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Enjoy Some Family Fun With the Best Movies for Kids
Last updated: 8 Jan 2024
Movies for kids are a great way for families to bond together. They only run for a couple of hours, they provide you and your family with tons of fun, and they sometimes even teach valuable lessons that your kids can take to heart as they grow older. If nothing else, movies for kids are a solid way to bond with your child, and you can share some laughs or even tears throughout the duration of the film.
In this modern age of the internet, movies have never been easier to watch. With a simple click you can stream thousands upon thousands of films, all at your fingertips. And the best part about kids movies is that they aren’t just for kids anymore — parents will have a blast watching them, too! Here are some of the most memorable movies for kids of 2024 you won’t want to miss.
If you want to entertain your kids and yourself at the same time, watching a good movie together is one surefire way of doing so. Below, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about movies for kids.
What Makes a Movie Designed for Kids?
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of things, let’s take a moment to consider what makes a kids movie a kids movie. Is it the animation and design of the film? Is it the story? Is it the moral lesson in the end? There are many ways to categorize a kids movie. In the most technical sense, kids movies are movies that are designed with a specific age appropriateness in mind. Kids movies are generally movies that kids under the age 13 can watch.
There are quite a few features that identify a kids movie. For one, the story itself lets you know whether or not it’s meant for kids. If the premise, the characters, the setting and everything else is kid-friendly, then the film is probably kid-friendly. Take Frozen, for example. The premise is that of two princesses in a kingdom with one trying to understand how to live with her ice powers. It’s a simple concept that kids can understand and enjoy without adults needing to explain it to them.
If there’s one thing that isn’t an indicator of a kids movie, it’s the animation style. Many parents assume that if the movie is a cartoon or animation, it’s more likely to be for kids. Many also believe that a movie is almost 100% for kids if the animation features bright colors and cheerful characters. While many kids movies and shows are like this, it’s not always the case. There are many adult films with serious and mature topics that use light and cheerful themes for a contrasting effect. Just because the film shows sunshine and rainbows doesn’t mean it’s safe for kids to watch.
Why You May Want to Watch Movies for Kids With the Family
They’re a great way to bond with the family
Family bonding is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with all your family members. There are plenty of ways to bond with the family — a weekend vacation at a beach, a trip to the bowling alley, or simply a morning walk by the park. Many of these activities require you to go out and this can be an issue if that’s not something you can afford to do, time-wise or budget-wise. One thing you can do at home is watch a movie with the whole family. It’s such a common thing to do at home during the last few weeks of December. As per the reports, Americans streamed a total of 183 billion minutes of media in the last week of December in 2021.
Movies for kids are usually made in such a way that parents can watch them and get a kick out of them, too. After all, the parents are the ones bringing their kids to the theater or are there to supervise their child, and it wouldn’t be fun if they just sat there and did nothing for a couple of hours. You can start conversations with your children during or after the film, talking about the story or remembering the characters. Watching movies is also a great way to figure out what your kid likes and doesn’t like based on the contents of the movie.
They can teach valuable lessons
One theme that many movies for kids have is a valuable moral lesson that your child can take away at the end of the film. Most of the time, these moral lessons are not explicitly mentioned by the narrator or main characters. Instead, it’s worked into the story and your kid will have to infer the moral lesson from the story and understand it by analyzing the plot. Alternatively, you can explain the moral lesson yourself if you don’t think your child was able to pick up on it.
Part of the reason why this is a good thing is that kids will often look up to or idolize the main characters of films. This is because they either adore the main character or want to be them. So, when the main character does something good, they will want to emulate that. This can be a great way to foster good habits and get rid of bad ones. While movies are not a complete replacement of parenting, they’re a good supplementary lesson.
They’re generally fun to watch
Movies for kids are almost always fun to watch for the whole family. These movies are written in a way that adults can enjoy them, too, and not just through adult-themed jokes and innuendo. Good writing is something that anyone can appreciate regardless of age, and watching a film with a surprisingly interesting plot can get you hooked, even if it’s meant for kids. There are also certain film franchises that adults will watch simply because it’s a franchise they grew up with, such as Pokemon and the Sonic series.
Elements of a Good Movie for Kids
The plot or story is what makes up the skeleton of the film. It’s what the film is based on, and all other elements of the story are stacked on top of it. The plot can make or break a film, which is why it’s so important to get it right. While the plot of a film may not be nearly as important to kids as it is to adults, it’s still something you’ll want to look out for. If the plot is convoluted or confusing, your child will have a hard time understanding the film and you’ll have to answer any questions they have. A confusing plot may also cause them to lose interest and stop watching.
