Family Friendly Movies to Watch While You Stay at Home

Posted on 10 Apr 2020 by Anna Scott
In the coming weeks, we’re guessing you’re going to be spending a lot more time watching movies with the kids. And we don’t just mean because it’s the Easter holidays. When we’ve all had enough of the home schooling, watching a family movie is a good option to keep the peace, and luckily there is a huge choice of streaming services and titles to rent online. So what is available and which are the best platforms to use?


kids watching television



Free Streaming Services

Let’s start with the free stuff (or free as long as you have a TV licence). There’s no doubt many of you use the iPlayer and All4 streaming services to catch up on your favourite TV shows, but did you know they are also a good source of films too? Just head to the categories section and click on the Film option to see what’s currently available. Not every film that is broadcast is going to automatically be available to view on catch-up, but there is always a decent selection with a few family titles in there. And here’s a top tip – because the Easter weekend is on the horizon, that means there is going to be a few more family films shown over the next few days or so. So if you don’t find anything you fancy on either of these services right now, check in over the weekend or next week and there should be some more family options available.
BBC iPlayer – At the moment, it’s more family viewing that’s suitable for slightly older kids such as A Monster Calls, Midnight Special and that classic Sunday afternoon mystery, Evil Under the Sun. And you can also find The Lady Vanishes if you want to introduce the kids to another British movie classic.
All4 – You might not find as many family titles here in general, but one recommendation that’s currently available is the recent animation, My Life as a Courgette. Again, check in on a regular basis to see what’s new as you could find some more off-beat family gems.


Netflix and Prime Movie Picks

And now for the two most popular streaming services. If you’re not yet signed up for either of these, then perhaps now is the time. They have different benefits and price plans, but you’re spoilt for choice with both:
Netflix – This is a streaming-only service, so unlike Amazon Prime, there is no option to rent or buy titles. However, one of its best features is the sheer range available. As well as previous cinema releases and classics, you also have a huge choice of original Netflix titles, many of which include family films. When it comes to kids’ classics, their current selection includes The Wizard of Oz, The Neverending Story, Happy Feet, Minions, Annie and Shrek. And one of the very best things about Netflix right now is that they currently have the entire Studio Ghibli back catalogue to stream including My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. But if you’d like something to entertain older kids, why binge watch Goosebumps and Goosebumps 2?
There are now three different price plans for Netflix: £5.99 a month (for just one screen viewing at a time), £8.99 a month (for two screens) and £11.99 a month (for up to four screens at any one time from one account).
Amazon Prime – Membership to this service gets you access to a large choice of movies and TV shows much like Netflix, and they also have a huge choice of family titles. The best of the current selection includes Fantastic Mr Fox, A Dog’s Journey, Horrible Histories: The Movie and James and the Giant Peach. And for older children, they have interesting movies such as Stan and Ollie and Blinded by the Light available on the platform.
But the main difference between Prime Video and Netflix is that here you can rent or buy other movies that don’t come free with Prime membership. Because of the current situation, many recent cinema releases are now being put online early so you can now use Prime to rent titles like Sonic the Hedgehog, Frozen 2, Emma and Trolls: World Tour.
There are two main types of Amazon Prime membership. If you just want access to Prime Video and nothing else, then it’s £5.99 a month. If you want all the Amazon Prime benefits including free next day delivery and other online shopping discounts throughout the year, then it’s £7.99 a month or £79 per year.


home cinema and popcorn



Other Streaming Options

Although Netflix and Prime are going to be most people’s go-to options, there are a couple of other services worth mentioning, one of which has started at just the right time for those looking for essential family viewing…
Disney+ - Because you don’t get more ‘family’ than Disney, right? This service is all about sitting down with the kids and finding an old classic or brand new title to binge watch. And it’s fair to say that its library is unrivalled when it comes to family film options. All the Disney and Pixar back catalogue, all the Star Wars films and the vast majority of Marvel movies – yes, you can rent some of these via other streaming services, but if you’re planning on watching a fair few over the next few weeks, a subscription might look like much better value for money. The current price is £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year, and they’ve got a free 7 day trial too if you want to give it a go first.
Sky and Now TV – If you already have a Sky subscription but have so far avoided upgrading to the movies package, now might seem like a good time. With Sky TV, the cinema packages start from £36 a month (the cinema pass is an extra £11 a month on top of the basic TV package). Although this is quite a bit more expensive than other streaming services, remember it includes the Sky TV package too. One of the main advantages of Sky Cinema is that you usually get new releases much sooner than on other streaming services, plus there’s a large Disney back catalogue too. You can also opt for a Sky Cinema pass with Now TV which costs £11.99 a month after a free 7 day trial. The main difference here is that you can cancel Now TV anytime but with a standard Sky TV package, you will be under contract for an initial period of 18 months.
And let’s not forget, if you’d rather not spend any more money on subscription services, now is also the perfect time to sort through that old DVD collection. See if you can find from great hidden gems suitable for all the family!