Every Friday, after the workday is over and dinner is over, my wife, kids and I sit down for a little centuries-old tradition called “Family Movie Night”. It’s the perfect way to transition from the hustle and bustle of work and school to the weekend and all its adventures, and gives me the opportunity to share with my kids some of my favorite movies and films that we wanted to try.
Not so long ago we watched Paul King’s 2014 adaptation Paddington, and the whole family was overwhelmed by the splendor and wonder of this fun, adventurous and heartfelt story. And as soon as it was over, the kids wanted me to find more movies like Paddington for next week’s movie night. And in doing so, I came up with this little list…
Paddington 2 (Tubi)
A perfect example of a sequel that took what worked in its predecessor and made it better, Paddington 2 follows the marmalade-obsessed bear (once again voiced by Ben Whishaw) as he tries to buy a rare pop-up book for his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton). Simple enough, right? Well, Paddington’s plan and his life are turned upside down when the book is stolen and he is falsely accused of the crime.
The second episode of Paul King in the Paddington franchise is honestly one of the best cinematic experiences I’ve had in the past decade and is perfect in every way imaginable (we gave it five stars upon release). There’s the continuation of the Brown family dynamic, Paddington’s infectious optimism, and one of the best prison streaks of all time. Oh, what a treat it is.
Stream Paddington 2 on Tubi.
Rent/Buy Paddington 2 on Amazon.
Christopher Robin (Disney+)
Years after Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) left the Hundred Acre Wood and grew up living far away in London, his childhood friends band together in hopes of reigniting that spark of joy and wonder in his heart. before it’s too late and he loses everything he holds dear.
Marc Forster Christopher Robin is a perfect reinvention of the classic Winnie the Pooh Disney books and movies, and manages to deliver something that’s both fun for young audiences and sentimental for adults. And like Paddingtonthis 2018 live-action/comedy hybrid is a splendid adventure that brings classic literary characters to life like never before.
Stream Christopher Robin on Disney+.
Rent/Buy Christopher Robin on Amazon.
The Adventures of Tintin (HBO Max)
In 2011, Steven Spielberg published The Adventures of Tintina CGI adaptation of the beloved comic book of the same name and followed the titular young reporter as he embarked on a worldwide scavenger hunt that saw him cross paths with some of his heroes and villains the most emblematic.
There’s not much not to like The Adventures of Tintin, its action-packed story and stunning graphics (especially for 2011), making it a great adventure movie for the whole family. Sure, there’s no lovable marmalade lover at the heart of its story, but it’s a masterful adaptation of a 20th-century literary classic.
Stream The Adventures of Tintin on HBO Max.
Rent/Buy The Adventures of Tintin on Amazon.
The Little family travels to an orphanage to find a younger brother for their only child George (Jonathan Lipnicki), only to come home to an adorable talking mouse named Stuart (Michael J. Fox). And despite their differences, the two new brothers learn to love each other through a series of tense situations that could tear them apart.
The funny, charming and surprisingly emotional Stuart Little is yet another great adaptation of a classic children’s novel that brings the story to modern times. With great action sequences (the boat race, anyone), multiple lessons, and a strong family dynamic at its heart, this is one you should revisit.
Stream Stuart Little on Tubi.
Rent/Buy Stuart Little on Amazon.
Night At The Museum (Disney+)
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) fumbles from job to job and lacks meaning in life until he takes a job as a night watchman at the Natural History Museum in New York where exhibits come to life after all visitors and staff have gone home. But when the source of the magic is threatened by a group of bandits, Daley must seize the opportunity.
One of the first movies I included in my family’s movie night rotation, Night at the museum was a consistent hit with kids (as were the two sequels). It’s a perfect escape that perfectly blends realism and fantasy that just keeps getting better as the story unfolds.
Stream Night at the Museum on Disney+.
Rent/Buy Night at the Museum on Amazon.
Peter Rabbit (Amazon Rental)
Peter Rabbit’s (James Corden) seemingly carefree life of strolling through gardens and enjoying unlimited fruit and vegetables is threatened when Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) takes over his late great-uncle’s former estate and gives himself away. on a mission to eliminate the rabbit and his friends, once and for all.
As Paddingtonthe adaptation of Beatrix Potter in 2018 The Tale of Peter Rabbit, features a great juxtaposition of tense characters brought into contact with ones that bounce through life a little more nonchalantly, making for some hilarious and insightful interactions. Plus, Domhnall Gleeson is absolutely brilliant throughout.
Rent/Buy Peter Rabbit on Amazon.
My Neighbor Totoro (HBO Max)
When their mother is sent to a rural hospital due to a sudden illness, Satsuki (Dakota Fanning) and Mei (Elle Fanning) move in with their father to bring the family closer together. But soon after arriving at their new home, the girls discover a mysterious but adorable creature named Totoro, who takes them on an adventure they will never forget.
Directed by the great Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro is a film that has little to do with Paddington in terms of story or tone, but it perfectly captures the sense of adventure with its sprawling tale of young girls who find an escape from their everyday lives. Charming, heartfelt and a whole lot of fun, this Studio Ghibli classic is superb.
Stream My Neighbor Totoro on HBO Max.
Buy My Neighbor Totoro on Amazon.
Mary Poppins Returns (Disney+)
Just when it seems all hope is lost for the Banks family in Mary Poppins Returnsthe enchanted nanny (played by Emily Blunt this time) comes back into their lives to save the day and teach them a new song or two.
Of all the Disney sequels and remakes released over the past decade, Rob Marshall’s sequel to the Mary Poppins The story remains one of the most splendid, exciting and magical. And if you want to see what Paddington the Bear’s voice sounds like, look no further than adult Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw).
Stream Mary Poppins Returns on Disney+.
Rent/Buy Mary Poppins Returns on Amazon.
When Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell) wins a young pig at a local carnival, he initially plans to raise it to be his next Christmas dinner. However, when he can’t bring himself to do the deed, the wily farmer instead trains the pig to become a rather unlikely champion of sheep herding in George Miller. baby.
Oh, baby is one of those films that perfectly shows how a unique animal with special properties can take a closed man and open his heart. This touching, funny and thrilling story of a pig breaking away from the norm will always have a special place in my heart, even if I sometimes find it hard to believe that the man behind madmax created one of the best family movies of the past 30 years.
Stream Babe on Starz.
Rent/Buy Babe on Amazon.
Hugo (Amazon Rental)
Martin Scorsese’s 2011 adventure film Hugo tells the story of young orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) as he tries to maintain and save massive and elaborate clocks in a 1930s Paris train station.
just like Paddington and his journey through London, Hugo takes audiences on a magical exploration of the Paris of a bygone era. With adventures (and misadventures) around every corner and at the top of every tower, this fun and endearing movie has something for everyone.
Rent/Buy Hugo on Amazon.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Disney+)
After more than a decade of being a law-abiding citizen and being a prominent member of his community, Mr. Fox (George Clooney) goes back on his word and pulls off a masterful raid on three farms. But when the vengeful farmers discover his involvement, they unleash hell on the scheming fox, his family and friends.
by Wes Anderson Fantastic Mr. Fox is a stop-motion adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel of the same name, and perfectly captures the spirit of its story. If you are a fan of Paddingtonthe fun nature and sense of slight danger of , as well as Anderson movies in general, then you’ll love this animated treat from 2009.
Stream Fantastic Mr. Fox on Disney+.
Rent/Buy Fantastic Mr. Fox on Amazon.
This is just a taste of delicious movies like Paddington which you should check out if the opportunity arises. But if you want to wait for the next family movie night, spend some time reading our list of all upcoming movie premiere dates in 2022.