There are many ways of entertainment in today’s technologically advanced world. Movies are one of the most preferred versions – a good movie manipulates, communicates, analyzes and leaves a lasting imprint on its viewer. There are many genres within the movie industry and family movies are a popular variety; directors aim at the importance of family values and the necessity of familial love being as crucial and satisfying as romantic love between couples. Here are fourteen of the best movies that make for a good family day movie night.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The gist of the movie lies in its title. The protagonist George Bailey is a frustrated individual thinking of ending his life as everything seems to go wrong and life is nothing but a series of milestones for his problems. It then focuses on angels in heaven who discuss the affairs of the Earth and get to Bailey, realizing that he needed a fresh and objective perspective of life and the course of his town if he hadn’t existed at all. Clarence is the guardian angel we all need in our lives during our worst so that we can find the will to enjoy life once again.
The Harry Potter series
Any Harry Potter movie makes for a great watch, irrespective of the time, occasion or need of the viewer. So why wouldn’t it be the best selection for a family night binge session or a movie marathon with a friend? It’s got the plot, the cute and convincing characters, the adventures, flying brooms, wonderful desserts and magic! The essence of Harry Potter lies in the values placed in family and friends, the unexpected impact they have on your life and how important it is to have someone who never fails to believe in you, whether you are the king of the world or a mere pauper.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Is anyone surprised a Julie Andrews film made it to the list? Because I’m definitely not. She is simply the most wonderful actor on screen with such a vibrant personality and great films that leave you enthralled, awe-inspired and wanting for more, adult or child. In this movie, she plays the role of the quirky (and magical!) nanny Mary Poppins and uses her talents to get the children she looks after closer with their father. The songs, the dances, the dialogues – we cannot be satisfied more than this.
This film sees Robin Williams in his best that leaves us clutching our sides in laughter. Williams dresses up as a defiant and sassy nanny to his children after a bitter divorce separates him from his wife and children. With the Scottish accent and the rapid one-liners in all its comic wit, Williams’ character is stubborn to not be separated from his children. Under the comedy, the movie actually deals with the destruction of life as children know it is into messy troubles – here’s a film that reminds you to look beyond the mess.
No one can say that a Disney movie with Angeline Jolie (albeit with horns) and a classical story backing can be anything but of the family genre. With a twist to the original story and an imposing presence that is mistaken for evil, Jolie skillfully plays the movie to her talents. She is the result of a broken heart and a vengeance against the one who did this to her. Nothing expresses true love more than the affection a mother has for her child, combined with the intense need of protecting her from all evil.
Night At The Museum (2006)
You’d think the job of a security guard at the Museum of Natural History would be the least dangerous – however, sticks and stones can form a lot of danger in very unexpected ways. Ben Stiller attempts to get over his messy divorce, protect his child’s innocence and affection for him that culminates in what he believes is the steady job he needs at this moment. Everything turns the other way the minute he steps into his role and the movie keeps you to the same point till the end, never regretting the decision.
The Color of Paradise (1999)
For the foreign language lovers, here is an Iranian film that explores the complex forces of humanity and makes the viewer question themselves on what makes for appropriate human behavior, what can be excused and what cannot. The film centers around the main protagonist Mohammad, a blind boy who has heightened senses for the nature around him, and his father Hashem who thinks his blind child is a curse and an obstacle when he’s trying to achieve his own goals in life. If you wish to get real and personal with human emotions, this movie is for you.
The Home Alone series
Of course, parents would not want their children learning anything from these movies and in today’s age, with mobiles and legal protection available at a button, this movie scene is nothing but long-lost fantasy to the kids of today and yesterday. Nevertheless, this series makes for great family bonding time with the humour, the family feels and targets the dream of every child to make a stand of their own and prank people ingeniously.
Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory (1971)
What more does a child want to watch? A ticket to a chocolate factory is every child’s (and adult’s) dream come true. Charlie, the main character, gains a highly coveted chance to enter the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory and hardly believes the dream. However, along with five other children, Charlie finds why Mr.Wonka remains the elusive and colourful character he is, as disasters and troubles of many kinds befell them.
Spy Kids series
There is no other reason to watch this series apart from the cool gadgets, the weird characters who may or may not be villains (see, Sylvester Stallone), the over-the-top depictions of everything and the wonderful actor Antonio Banderas. Also, the nostalgia – who else wanted secret agent parents?
Children of Heaven (1997)
This is the perfect heart-warming film of family bonds and sibling relationships to end this list with. It starts with a pair of shoes and seems like just a shot of the daily life of a family making ends meet by a drop. Ali loses Zahra’s shoes and pleads with her to not mention this to their father – when this becomes difficult, Ali decides to participate in a competition to win the same shoes. Watch this journey if you want real-life feels.