These Are the BEST Family Movies of 2017

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media

From superpowered adventures to book-based favorites to amazing true stories, these movies offer the best of 2017 for kids, teens, and families. They entertained us, made us think, and gave us plenty to talk about. At the same time, they offered worthwhile messages, modeled important character strengths, and left us oohing and aahing at their big-screen spectacle. All also earned the Common Sense Seal, which means they offer an exceptional media experience to families.

Many of these movies are available on DVD or in your streaming queue — and some are still in theaters.

Born in China, age 6+
This beautiful, fascinating documentary — which introduces viewers to remote, rarely seen parts of China and the animals that live there — mixes honest scenes about the dangers of life in the wild with themes related to courage and family.

Cars 3, age 6+
There are a couple of intense sequences in this diverse, uplifting “threequel,” but the characters learn key life lessons, and there are positive messages about perseverance, communication, empowerment, and mentorship.

Coco, age 7+
Pixar’s vibrant film about the Day of the Dead is a tribute to Mexican traditions and customs. There are some sad moments, especially for those who’ve lost beloved relatives. But it also has powerful themes of perseverance, teamwork, and gratitude, and it encourages audiences to love and appreciate their family and follow their dreams.

The Lego Batman Movie, age 7+
Clever, creative, and funny, with nonstop action, this big-screen Lego movie has strong takeaways about teamwork and humility, but you never feel hit over the head by them because you’re too busy marveling at the movie’s technical achievements and laughing at the snappy humor.

Beauty and the Beast, age 8+
This gorgeous remake of Disney’s “tale as old as time” is fantastic, although definitely a bit scarier/more intense than the animated original. But as always, the story encourages viewers to look beyond the superficial and to be compassionate, curious, humble, and generous.

Jane, age 8+
Jane Goodall is an excellent example of someone who marched to their own drummer and became a pioneer in their field; her story, documented here, epitomizes the values of perseverance, hard work, determination, curiosity, and compassion.

Kedi, age 8+
Sweet, loving, and filled with beautiful visuals of felines and the surprisingly moving and fanciful thoughts of those who know them, this cat’s-eye view documentary is full of respect, compassion, and love of animals.

The Red Turtle, age 8+
This beautifully animated, dialogue-free drama about an island castaway who finds companionship in a very unexpected way has some peril and violence, but it’s the themes of empathy and love and messages about the importance of family that will linger.

Wonderstruck, age 9+
Set in both the 1920s and 1970s, this thoughtful, arty take on Brian Selznick’s excellent novel is a historical adventure for all ages that explores the importance of family and friendship, as well as the value of perseverance, curiosity, art, and science.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, age 10+
Clever, funny, and true to the Spider-Man spirit, this take on everyone’s favorite web slinger has perilous moments and some salty language, but ultimately it’s tween-friendly, with messages about courage, perseverance, and responsibility.

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, age 10+
The epic middle installment of the current Star Wars trilogy has thrilling sci-fi action, as well as several strong female characters, notable diversity within the Rebellion, and strong messages of courage, teamwork, hope, and loyalty.

Step, age 10+
Moving and inspiring, this powerful documentary about a group of Baltimore high school students in a step-dance troupe offers a bounty of positive messages about teamwork and perseverance, as well as great real-life role models.

Wonder, age 10+
Based on R. J. Palacio’s hugely popular, award-winning novel, this drama about a tween boy with a facial difference is earnest and sweet, with great messages about kindness, friendship, and acceptance based on who someone is, not what they look like.

The Breadwinner, age 11+
This intense, beautifully animated drama from the co-director of The Secret of Kellsis set in post-Taliban Afghanistan and has scenes of upsetting, realistic violence against girls and women — but ultimately, themes of perseverance, curiosity, and courage prevail.

