Oh, how we wish we could still go to the movies. Back in the prehistory days of, say, February 2020, we used to love doing that. Remember? Well, we have to admit: That pre-social-distancing habit of ours did get a little pricey from time to time. Tickets, soda, and popcorn for a family for four easily ran us $100 or more, and don’t even get us started on what happens if the kids demand Twizzlers. So hey, now that we’re all (still!) quarantined, consider this primetime for some good old-fashioned at-home movie nights. Which is exactly why families of all sizes are starting to subscribe to all the streaming services available right now, not just Disney+.
And while movie theaters are always showing the latest in special effects, just because a movie is new doesn’t mean it’s better than those that came before it. In fact, plenty of more classic films — from last year or 50 years ago — boast engaging storylines and jokes that have stood the test of time. Yes, that goes for the movies made pre-computer animation too (shocker!).
And don’t forget about the family-friendly films of yore that are making a comeback — for a whole new generation of fans. Just look at the live action version of The Lion King; the animated feature came to life once again thanks to killer CGI and even more killer talent. (We’re looking at you, Beyoncé.)
Here are our top 59 must-see movies — brand-new, newish, old, and super old — for kids of all ages, and their parents too. (If you want movies that work particularly well for the younger-kid set, head here for our favorite films for preschoolers.)
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A version of this article was originally published in December 2015.