Stuck indoors during the holidays and finding that the kids are already driving you up the wall? Then you need something to entertain them! And what better way to provide entertainment (and distraction) than with a film or five?
Below is a lengthy list of children’s films perfect for all occasions – especially the holiday season. These movies are highly entertaining (there’s no filler material here), and will work well for the younger members of the household, as well as those who are still young at heart.
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
First up, Rise of the Guardians, oft-overlooked yet superb animated adventure movie about a collection of mythical characters (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost etc) who team-up to fight a great evil. Directed by Peter Ramsey, the movie features an all-star cast including Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, and Alec Baldwin.
Stuart Little (1999)
Next up is Stuart Little, a delightful live-action movie about a talkative mouse who goes to live with an American family. Stuart Little is a real treat of a movie, perfect for the whole family, and will certainly entertain the younger members of the household.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)
Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a live-action movie, based on the popular Dora cartoon series and is filled with action, adventure, and plenty of gags that adults will appreciate and kids will adore. If you think Dora the Explorer is just for the little ‘uns, think again.
Fly Away Home (1996)
In this inspiring family drama, Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin play a father and daughter who utilise a light aircraft to teach a group of birds to fly. Based on a true story, Fly Away Home is directed by Carroll Ballard and is a real gem of a movie.
Cool Runnings (1993)
John Candy takes the lead in a hilarious and uplifting comedy from director Jon Turtletaub. The movie, which is based on a true story, tells the tale of the Jamaican bobsleigh team and their entry into the 1988 Winter Olympics.
The Lorax (2012)
Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Betty White provide voiceover duties for The Lorax – an animated tale based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. The movie tells a cautionary tale about deforestation, and features a cast of colourful characters.
Big Fat Liar (2002)
Big Fat Liar is a live-action slapstick comedy about a mean-spirited Hollywood producer who steals a school assignment from a 14-year-old boy, so he can turn it into his next big movie. Paul Giamatti, Frankie Muniz, and Amanda Bynes star, Shawn Levy directs.
Amy Adams stars in this live-action Disney movie (with animated sequences), about a cartoon character who finds herself transported into the real-world. Here she has to contend with the harsh reality of life (i.e. it’s not all singing-and-dancing), while trying to find her ‘happy ever after’.
The Addams Family (2019)
Morticia, Gomez, and the rest of the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky Addams Family take centre stage in this animated picture from directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan. Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Finn Wolfhard, Chloë Grace Moretz and Bette Midler all provide voices.
The story of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes has been told and re-told countless times, but all of the adaptations pale in comparison to this one. Disney weaves some animated magic to bring the classic character to life, while Phil Collins provides the soundtrack.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
In this wonderful environmentally-focused animated movie, a tree logger is shrunk down in size to see what life is like for wildlife. After experiencing the majesty of the world around him, he teams up with fairies and animals to fight back against the destruction of the rainforest.
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Glenn Close steals every scene she is in playing the role of Cruella de Vil, in Disney’s live-action 101 Dalmatians. If you have only ever watched the animated movie, then now is the time to check out this gem from the 1990s.
Sky High (2005)
Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are amongst the cast of this fun family film, packed with heart and high adventure. Sky High tells the story of a teenager attending a school for super heroes, and the action and adventure that follows.
Magic in the Water (1995)
Mark Harmon and Joshua Jackson star in this family movie about a supposed ‘monster’ that appears in a lake in British Columbia. Rick Stevenson directs.
An oft-forgotten animated feature film from Walt Disney Pictures, which tells the story of a herd of dinosaurs. This film is a true delight and perfect viewing for any dino-mad youngsters (and their parents).
Paddington bear takes centre-stage in this adorable family movie about a bear, his new-found family, and his love for marmalade sandwiches. Delightful from start to finish, this is a simply wonderful movie for all ages.
Paddington 2 (2017)
Paddington returns for yet another fun adventure, which is just as good (if not better) than the first movie. The film offers up a good mix of comedy and heart, as well as a standout turn from Hugh Grant as the big villain.
