22 Family-Friendly Movies to Stream on HBO Right Now

Martha Sorren | Apr 9, 2020 Movies
22 Family-Friendly Movies to Stream on HBO Right Now

Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks
Buena Vista/Walt Disney

A lot of us are finding ourselves not only with more time at home on our hands now, but also tasked with entertaining our kids with very few resources. That's where HBO comes in. The network's streaming sites, HBO NOW and HBO GO, have a ton of family-friendly movies that make for perfect movie nights -- or even just distractions for the kiddos when mom needs a break from being a parent/schoolteacher/all around entertainer now.

There's content for every age group, with animated movies rated G for the littlest ones, a mix of animated and live action PG movies for slightly older kids, and even some classics for the teens that are rated PG-13. 

HBO's two streaming sites contain the same content, it just depends on whether or not we already have an HBO cable subscription. People with HBO on their TVs can use their cable logins to access HBO GO. People without cable can subscribe to HBO NOW for $14.99 per month after a free seven-day trial. 

There are a lot of streaming services these days, but the plethora of kid-friendly content on HBO's streaming sites may make it a worthy option for all the downtime we suddenly have. And after the kids are done watching their movies, there are also a ton of movies and shows for adults to see, too. Plus, this list of 22 family-friendly films is only the beginning of what HBO has to offer in the way of children's programming. 

Trust us, everyone's going to be entertained for a while with all of these movies. And we've sorted them from rated G to rated PG-13, so parents can easily find the movies best suited for their children's ages.

  • 'The Land Before Time'

    1

    Rated: G

    This sweet film about a group of dinosaurs who become friends in the face of peril will show kids that friendship can get people through anything. However, the mom does die in this one, which might make it a little traumatic for very young kids. The good news is that the much less sad sequel, The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure, is also on HBO's streaming sites. 

  • 'Anastasia'

    2

    Rated: G

    Meg Ryan voices the lead role in this movie based on the Russian royal family's downfall and the theory that Grand Duchess Anastasia may have survived along with her grandmother. But when the two are separated during their escape, Anastasia suffers an accident that gives her amnesia, and she forgets that she's a member of royalty. The plot of the film follows her grandmother trying to get her back and Anastasia slowly putting the pieces of her past together. 

    It doesn't sound like a kids' film on the surface, but between the musical numbers and the princess-ness of it all, it's really good. 

  • 'The Last Unicorn'

    3

    Rated: G

    This animated classic from 1982 tells the story of a brave little unicorn teaming up with a magician to defeat a villainous king. The monarch wants to capture all the world's unicorns, but this very last unicorn is about to unravel all his dastardly plans. The movie is also a musical with some very catchy tunes. It's worth noting that movie ratings in the '80s were a little generous, and this would perhaps land a PG rating today for some of the scarier moments, like a talking skeleton (and more). 

  • 'Rio'

    4
    The birds in Rio
    Fox

    Rated: G

    Blu is a rare pet bird who dreams of meeting the world's only other blue macaw -- in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. So he sets off on a journey that takes him far from the comforts of home and into the Brazilian wilderness where he makes some other rare bird friends, fends off poachers, learns to fly, and tries to embrace life on the wild side. 

  • 'Babe'

    5

    Rated: G

    This timeless tale about a pig raised by dogs who learns to heard sheep with the best of them will make viewers laugh, cry, and basically every other emotion. It may be rated G, but it definitely has some slightly PG themes like the death of a beloved sheep and Babe almost getting eaten for Christmas dinner before he's miraculously saved. 

  • 'Big'

    6

    Rated: PG

    One of Tom Hanks' earliest roles was in Big, a movie where a young boy named Josh becomes an adult overnight. It's basically the male 13 Going on 30, as now-adult Josh gets to live out every kid's fantasy of suddenly getting a really cool job and being able to buy all the toys someone could want. But it won't be long before Josh is wishing he could leave the pressures of adult life behind and go back to being a kid. 

    Some days, we feel the same. 

  • 'Madagascar'

    7

    Rated: PG

    A group of zoo animals crashes in Madagascar during a routine transport and suddenly find themselves very out of their element. They may look like wild animals, but they have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to actually living in the wild. They're soon joined in their adventure by a group of conniving penguins and friendly lemurs. 

  • 'Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase'

    8

    Rated: PG

    The Nancy Drew novels have been turned into movies a number of times -- most recently with this film in 2019. It's a modern take on the classic story, with Nancy befriending mean girl Helen to investigate a local haunting. Sophia Lillis plays the lead role, and older viewers may recognize her from Netflix's recent smash hit I Am Not Okay With This.

  • 'Alpha and Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games'

    9

    Rated: PG

    The third installment in this animated series follows what is essentially the wolf version of the Olympics, with different packs competing against each other in a select set of games. Tired of the attitude coming from the Alpha Pack, Stinky, Claudette, Runt, and Humphrey set out to create their own team to take on the others at the Great Games.

