The weekend’s highlight can be getting the whole family together to watch a movie. It’s a fantastic way to spend time with one another, but it is also a chance to learn about various cultures and how to solve problems. You can also treat yourselves to popcorn and other refreshments while enjoying this family time. However, some parents find it boring to watch so many animated films as a family. Try these non-animated, family-friendly films if you want to add extra fun to your family’s next movie night.
Best Non-Animated Family Movies:
13. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
About Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Timmy Failure, an 11-year-old misfit kid who thinks he and his best friend, a polar bear named Total, own a detective agency, is the main character of “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made,” a movie inspired by a book series of the same name. They investigate crimes in Portland, Oregon, full of neighborhood residents’ antics and hilarity, many of whom consider Timmy a nuisance.
In this action film, Timmy’s amazing imagination takes center stage, and many kids can identify with his neurodiversity. Young viewers’ self-confidence may increase due to Timmy’s ability to think outside the box and always come out on top in challenging circumstances.
12. The Greatest Showman
About The Greatest Showman:
The plot of “The Greatest Showman” centers on P.T. Barnum, well-known as the founder of the Barnum & Bailey circus. P.T. Barnum starts a circus of eccentric and outcast artists, including bearded ladies and acrobats, after losing his job and having his humble way of life threatened.
The film’s themes center on the value of individuality, being loyal to oneself and being distinct. The entire family will sing along to some of the best dance and musical performances from recent blockbusters.
11. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
About Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle:
Four children who discover a computer game are the main subject of this 2017 follow-up to the 1995 film “Jumanji,” based on a 1981 book. After being teleported into the game, they must navigate their way out and aid a player trapped there since 1996.
The film moves quickly, is humorous, and has a strong sense of adventure. Its central themes revolve around cooperating, accepting people and yourself for who you are, and putting family first.
10. Stuart Little
About Stuart Little:
This live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s novel by E.B. White features Stuart Little, a mouse who lives in New York City. When the Little family seeks to adopt a new member, Stuart the mouse captures their hearts.
Some family members, including the cat Snowbell, are not as excited when they bring him home. In this non-animated movie, various themes are tackled, including friendship, helping others, compassion and empathy, and maintaining family loyalty.
Fun trivia: Michael J. Fox voices Stuart Little in the film, while M. Night Shyamalan contributed to its writing. Snowbell has a voice that Nathan Lane provides.
9. Charlotte’s Web
About Charlotte’s Web:
“Charlotte’s Web” portrays farm life based on the renowned children’s novel of the same name by E.B. White. Pig Wilbur and barn spider Charlotte form an odd bond. Charlotte spins webs over the property in Wilbur’s honor while he is in trouble, saving him.
The film explores perseverance, friendship, communication, and the passage of time. All kids will enjoy watching the creatures come to life.
8. Cheaper by the dozen
About Cheaper by the dozen:
A family with a whopping 12 children is the subject of the remake of the 1950s movie “Cheaper by the Dozen,” which bears the same name. This inevitably leads to considerable disruption, especially when the father, Tom, accepts a position as a football coach in a new town.
Things spiral out of control because the kids cannot adjust to their new home and way of life. This non-animated movie is successful because of its themes of family, unity, respect, decision-making as a family, and progress over perfection. In 2022, a remake was published.
7. We bought a zoo
We bought a zoo Plot:
Journalist Benjamin quits his career and decides to move his kids to a new house with a wildlife preserve on the property after his wife passes away unexpectedly. To reopen the zoo, the family, who have no prior expertise with animals, must learn how to care for the creatures.
6. Harriet, the Spy
About Harriet, the Spy:
Parents of millennials will love the nostalgia of experiencing life in 1996 once more in the “Harriet the Spy” movie. Based on the same-named book published in 1964, Harriet is a sixth grader who aspires to be both a writer and a spy. She records every thought.
After a series of incidents, one of Harriet’s enemies discovers her innermost thoughts, causing mayhem for everyone. The three main themes are telling the truth, forgiving others, and forgiving oneself. Harriet ultimately does the right thing through her friends and classmates and receives forgiveness as a result of her words of repentance.
5. The Adam Project
About The Adam Project:
Adam, played by Ryan Reynolds, is a character who goes back in time to save humanity and to deal with some of his emotional baggage related to his parents. Given how uncommon it is for a movie to deal with melancholy over a death in the family and yet be rated PG-13, The Adam Project is one of the best family movies on Netflix. It is available to watch on Netflix.
4. Enola Holmes
About Enola Holmes:
Enola Holmes is a good choice for families seeking an entertaining mystery with lots of action. Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the lead in the film, blends classic settings with modern sensibilities. Yes, Enola is a Holmes family member.
But among others who are unsure of how to interpret the fact that their tiny sister is extraordinarily free-spirited for her age are her brothers, Sherlock and Mycroft. Brown does a fantastic job with the part, balancing the humor that typically seems to be saved for older female characters like Fleabag.
Apart from a few battle sequences involving knives and weapons, parents should be reassured that the show is mature. See our list of the top Presidents’ Day movies for films from a different historical era. Also, Enola Holmes 2 is out!
3. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
About Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
One of the best non-animated family movies on Netflix, especially during the holiday season, is Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, which appears to be on the verge of becoming a classic. Hugely entertaining and full of joy thanks to a top-notch ensemble, this John Legend-produced movie has received praise from critics and viewers alike.
We won’t give away too many narrative specifics, but the film is about a toymaker who has lost his smile but might rediscover it when he sees his bright granddaughter again.
2. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
About The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind:
With Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role (and also serving as the director), this heartwarming movie, which is set in a small Malawian agricultural community, is sure to capture viewers’ attention. The renowned singer, however, doesn’t overtake the scene, giving Maxwell Simba, who plays William, a 13-year-old boy, enough time on screen.
It may sound like middle-school homework, but William’s story is a motivational tale that science-obsessed students can enjoy. Before he comes up with a windmill-powered generator to remedy his town’s issues, his education is taken away.
1. John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch
About John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch:
Do your children need to follow the rules? Consider John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch for your next movie night if you have youngsters with unusually distinctive and slightly sophisticated preferences in TV and movies.
The titular comic in this movie (who also excels on HBO Max’s The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo) slyly wittily and kindly runs through all of the clichés associated with kids’ entertainment. Younger children might not “understand” it, but parents who enjoy Mulaney’s work will probably be perplexed as to why all kid-friendly media can’t be this sophisticated.
It also includes musical performances to prevent the audience, primarily young, from becoming bored.