The Best Family Movies on Amazon Prime Right Now (May 2021)

These movies are great for the whole family

Amazon Prime Video comes with a ton of great movies that you can stream for free, including ones that are perfect for the whole family. To save you from the search, we've pulled together all the best family movies on Amazon Prime right now, including choices for young kids, teens, and ones the whole family can enjoy.

01
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Nanny McPhee (2006): Like Mary Poppins, But Edgier

Emma Thompson in 'Nanny McPhee'

Universal

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury 

Director: Kirk Jones

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes

This 2005 fantasy film stars Emma Thompson as the eponymous Nanny McPhee, a magical caretaker who visits a home full of unruly children and quickly restores some order. Think of it as a slightly darker Mary Poppins. Unlike Julie Andrews, Nanny is a hideous woman who doesn't believe in sugar-coating anything. Definitely don't ask her to sing. While nothing in this movie is new or surprising, it's a pleasant diversion for both kids and parents.

02
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The Indian in the Cupboard (1995): A Classic Lesson on Tolerance and Diversity

Litefoot in 'The Indian in the Cupboard'

Columbia Pictures

IMDb rating: 6.0/10

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Hal Scardino, Litefoot, Lindsay Crouse 

Director: Frank Oz

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

This 1995 classic film is about a boy who receives the dullest birthday gift imaginable—a cupboard—and discovers that his toy figures come to life when he locks them in it. He befriends one of the toys, a figurine of an Indian warrior named Little Bear, and some shenanigans ensue. Critics at the time praised the movie for its sensitive storytelling, its special effects, and its lessons on tolerance and diversity.

03
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How To Train Your Dragon (2010): A Thrilling Animated Adventure About Acceptance

How to Train Your Dragon 2 animated adventure movie

20th Century Studios

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera

Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 38 minutes

This Dreamworks film is loosely based on Cressida Cowell's book of the same name and takes place in a Viking village that's often attacked by dragons. Hiccup is a 15-year-old considered too weak to fight. But, one day he manages to take down a dragon and befriends the creature instead of killing it. Critics at the time praised the film for its animation, humor, and action sequences. Underneath it all are themes about teamwork and acceptance that parents can appreciate.

04
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The Last Unicorn (1982): A Charming (And Sometimes Dark) Animated Classic

The Last Unicorn
The Last Unicorn. Lionsgate Home Entertainment

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure

Starring: Alan Arkin, Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges

Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes

This classic animated fantasy is based on the 1968 novel by Peter S. Beagle. When a unicorn finds out she's the last of her kind, she enlists the aid of a bumbling wizard to find out what happened to the others. Along the way, she encounters an evil witch, battles an evil king, falls in love with a prince, and discovers what it feels like to be human. While some elements of the film might be too dark for younger viewers, it's still a charming fairytale backed by some strong vocal performances.

05
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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982): Spielberg's Classic Boy-Meets-Alien Tale

Henry Thomas in 'E.T. The Extraterrestrial'

Universal Studios

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Sci-Fi

Starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote 

Director: Steven Spielberg

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 55 minutes

Steven Spielberg's 1980s sci-fi film about a boy and his alien BFF remains a family-friendly classic. When Elliott (Henry Thomas) finds a homesick E.T. hiding in his shed, he and his friends help the creature make its way home while dodging the U.S. government, who wants to capture it for study. Sure, the visual effects are a bit hokey now that it's been over 30 years since this film hit theaters, but it's still filled with as much warmth and fun.

06
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Sonic the Hedgehog (2020): The Best Film Based on a Sega Property Since House of the Dead

Sonic runs from Dr. Robotnik in 'Sonic the Hedgehog'

Paramount

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

Genre: Action, Adventure

Starring: Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Jim Carrey 

Director: Jeff Fowler

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Video game-based films have a reputation for being bad, but Sonic the Hedgehog breaks from tradition by being a fun, family-friendly film about friendship. Superspeedy alien Sonic is hiding out on Earth when he befriends a local sheriff named Tom (James Marsden). Together, they battle the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who dreams of world conquest. Yes, it's goofy, but it's a charming enough way to spend 90 minutes with the kids.