My Life as a Zucchini, age 11+
If your family enjoys stop-motion animation and your kids are ready for big themes with a side of laughter and possibly tears (as well as strong themes of empathy), this Oscar-nominated French-Swiss animated movie about an orphaned boy who goes to live in a group foster home is a must-see.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, age 12+
Marvel’s favorite motley crew of reformed outlaws is back for another space adventure full of classic tunes, epic battles, and charming comedy. Things definitely get violent, but underlying the action are clear messages about teamwork, friendship, and unconditional chosen-family bonds.

Thor: Ragnarok, age 12+
It has lots of explosive action, but this is also the funniest movie to date about the hammer-wielding hero. Packed with wild, bold choices and tons of cinematic style, it deals with themes, including courage and perseverance.

Wonder Woman, age 12+
Both starring and directed by women, this engaging, entertaining, empowering origin story set during World War I is a surprisingly diverse superhero adventure with strong messages about teamwork, courage, and compassion.

Your Name, age 12+
Stunningly animated and well acted, this extraordinary Japanese coming-of-age tale is equal parts body-swap comedy, time-travel romance, and adventure film — with themes of compassion, empathy, and curiosity.

Marshall, age 13+
Despite some mature material, this biopic about eventual U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall has excellent role models and strong messages about courage, teamwork, and tolerance, making it a great pick for families with teens.

Megan Leavey, age 13+
Inspiring and poignant, this fact-based drama about a young Marine corporal who bonds with a bomb-sniffing dog has tense, violent moments — but also clear themes of teamwork, perseverance, communication, and courage.

Tickling Giants, age 13+
This powerful documentary about an Egyptian surgeon-turned-comedy-talk-show host who’s been hailed as the “Jon Stewart of Egypt” is both funny and thought-provoking, underlining the importance of both bravery and comedy as tools for dissent.

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid in Theaters + a Giveaway

This is a sponsored post, the words and opinions are all mine. 

Family road trips are a childhood rite of passage most kids miss out on today. I grew up in New Mexico, and every summer my family would pile in our van for a road trip. I think it was a 12-16 hour trek each way to Utah and Idaho to visit family. Of course, by the time I tell my kids about these trips, I’m sure they’ll be uphill both ways. I probably will have had to walk or push the van for a good portion of it too. Even though the trips were a pain at the time, they made for great memories.

Here we are in Idaho hanging with my aunt and some cousins. I’m the camera shy baby in the red overalls. I guess not much has changed over the years.

Family Vacation

My most unforgettable trip happened when my brothers and sisters made me laugh so hard I wet my pants. Now I’m not going to say how old I was at the time, but let’s just say I was old enough to not be wetting my pants in the car. We were in the middle of nowhere, and my parents refused to stop and delay our schedule. Instead, my mom made me alternate between sitting on a plastic bag and hanging my tail end out the window to speed up the drying process. I can laugh about it now, but back then I wasn’t amused.

I immediately thought of that story when I saw the trailer for the new movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. It will be in theaters May 19, and it embodies all that can go wrong (and right) when a family drives across the country together.

The movie is based on the best-selling book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. In the film, the Heffley family sets out to visit their Meemaw for her 90th birthday. When Greg secretly plans a detour to a video game convention, the trip encounters some, uh, issues. If you ask me, that’s what makes for the best family vacations.

Even if you’ve never taken a road trip of your own, you can now go to WimpYourself.com to create your own family photo like this one:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Long Haul

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID GIVEAWAY

We would love to send you and your family on a road trip of your own. Well, a road trip to the movie theater in your town, that is. We’ve teamed up with 20th Century Fox to give one lucky winner

  • A $100 Visa to see the movie in theaters with your family
  • A copy of the hardcover book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

To enter*, just leave a comment below with a favorite family road trip memory or destination. We will pick one prize pack winner.

Check out Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul in theaters everywhere May 19.

 

Open to US mailing addresses only. Prizing and samples courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

The SING Special Edition is Coming to Digital, DVD, and Blu-Ray in March

This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

If you and your kids loved watching SING in the theaters, then prepare yourself to get super excited for what I’m about to say. Are you ready? Ok, here goes . . . THE SING SPECIAL EDITION IS COMING OUT ON DIGITAL HD ON MARCH 3rd AND ON BLU-RAY AND DVD ON MARCH 21st!!!!!!!

