Best Non-Animated Family Movies on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu & DVD

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This Best Non-Animated Family Movies reviews page contains a growing list of our favorite Family, Kid & Teen Movies!

This page contains reviews of Facing the Giants, Night at the Museum (series), The Ultimate Gift (series),  Sky HighFly Away Home, Remember the Titans, Darby O’Gill and the Little People


Non-Animated Family Movies to match everyone’s tastes is not always an easy thing. Our kids all had different favorites and interests. Spending family time together was important to us.

So we would have one of our kids (they would take turns) select a variety of movies. They would lay 5 or 6 of them on the coffee table and we would all vote for our top three.

We’d total up the votes and the one with the highest score would be that evening’s movie. This is a growing list of our family-friendly movies.

 


Facing the Giants

Facing the Giants is an inspirational movie about overcoming the odds by finding strength in your faith. After six consecutive losing seasons, high school football Coach Grant Taylor believes things can’t get any worse. At risk of losing his job, he turns to God for answers. All the while parents are turning his assistant coach against him. Additionally, Coach Taylor is dealing with infertility in his marriage. Trusting that God can do the impossible, things start to happen that are truly amazing.

We really like the films produced by the Kendrick Brothers  (Alex, Stephen & Shannon) from Albany, GA. They have hearts of gold. They tell great stories and have produced some very powerful family films.

Their Other Films Include:

  • Flywheel – a story about an unscrupulous used car dealer and how his life was radically changed. This is the Kendrick Brothers first film. The quality isn’t great, but the story has a lot of heart.

 

 

  •  Fireproof – a firefighter who is addicted to pornography finds freedom and restoration for his marriage.

 

 

 

  •  Courageous – several policemen overcome personal issues in their lives.

 

 

 

  •  The War Room – A marriage in crisis is changed by an older woman who teaches the young wife the power of prayer.

Night at the Museum #1, 2, & 3 Part Series

Night at the Museum is all about the Museum of Natural History in NYC. The museum has just hired a new night watchman. His life is changed when at night all of the displays come to life. Robin Williams plays a convincing Teddy Roosevelt. This is a fun movie. But after taking a trip to the Natural History Museum in person, we know the truth. We were told by a security guard about what happens in the museum at night.

You can also find it here too:

Widescreen edition and 2 Disc special edition.

There have been 2 sequels to Night at the Museum and they each are FANTASTIC. We think the sequels get better with each new addition.

Night at the Museum #2 – Battle of the Smithsonian

The Battle of the Smithsonian features Amy Adams (Enchanted and Man of Steel) as Amelia Earhart, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams and several other accomplished comedic actors.

Larry Daily (Ben Stiller) who became a successful businessman after his first Museum movie, returns to the New York Natural History Museum as the night watchman. He is just in time to find that his museum exhibit friends are in trouble. When the history museum is closed for renovations and upgrades, many of the pieces are moved to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC for storage. The plan is to replace the actual exhibits with interactive holograms.

The Stolen Tablet

Evil Pharoah Kahmunrah has stolen the ancient Egyptian tablet that is responsible for bringing the exhibits to life. A battle ensues to retake the tablet and rescue the stored exhibits. Younger children will find some scary parts in the movie when the evil Pharoah releases Egyptian demons from the grave. Other than this situation, which does take up several minutes to play out, this movie is quite family friendly and very funny.

Night at the Museum #3 – The Secret of the Tomb

The Secret of the Tomb is the final installment in the series. It brings back Ben Stiller, Robin Williams (his last live-action movie), Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney (his last movie). There are some super funny (clean humor) scenes in this movie. The plot line is that the Egyptian tablet that brings the museum to life is “dying.” It is losing its power and Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) leads his group of night-time museum displays to  England to solve the problem and reunite the family of Ahkmenrah (son of an Egyptian Pharoah).

Notable Characters

One amazing new character was Sir Lancelot (from Camelot) played by Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey and live action Beauty and the Beast). He played a very dynamic role and his comedy was fantastic. The part about his nose is hilarious. We won’t give it away, but you’ll laugh out loud when you see it. The storyline deals with Larry Daley allowing his son to grow up and start to make adult decisions about his future.


The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift Movie is a touching story about a trust-fund grandson, Jason Stevens. It’s also about his estranged grandfather’s dying gift to him. Red Steven’s leaves his entitled grandson 12 “Gifts”.

These are designed to help him strip away the expectations he had of life and help him discover his own true inner strength. In the process of earning the gifts, he is befriended by a mother and her young daughter. The daughter is very sick.

There are several twists and turns in this movie. You are often left wondering if Jason will survive the challenges that his wise grandfather left to him. You’ll laugh a little, think a lot and need a box of tissues at the end. This is definitely one of our new must watch several times a year movies. The Ultimate Gift is also available on Kindle and as a hardback book.

Sequels include: The Ultimate Legacy and The Ultimate Life


Sky High

Sky High is a fun-filled movie starring Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston. When two superhero parents produce a son with no apparent superpowers, it can be devastating. But as their son, Will, attends superhero high school, the adventure begins and doesn’t stop.

This movie deals with some great topics to discuss with your kids – especially bullying and cliques. It encourages reaching out to and including the less popular kids into your group and the value of teamwork. Watch the trailer below:

Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home is based on the actual experiences of Bill Lishman. In 1986, Lishman worked to train a flock of Canadian geese to follow his ultralight air plane. After the geese were trained, he actually leads lead their migration south from Canada. His 1993 project was called Operation Migration.

The movie version is about a young girl, Amy Alden (played by Anna Paquin), who loses her custodial mother in a car crash. This is not a graphic scene, but you’ll definitely want to discuss it with younger children.