The actors are those who bring the characters in the story to life. While the plot handles how the characters behave, the actors are those who give voice and movement to these behaviors. Even if the writing of the character is good, if the actor is bad the whole movie can miss the mark. A bad actor isn’t something that your child will immediately notice, but they may not feel as connected to the character in the story if the actor is not portraying it very well.
Set design and animation
Set design and animation are two different things that relate to one another when it comes to film. Set design refers to the placement and setup of objects and the background in a film whereas animation is the process of animating images or models to simulate movement. While set design is something that’s done all the time in live-action films, it’s also commonly done in animation, too. With a well-designed set, the locations in the film can seem believable and realistic, which can help your child feel immersed in the film and keep them interested in it.
Finally, there’s the music. This is perhaps one of the most memorable things your child will take away from the film. Music in film can either refer to the soundtrack of the film or the musical songs and performances. Either way, they produce memorable sounds that your child will sing and hum to if they like what they’re hearing. If you want to get your kid interested in music and singing, then a movie with a good soundtrack or musical performances is one way of doing so.
At the top of our list is the hit movie Space Jam: A New Legacy featuring LeBron James. Most parents today know about Space Jam, but for those who don’t, here’s a spoiler-free summary of the movie’s concept. Space Jam: A New Legacy is about a professional basketball player (LeBron James) playing some ball with Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. The original Space Jam aired decades ago and starred Michael Jordan, one of the most popular basketball players at the time.
For those who loved the first film, Space Jam: A New Legacy is definitely something you’ll want to check out. James is a surprisingly good actor, and the way he interacts with the cast is entertaining and heartwarming. You’ll definitely want to see it for yourself. Comedy is a central point in this film, and you can get a good laugh out of some of the scenes even if you’re a parent. We’ve chosen this as the best overall film for kids as it’s something both parents and children will love to watch from start to finish.
This Dreamworks film is a film that not many people may know about despite it being released relatively recently. While it may not have had as much of a cultural impact as other movies for kids, it’s still a simple film that your kids will definitely enjoy. The Croods is a movie about a family of cavemen; the premise alone is something that your child will probably be interested in. Cavemen are funny and lovable characters, being popular in children’s shows for many many decades (The Flintstones being a good example).
If you’re looking for a film that you will also love, then you’re probably better off watching something else. By and large, the film is made for kids. While you can be sure that it will keep your child happy, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a crack out of it, too. Comedy is subjective and while the quirky characteristics of each of the characters is something that you can enjoy, it may not be for everyone.
Scooby Doo is a franchise that spans multiple decades. It’s been a successful children’s show for multiple generations. The premise of Scooby Doo is simple — a gang of teens and their talking dog go around in a van and solve mysteries, unmasking the culprit at the end of every episode. This simple concept has evolved over the years, with some of the more recent series featuring other characters such as Scrappy Doo and even shows where the characters gain superpowers when eating Scooby Snacks.
SCOOB! is a recent movie that’s based on the concept of the original show. While the 3D art style may not be for everyone, the comedy is solid and the voice acting is great. The animation is also worth noting, with some stellar sequences that, while expected of a film released in 2020, are still something worth marveling at. There are also some scenes in this movie that are done really well, so you may want to watch it even when the kids aren’t around, for nostalgia if nothing else.
This next film may be a surprising addition to the list. This movie is a sequel to the original, which was a modern reboot. While the original wasn’t received too well, the sequel is worth watching. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 builds on a very solid foundation in the modern Sonic franchise. For those unfamiliar with the series, the movie follows a character named Sonic with the power of super speed. He’s being chased by an evil professor while living with a human being, and while the story itself is simple, the action scenes and fights are simply incredible to watch.
What really makes this series special is how much the community loves it. Sonic the Hedgehog is based on a very popular video game. When the movie was originally announced, people were excited, only to have their expectations shattered by terrible CGI and character design. The studio quickly fixed the mistakes, and the sequel is a film that’s loved by many fans. You don’t have to be a Sonic fan to love the film though. It’s an entertaining, engaging film that any child will adore.
Musicals are an interesting genre of film. For those unfamiliar with them, they’re basically films where the cast breaks out into song during certain parts, either spontaneously or as part of the film itself. This results in a movie that’s incredibly memorable as you’ll be humming the tunes and remembering the scenes in your head well after the film ends. Sing is a musical for the modern crowd. Instead of using original songs, the characters sing popular pop hits. The performances themselves are astounding. You’ll be jamming out to the tunes as the movie goes on.
What really ties this film together is the animation. Animation has dramatically improved in recent years and the way they animated Sing is breathtaking to watch. The camera angles, lighting, and everything about it is well-designed. Just because it’s made for kids to watch doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it. There’s a good chance you’ll be listening to the movie’s covers of certain songs by the time you’re done with the film.
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