When everybody if mellowed out after the turkey, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy one of the best family movies hits from last summer, now on DVD, Netflix or Prime.


The BFG is directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl’s beloved fantasy book.BFG Academy Award winner Mark Rylance stars as the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), who prowls British streets blowing dreams into children’s minds. After he plucks young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) out of her orphanage, she hatches a plan for him to stop the not-friendly giants who eat children. Although this movie looks family-friendly, sensitive kids might be frightened by the giants.

Secret Life of Pets

In a New York City apartment building, a dog named Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) considers himself the luckiest of pets. But he gets upset when his human, Katie (Ellie Kemper), brings home giant shaggy dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet) from the pound. Things get worse for Max when he and Duke end up lost. They’re captured by Snowball (Kevin Hart), a maniacal bunny with an army of unwanted pet goons who want to make the lives of happily owned pets miserable. This animated talking-animal comedy looks fine for the whole family.

Ice Age Collision Course

Ice Age back with another prehistoric fantasy adventure. In this installment, Scrat follows his precious acorn out of Earth’s orbit. This causes all sorts of natural catastrophes that threaten to destroy everyone back on Earth. Once more, Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary), and friends unite to lead their herd to safety. Along the way, they encounter many new characters. These films have made hundreds of millions of dollars, so it’s likely kids, tweens, and nostalgic teens will want to see this latest entry in the Ice Age franchise.

Pete’s Dragon

Disney’s remake of the classic 1977 live-action/animated movie looks to be a fantasy story for all ages. Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has told children tales of a boy and his dragon for years. But his daughter, Grace, a forest ranger, never believed him. Then she meets Pete, a 10-year-old orphan who claims he lives in the woods with his pet dragon, Elliot. Elliot sounds eerily similar to the dragon in her dad’s stories. With the help of 11-year-old Natalie, Grace sets out to find out the truth behind Pete, his supposed dragon, and her father’s stories. Given the source material, this is an all-ages pick for families. Full review Pete’s Dragon


This fantasy set in ancient Japan is from LAIKA Animation. Young Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson) lives in a small village with his mother. Everything changes when a spirit stirs up an age-old grudge that causes supernatural spirits to chase Kubo. His mother uses magic to save him and tells him to find a missing piece of armor that used to belong to his father. On his quest, Kubo teams up with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and other characters. LAIKA films tend to be darker and more mature than most animated movies and therefore better suited for tweens and up.

Finding Dory

Pixar’s sequel to Finding Nemo doesn’t need much marketing to attract audiences of all ages. Everyone loves Marlin and Nemo’s forgetful fish bestie, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres). This new story takes place only six months after the events of Finding Nemo. After Dory recalls some of her childhood memories, she, Marlin, and Nemo head out to Monterey, California, to try to find her family. As with all Pixar movies, this one should be an emotional but family-friendly pick.


From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes a comedy-adventure set in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. Determined to prove herself, Officer Judy Hopps, the first bunny on Zootopia s police force, jumps at the chance to crack her first case even if it means partnering with scam-artist fox Nick Wilde to solve the mystery. Bring home this hilarious adventure full of action, heart and tons of bonus extras that take you deeper into the world of Zootopia. It s big fun for all shapes and species!

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at www.BarbaraBietz.com
Barbara Bietz

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https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2014/12/familytv-watching.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2014/12/familytv-watching-150x150.jpgBarbara BietzChildren's Books & MoviesWhen everybody if mellowed out after the turkey, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy one of the best family movies hits from last summer, now on DVD, Netflix or Prime. The BFG The BFG is directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Roald Dahl's beloved fantasy book. Academy Award winner Mark Rylance stars as the Big...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids