Maven's Family Favorites (Live Action)by Mav Ven | created - 20 Jan 2013 | updated - 21 Apr 2014 | Public
Best choices, rated 6+, for when you need to occupy the children for a few hours. They may even (gasp) learn something at the same time. Warning: some may be too intense for youngest children. See also:
Maven's Animated Favorites Animated Jewish & Bible Stories
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- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
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1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
PG | 152 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Votes: 512,574 | Gross: $317.58M
4. Hugo (2011)
PG | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
Votes: 268,581 | Gross: $73.86M
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.
Votes: 702,018 | Gross: $402.45M
Parental Warning: PG-13 for intense science fiction terror and death
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.
Votes: 174,892 | Gross: $118.63M
9. Alice in Wonderland (I) (2010)
PG | 108 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Nineteen-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
Votes: 336,472 | Gross: $334.19M
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
PG-13 | 157 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A young wizard finds himself competing in a hazardous tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares.
Votes: 439,987 | Gross: $290.01M
13. Matilda (1996)
PG | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.
Votes: 100,910 | Gross: $33.08M
14. Stardust (2007)
PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he'll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.
Votes: 227,252 | Gross: $38.63M
15. Home Alone (1990)
PG | 103 min | Comedy, Family
An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.
Votes: 365,646 | Gross: $285.76M
16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
PG-13 | 138 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at, Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by the Wizard authorities as an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.
Votes: 406,888 | Gross: $292.00M
17. We Bought a Zoo (2011)
PG | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
Set in Southern California, a father moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo.
Votes: 120,413 | Gross: $75.62M
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
PG | 142 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Votes: 438,436 | Gross: $249.36M
19. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
PG | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
A preteen's life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.
Votes: 122,098 | Gross: $82.27M
Parental Warning/Spolier: A main character dies during movie
20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
PG | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world's most unusual candy maker.
Votes: 358,419 | Gross: $206.46M
21. Mary Poppins (1964)
G | 139 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.
Votes: 121,897 | Gross: $102.27M
22. The Muppets (2011)
PG | 103 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A Muppet fanatic with some help from his two human compatriots must regroup the Muppet gang to stop an avaricious oil mogul from taking down one of their precious life-longing treasures.
Votes: 79,269 | Gross: $88.63M
PG | 143 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.
Votes: 316,245 | Gross: $291.71M
24. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
PG | 161 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.
Votes: 443,461 | Gross: $261.99M
25. Peter Pan (2003)
PG | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
The Darling family children receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place.
Votes: 58,145 | Gross: $48.46M
26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
PG | 153 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.
Votes: 372,142 | Gross: $301.96M
28. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Votes: 318,242 | Gross: $7.27M
29. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 323,476 | Gross: $22.20M
30. The Golden Compass (2007)
PG-13 | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
In a parallel universe, young Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.
Votes: 159,367 | Gross: $70.11M
31. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012)
PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family
School's out. Summer vacation is on. However, Greg may not have the best summer vacation ever. What could go wrong?
Votes: 17,937 | Gross: $49.01M
32. The Karate Kid (2010)
PG | 140 min | Action, Drama, Family
Work causes a single mother to move to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces kung fu, taught to him by a master.
Votes: 134,623 | Gross: $176.59M
35. Hook (1991)
PG | 142 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.
Votes: 199,877 | Gross: $119.65M
38. Jumanji (1995)
PG | 104 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.
Votes: 243,878 | Gross: $100.48M
39. Enchanted (2007)
PG | 107 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
A young maiden in a land called Andalasia, who is prepared to be wed, is sent away to New York City by an evil queen, where she falls in love with a lawyer.
Votes: 155,383 | Gross: $127.81M
40. The Princess Diaries (2001)
G | 111 min | Comedy, Family, Romance
Mia Thermopolis has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her sixteenth year.