  • 'The Little Rascals'

    10

    Rated: PG

    When one of the group members of the kids' "He-Man-Woman-Hating" club forms a crush on a girl, his friends attempt to tank their relationship. This leads to lots of hijinks and miscommunications. Eventually, the other young boys come to the realization that men and women can co-exist peacefully and that their club may have been a little misguided.

  • 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part'

    11

    Rated: PG

    In this sequel, the Bricksburg citizens must team up to defeat invaders from outer space (Duplo blocks) that can destroy their Lego city faster than the team can rebuild it. So Emmet, Lucy, Batman, and their friends set out to journey to other worlds to solve this huge problem, and they learn about all kinds of other Lego universes along the way.

  • 'The Mighty Ducks'

    12

    Rated: PG

    This '90s movie still holds up today. It stars Emilio Estevez as a lawyer who gets into some trouble with the law resulting in the need for some community service hours. So he takes over as head coach for a kids' hockey team. But what starts as a chore develops into a passion, and the ragtag group of children soon melt his icy lawyer heart and help him learn to love the sport again.

  • 'Happy Feet Two' 

    13

    Rated: PG

    Mumble loves to dance, but his son Erik does not. Frustrated, Erik runs away and meets a new role model in a penguin that can actually fly. But when his penguin friends and family face a new threat, Erik sees his dad rise to the occasion. Ultimately, young Erik learns that dancing can be just as powerful as flying if used in the right way. 

  • 'Mr. Popper’s Penguins'

    14

    Rated: PG

    Happy Feet Two isn't the only penguin-themed film on HBO's streaming sites. Interested parties can also check out the Jim Carrey comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Carrey plays the titular Mr. Popper who's a fancy real estate developer. But when his father gifts him five penguins, his whole world is turned upside down and Mr. Popper learns how to let a little joy into his regimented life.

  • 'Teen Titans Go! To the Movies'

    15

    Rated: PG

    Teen Titans Go! is the new animated version of the popular DC comics show Teen Titans. It's supposed to be a more comedic take on the misfit group of heroes, and it was popular enough to lead to a movie that's now streaming on HBO platforms. In the film, the Teen Titans want to become action movie stars, but soon run into a villain in Hollywood who wants to take over the world. This is a job for the Teen Titans.

  • 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'

    16

    Rated: PG

    This is the third and final film in The Chronicles of Narnia film series. It sees the siblings visiting their cousin Eustace, whom they all dislike. But Eustace happens to own a painting of a magical ship that soon comes to life and sails all the children back to Narnia. From there, they set off on a quest to help out their old friends once again.

  • 'Puss in Boots'

    17

    Rated: PG

    Puss in Boots made his big screen debut in Shrek, and fans loved him so much that he got his own spin-off film. Puss in Boots serves as a prequel to Shrek and follows Puss in Boots, his friend Humpty Dumpty, and a burglar named Kitty Softpaws as they attempt to steal a golden egg-laying goose in what quickly becomes the adventure of a lifetime. 

  • 'Mr. Magoo'

    18

    Rated: PG

    Based on the classic cartoon, this '90s movie tells the story of Mr. Quincy Magoo, a kooky millionaire. When he accidentally comes across a stolen jewel, he finds himself on the run from the thieves as he attempts to bring the gem back to its rightful owner. So many comedic mishaps happen along the way in this funny film that will have the whole family laughing. 

  • 'The Indian in the Cupboard'

    19

    Rated: PG

    This movie is based on the beloved children's book of the same name and is basically the Toy Story before there was a Toy Story. The plot follows a young boy named Omri who gets a magical cupboard for his birthday that brings his toys to life. But he soon learns that with great power comes great responsibility, and he can't go bringing things to life willy-nilly and treating them like they're still objects.

  • 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

    20
    Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire
    20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

    Rated: PG-13

    For the older kids (since it comes with a higher rating), this timeless classic starring Robin Williams makes for a great movie night. The actor plays a divorced dad who dresses up like a housekeeper to spend more time with his children. He spends much of the movie trying to avoid being caught while also falling in love with parenting all over again. 

  • 'Little'

    21

    Rated: PG-13

    Another good one for older kids, this movie follows a mean-spirited tech genius who becomes her 13-year-old self again overnight. Suddenly, she's reliant on her assistant, April, to take over business until she figures out what to do -- which means actually being nice to April for once. It's sort of like the opposite of 13 Going on 30

  • 'Shazam!'

    22

    Rated: PG-13

    Teens will love this film about a 14-year-old boy who discovers that he can transform into an adult superhero with the utterance of one magic word. But since his alter-ego, Shazam, has the heart of a 14-year-old, he's not like the other superheroes. (He has a lot of fun playing around with his powers and skills.) But when faced with a threat, he has to grow up a bit to save the world. 

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