07
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Playing with Fire (2019): Best Schmaltzy Slapstick Featuring a Former Wrestler

John Cena in 'Playing with Fire'

Paramount Pictures

IMDb rating: 5.1/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: John Cena, Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo 

Director: Andy Fickman

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 36 minutes

Former wrestler John Cena has made a number of family films since leaving his previous career behind. In Playing with Fire, he plays one of three wildland firefighters called "smokejumpers" who have to look after three kids rescued from a burning cabin. Straight-laced and serious about his job, Cena finds he's no match for the rambunctious children. Filled with plenty of slapstick and schmaltz, stay after the credits for some fun bloopers.

08
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Belle and Sebastian (2013): Best Boy and His Dog Foil Nazis Film

Félix Bossuet in "Belle and Sebastian"

Radar Films

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Genre: Adventure, Drama

Starring: Félix Bossuet, Tchéky Karyo, Margaux Chatelier

Director: Nicolas Vanier

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Belle and Sebastian is a charming family film based on an equally delightful children's book about a 6-year-old boy and a stray dog who help defend their French Alps home from Nazis during World War II. While some of the film's themes might be a bit too much for younger viewers, this old-fashioned adventure is a pleasant diversion.

09
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Troop Zero (2019): Best Underdog Scout Revenge Story

Jim Gaffigan and Mckenna Grace in Troop Zero

 Amazon

IMDb rating: 6.9/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Mckenna Grace, Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan

Directors: Bert & Bertie

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 34 minutes

This Amazon Original movie tells the story of Christmas Flint (Mckenna Grace), a young girl growing up in rural 1970s Georgia. Shut out of the local Birdie Scout group, she rallies a group of fellow misfits to create their own troop and compete for the chance to have their voices transmitted into space by NASA.

Though it deals with some heavy themes and emotions, Troop Zero is a fun comedy with an uplifting message that the whole family can enjoy.

10
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Maya the Bee (2015): A Sweet Film with Positive Messages

Maya the Bee

StudioCanal

IMDb rating: 5.9/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Richard Roxburgh, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Noah Taylor

Director: Alexs Stadermann

Motion Picture Rating: G

Runtime: 1 hour, 29 minutes

Maya the Bee is a sweet (get it?) film about bee-ing yourself (OK, I'll stop now). Maya is a curious and trusting girl who, despite her hive's warnings, befriends a musically-inclined grasshopper, a dung beetle, and some hornets. But when those same hornets are accused of stealing the hive's Royal Jelly, Maya needs to clear their names, as well as her own. The film is filled with positive messages but may be too saccharine for parents to enjoy.

11
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Wonder Park (2019): A Lovely Animated Film About Imagination

The animated cast of 'Wonder Park'

Nickelodeon

IMDb rating: 5.9/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Sofia Mali, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell

Director: Dylan Brown

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 25 minutes

This enjoyable film features a bevy of well-known actors and actresses like Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, and John Oliver. It's about a young girl who finds out that the amusement park of her dreams is real and run by talking animals. But when the park is threatened by a villainous presence called the Darkness, the girl and her new friends embark on an energetic adventure to save it. While many critics criticized the movie's plot, it's not a bad way to spend a lazy afternoon with the kids.

12
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Ernest & Celestine (2014): A Charming, Old-Fashioned Animated Film

Ernest & Celestine

StudioCanal

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti

Director: Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ernest & Celestine is a charming throwback to the early days of animation. There's not a drop of CGI. Instead, the art is hand-drawn and filled with whimsical warmth and sweetness. The English dub of the film also features a terrific voice cast that includes Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, and more. Oh, and did we mention it's about an adorable mouse and bear who become friends and do crimes?

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