It’s school vacation time in Australia again, and for many parents that means finding a way to keep the kids entertained while they’re at home. Fortunately, it has never been easier thanks to the excellent streaming services that are readily available to Australians, meaning the perfect movie for the whole family is just a few taps away from a remote control.
We’ve scoured the content libraries of Netflix, Disney Plus, Binge, Amazon Prime Video, and Stan to find our top 15 movies that are guaranteed to engage and thrill until back to school. So without further ado, here’s our pick of the 15 best school vacation movies.
An adventure-packed film in the vein of the Goonies, Finding ‘Ohana sees a young New York girl embarking on a journey to find lost treasure in Hawaii. Along the way, she learns the true value of family and heritage.
We can be heroes
When their superhero parents are captured by a dastardly supervillain, a group of overpowered kids come together to save them. From the director of Spy Kids and Shark Boy and Lava Girl, We Can Be Heroes is a fun colorful superhero for the whole family.
Abducted as if by magic
From the famous Studio Ghibli comes Spirited Away, the story of a brooding 10-year-old girl named Chihiro who wanders through a magical world to discover that her parents have been turned into pigs. In order to reverse the fate, Chihiro must repay a debt to the witch who turned them into public baths for gods and spirits.
Struggling to prove that she is the first police bunny in the all-animal town of Zootopia, Agent Judy Hopps teams up with a cunning rogue fox to uncover a massive plot. Filled with jokes and references that even adults will love, Zootopia is one of Disney’s most entertaining animated films.
Alone at home
The premise of the vacation classic Home Alone is simple: an eight-year-old is accidentally left behind while his whole family goes on vacation, and finds himself fending off some awkward burglars with a series of over-the-top comedic traps.
In the years to come, Ratatouille could very well be considered the best of all Pixar movies. He follows a young rat from Paris named Rémy who dreams of being a chef. To do this, he teams up with a cook named Linguini who claims to be a chef while Remy secretly takes the reins.
An utterly delightful film, Paddington sees a young bear from Peru who ends up in London taken in and hosted by the kind Brown family, who names the Paddington Bear after the station where it was found. Paddington is a film that is absolutely impossible not to love.
How to train your dragon
A young Viking who aspires to become a dragon hunter like his father unexpectedly befriends a Night Fury, the rarest of all dragons. Eventually, he learns that his people have misjudged the species and attempt to form an alliance between the Vikings and the dragons. Epic in scale and full of heart, How to Train Your Dragon is a classic family film.
AND the alien
Steven Spielberg’s film ET The Extra-Terrestrial is a timeless classic about a young boy named Elliot who befriends a lovable alien and offers to help him return to his home world. At the same time, he must also protect him from the government.
Amazon Prime Video
Sonic the hedgehog
Against all odds, Sonic the Hedgehog ended up being one of the best video game movies to date, thanks to its fun story, likable actors, and jaw-dropping action sets. After ending up on Earth, a super-fast little hedgehog must team up with a small town cop against an evil scientist who wants to experiment on him.
Troll world tour
Our heroes from the first Trolls movie discover that they are just one of six troll tribes from six different countries, each dedicated to a particular style of music. When the hard rock troll queen tries to take over their land, Poppy and Branch hatch a plan to stop her.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Based on author Roald Dahl’s classic book, Fantastic Mr. Fox sees the life of a cunning fox plunge into chaos when a trio of local farmers are fed up with his turkey-pulling ways. Impeccably crafted, brilliantly written, and bursting with charm, Fantastic Mr. Fox is truly as fantastic as its title suggests.
Construction worker Emmett finds himself at the center of a prophecy that must prevent a tyrant from sticking the entire Lego universe to a state of stillness. Filled with pop culture references and hilarious jokes, The Lego Movie is endless entertainment.
The Adventures of Tintin
A visually stunning adaptation of Hergé’s classic Tintin books, The Adventures of Tintin brings these beloved characters to life through cutting-edge CGI and motion capture techniques. In the film, the intrepid reporter Tintin goes in search of a lost treasure alongside his faithful companion Captain Haddock and his brilliant dog Snowy.
A heartwarming and inspiring true story of a dog who wandered the outback in search of his lost master and ended up uniting a shattered community. A wonderful film that will make you smile and cry, Red Dog is one of the best Australian films of recent years.