 

SING Special Edition Digital, DVD, and Blu-Ray Release

I’m sorry, was I yelling? I’m kind of excited. Did you catch how I said “SING Special Edition?” Yeah, this isn’t just the same thing you saw on the big screen cut comin’ at ya. The special edition of this music-filled comedy will include over 60-minutes of bonus content and will incorporate three (YEAH, I SAID 3!) all-new entertaining mini movies featuring the cast from SING as well as an exclusive Tori Kelly music video and a variety of musical extras. That’s almost enough bonus content to equal a whole new movie in and of itself.

Before I get too carried away, I’ll tell you why we loved SING. I feel like the new trend in animated movies is to make them entertaining for both adults and kids. The Illumination studio made SING. That’s the same studio that brought us The Secret Life of Pets and the Despicable Me franchise. They’ve already proven they have the chops to be popular with kids (uh, seen a Minion anywhere lately?) and they’re quickly becoming a grown up favorite too. This movie was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. You’ll totally recognize ans sing along to the more than 65 hit songs in this movie, and you’ll love ‘Faith,’ a brand new song by the legendary Stevie Wonder (featuring Ariana Grande). He hasn’t made a song for a major film release in 25 years!
 

Check out this SING Special Edition trailer:

 

 
If that doesn’t make you laugh, then you should probably watch it again with your eyes open. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a movie that has as many A-list actors and artists. SING is truly a wonderful, funny, heartwarming film with great music and a fantastic cast. It stars Academy Award® winner† Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an eternally optimistic koala who puts on the world’s greatest singing competition to save his crumbling theater; Academy Award® winner Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, an overworked and unappreciated mother of 25 piglets desperate to unleash her inner diva; Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a punk rock porcupine with a beautiful voice behind her prickly exterior; Taron Egerton as Johnny, a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; as well as Seth MacFarlane, John C. Reilly, and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly.

Basically, SING takes all the best parts of a reality T.V. show—the stories of people uh, I mean, animals down on their luck, the crazy talented ones who don’t have any self-confidence, those trying to live up to their true selves, and those trying to rise above their surroundings—it subtracts the super drama, tears, and rose ceremonies, but leaves in a few crazies and a diva, just to keep things interesting.

We loved SING at our house, and can’t wait for the SING Special Edition to release. It may just be the musical comedy event of the year!

The New Beauty and the Beast Movie is Coming March 17th!

Is it too soon to put up my paper chain countdown to March 17? I don’t usually get overly excited about St. Patrick’s Day, but this year, the holiday falls on the same day as the release of the new Beauty and the Beast movie. So naturally, I’m pumped. You know, in an age appropriate, not weird that I’m an adult totally jazzed about a fairy tale movie, kind of way. (That was convincing, right?)

New Beauty and the Beast Movie Still

To add fuel to the fire, Disney just released it’s third and final trailer for the movie. (You can’t hear me squealing through the computer, can you? No? Good, because I totally wasn’t.) In case you haven’t seen it, or if you just want to watch it again—and again, and again—here it is:

And here are the other trailers for the movie:

Now if I can just figure out a way for time to move faster.

16 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dogs

This post is in partnership with Universal Pictures’ upcoming film A Dog’s Purpose, coming to theaters January 27.

I was raised by two dog lovers and I’m doing my darndest to raise two more. Boxers are a particular favorite of ours.

That’s me with our dog Primo. Judging from my perm it was sometime around 1986.

Here I am with current furry family member — Jessie. She is quite honestly, the BEST DOG EVER IN ALL THE LAND. She loves my kids, hangs close to me all day while the kids are away, greets me every morning like I’m her favorite person in the whole world, and is appropriately intimidating when strangers ring my doorbell.

Jessie is my 10th dog and while all of them have taught me how to love and be loved, there are a few life lessons that living with a dog, particularly a dog and small children, can teach.

