Family movie night
April 17, 2021 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend movies that will delight both me and my daughters (seven year old and nine year old)? No Disney/Pixar or Myazaki please, we've seen most of them.

They don't like spooky things (no Coraline). They like magical things. But also animals. And they liked Captain Underpants as well.
posted by Omnomnom to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Are documentaries an option? I though First Position was amazing, and since it focuses on kids as the subject it seems to appeal to a wide age range. Ballet experience/interest not required.
posted by shornco at 8:23 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is The Princess Bride too obvious?
posted by evilmomlady at 8:30 AM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

This age is perfect for the big colorful 1960s family-oriented musicals -- Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, both starring Julie Andrews. Since they like magic, try Finian's Rainbow -- from 1968 and kind of a hippie take on a leprechaun, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Fred Astaire.
Have they ever watched The Wizard of Oz?
For animated magic that is very un-Disney this Irish film is absolutely stunning: Song of the Sea
posted by nantucket at 8:35 AM on April 17, 2021 [12 favorites]

Strange Magic
The Book of Life
Ella Enchanted
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Rise of the Guardians
A Cat in Paris
A Monster in Paris
Mr. Peabody and Sherman
Cats Don't Dance
Peter Rabbit
Phantom Boy
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Jingle Jangle
posted by brook horse at 8:48 AM on April 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

I strongly recommend MATILDA and WHALE RIDER and PETER PAN non Disney version and PETER PAN Cathy Rigby TV musical version. And one really weird suggestion -- RIVERDANCE. My nieces loved that show when they were little. I still haven't figured out exactly why.
posted by pjsky at 8:53 AM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Jumanji, both the original and the new ones
posted by phunniemee at 9:02 AM on April 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

Wolfwalkers! The same people who did Song of the Sea.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:04 AM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Stop motion animation!

Wallace and Gromit! Both the shorts and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit movie.

Also, the other Aardman animation movies, particularly Chicken Run and the Shaun the Sheep show and movies.

If Coraline is too spooky, there are still plenty of other good ones from studio Laika—I particularly like Kubo and the Two Strings.

Also: Fantastic Mr. Fox
posted by sleeping bear at 9:06 AM on April 17, 2021 [16 favorites]

One of my family's favorite less known movies at that age was Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines.
posted by Candleman at 9:07 AM on April 17, 2021 [3 favorites]

- The Farthest: Voyager in Space was a big hit in my home when my kids were about that age. After the movie we put on Chuck Berry and danced our butts off :) and one of my kids started doing a cross stitch of the solar system.

- March of the Penguins may be a safe bet if they like animals.

- Have they seen Big Hero 6, Despicable Me, Shrek, Boss Baby, Wreck it Ralph, and other non-Disney/Pixar and non-Miyazaki animated movies? (Those are the ones I absolutely adore, sequels included except for Shrek.. and I gotta note I'm slightly not a fan of Madagascar because its jokes are unfunny imo and hugely not a fan of Angry Birds because of the subtextual Islamophobia.)
posted by MiraK at 9:12 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Zootopia is fantastic for both kids and adults. I'm an adult who's watched it probably five times.
posted by rachaelfaith at 9:24 AM on April 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

The 1983 animated not-classic Twice Upon a Time! Lucasfilm's first foray into animation, blending stop-motion and hand-drawn, and I can almost guarantee NONE of you have seen it.

In more mainstream options, any adaptation of a Road Dahl book other than maybe The Witches, The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, Hook, the 1990s adaptation of Little Women, Black Beauty, The Wizard of Oz...lots of fodder in the classic children's literature bucket! Oh and The Neverending Story and seconding Princess Bride.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 9:26 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Red Dog
Home Alone
Peter Rabbit
The Jungle Book
posted by Jubey at 9:26 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

John Sayles film The Secret of Roan Innish Is charming, and appeals to children because the main characters are children. Adults usually like it too.
posted by dbmcd at 9:39 AM on April 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Wind in the Willows and The Willows in Winter (YT, full movies) are absolutely delightful. How can you not love Rik Mayall as Mr. Toad?
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:41 AM on April 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

If you can find the 2007 Ballet Shoes with Emma Watson they might like that.

