1. “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” (2002)

Mixing live-action characters with a CGI titular dog, “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” is a proven childhood classic for anyone who grew up in the early 2000s and proves to be just as applicable to children of today. Follow Scooby-Doo and the entire Mystery Gang as they travel to a popular horror-themed amusement park called Spooky Island and investigate a sinister plot operating behind the scenes. The script is clever, the comedy family-friendly, and the scares perfect for children even of a young age. Any child who enjoys the animated Scooby-Doo films will be sure to love this live-action adaptation that presents a wholly original story with enough graspable maturity for even parents to enjoy.


2. “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” (2004)

Starring arguably the most iconic childhood cartoon character, “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” is a classic of animated children’s film that still holds up to this day. Following SpongeBob and his best friend Patrick on a journey to retrieve the crown of King Neptune from a mythical location off the map, this film is an adventure that is fun for the entire family. Your child is probably very familiar with SpongeBob already, and if they have not gone back to watch this film then they are surely missing out on a great time under the sea.


3. “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2020)

As one of the last major films to enter theaters in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, “Sonic the Hedgehog” proved to a commercially successful and critically acclaimed video game adaptation. Regardless of whether your child is familiar with the Sonic videogames or not, this movie is more than enjoyable for the whole family filled with sci-fi action, laughs, and heartwarming moments with an energetic and hilarious protagonist on a road trip with his live-action buddy to retrieve Sonic’s missing golden rings, along with an amazingly goofy and eccentric villain portrayed expertly by Jim Carrey.


4. “Night at the Museum” (2006)

A classic adaptation of a beloved children’s novel, “Night at the Museum” is arguably one of the funniest and most watchable and rewatchable family movie there is. You and your child will not only share some big laughs from the hilarity ensuing onscreen with Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and even Dick van Dyke in their iconic roles, but your child will also learn a good deal about actual history in the process with this film that blends entertainment with learning. Follow security guard Larry Daly at the New York Natural History Museum and various historical figures including Teddy Roosevelt, Attila the Hun, Sacagawea, and more as so many whacky, comedic hijinks ensue.


5. “Inside Out” (2015)

A personal favorite Pixar film, “Inside Out” took an abstract and complex concept about the emotions and mental state of children on their way to becoming teens and adults and brought it down to Earth for the entire family to enjoy. “Inside Out” is the story of a young girl named Riley navigating becoming a teenager as her five personified emotions of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust represent youthful angst in combatting all the new social situations she faces after moving. It is an unbelievably clever and ambitious Pixar film, that never ceases to deliver the family-favorite Pixar experience.


6. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018)

If your child enjoys superheroes or comic books even remotely, then this is the film to show them and experience with them. Arguably one of the most mature yet family-friendly movies on this list, this film hits you in your emotions with themes of identity, growing up, self-actualization, and responsibility told through the lens of one of the most visually-interesting movies ever made. Teen Miles Morales, after receiving a bite from a radioactive spider, develops powers synonymous with Spider-Man himself and must learn to use his newfound powers to become the superhero no one thought he could be with an eclectic group of different Spider-Men. This story will be inspirational and educational to your children, as well as an action-packed comic book thrill ride for them.

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