25 Best Cartoon Movies for Family Movie Night
Pop the popcorn! It’s time to snuggle up on the couch for family movie night with the greatest cartoon movies of all time!
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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Sony Pictures Animation/Kobal/Shutterstock
One of the best-animated movies was adapted from a 1978 children’s book about a town where food falls from the sky. In the cartoon movie version, a young scientist invents a machine that causes clouds to rain cheeseburgers. Soon his invention goes awry and food storms abound. Families will love this movie’s wry humor and absurdly delightful visuals. Here are 12 more movies that your kids will love—and this list features classics from your own childhood.
How to Train Your Dragon
This Dreamworks Animation film adapted from the first book in Cressida Cowell’s series, and spawned a franchise. Vibrant animation makes this story about a young Viking boy, Hiccup, a highly watchable adventure. Hiccup is supposed to become a dragon slayer, but instead empathizes with the mystical creatures and forms a bond with the one he names “Toothless.” Make it a double feature with these 16 great family movies to watch in the backyard.
This is the perfect cartoon movie for families in the mood for a whimsical, thought-provoking film with stirring visuals and an original story. Hayao Miyazaki created this moving, dreamlike movie about a young girl separated from her parents (a witch turns them into pigs) who is spirited away to a dreamlike world filled with arresting beauty and challenging adventures. It’s one of the best-animated films of all time and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Film.
Get ready for the fearless villainy of iconic Cruella De Vil! She’s a meanie the whole family will have a great time rooting against. She wants the hides of some of the most adorable puppies in cinema. This classic cartoon movie from 1961 features two romantic love stories between two sets of couples (dogs and humans) and a soundtrack to hum along to, including the song about Cruella, “if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will!” Don’t miss the number of spots that actually appear in the movie, plus other surprising facts about your favorite Disney characters.
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty remains one of the most beautiful cartoon movies of all time. Produced in 1959, it captures gorgeous artistic style that used bright pastel colors and shot compositions that express a painterly style evident in the widescreen photography. Your family will love the story of the evil but charismatic Maleficient and the girl she curses, Aurora. It’s a great movie to watch before the live-action updates starring Angelina Jolie as the stunning and powerful witch.
Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson lend their voices to the American release of Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliant anime adventure about a little fish creature who longs to be human. When she encounters a young boy, they go on a series of adventures that are quirky, whimsical, and moving. Your kids will fall in love with this lovely, beautifully animated tale about family and the bonds between young friends.
Beauty and the Beast
You may have watched this animated film over and over again on your VCR. It’s still a fantastic cartoon movie to watch with the whole family. The classic fairy tale has something for everyone including humor, a great soundtrack, and inspiring themes. The movie asks “who could ever learn to love a beast,” and you’ll find yourself rooting for the cranky monster prince to find love with the quirky, headstrong Belle.
20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock
Get ready for a romp through a prehistoric tundra in this animated movie comedy that follows three primeval creatures determined to help a human baby find his clan. The CGI animation brings the ancient world to life with plenty of humor the whole family will enjoy. Check out 16 more funny movies perfect to watch with your kids.
The LEGO Movie
Spread a blanket in front of the TV screen and spread out some Legos for the kids to play with while they watch. The Lego characters in the movie and their brightly colored set pieces will inspire the family to get creative with their favorite toy. The movie boasts a witty script and unforgettable characters. If you can’t get enough of the addicting little blocks, check out these LEGO sculptures that will blow your mind.
This Disney classic celebrates the animation artistry of Disney Studios. The beautiful cartoons come to life in between live-action footage of an orchestra tuning their instruments to provide the sweeping score by Beethoven, Bach, and other classical music titans. Youngsters will be lulled by the lovely animated vignettes featuring fairies, dinosaurs, spirits, and centaurs. Everyone will love the iconic sequence when sorcerer Mickey goes a little too far with magic while he’s still just an apprentice. Fantasia’s a cartoon movie to make you swoon.