The Prince of Egypt (1998)
DreamWorks Pictures tells the story of Moses in The Prince of Egypt, an animated film from directors Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, and Simon Wells. Hans Zimmer provides the movie’s score, while the voice cast includes Val Kilmer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Patrick Stewart and Sandra Bullock.
Peter Pan (2003)
Arguably one of the best adaptations of J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s story, Peter Pan, this live-action fantasy film stars Jeremy Sumpter, Olivia Williams, and Jason Isaacs. The film is a delight from start to finish and perfect for the whole family.
The Muppets (2011)
Jim Henson’s popular puppet creations, The Muppets, remind audiences why they are so beloved in this all-singing comedy from director, James Bobin. All the iconic characters appear, alongside a cast that includes Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, and Chris Cooper.
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
If you were to make a list of all the Disney animated movies you could think of, chances are Meet the Robinsons wouldn’t appear on that list – and that’s because it is a largely forgotten family movie from the mid-‘00s. But those who do remember it will know that Meet the Robinsons is a fun romp about a young boy in search of his family – and it is certainly worth checking out.
The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002)
In this superhero origin tale, Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles take on the mysterious Mojo Jojo as he wages war on Townsville. Expect all the fun of the ‘90s cartoon series, with the action and adventure level cranked up to eleven.
Harriet the Spy (1996)
Harriet the Spy is a charming movie about a young girl who longs to become a spy. Produced by Nickelodeon and featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer star, Michelle Trachtenberg in the lead role, this is a film for all the young dreamers in the world.
Freaky Friday (2003)
Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan play a mother and daughter in this body-swap comedy from Disney. Freaky Friday has been made and remade multiple times, but this version is certainly one of the best.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Speeding from games consoles onto the big screen, Sonic the Hedgehog is a fun and colourful live-action adventure film about Sega’s most iconic character. Jim Carrey and James Marsden take the lead roles, while Ben Schwartz provides the voice of Sonic.
Robin Williams stars in this action-adventure film about a board game that comes to life. Filled with great gags and some superb set pieces, this is a must-watch movie for every family.
Nanny McPhee (2005)
Based on the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand, Nanny McPhee is wickedly fun film about an unusual nanny who helps a young family. Similar in tone to the Mary Poppins movies, Nanny McPhee stars Emma Thompson in the title role, in a story which is perfect for the whole family.
Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010)
Emma Thompson returns to the role of Nanny McPhee for this enjoyable sequel, which is equally is good as the first. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, and Maggie Smith also star.
A young boy discovers a magic lamp, a genie, and a potential route to happiness in this action-adventure movie from Disney. Often told, but never bettered, Disney’s Aladdin is superb.
The Rugrats Movie (1998)
Nickelodeon’s wise-talking babies take to the big screen for the first time in animated comedy, The Rugrats Movie. In this story, Tommy Pickles gets a new brother, meaning some new responsibilities.
Rugrats in Paris (2000)
In this second Rugrats movie, the gang head to France to take part in yet another adventure. This time around, Chuckie’s dad is getting married, but things might not go according to plan.
Night at the Museum (2006)
Ben Stiller plays the role of a night watchman in this live-action romp about a museum where all of the artefacts come to life. Jam-packed with gags and featuring a great cast, this is a family movie not to be missed.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Jack Black voices Po Ping, a giant panda chosen to be a warrior in this animated feature. The movie includes plenty of jokes, along with a strong dose of action, and is suitable for the whole family.
Treasure Planet (2002)
Beautifully animated, Treasure Planet is a futuristic reworking of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Treasure Island. The movie is one of Disney’s finest, and features a cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Hyde Pierce, Laurie Metcalf, and Patrick McGoohan.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
Stop-motion stars, Wallace and Gromit take to the big screen in a hilarious parody of classic monster movies. Directed by Nick Park and Steve Box, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a fantastic movie from Aardman Animation, with a cast that includes Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, and Helena Bonham Carter.
The Flintstones (1994)
The modern Stone-Age family star in this live-action comedy about comings and goings in the town of Bedrock. John Goodman plays Fred Flintstone, while Rick Moranis takes on the role of Fred’s best friend, Barney Rubble.
