Today, Disney is home to both wonder and star wars – but it will forever and always be synonymous with children’s entertainment. We grew up on Disney. Our parents grew up on Disney. Our grandchildren will grow up at Disney. We’re Disney people, baby – and we’re proud of it!
But which Disney movies are as fun for kids as they are for parents? This is what we sought to determine. In no particular order, here are our favorite Disney movies that feature great spectacle for kids and sly two-way jokes for adults that will keep everyone entertained on family movie night.
1. Night at the museum
When Larry Daley applies for a job as a night watchman at the New York Museum of Natural History, he thinks it will be an easy job. But when all the exhibits, from dinosaurs to tiny diorama figures, come to life after the sun goes down, he realizes he has a bigger responsibility than he expected.
Ben Stiller does a great job here as an average asshole who needs to turn his life around. Robin Williams is, as always, a scene stealer like a statue of Teddy Roosevelt. Night at the museumdirected by Shawn Levy (who went on to produce Stranger Things), is a wild, rambunctious adventure comedy that doesn’t really have much deeper meaning – but honestly, it doesn’t need to. It’s entertainment for entertainment’s sake!
How to watch: Night at the museum airs on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
2. turn red
Meilin Lee may look like an average 13-year-old girl, but she has a secret: when her emotions get too strong, she transforms into a giant, fluffy, adorable red panda. As Mei tries to gain her mother’s approval and obsesses over the 4*Town boy band with her friends, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the panda under control. Written by Domee Shi and Julia Cho, directed by Shi herself and produced by Lindsey Collins, turn red is a thoughtful and revolutionary approach to puberty it’s relatable, hilarious and bloody all at once. Plus, there are killer boy band tunes: good luck getting “Nobody Like U” out of your head. — Belen Edwards, entertainment reporter *
How to watch: turn red airs on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
‘Turning Red’ Review: Imagine If Pixar Made ‘Pen15’
Based on the Newbery Award-winning children’s book by Louis Sachar, Holes is a gripping comedy-drama that never feels too dark. Shia LaBeouf (before he became a jack-of-all-trades villain) found one of his best roles with Stanley Yelnats, a young teenager sent to a juvenile detention center in the desert for a theft he didn’t commit. . A decades-old family curse is to blame. There, he and his fellow teenage inmates are forced to dig holes, all day, not knowing what they’re looking for, under the watchful eyes of the warden (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant (a delightfully sinister Jon Voigt). Stanley tries to keep his head down, but the Curse of the Yelnats has other plans for him. Holes is a fun and imaginative adventure that will genuinely surprise you along the way.
How to watch: Holes airs on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
Although Moana loves her life on Motunui Island, she longs to know what’s on the other side of the ocean – which is an awkward curiosity to have when exploring the open waters is prohibited. and that you are the chief’s daughter. She tries to devote herself to preparing to be a chef, but when a mysterious disease begins to affect the plants and animals on her island, Moana breaks the rules, hops on a boat and sets out on an adventure to find the goddess Te. Fiti and save his people.
Moana is an absolute triumph. It’s fun, witty and imaginative. The songs are catchy and the cast (especially Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the selfish demigod Maui) is top notch. More than that, however, is the message this film sends. Moana was one of the first female-led Disney animated films to avoid romance altogether. No handsome princes here! This Disney heroine, inspired by Polynesian myths, has bigger fish to fry.
‘Moana’ will put your family in a bubbly, singing mood this Thanksgiving
5. Cinderella by Rodgers & Hammerstein
No, not the anime Cinderellathe unforgettable live-action of 1997 Cinderella with Brandy and the one and only Whitney Houston! It was television an event 90s, folks, and it’s no surprise why. Houston absolutely dazzles as the fairy godmother, making “Impossible” a musical theater classic in record time. There’s plenty here to delight young viewers — saturated colors, silly characters, catchy songs, and storybook romance — but for parents, the joy comes from watching showbiz royalty have the time of their lives. Alongside Brandy and Whitney Houston are Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, and Bernadette Mother-Effing Peters, all visibly shooting this heartfelt musical. It’s an easy treat for the whole family.
