Sitting down with your kids to watch a movie can making for a relaxing and entertaining evening — as long as everyone enjoys what they’re watching. That can be hard considering adults tend to lean toward adult humor, and kids are usually drawn to cartoons. However, Hollywood is finally figuring it out. Many kids’ movies are now being made to appeal to both children and adults. Ready to reconnect with your inner-child? Here are seven children’s movies that you can enjoy too.
1. Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
The newest installment of the Muppets is definitely a movie the whole family can enjoy. Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) asks Kermit the Frog and his friends to go on a world tour, which is actually all part of his sinister plan. Badguy is in cahoots with Constantine, the world’s most evil frog, to become the greatest thieves of all time. As part of the plan, Constantine gets everyone to think Kermit is him, resulting in Kermit getting sent to prison. Constantine impersonates Kermit on the tour, using it as a cover for his thievery.
Eventually, Walter, Fozzie, and Animal realize that Kermit isn’t actually Kermit and set out to rescue him. Forbes writes that this movie is “above all an incredibly entertaining comic adventure. It is the very definition of all-ages entertainment, with belly laughs for young and old. It may not be a profound work of art, but Muppets Most Wanted is a genuinely hilarious comic sequel.”
2. Maleficent (2014)
Maleficent tells the story of the villain from Sleeping Beauty, showing viewers why and how she became so evil. Betrayal causes her to seek revenge, unfortunately against the king’s newborn infant, Aurora. As Aurora gets older, she’s caught in the middle of a terrible feud between the forest kingdom and the human kingdom. Eventually, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land, forcing her to take drastic action, per Dove.
This movie has excellent effects that capture the beauty of the magical land that Aurora and Maleficent reside in. It also has humor scattered throughout that may go over kids’ heads, but should register with adults. For example, during the film, Angelina Jolie, who plays Maleficent, tells a child (who happens to be her own daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt) that she doesn’t like children, according to Dove. Ironic, since she has several and was speaking to her daughter. Wondering if it’s something you’ll enjoy? There’s a good chance you will find yourself just as engaged in the movie as your children are.
3. Million Dollar Arm (2014)
A rarity for the fact that this PG-rated film that isn’t animated, it will certainly appeal to adults who are looking for a break from cartoon characters. The movie begins in 2008 when J.B. Bernstein is a sports agent who is looking for the next big baseball player. He comes up with a somewhat unconventional idea, and decides to travel to India to find a cricket player who he can mold into a baseball player in America. Bernstein finds two talented players and takes them to Los Angeles where the youths must learn about a new sport in a new country.
The Morning Journal writes that, “The family-friendly movie goes down easy and clearly was made for everyone from sports fans to parents who want something to entertain the whole family.”
4. The Lego Movie (2014)
The Lego Movie follows the story of Emmet, an ordinary Lego mini-figure, who one day is identified as being the most extraordinary person in the world. Pegged as the person who can save the Lego universe, Emmet and his friends set out to stop the evil Lord Business.
The Guardian Liberty Voice writes, “It’s stellar combination of CGI, stop-motion, and 3D option make it a visual bonanza. But this Lego Movie isn’t putting out all the stops for the kids; it is really an experience for adults.”
Look for hidden adult humor scattered throughout the movie, advises Guardian Liberty Voice. Your kids won’t even understand why you’re chuckling to yourself!
5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
This Disney movie, set to hit theaters October 10, is an adaptation of the 1972 children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The parents in the film are played by Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner; that should get you hooked right off the bad.
The movie follows the exploits of Alexander, 11, as he lives through the most terrible day of his life. First, he gets gum stuck in his hair, which is then followed by an assortment of disasters. He finds out that his family is also going through their own terrible, horrible, no good days, too, according to geektyrant.
Fandango writes, “Admit it: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is one of those books you read, like, a gazillion times growing up. And if you’re a parent, you’re rereading it to your children, like, a gazillion times as we speak.”
6. Into the Woods (2014)
This film, set to hit theaters December 25, will put a modern twist on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales in the form of a musical. It will follow the well-known tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, all neatly tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife.
Your children will be enthralled with the fun twist on the fairy tales they know and love. While adults should appreciate that too, it’s the cast filled of huge Hollywood names that grown-ups are more likely to appreciate.
Screen Rant writes that major players include Meryl Streep as a witch, Johnny Depp as a wolf that has his eyes set on Little Red Riding Hood, and Billy Magnussen (The East) as the prince. Emily Blunt will play the baker’s wife, and Mackenzie Mauzy will fill the role of Rapunzel. The list goes on, including Tracey Ullman, Anna Kendrick, and Tammy Blanchard to name a few.
7. The Minions (2015)
Not expected to hit theaters until July 10, 2015, this is a movie that will hook children and adults alike. Minions were featured in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 as Gru’s yellow henchmen. The Minions will focus on how the yellow creatures isolated themselves after their masters (evil villains) are destroyed. Eventually, the depressed minions set out to find a new evil leader, arriving at a villain convention where they compete for the right to be henchmen for Scarlet Overkill, who’s striving to be the world’s first female super villain, according to IMDb.
If you haven’t seen Despicable Me or its sequel, check them out before The Minions hit theaters. The little yellow guys are arguably one of the most entertaining parts of the movie for adults and children alike. Metro writes that Despicable Me 2 has some great references to All 4 One, a scene that’s guaranteed to get the older crowd laughing.