1. Every party needs streamers.

2. Puppies have two speeds. 1. Adorable. 2. OMGSTOPBITINGME

3. It pays to have a good poker face.

4. DON’T EAT BEES.

5. If you need a pick-me-up, walk the kiddos to the bus stop.

6. Kids and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly.

7. BE CAREFUL.

8. Never turn down a nap.

9. Make friends with the new kid. Even if the new kid is sort of a punk at first.

10. If you ask really nicely, people will usually share. Their bacon.

11. Kids just want you to stop and sit by them for a little while.

12. Go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house every opportunity you get. There house is WAY more fun.

13. Cuddling is always a good idea.

14. The best part of the day is when the school bus brings the kiddos back.

15. Neighborhood watch is everyone’s responsibility.

16. Even the manliest of men will melt when you hand them a puppy.

So, you can well imagine that as a dog lover, I OF COURSE, clicked on the trailer for A Dog’s Purpose

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING. But in a good way! This movie looks so sweet and wonderful and I will be buying my ticket to catch this on the big screen with my family when it comes out on January 27th.

While you wait to head to the theater, you can make your very own #ADogsPurpose movie poster using a photo of your favorite furry friend and share it using the tag #MyDogsPurpose and your pup could even be featured in the film’s campaign!

I couldn’t help myself…

See you at the movies!

The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

Since The Walt Disney Movie Studios include not only films from the Disney minds, but also Pixar and Marvel, you can count on 2017 being a downright MAGICAL year for Disney movies.

Beauty and the Beast! Cars 3! Star Wars VIII! Chris Pratt and Chris Hemsworth!

I…mean…Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok.

The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

Get out your calendars, friends, because every last one of these is gonna be on the “must see” list.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
March 17, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

The story and characters audiences know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic “Beauty and the Beast,” a stunning, cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, the wardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

BORN IN CHINA
April 21, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up
Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet. Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
May 5, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
May 26, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

CARS 3
June 16, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

THOR: RAGNAROK
November 3, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up
In Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok,” Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk!

“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

COCO
November 22, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII
December 15, 2017
The Complete 2017 Disney Movie Line Up

I CAN’T WAIT. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Who wants to be my date for all of these flicks? I’ll buy the frozen Junior Mints…

Other posts you might enjoy…

The 2017 Movie Trailers We Can’t Stop Watching

The Best 80s Movies to Watch With Your Kids

This Character Has Been Hiding In Every Disney Movie Since 1995

The 2017 Movie Trailers We Can’t Stop Watching

I for one, can’t wait to send 2016 packing.

(DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT, 2016)

Here’s another reason to be stoked about the upcoming New Year—2017 will welcome a gaggle of movies to a big screen near you, that quite frankly, we CANNOT wait to see.

If someone laid down some sort of crazy gauntlet and said I could only see ONE movie this year, it would be Beauty and the Beast. You too?!

beauty-and-the-beast

Need proof? Here are the trailers so you can see for yourself…

FAMILY FLICKS

Now that everyone is old enough to hang through an entire movie without needing to go potty, nothing can stop us!
The Boss Baby

Cars 3

Despicable Me 3

Rock Dog

Monster Trucks

The Lego Batman Movie

Beauty and The Beast

Power Rangers

GUILTY PLEASURES

Don’t judge me…I dig a good action flick. Also Dwayne Johnson. I SAID DON’T JUDGE ME.
XXX: Return of Xander Cage

Kong: Skull Island

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

The Fate of the Furious

Baywatch

Blade Runner 2049

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

MOM’S NIGHT OUT

Or date night if your partner doesn’t mind a good chick flick or “ugly cry.”
Table 19

The Shack

Gifted

A Dog’s Purpose

SUPER HEROES

Bring on Wonder Woman! 
Logan

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Wonder Woman

Transformers: The Last Knight

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Justice League

WHOA, CREEPY

Probably not gonna sleep too well after these, but I can’t help myself. 
The Circle

Alien: Covenant

Life

The Mummy

Other posts you might enjoy…

The Holiday Movies to Stream on Netflix

YES! A Despicable Me 3 Movie is COMING!