6. The princess to be married
Credit: 20th Century Fox / Kobal / Shutterstock
Few fantasy comedies can hold a candle to The princess to be married. Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Wesley (Carey Elwes) are in love – but when he leaves to earn money so he can get married, he is killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Disheartened, Buttercup reluctantly agrees to marry the obnoxious Prince Humperdink (Chris Sarandon), until the Dread Pirate Roberts returns to the kingdom in an effort to disrupt the royal wedding.
Directed by Rob Reiner and written by William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the president’s men — talk about range!!!), this comedy-adventure has sword fights, swoon-worthy romance, dastardly villains, and if all that wasn’t enough, it’s easily one of the movies funniest things made in the 20th century. Part of that achievement comes from the strength of the supporting cast: Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Billy Crystal and Carol Kane, to name a few.
seven. The Sandlot
Credit: 20th Century Fox / Kobal / Shutterstock
For those looking for an escape to a warm and cozy slice of Americana, look no further than The Sandlot. This nostalgic sports comedy tells coming of age story of a group of misfit boys who play baseball together in a 1960s Los Angeles suburb. When the narrator, “Smalls”, accidentally loses his father’s prized baseball signed Babe Ruth over a fence, the boys must do whatever it takes to get her back. But behind that fence lives their greatest fear: a huge mastiff they’ve nicknamed “The Beast.” With a tone close to support me but with a little more lightness and a lot of heart, The Sandlot is a surprisingly moving film that always hits a home run. *
How to watch: The Sandlot airs on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
You sang “A Whole New World” in the shower before you could even say “magic carpet”. So you already know that Aladdin, a passed out rascal in a shirtless vest, finds the Genie of the Lamp (Robin Williams’ greatest role?) and pretends to be a prince to impress the crop top queen, the princess. Jasmine. When the evil vizier Jafar and his wise parrot (the role Gilbert Gottfried was born to play) enter the mix, things only get more complicated for our favorite street rat.
Aladdin draws its story from a well-known Middle Eastern folk tale and is enhanced by a catchy score by Alan Menken and the infectious joy of the vocal cast. It’s also worth noting that for many in the 90s, the independent and adventurous Jasmine was a breath of fresh air in a long line of lovesick Disney princesses. Seriously, his best friend is a tiger! *
9. The Emperor’s New Routine
The Emperor’s New Routine has self-centered Inca Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) attempting to become human again with the help of village chief Pasha (John Goodman) after being turned into a llama by his evil ex-adviser Yzma. And, yes, that’s as ridiculous as it sounds.
Disney’s memorable 2000s buddy comedy is kind of a movie that delivers laughs with every line. It’s fast, snappy, and smart like few other animations are. Bonus: Yzma (Eartha Kitt) and her sidekick Kronk (Patrick Warburton) will forever be one of the best villainous duos. — Brooke Bajgrowicz, Entertainment Manager *
Inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, coconut follows a young boy who struggles to follow his family’s strict rules. On the Dia de Los Muertos, when the community gathers to honor their departed loved ones, Coco sneaks into a mausoleum and is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. He’ll have to connect with his ancestors and uncover his family’s secret history to find his way back to the Land of the Living – before he’s trapped forever.
The stunning animation is an extravagant homage to Mexican art; gruesome jokes will keep the whole family laughing; and the touching story will hit you right in the heart. coconut is Disney/Pixar at its best. It’s not a question of IF coconut will make you cry, but WHEN.
How to watch: coconut airs on Disney+.(opens in a new tab)
(*) indicates blurb that appeared in a previous Mashable article.
UPDATE: November 12, 2022, 5:00 a.m. EDT This article has been updated to reflect current streaming options.