Family Films are great, naturally, for the whole family. Sweet, inspiring, wholesome, many of them come with important morals but almost all of them encourage feelings of love, friendship, and general optimism. There are family films I still love today, films I can't wait to share with my children – when I have them, of course. Some are classics while others are relatively new. You'll find both on this list of inspiring family films, and I hope they bring you as many memories as they bring me!
1. The Lion King
The Lion King is one of the best family films in the whole world. Heck, it's one of the best Disney Films ever made, if you ask me. It has everything, and even though the death of Mustafa is heartbreaking, it's done beautifully. Simba's story is nothing less than inspiring, and I have no doubt that this will be one of the first movies I watch with my future children.
2. Mary Poppins
Like say, a lot of the best family movies are classics, and this is definitely one. Mary Poppins is a must for any family: it's sweet, funny, and teaches a lesson as well. You've got Dick van Dyke for comic relief, a lot of magic, and it even teaches you how to get your kids to take medicine. When you stop to think about it, a spoonful of sugar will help a lot of things go down.
3. The Sound of Music
Julie Andrews is like the queen of family films. The Sound of Music is amazing, not just the music itself, but the story. Maria is a breath of fresh air, the von Trapp kids are cute, and Captain von Trapp is – well, he's a curmudgeon, kind of, but with the prerequisite heart of gold.
4. Finding Nemo
If you want a heart breaker for your family movie, this one is definitely it. It is sad! But at the same time, it's heartwarming for the whole family to watch, especially given the way Nemo's family and friends spend so much time looking for him.
Actually, a lot of family films are sad but heartwarming at the same time. Up is one of the best movies ever, and it's a Pixar flick! It teaches so much about love, grief, and perseverance, it can actually be really good for teaching children lessons.
6. E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial
I don't think I'm the only one who also cries my eyes out every time I see E.T., am I? There's a reason this is one of the biggest box office hits ever. It's also a great way to deal with loss, because that's where it gets me every time – when E.T. goes home.
7. The Wizard of Oz
You can't get better than The Wizard of Oz. It's one of the most iconic family films ever made. It, too, teaches a lesson – namely, the grass is always greener, and you likely have courage and smarts and a heart even if you don't think you do.
8. Toy Story
Actually, the entire Toy Story trilogy make great family movies. That last one especially is a tear jerker, because what parent doesn't know or anticipate what it feels like when you have to get rid of your child's toys? Because they're all grown up – oh man, I cry!
There are so many great family films out there, movies that just make you feel good. They're perfect for all ages, from toddlers to teens – and beyond, of course. I think that's what makes the best family films: if you can watch them as an adult and still feel moved and inspiring, then you've definitely got a winner on your hands. What were your favorite family films as a child, and do you still love them as an adult?
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