How To Win at Family Movie Night

How To Win at Family Movie Night

I don’t want to brag or anything, but we watch a lot of movies around these parts. Especially these days, because it’s cold and I’m a giant pansy.

But I realized that my willingness to enjoy movies a wee more frequently than normal, had dulled the luster of family movie night a bit.

It was time to shake off the hum-drum and bring my mama A-game back to this treasured small screen ritual. So. If you find yourself in a rut and want to remind your kiddos what a blast family movie night can be again, here are a few tips…

Pick a crowd pleaser.

This isn’t the time to grab the same-old-same-old flick from your library. This is time to get something new, or new-to-you. For us, this meant The Secret Life of Pets. As a proud dog-loving family, my kiddos were so thrilled at the idea of a story about what pets do all day when we aren’t home. (Spoiler alert kiddos: our dog sleeps on the couch.) And guess what? As of today, you can get it in stores! (And it would make a great holiday gift.)

How To Win at Family Movie Night

Make it a surprise.
I told my kiddos that I had a surprise movie for us to watch. They begged, pestered, and became a downright obsessed with finding out what movie I had up my sleeve. When they found out it was a movie that they’d been wanting to see since this summer, they were THRILLED.

Bonus points for movie extras.
The new release of The Secret Life of Pets includes almost an HOUR of bonus content, including three hilarious mini-movies: the all-new Norman Television and Weenie PLUS Mower Minions…plus the Target Exclusive Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack includes 4 pages of decals. Decals your kiddos will be clamoring for after they pick their favorite “pet.” 

How To Win at Family Movie Night

Make your movie snacks epic (and EASY.)
It’s the HOLIDAY SEASON. I’m willing to bet cash money that your to-do list is a mile long…and let me be clear about family movie night…you are expected to enjoy it, with your feet up, and your kids cuddled close. So that means that it’s in your best interest to keep the snacks easy, yet AWESOME. Pick something salty (peanuts), something sweet (chocolate snack mix), something seasonal (candy cane peppermints), and something popcorn (kettlecorn). Boom! Done!

How To Win at Family Movie Night

Our family movie night has been officially rejuvenated.

And we owe it to this fuzzy, heartwarming flick…AND WE WANT TO SEND YOU A COPY! Enter below in the comments section by telling us if your a dog lover or a cat lover. We’ll pick one random comment as the winner on Saturday, December 10th. Good Luck! 

This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The words and opinions, as always, are my own.

What to Watch over Thanksgiving Weekend

Now that you have the menu all planned, it’s time to focus your attention to a very pressing matter – what to watch over Thanksgiving weekend.

What To Watch Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Warm up with a movie with Thanksgiving vibes: Of course you have a hankering for something surrounding the holiday. One of these movies should satisfy your cravings. From the traditional Charlie Brown to the dysfunctional family to the feel-good movie, one of these should be just the movie to keep the holiday mood.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Free Birds

Addams Family Values (Amazon Prime)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Pieces of April

Home for the Holidays

The Blind Side

Settle in for a Family Flick: If you want a good movie for the whole gang, pick one of these and have a movie night.

Rudy

Nanny McPhee (Netflix)

Matilda (Amazon Prime)

Holes (Netflix)

Charlotte’s Web (Netflix)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe (Netflix)

Annie (Amazon Prime)

Mary Poppins

Binge Watch the Weekend Away: Thanksgiving weekend is just the time to binge watch a TV series. Fire up Netflix or Amazon Prime, put on your sweats, and carve out the spot on the couch. You deserve an hour or 17 to watch something just for yourself. No need to be productive over the holiday weekend, amiright?

Better Off Ted

The Great British Baking Show

The Good Wife

Poldark

New Girl

Call the Midwife

Fixer Upper

The Crown

House

Friday Night Lights

Hart of Dixie

Suits

Arrested Development

Veronica Mars

Kick off Christmas: Of course Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time to kick-off the countdown to Christmas. So if none of these are jolly enough for your, check out the Freeform 25 Days of Christmas 2016 Schedule. There is plenty of Christmas cheer to go around.

