Family Film Recommendations
for ages 4 to adult.
If you’re looking to find great, age-appropriate and entertaining films to watch together as a family while staying home, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite films from Family Festivals past, as well as some international children’s films that we’ve loved but haven’t shown. Click on the film name for a streaming link to the entire film (usually Amazon, Netflix, Vimeo, or TubiTV, which are sometimes offered for free if you are a subscriber or with a trial subscription), or you may be able to find them on alternate streaming services or for free on Kanopy through your local library.
We also recommend checking out For Kids of All Ages The National Society of Film Critics on Children’s Movies edited by our friend Peter Keough, a film critic and contributor himself, who currently writes the documentary film page in the Boston Globe.
Belmont World Film Family Faves
Directed by Tim Oliehoek
(6+ | The Netherlands | 2016)
A 7 year-old boy discovers a tiny man with magical powers in his kitchen cupboard.
Directed by Simen Alsvik and William John Ashurst
(5+ | Norway | 2017)
A young rescue boat from a small village gets promoted to a big city harbor and helps to save the world with the help of his village friends.
Directed by Alain Gsponer
(6+ | Germany, Switzerland| 2017)
The latest version of Johanna Spyri’s classic novel (starring the late Bruno Ganz) about a young orphan who lives with her grumpy grandfather in the Swiss Alps.
Directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley
(6+ | Paraguay | 2016)
Members of a Paraguayan youth orchestra play instruments made from garbage found in one of South America’s largest landfills adjacent to their neighborhood. When their story goes viral, they realize their dream of performing live with some of their favorite heavy metal bands, including Megadeth.
Directed by Anna van der Heide
(6+ | The Netherlands | 2016)
Based on the bestselling Dutch novel about a beloved teacher who turns into a frog at the mere mention of the word.
Directed by Gioia Smid
(5+ | The Netherlands | 2015)
Feline friends Pim and Pom must fend for themselves when they are separated from their beloved owner, in this charming animated adventure based on the long-running Dutch comic strip.
Directed by Tomm Moore
( 6+ | Ireland | 2015)
Oscar-nominated hand-drawn animated film about the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past.
Directed by Zsolt Pálfi
(6+ | Hungary | 2017)
AKA Willy and the Guardians of the Lake, this animated coming-of-age tale is adapted from Judit Berg’s book about the Verdies, the tiny but brave guardians of the lake.
Directed by Wei Zhang
(8+ | China | 2018)
Based on the true story about students from a school for the blind in the Tibetan Himalayas who walk from Gyangzê to Shenzen, China to fulfill their dream of singing on a famous reality TV show.
Directed by Nicolas Vanier
(8+ | France | 2013)
In a breathtaking village in the French Alps a lonely six-year-old boy (Sebastian) befriends a wild yet gentle dog (Belle) despite the villagers fears that the dog is killing the town’s sheep. Together they look to foil a Nazi effort to capture French Resistance fighters involved in helping Jews escape to Switzerland.
Directed by Bohdan Slàma and Petr Oukropec
(8+ | Czech Republic | 2013)
When a diabolical mayor plans to demolish an old botanical garden and replace it with his vision of a modern new city, the only thing that can save it is the magical blue tiger.
Directed by Luke Meyer
(10+ | USA | 2015)
As seventh-graders, band members of Unlocking The Truth spend their weekends playing metal music in New York’s Times Square, often to substantial crowds. After signing with a 70-year-old manager, they are soon on their way to a $1.8 million record deal.
Directed by Meikeminne Clinckspoor
(9 & up | Belgium, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands | 2017)
A shy skateboarder from Belgium reluctantly agrees to help herd reindeer during the summer in Lapland with his mother’s new family who live amongst the Sami, an indigenous reindeer-herding people.
Directed by Guinal Riou
(13+ | France | 2015)
A wheelchair bound son convinces his father to compete together in a triathlon in Nice. Inspired by the true story of Team Hoyt of the Boston Marathon.
Directed by Adam Wood
(8+ | USA | 2015)
Follows the 8 year-old members of the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir from the slums of Kampala, Uganda through their world tour.
Directed by Yoon Ga-eun
(10+ | South Korea | 2016)
Coming of age story about two 10 year-old girls whose friendship gets complicated by social hierarchy at their school.
Other Recommended Children’s Films
Directed by Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci
(8+ | France | 2015)
After the world’s top scientists disappear, including her parents, April secretly forges ahead with a family experiment.
Directed by Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner
(6+ | France, Belgium | 2017)
The misadventures of a young clumsy Fox and a feisty little red Hen; Oscar submission for Best Animated Film.
Directed by Ciro Guerra
(Colombia | 2016)
Best Foreign Language Film Oscar Nominee. The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of forty years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.
Directed by Nick Park
(6+ | UK, France | 2018)
Animator Nick Park’s first feature film since his Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, assisted by our friend Merlin Crossingham at Aardman Animation.
Directed by Philip Einstein Lipski, Jørgen Lerdam, Amalie Næsby Fick
(5+ | Denmark | 2017)
An elephant and a cat embark on a journey full of hazards, pirates, ghosts, and an underwater dragon to help save their town’s missing mayor.
Directed by Alexs Stadermann
(4+ | Germany | 2014)
Maya and her friend Willy saving their hive from the greedy queen’s advisor and ending the long-term hostility between bees and hornets.
Directed by Barbara Bredero
(5+ | The Netherlands | 2017)
Based on the nursery rhyme by Annie M. G. Schmidt about a boy and his friend Raf the giraffe.
Directed by Anders Walter
(10+ | UK | 2018)
Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura about a quick-witted, sharp-tongued middle-schooler who isn’t afraid of anything.
Directed by Markus Dietrich
(10+ | Germany, Luxembourg | 2018)
Twelve-year-old Sue is a lone wolf. When she discovers a liquid produced by her scientist mother, she is suddenly able to become invisible. When her mother is abducted, she and two new friends she has to rescue her mother and hunt down the kidnappers.
Directed by Christian Lo
(10+ | Norway, Sweden | 2018)
A feel good road movie about a young band that sets out on a journey across Norway to attend the National Championships of Rock, in a race against time, the police and their parents (Note: you will need to set up a Virtual Private Network to access Amazon in the UK).
Directed by Michael Dudok De Wit
(11+ | France, Japan | 2016)
A man washes up on an island populated by turtles and crabs but devoid of humans and finds himself confronted by a huge red turtle. The turtle obstructs his efforts to escape the island while eventually forging a strong relationship. Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature Film.