, she shows strength, bravery, and a great ability to solve her own problems.
For the younger audience, this is an entertaining film with hilarious characters and catchy songs, but for older audience, the themes wrestle with deeper issues, like identity, tradition, and feminism, as seen in Moana's struggle to be the first female leader of her Polynesian tribe while also being called to be a voyager.
Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy hilariously play the most unlikely budding friendship between an ogre and a donkey. Even an interrogation scene between Lord Farquaad and The Gingerbread Man will have you laughing and hoping for those gumdrop buttons to remain intact.
This is the kind of feel-good comedy film that you can watch with your children and even your parents, but also on your own without a kid in sight!
Freaky Friday (2003)
Freaky Friday embodies the chaotic imperfect family dynamic that many families can relate to. So no, you’re not weird because you and your daughter spend 90% of the time arguing over EVERYTHING.
When Tess Coleman (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Anna Coleman (played by Lindsay Lohan) switch bodies and get to walk in each other’s shoes, they start to understand one another so much better… I mean come on, we could all benefit from that kind of perspective!
The Karate Kid (2010)
Whether it’s at school or work, bullying happens everywhere to both children and adults. And this familiar underdog story is definitely one that both kids and adults can get into.
Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) feels like an outsider after moving to China and soon becomes a target for bullies. Watching Dre learn to defend himself and work his way towards fighting in the Kung Fu tournament inspires moviegoers of all ages to be courageous.
The Karate Kid is certainly not just for kids. The adults who loved the original 1984 film starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita will get a kick out of Dre's journey as he's guided by Mr. Han (Jackie Chan) to overcome the many obstacles in his way.
Mary Poppins (1964)
This film not only won an astounding five Oscars in 1965 but it's a bonafide classic that is close to many hearts.
The fantastical adventures of Mary Poppins will let your adult imagination go crazy and you’ll probably even wish you had your own magic bag! Iconic songs like "A Spoonful of Sugar" will be stuck in your head for weeks to come, and if you're not careful, you might find yourself doing The Penguin Dance.
Mary Poppins is sing-along classic for kids and a warm burst of nostalgia for adults.
Next time you’re stuck scrolling through Netflix, just remember not to pass up some of these great movies. They are not just for kids or families and might be exactly what you need to wind down after a long day of adulting.
Alex Edge has worked for companies such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. His roles and specialties in these companies lie in production and script consultancy. He currently works at Screenwriters Network as a director. Reading and writing scripts whenever he can!