Stream These Family-Friendly Movies This Summer
Summer is fun for so many reasons—both adults and children feel free to break out of their daily routines and relax a little more, perhaps by indulging in ice cream for dessert or staying up past bedtime. If you are up for some family-friendly movies this summer, you may want to check out some blockbusters on the following on-demand video-streaming service providers:
Best Family Movies on Netflix Right Now
Netflix is an on-demand video-streaming service provider which boosts 125 million members around the world. Besides a robust catalog of original TV shows and movies, Netflix also features many new and popular movies before other streaming services do.
Our top picks to watch on Netflix include:
- Coco (2017): A highly acclaimed animated movie from Disney Pixar, Coco is a touching story about the importance of family and the power of music. The movie follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who defies his family by pursuing his love of music and accidentally ending up in the Land of the Dead on El Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday that honors ancestors. Miguel learns a lot about himself and his family on his journey, which is filled with beautiful colors and music.
- Trolls (2016): An animated film from DreamWorks, “Trolls” is a star-studded musical that has a little bit of everything—friendship, adventure, humor and how to navigate challenging emotions. The film stars Anna Kendrick as Princess Poppy and Justin Timberlake as Branch, two Trolls who go on a quest to save their friends from the mean, Troll-eating Bergens. The only downside to this movie is that you might have the music stuck in your head for weeks afterwards.
- Moana (2016): “Moana” is a wonderful animated Disney film about the daughter of a Polynesian island village chief who dreams about leaving her island in search of adventure and the open sea. Moana’s father, however, forbids her from leaving the island. Fate steps in when the ocean sends her the heart of Te Fiti, an island goddess, which had been stolen by demigod Maui years earlier. Moana’s adventure begins when she sets sail to find Maui. Together with Maui, Moana must defeat the evil lava monster and return the heart of Te Fiti to save the islands. As an added bonus for adults, Lin Manuel-Miranda, of “Hamilton” fame, worked on the music for this film and will have you singing along in no time.
- Beauty and the Beast (2017): This live-action version of the classic Disney film is a great reimagining of the original animated “Beauty and the Beast,” complete with all of the musical numbers. In this version, Emma Watson (Hermione from the Harry Potter movies) plays Belle, Dan Stevens (of “Downton Abbey” fame) plays the Beast and Luke Evans plays Gaston. It’s a bit dark at times, but it’s a fun and enchanting film the family can enjoy together, and, like most Disney films, has a happy ending.
What to Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime members should take advantage of the free access to its internet video on-demand service—Amazon Prime Video, which we like for its great selection of classic movies, including over 4,000 titles in its “Kids & Family” category.
Our top three family-friendly movies from Amazon Prime Video are:
- The Wizard of Oz (1939): Although this film was made in 1939, it is still captivating modern audiences of all ages. Often considered one of the greatest musical films in cinema history, “The Wizard of Oz” stars a young Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, who gets knocked out during a tornado that passes through her family’s Kansas farm and wakes up in the Land of Oz. Part fantasy, part odyssey, “The Wizard of Oz” is a guaranteed good time for all ages and will remind the whole family that there’s no place like home.
- The Ant Bully (2006): Based on a children’s book of the same name, animated film “The Ant Bully” is about an ant named Zoc who creates a magical potion that shrinks Lucas, a 10-year-old kid who unknowingly terrorizes an ant colony, down to the size of an ant. Lucas is sentenced to hard labor by the ants, but in the process makes a friend and they learn about each other, discussing their differences. In the end, Lucas helps protect the ant colony and returns to the human world to confront his own human bully.
- August Rush (2007): “August Rush” is a live-action film about Evan, an 11-year-old boy and musical prodigy living in an orphanage who runs away to New York City to learn more about himself and find his parents. He has a savant-like ability to hear music wherever he is. Simultaneously, Evan’s mother, a music teacher, searches for him while Evan’s father, a singer in an Irish rock band, searches for her. As the family continues to look for one another, Evan works on composing a grand rhapsody that eventually brings the whole family together.
What to Watch on Hulu
Hulu is a video streaming service provider that works with content partners including The Walt Disney Company, ABC, CBS, NBC, WarnerMedia and 21st Century Fox. Hulu has a wide selection of TV series, children’s shows and Japanese animation. It also offers a cheaper subscription rate if you do not mind seeing advertisements during the shows.
Here are our top three selections from Hulu’s movie library:
- Yours, Mine and Ours (2005): A remake of the 1968 film of the same name, “Yours, Mine and Ours” is like “The Brady Bunch” on steroids. Dennis Quaid stars alongside Rene Russo as widowers who find each other and merge their two (very large) families to live under one roof. With 18 kids, three adults (they have a live-in housekeeper, of course) and a bunch of pets living together, it’s not hard to see that shenanigans are bound to happen.
- Nanny McPhee (2005): Based on the “Nurse Matilda” book series, “Nanny McPhee” stars the talented and loveable Emma Thompson as the titular character. Taking place in the late 1800s in England, Nanny McPhee arrives at just the right time to help a house full of unruly children who recently lost their mother. With discipline and a little bit of magic, Nanny McPhee helps transform the children’s lives for the better.
- Stuart Little (1999): This live-action movie is a modernized version of the children’s book written by E.B. White in 1945. Eleanor and Frederick Little, played by Geena Davis and Hugh Laurie, adopt a son, Stuart, who happens to be a talking mouse (voiced by Michael J. Fox). While the plot is far-fetched, it’s fun to watch, and although it involves talking animals, many of the themes throughout are relatable to kids (and adults) of all ages.
Which video-streaming service do you prefer and what are your favorite family movies? Share with us!