Her estranged father Thomas Alden (played by Jeff Daniels) rushes from his Canada home to England and brings Amy back home with him. Thomas is a sculptor and inventor. His home is a large farm. Very much a bachelor pad with a barn where he does his sculpting.

Baby Geese Change Everything

Amy works through her grief, going from denial to anger to acceptance. In the midst of her grieving, she finds an abandoned nest of goose eggs. She brings them to the barn and keeps them warm until they hatch. The goslings bond to Amy and she learns to care for them.

There are issues with a game warden who threatens and eventually confiscates the grown geese. A rescue is planned and then the decision is made to help the flock migrate south for the winter.

Together father and daughter work to build an ultra light aircraft and then get the geese to follow it.

It is a touching story and an inspiration to anyone who loves animals. You’ll giggle, laugh and tear up several times throughout the movie.

Hee’s a preview:

Remember the Titans

Remember the Titans is an inspirational life story base on a true story that took place in Virginia in 1971. Coach Boone (Denzel Washington) is brought to T.C. Williams High School to coach their football team.

The team consists of all white players. Coach Boone is a black man who recruits many black players to be integrated into the school. Of course, there are racial tensions, but Boone works with the young men to overcome prejudice, bigotry, and hatred.

Coach Boone says “I am a dictator,” but truly he is a tough leader who can bring a group of talented men to their knees with hard work and discipline. Only to raise them up through teamwork and lead them to a unified victory.

There are many defining moments in the movie.

  • A stand-off between Coach Boone and a cocky “All-American” player who is unwilling to play with “your kind.”
  • Attempts to pay-off the coach are rebuffed.
  • An injured player refuses to mope with self-pity and urges his teammates on.

One cool thing about this movie is how Disney removed much of the vulgar, locker-room talk and cursing that was in the original screenplay. They left the movies main purpose intact while minimizing offensive slurs and language that would prevent this from being a family-friendly film.

If you or your kids are facing a daunting challenge, strap on your helmet and watch this film. You’ll be motivated to work hard, be disciplined and overcome any obstacle you encounter.

Watch this collection of some of the best moments from the movie. This clip was created by students for a school project.

 Darby O’Gill and the Little People – Great Irish Family Movie

When we first watched Darby O’Gill and the Little People, we didn’t realize that one of the lead actors in this Disney classic was none other than Sean Connery (of James Bond fame). Of the 93 movies that Connery appeared in this was one of his earliest.

This touching story centers around Darby O’Gill who is a fiddle playing caretaker of the Irish Governor’s estate. Darby is nearing retirement age, so the governor sends Michael McBride (Connery) as a replacement for him. Darby is less than pleased at the prospect of someone else taking his job.

The Reality of Leprechauns

The old caretaker chases a runaway horse in the night and ends up falling into a well where he ends up in the land of leprechauns.

There are many twists and turns as Darby negotiates and connives with King Brian the leprechaun leader. In the end, Darby negotiates for Michael and Michael and the caretaker’s beautiful daughter Katie fall in love. But even this love story has a few dramatic twists and miraculous happenings. And you’ll even get a chance to hear Sean Connery sing. It’s pretty good.

The special effects are believable considering that this film was produced in 1959. It’s a touching story of love and a lot of Irish lore. Great for St. Patrick’s Day watching.

This is a great scene where Darby O’Gill fiddles like crazy to escape from King Brian.

More Great Non-Animated Family Movies

Air Bud series. We know these are goofy movies, but they are fun to watch as a family, especially if you love dogs.

Parent Trap — Disney remake with Lindsay Lohan

The Borrowers

Angels in the Outfield — Disney Version and the 1951 version with Paul Douglas, Janet Leigh and Keenan Wynn (a really good one!)

Flubber — Robin Williams. We love Robin Williams comedy — when he keeps it clean.

National Velvet — Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney

Swiss Family Robinson — Disney

This is a delightful story about a family with 3 sons who get shipwrecked on an island. They spend weeks moving items from the damaged ship to land. After much thought, they decide to build a treehouse to live in. Activity from Pirates is discovered, so a treehouse to live in, is the best way to keep them safe! Not only do the move guns, ammo, a ships wheel and an organ off the ship, but also livestock. They find pigs, dogs, and a horse. Add to this the zebra, baby elephant and ostrich they find and now you’ve got a zoo.

This family creates an entire plan to outwit the pirates and keep themselves safe. After finding and freeing a young girl who was captured by the pirates, they know it’s only a matter of time before the pirates find them. This story has so many twists and turns. It has so much adventure that you won’t believe you are watching for 2 hours. It’s an old classic, but should be seen by every family and in every home!

The Butter Cream Gang — Distributed by Feature Films for Families. A heartwarming story about friends from a small town who stick together no matter what.

The Sandlot — Tom Guiry and Mike Vitar. A great story about kids and baseball.

The Sword and the Rose — Glynis Johns, Richard Todd

Charlie the Lonesome Cougar — Disney

The Ugly Dachshund  Suzanne Pleshette, Dean Jones – Disney

This is a sweet old classic story about a husband and wife who breed Dachshund dogs and show them. The story gets crazy when their veterinarian has an orphaned Great Dane and asks the Garrison’s to take the puppy home and have it nursed by their mama dachshund that just had a litter herself.

The only problem is that Brutus the Dane, thinks he’s a little dog. What mischief all the puppies get into. The story has lots of action and humor. It also has a very happy ending. Your family will love this old Disney movie!

Father and Scout — Bob Saget

Beethoven— Charles Grodin, Dean Jones – Disney

So Dear to my Heart — Beulah Bondi, Bobby Driscoll – Disney

If you have a favorite Family or Kids Movie that isn’t listed, please mention it in the comment section below and we’ll consider it for this page.

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