Not magical, but some movies that have my Captain Underpants-loving kid in hysterics lately:

Cheaper by the Dozen (Steve Martin movie - bonus supportive husband quits HIS job content)
The Pacifier
All the Spy Kids movies
Slightly risque and weird by today's standards, but we howled: Kindergarten Cop, Home Alone.

Chronicles of Narnia? Too intense? (Sorry if this is a Disney repeat.)
posted by warriorqueen at 9:44 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Point
posted by gudrun at 9:47 AM on April 17, 2021

Leap aka Ballerina
posted by sacrifix at 10:25 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

The How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is really good.
posted by xenization at 10:30 AM on April 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

Muppet Treasure Island is a totally goofy romp.
Secret of Kells is hypnotically beautiful and has doggies (well... kinda...)
School of Rock is unavoidably charming despite the cheese.
The 93 Secret Garden is atmospheric and gorgeous.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was totally different from the book and yet really good.

If you’re up for a tv show, the Worst Witch is so cute and full of heart with a lot of lower budget special effects that for some reason work and tons of friendship between girls, plus of course magic.
posted by Mizu at 10:48 AM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Time Bandits.
posted by theora55 at 11:36 AM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Here are some movies I loved at that age. I'm not sure how some of them have aged.

I liked the Henry Thomas movies The Quest and Cloak and Dagger. SpaceCamp features some smart women.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:40 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

You might consider The Gods Must Be Crazy, though there is a bit of violence in it (nothing horrible).
posted by alex1965 at 11:42 AM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Song of the Sea, as mentioned above.

We enjoyed Big Hero 6 last night. (It’s Disney but was not on my radar as such.)

We also recently watched Tale of the Princess Kaguya which is Ghibli but not Miyazaki and was also not at all on my radar. It’s beautiful, voice acting in English is so so, it’s quite long.

My daughter liked both new Wonder Woman movies, Black Panther and Jurassic Park (has scary parts).

Perhaps Hugo (the Scorsese film from 2011)? I’ve been wanting to watch Triplets of Belleville with my daughter too. Maybe Persepolis?
posted by vunder at 12:18 PM on April 17, 2021

In the same vein as Mary Poppins: Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Annie. The 1982 adaptation.
posted by bluedora at 1:14 PM on April 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Babies, the documentary.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:21 PM on April 17, 2021

Spirit - Stallion Of The Cimarron Took our 7y.o. to the the cinema when it came out in 2002. The squawk of surprise and the clap of delight from young 7 at 2m36s made it worth going.
More equines: Racing Stripes / Seabiscuit
Mice: The Tale of Despereaux / The Secret of NIMH
Geese: Fly Away Home
2nd Ballerina [apparently better than the US cut called Leap]
2nd A Monster of Paris
Road to El Dorado [adult innuendo a bit]
posted by BobTheScientist at 2:30 PM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Babe is a piglet who makes himself useful.
posted by baseballpajamas at 2:48 PM on April 17, 2021 [5 favorites]

The iron giant
posted by brujita at 3:15 PM on April 17, 2021 [7 favorites]

Whale Rider
posted by starfish at 3:17 PM on April 17, 2021

Here's what my daughter liked at that age. She didn't really like a lot of the animated movies, so these are all live action:
Singin' in the Rain (her favorite)
The Parent Trap (the older one)
Judy Moody
posted by biscuits at 3:25 PM on April 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Rat race
posted by AugustWest at 4:40 PM on April 17, 2021

Old Disney! Start with That Darn Cat.
posted by cyndigo at 5:57 PM on April 17, 2021

The Never Ending Story
posted by theora55 at 6:05 PM on April 17, 2021

Judgment call from other answer-ers: is Phantom Toolbooth too spooky for a recommendation?
posted by metabaroque at 7:30 PM on April 17, 2021

My young daughter loved watching the PBS Pride and Prejudice series with me. Why? “Because it’s about girls.”
posted by SLC Mom at 10:44 PM on April 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

The original Charlotte’s Web animated movie has been a huge hit with the 5 year old girl here.
posted by jeoc at 6:21 AM on April 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Fantastic Mr. Fox
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2021

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