Back in the day, watching a movie at home meant a trip to the video store, or waiting for a disc to arrive in the mail. But now more and more movies are available instantly through the magic of the Internet. We've looked through Netflix, Hulu, and other online movie sites for the best family titles.
10. Ponyo this stunning adventure from anime master Hayao Miyazaki is one of his most kid-friendly films to date, with strong characters and positive messages.
9. The Iron Giant This touching robot-kid friendship tale has great messages and provides the commensurate cartoon action that most kids love: a giant robot under attack; buildings, trains, and cars crashing; futuristic weapons firing; Hogarth, the boy hero, creeping through a dark forest looking for "trouble"; a boat caught in a storm; spooky music; and an arrogant, mean-spirited villain who threatens everyone and everything that is important.
8. Toy Story 3 The third movie in Pixar's flagship Toy Story franchise is bound to please moviegoers of all ages. Overall, the latest adventure shared by Woody ( Tom Hanks ), Buzz Lightyear ( Tim Allen ), and the rest of Andy's favorite toys is kid-friendly. There are a few new toys that act a bit mean and creepy and scenes in which favorite characters are trapped by cruel authority figures, but there are also wonderful, touching messages about friendship, loyalty, and imagination.
7. The Dark Crystal Although this Muppet caper movie isn't for everyone, and surely not for sensitive little ones under 7, the right kid just getting into fantasy books, this will rock their world. Dark in places but it's also a wonderful fantasy movie to get wrapped up in. Chanting, gentle mystics; long-legged Landstriders; a pushy she-ogre; and a roly-poly pet Fizzgig will keep fantasy-loving adults and kids old enough for the scary parts engaged.
6. The Red Balloon Looking to engage the family in the art of well, art? This enchanting short film about a red balloon that befriends a little French boy is more than a joy to watch; it's a provocative exercise in creative interpretation that deserves a place of honor on any Classics shelf. Younger kids will enjoy it purely on a surface level, as an engaging story about a boy and his balloon. Older kids will be able to read more into it and offer some mind-blowing insights.
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Somewhere, there are future Hollywood directors who will tell magazine feature writers that they first decided to make movies as they watched LORD OF THE RINGS. It's that good. It's that once-to-a-generation, not since Star Wars , transcendent reminder of why we tell stories, why we have imagination, and why we must go on quests to test our spirits and heal the world. And it's a story that invites us into a fully realized world with many different civilizations, all so thoroughly imagined that we don't only believe that they each have complete languages, but that they have dictionaries, histories, mythologies, schools, music, and poetry. Need we go on?
There's more. Get the full list of our top family favorites that are streaming online
What movies will your entire family agree to watch together?
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