Other posts you might enjoy…

Coming to Netflix in November

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

TV Shows To Make You Smile

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

I’ve never been shy about my love of family movie night. I was so excited when my first child was old enough to sit through, and be entertained by, an entire movie.

So family movie night is a constant around here. But nothing makes me as happy as when it’s time to enjoy the HOLIDAY movies! I’ve been known to approve a double-feature on a snowy Sunday from time to time.

My personal collection of holiday movies continues to grow. I even pack them up with the Christmas decorations so it will be something else for my kiddos to look forward to when we are ready to get festive.

This year our collection has grown by two more sweet and fun holiday movies —Santa’s Apprentice and The Magic Snowflake.

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

Both movies feature an adorable hero—Nicholas—an orphan that is chosen to become the next Santa Claus when it’s time for the current Santa to hang up his jolly red hat and retire. Santa’s Apprentice shows Nicholas’ journey from overwhelmed and unsure to the brave and creative boy that saves Christmas. The sequel, The Magic Snowflake, teaches a sweet lesson about the spirit of Christmas magic. Find out where you can purchase your copy on Go Watch It!

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

My kiddo’s loved the films and have already asked to watch them again.

sa-image2-2

I’m holding off until the “official” Christmas season gets underway, the day after Thanksgiving. I’m a traditionalist that way…and it’s because there are the five reasons why holiday movie night is THE BEST.

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

The Snacks
11 months out of the year, the snacks are the same. Some sort of sweet treat, popcorn, juice/water/milk. But during the holidays. OOOOOOOHH BOY. It’s a fiesta of peppermint on top of salted caramel on top of some sort of pretzel and/or cookie base. Even the popcorn gets some sort of “drizzle.” Don’t even get me started on the luscious duo of hot cocoa and salty popcorn. The snacks are NEXT LEVEL.

It’s Low Pressure
I’m not crafty. My holiday mantle, festooned with stockings and a jolly Santa isn’t going to win me any repins on Pinterest. No one is entering my home and remarking on my clever use of vintage ornaments or felt balls. But I win at holiday spirit in the eyes of my kids because of holiday movie night. ADDED BONUS: no glue sticks required.

The Cozy Factor
It’s cold. So we get in our comfiest sweats, fight over the fuzziest blankets, and snuggle in together to watch our movies. And I know these kiddos won’t want to snuggle into their mom forever, so I’ll soak up every single minute. Every single time.

The Holiday Magic
Holiday movies are all about love and magic and the spirit of giving. These are the movies that fill you with the warmest of warm fuzzies and inspire you to believe in Christmas magic with every viewing. It’s not just fun or entertaining—it’s new and creative layers to the holiday whimsy for the kids. (And me.)

It’s Tradition
Some of the movies we watch now are the same ones that I watched with my parents as a kid. I love that when my kids are older and when they become parents themselves, that they’ll remember the times we spent cuddled up with hot cocoa watching these same holiday movies.

We want you to enjoy a family movie night on us! We’re giving away a $100 Visa gift card and a copy of both Santa’s Apprentice and The Magic Snowflake, so you can plan and enjoy a holiday movie night of your very own! To enter comment below and tell me your favorite movie treat!

I’ll pick one random winner on Tuesday, November 22nd @ 5:00 PM MST. Good luck!

Tis the season to bring home some holiday cheer with Santa’s Apprentice and The Magic Snowflake arriving as a special DVD double feature, as well as individually on DVD, November 1, 2016 from Anchor Bay Entertainment and The Weinstein Company. Both family-friendly animated tales will also be available individually on Digital HD and On Demand. Based on the animated television series “SantApprentice,” the perfect gift for anybody naughty or nice comes with jolly goodies including 16 winter themed decals to help spread the joy!

5 Reasons Why Holiday Movie Night is THE BEST

This is a sponsored post. I was provided the DVD’s to view and review. My opinions, as always, are my own.