In this live-action mystery movie, Scooby-Doo and the rest of Mystery Inc. investigate strange occurrences on an island. Raja Gosnell directs, while the cast includes Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Linda Cardellini.
Chicken Run (2000)
Another Aardman Animations movie, this time focusing on a group of chickens looking for a way to fly the coup. Taking inspiration from The Great Escape, this hilarious movie stars Mel Gibson and Julia Sawalha as two chickens keen to break away from the farm and head to freedom.
Based on the book by Roald Dahl, Matilda tells the story of a young girl with unique abilities. Directed by Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson takes the title role, while Pam Ferris plays the ferocious Agatha Trunchbull in an unforgettable children’s movie.
In this animated comedy, fairy tales get a modern-day reworking as Shrek the ogre goes on a journey of self-discovery, encountering the likes of Pinocchio and the Gingerbread Man along the way.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Filled with plenty of slapstick comedy, Home Alone 3 tells the tale of young boy thwarting the plans of a gang of crooks. The movie is overshadowed by the first two Home Alone movies, but there’s still some fun to be had here for young audiences who adored the previous entries in the series.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
Nickelodeon’s sea-dwelling sponge becomes the star of his own movie in this animated adventure. Stephen Hillenburg directs, while the cast includes Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Alec Baldwin, and David Hasselhoff.
Richie Rich (1994)
Based on the comic book character of the same name, Richie Rich tells the story of an extremely wealthy boy who gets caught up in a diabolical plot which could see him swindled out of his inheritance. Macaulay Culkin takes on the title role, while support comes in the shape of Jonathan Hyde, John Larroquette, and Mike McShane.
Based on the novel, The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith, Babe tells the story of a big-hearted pig who becomes a sheepdog. A hit when it was released, this film has lost none of its charm over the years and is always ripe for a revisit.
Trolls is an all-singing, all-dancing animated comedy for the whole family. The movie tells the story of the diminutive Trolls, and their dealings with the gruesome Bergens, and offers a real shot of heart-warming fun, guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face.
The classic tale of Rapunzel gets a reworking in Disney’s Tangled – a fantastic animated film from the Mouse House. Featuring a toe-tapping collection of songs and an ensemble of loveable characters, Tangled is great movie for all the family.
Space Jam (1996)
Bugs Bunny and the rest of the iconic Looney Tunes characters head to the basketball court for Space Jam – a live-action movie with a part animated cast. Michael Jordan provides support, while Danny DeVito voices the villain of the piece.
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Bugs and Co. return for another live-action/animated mash-up movie. This time around, the Looney Tunes team-up with Brendan Fraser and Jenna Elfman, while Steve Martin is on bad guy duties.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
In this delightful musical, a mermaid sets out on an adventure to win the heart of a prince. Along the way she belts out some amazing tunes, takes on a sea witch, and proves that love is worth fighting for.
Mary Poppins (1964)
In this delightful Disney movie, two British children meet their new nanny, Mary Poppins – an eccentric woman with a song in her heart and a spring in her step. Julie Andrews takes the title role, alongside Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Emily Blunt takes on the role of Mary Poppins for this belated, but imaginative sequel. Packed with songs and exciting new characters, the film is a worthy follow-up.
Dr. Dolittle (1998)
Eddie Murphy plays the title role in this comedy about a doctor who can communicate with animals. Raven-Symoné, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, and Peter Boyle round out the cast.
Osmosis Jones (2001)
Part live-action, part animation, Osmosis Jones is an action comedy about a cop, who also happens to be a white blood cell, on a case inside a human body. The cop has just 48 hours to crack his case or a virus will infect the body.
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
In this rip-roaring animated movie, Aardman Animation deliver another comical tale, this time about a group of pirates and their attempt to win a Pirate of the Year competition. Featuring an all-star cast, including David Tennant and Brian Blessed, this is a movie not to be missed.
Dennis the Menace (1993)
Based on the popular comic strip character, Dennis the Menace is a family comedy about a mischievous boy and the trouble he gets into. Mason Gamble takes on the title role, while Walter Matthau plays longsuffering neighbour, Mr. Wilson.
Monsters Inc. (2001)
Two monsters, tasked with collecting screams, find themselves at odds with their employer when they befriend a young human girl. What follows is a charming story about friendship, bolstered by superb animation, and fantastic characterisation.
The Goonies (1985)
Richard Donner’s action comedy about a group of friends who embark on an adventure is one of the best-loved children’s films of the 1980s. The movie stars Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, and Corey Feldman and is just as good as you remember it to be.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Disney outdoes itself with an animated tale about a young girl, a beast, and a magical curse. Arguably one of the best animated movies of all time, this film never gets old and deserves a re-watch.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Adapted from the Roald Dahl novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this movie is an imaginative musical about a boy who wins the trip of a lifetime – an epic tour around Willy Wonka’s bizarre chocolate factory. Gene Wilder stars, Mel Stuart directs.
The Tigger Movie (2000)
Winnie the Pooh’s hyperactive friend, Tigger takes top-billing in this adorable and heartfelt movie about family and friendship. The Tigger Movie is a wonderful story, packed with songs, a little bit of drama, and some loveable characters.
Spy Kids (2001)
Two children find themselves thrust into a wild world of adventure when they discover their parents are spies, in this family film from writer/director, Robert Rodriguez. Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino and Teri Hatcher are just three of the many well-known names involved in this picture, which is perfect for youngsters.
Baby’s Day Out (1994)
Written by John Hughes and directed by Patrick Read Johnson, Baby’s Day Out is a slapstick comedy about a baby’s madcap adventure. Joe Mantegna, Joe Pantoliano, and Lara Flynn Boyle star.
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
If you’ve ever wondered what your pets get up to when you’re at work, then The Secret Life of Pets answers that question through an animated comedy for all ages. Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, and Albert Brooks provide voices.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Sticking with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for an animated offering written based around the popular toy line. The Lego Movie features the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks and is awesome. In fact, everything is awesome about this picture.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
And finally, Anne Hathaway plays the role of Mia Thermopolis – a high school teen who one day discovers she is the heir to the throne of Genovia. Comedy and fun follow in equal measure, while support is provided by Julie Andrews and Héctor Elizondo.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about kids’ movies on It’s A Stampede!. I hope this list of films points you in the right direction if you’re looking for holiday amusement for the kids.
To save you some time from scrolling back through this post to make some notes, here is the list in full.
- Rise of the Guardians (2012)
- Stuart Little (1999)
- Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)
- Fly Away Home (1996)
- Cool Runnings (1993)
- The Lorax (2012)
- Big Fat Liar (2002)
- Enchanted (2007)
- The Addams Family (2019)
- Tarzan (1999)
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
- 101 Dalmatians (1996)
- Sky High (2005)
- Magic in the Water (1995)
- Dinosaur (2000)
- Paddington (2014)
- Paddington 2 (2017)
- The Prince of Egypt (1998)
- Peter Pan (2003)
- The Muppets (2011)
- Meet the Robinsons (2007)
- The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002)
- Harriet the Spy (1996)
- Freaky Friday (2003)
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
- Jumanji (1995)
- Nanny McPhee (2005)
- Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang (2010)
- Aladdin (1992)
- The Rugrats Movie (1998)
- Rugrats in Paris (2000)
- Night at the Museum (2006)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008)
- Treasure Planet (2002)
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
- The Flintstones (1994)
- Scooby-Doo (2002)
- Chicken Run (2000)
- Matilda (1996)
- Shrek (2001)
- Home Alone 3 (1997)
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
- Richie Rich (1994)
- Babe (1995)
- Trolls (2016)
- Tangled (2010)
- Space Jam (1996)
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
- The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Mary Poppins (1964)
- Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
- Dr. Dolittle (1998)
- Osmosis Jones (2001)
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
- Dennis the Menace (1993)
- Monsters Inc. (2001)
- The Goonies (1985)
- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
- The Tigger Movie (2000)
- Spy Kids (2001)
- Baby’s Day Out (1994)
- The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
- The Lego Movie (2014)
- The Princess Diaries (2001)
For more movie-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below. Here you will find further information about popular movies which may also prove useful – and could add to your list of films for kids.
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- How many Land Before Time movies are there?