Votes: 105,875 | Gross: $108.25M
PG | 113 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
Votes: 118,647 | Gross: $104.39M
42. Elf (2003)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.
Votes: 171,460 | Gross: $173.40M
43. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical
Charlie receives a golden ticket to a factory, his sweet tooth wants going into the lushing candy, it turns out there's an adventure in everything.
Votes: 146,172 | Gross: $4.00M
44. Labyrinth (1986)
PG | 101 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A 16-year-old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King.
Votes: 104,744 | Gross: $12.73M
46. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
PG | 101 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.
Votes: 92,677 | Gross: $77.23M
47. The Game Plan (2007)
PG | 110 min | Comedy, Family, Sport
An NFL quarterback living the bachelor lifestyle discovers that he has an 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Votes: 48,974 | Gross: $90.65M
48. The Sandlot (1993)
PG | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
In the summer of 1962, a new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his rowdy team, resulting in many adventures.
Votes: 64,568 | Gross: $32.42M
50. The Parent Trap (1998)
PG | 128 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Identical twins Annie and Hallie, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, later discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.
Votes: 98,602 | Gross: $66.31M
51. Night at the Museum (2006)
PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.
Votes: 263,307 | Gross: $250.86M
52. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
PG | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Four teenage mutant ninja turtles emerge from the shadows to protect New York City from a gang of criminal ninjas.
Votes: 74,301 | Gross: $135.27M
53. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
PG | 150 min | Action, Adventure, Family
The Pevensie siblings return to Narnia, where they are enlisted to once again help ward off an evil king and restore the rightful heir to the land's throne, Prince Caspian.
Votes: 165,850 | Gross: $141.62M
55. Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)
PG | 90 min | Comedy, Family
Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes where he unwittingly separates a young boy from his father and must help the two come back together. On the way he discovers France, bicycling, and true love, among other things.
Votes: 97,959 | Gross: $33.30M
56. English Vinglish (2012)
Not Rated | 134 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A quiet, sweet tempered housewife endures small slights from her well-educated husband and daughter every day because of her inability to speak and understand English.
Votes: 26,726 | Gross: $1.67M
57. Freaky Friday (2003)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
An overworked mother and her daughter do not get along. When they switch bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other's life for one freaky Friday.
Votes: 106,724 | Gross: $110.23M
58. City of Ember (2008)
PG | 90 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.
Votes: 56,900 | Gross: $7.87M
59. A Christmas Story (1983)
PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family
In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.
Votes: 115,306 | Gross: $19.29M
62. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
PG | 120 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.
Votes: 236,243 | Gross: $173.59M
63. Charlotte's Web (2006)
G | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen.
Votes: 30,987 | Gross: $82.99M
64. Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
G | 97 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Babe, fresh from his victory in the sheepherding contest, returns to Farmer Hoggett's farm, but after Farmer Hoggett is injured and unable to work, Babe has to go to the big city to save the farm.
Votes: 27,382 | Gross: $18.32M
65. Babes in Toyland (1934)
Passed | 77 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Opposing the evil Barnaby, Ollie Dee and Stanley Dum try and fail to pay-off Mother Peep's mortgage and mislead his attempts to marry Little Bo. Enraged, Barnaby's boogeymen are set on Toyland.
66. Courage of Lassie (1946)
G | 92 min | Drama, Adventure, Family
Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in ... See full summary »
67. Lassie Come Home (1943)
Passed | 89 min | Adventure, Family
After her destitute family is forced to sell her, a collie named Lassie escapes from her new owner and begins the long trek from Scotland to her Yorkshire home.
68. Lassie (2005)
PG | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A family in financial crisis is forced to sell Lassie, their beloved dog. Hundreds of miles away from her true family, Lassie escapes and sets out on a journey home.
Votes: 3,583 | Gross: $0.65M
70. Captains Courageous (1937)
Passed | 117 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
A spoiled brat who falls overboard from a steamship gets picked up by a fishing boat, where he's made to earn his keep by joining the crew in their work.
