The 20 Best Family Movies of 2019 (Thus Far), Ranked

The 20 Best Family Movies of 2019 (Thus Far), Ranked

Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud in Aladdin (2019)
Daniel Smith/Disney

Some family traditions are too good to give up, like car trips to Disneyland, board game nights, and backyard camping complete with tents, flashlights, and scary stories. But none are as simple a joy as cozying up together on a couch, or hitting the movie theater to watch a family flick with some snacks. But the question remains: What should we watch? Between TV, theatrical releases, Netflix and other streaming options, there are so many choices that it can be hard to make one -- let alone one that will make everyone happy. But this year, some family movies have risen to the top as not-to-be-missed entertainment.

For the year's crop so far, people are weighing in on what they consider to be the best family-friendly movies to date. This list of top 20 films ranges from smart and timely remakes -- like Dumbo and Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, to the swashbuckling Aladdin (starring Will Smith as the Genie).

Whatever tickles our fancy in the family-friendly film department is likely here.

So grab the popcorn, a ton of those little juice boxes, and take a look at these family movies votes the best of 2019 (so far). Many of these films boast rave reviews and are guaranteed to make our family movie nights one to remember.

  • 20. 'Malibu Rescue: The Movie'

    1

    Rated TV-G

    This movie, released on Netflix as the introduction to the series of the same name, is basically Baywatch meets an '80s teen flick -- full of good, clean fun. In Malibu Rescue: The Movie, a group of kids from the Valley join the Malibu Rescue team and compete with rich kids for the right to man a beach tower for the summer.

  • 19. 'Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase'

    2

    Rated: PG

    Sophia Lillis, from the It film series, is perfectly cast as beloved sleuth Nancy Drew in this charming film version of the kids mystery book by the same name. As the new kid in a small town, Nancy and pals investigate a haunted house.

    Popcorn time!

  • 18. 'Wonder Park'

    3

    Rated: PG

    It's every kid's dream: To have his or her imagination come to life. A spunky girl named June finds out that the toy amusement park she's been building has come to life, complete with adorable, funny-talking animals and amazing rides. 

  • 17. 'Arctic Dogs'

    4

    Rated: PG

    Who doesn't love an animated film about a fox who works in a mailroom? In Arctic Dogs, Swifty the Arctic Fox (voiced by Avengers star Jeremy Renner) has dreams of delivering packages and secretly does so, unveiling a not so nice plan envisioned by mastermind Doc Walrus (John Cleese).

  • 16. 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

    5

    Rated: PG

    Like its predecessor, Maleficent (2014), this follow-up features strong, multi-dimensional female characters upending the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. With Angelina Jolie as the titular not-so-baddie, Dakota Fanning as Aurora, and Michelle Pfeiffer as the scheming Queen Ingrith, get ready for some deliciously evil fun.

  • 15. 'The Kid Who Would Be King'

    6

    Rated: PG

    Miss Harry Potter movies? We know ya do. A worthy replacement is this update of the King Arthur tale, set in modern England and starring a band of diverse kids who battle ancient forces of evil. The CGI is top notch, and the blend of action and laughs is satisfying. 

  • 14. 'The Addams Family'

    7

    Rated: PG

    This classic has been revisited, whether on TV or film, generation after generation. The Addamses are creepy and crawly and so wrong that they're right. The animation on this 2019 Addams Family reboot is gorgeous, and the acting -- Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz, Snoop Dogg -- is spot-on.

  • 13. 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part'

    8

    Rated: PG

    As the title suggests, the self-aware fun is intact in this follow up to the Lego Movie. Everything is not awesome as the beloved citizen crew is back to battle alien Lego Duplos who's wrecking the town.

  • 12. 'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    9

    Rated: PG

    It's birds versus pigs once again as the Angry Birds take their beef to another level. No life lessons here to pass on to the kiddies. Just sit back, and enjoy the mayhem together. Jason, Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, and Josh Gad together in one movie is comedy gold.

  • 11. 'Dora and the Lost City of Gold'

    10

    Rated: PG

    It's kind of surprising that it took this long to make a movie out of the iconic bilingual cartoon character. In this live-action romp, a teenage Dora -- with Boots and friends in tow -- has to go on full explorer mode to get used to high school, find her parents, and solve the mystery of an ancient lost Incan city.

    Suerte, Dora!

  • 10. 'Dumbo'

    11

    Rated: PG

    This Disney classic's live-action/CGI mashup is seamless and just so lovely in tone, thanks to Tim Burton's masterful treatment. Dumbo (2019) is perfect to introduce a new generation to a tale of courage. When the young flying elephant helps to save the circus, he also must deal with discovering its dark secrets.

  • 9. 'A Dog's Journey'

    12

    Rated: PG

    A Dog's Journey is a tale of a dog who changes bodies in order to stay with the same family through generations. It might sound strange, but this sweet tale actually works, because, well, cute pups! It also works because the dog is voiced by the incomparable Josh Gad, aka Olaf from Frozen.

  • 8. 'A Dog's Way Home'

    13

    Rated: PG 

    Because there's no such thing as too many dog-centered family movies, here comes a puppy named Bella who has to travel 400 miles to reunite with her beloved owner after getting lost. Along the way, she has wild adventures with other furry friends -- and enemies.

  • 7. 'Abominable'

    14

    Rated: PG

    Not all is as it seems in this adorable and beautifully animated tale based on the abominable snowman (or Yeti) myth. When three friends come across a displaced Yeti, they band together to get him back home before a rich man and a zoologist get a hold of him.

  • 6. 'The Secret Life of Pets 2'

    15

    Rated: PG

    Funnyman Patton Oswalt voices Max the dog, and Kevin Hart is back as Snowball the bunny in this irreverent follow-up to The Secret Life of Pets. The coddled city pets all go to the countryside where they learn all about farm life and have plenty of hilarious adventures.

  • 5. 'Aladdin'

    16

    Rated: PG

    Will Smith as a genie? Yes, please! This live-action adaptation of the Disney animated flick is eye candy, and the story is timeless. Aladdin the street urchin battles the evil Grand Vizier for a magic lamp, and romance ensues between him and Princess Jasmine.

  • 4. 'Pokémon Detective Pikachu'

    17

    Rated: PG

    In this loose adaptation of the video game, a talking Pikachu meets a teen (Justice Smith), and the two adorably decide to become detectives. A visual feast with lots of heart -- and Ryan Reynolds voicing the beloved, animated character.

  • 3. 'Toy Story 4'

    18

    Rated: G

    In this installment of the beloved Toy Story movie series, the action takes place between the events of the second and third films. The toys go on a road trip with a new toy friend, Forky, and have an unexpected reunion with Bo Peep. The dialogue is as sharp and funny as ever, but as always, it's the emotion that puts this movie above so many other family flicks.

  • 2. 'Lion King'

    19

    Rated: PG

    A new, all-star cast -- including Beyoncé --  plus a spectacular blend of live-action and CGI makes for a magical remake of The Lion King. Follow Simba as he reluctantly comes to terms with his identity and his rightful place in the world.

  • 1. 'How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World'

    20

    Rated: PG

    The high-flying How to Train Your Dragon series is back with wonderfully rendered animation and a great story. When Hiccup finds out that Toothless isn't the only Night Fury, the pair set off on an adventure -- and race against the evil Grimmel -- to find the Hidden World. 

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