71. Kids for Character (1996 Video)
Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award, uses fun-filled skits and songs to teach kids the "Six Pillars of Character", trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Directors: Charles E. Bastien, Tom Breslin, Jeff Gittle, Rob Gorrell, David Grossman, Robert Hersh, Raymond Jafelice, Liz Plonka, Jim Rowley, Ted Schilowitz, Larry Jacobs | Stars: Mark Augustine, Jeff Ayers, Vanessa Baden, Brittany Bentley
The Wonderful World of Disney (1995–2005)
G | 88 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Updated version of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the classic fairy-tale, with an all-star, multi-racial cast.
73. Snow White (1987)
PG | 85 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical
Dame Diana Rigg (TV's "The Avengers"), Billy Barty ("Willow") and Sarah Patterson ("The Company of Wolves") as Snow White star in this feature-length, live-action, musical version of the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.
74. The Secret Garden (1993)
G | 101 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
Living in India, Mary Lennox, a young, privileged girl, is left orphaned when her parents are killed in an earthquake. She is sent back to England where she goes to live on her uncle's ... See full summary »
Votes: 31,466 | Gross: $31.18M
75. A Little Princess (1995)
G | 97 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
A young girl is relegated to servitude at a boarding school when her father goes missing and is presumed dead.
Votes: 27,340 | Gross: $10.02M
76. The Canterville Ghost (1996 TV Movie)
PG | 92 min | Family, Drama, Fantasy
An adaptation of the famous Oscar Wilde tale about a young American girl that helps a British ghost find rest and forgiveness.
77. Hans Christian Andersen (1952)
Approved | 112 min | Biography, Family, Musical
The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."
78. Ballet Shoes (2007 TV Movie)
PG | 85 min | Drama, Family
The story of three orphan girls (Pauline, Petrova, and Posy), adopted by an eccentric explorer, Great Uncle Matthew, and his niece Sylvia, in 1930s London.
80. An American Girl Holiday (2004 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 86 min | Family, Drama
Set in 1904, "American Girls" revolves around Samantha as she moves in with her grandmother and learns how to become a proper Victorian young lady.
81. An American Girl Adventure (2005 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Family
When Felicity meets Penny, a beautiful copper - colored mare, she knows with all her heart that she must free Penny from her cruel owner. Felicity desperately wishes for that same sureness ... See full summary »
82. An American Girl on the Home Front (2006 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 85 min | Drama, Family, War
Molly is a girl living in the year 1944 and WWII has brought many changes to Molly's life. An English girl comes to live with Molly's family to escape the bombings. They slowly become good friends.
83. A Christmas Carol (1999 TV Movie)
PG | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy
An old bitter miser who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve.
87. FairyTale: A True Story (1997)
PG | 99 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
In 1917, two children take a photograph, which is soon believed by some to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies.
Votes: 5,004 | Gross: $14.04M
88. The Dark Crystal (1982)
PG | 93 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.
Votes: 46,073 | Gross: $40.58M
91. Anne of Avonlea (1987)
230 min | Drama, Family, Romance
Anne Shirley accepts a teaching position at a girls boarding school in a town dominated by a rich and belligerant family determined to make her life miserable.
92. Whale Rider (2002)
PG-13 | 101 min | Drama, Family
A contemporary story of love, rejection and triumph as a young Maori girl fights to fulfill a destiny her grandfather refuses to recognize.
Votes: 36,132 | Gross: $20.78M
93. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.
95. Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991 TV Movie)
G | 98 min | Drama, Family, Romance
A single New England woman responds to an advertisement by a Midwestern widower in which he asks for a bride to help him raise his two children.
98. The Ultimate Gift (2006)
PG | 114 min | Drama, Family, Romance
A deceased billionaire leaves his spoiled adult grandson a series of odd tasks to perform in order to receive "the ultimate gift," with the resentful grandson having no idea what that might be.
Votes: 15,363 | Gross: $3.44M
Parental Warning/Spoiler: Child dies near end
99. The Muppet Movie (1979)
G | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.
Votes: 27,577 | Gross: $76.66M