By Movieguide® Staff
Can’t find anything that fits your fancy on cable this week? No problem. Streaming services have some worthwhile options for families. Take a look at some the positive elements in these family-friendly titles on major platforms.
THE MAIN EVENT (2020)
THE MAIN EVENT is a family comedy about an 11-year-old professional wrestling fan who finds a magical wrestling mask that gives him super strength, so he enters a wrestling contest to win the cash prize and help his family financially. Funny and heartwarming, THE MAIN EVENT has a predominant moral worldview stressing honesty, reconciliation, family, friendship, and hard work, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger children because of brief but light foul language, wrestling violence and references to magic.
THE CROODS is a new animated comedy about one of the world’s first families, who are fearful of the new when their cave is suddenly destroyed. THE CROODS is a fun adventure with a family who truly love each other, but it has some humanist, environmentalist elements.
THE GRINCH (2018)
THE GRINCH (2018) is a great movie about the true meaning of Christmas triumphing over alienation and materialism. It features powerfully loving parents and children, a joyous community of inspired Whos, and a terrific character arc for the Grinch, plus great Christmas carols and hymns focusing on Jesus Christ and His redemptive divinity, lordship and love.
JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS
JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS tells the biblical story of Joseph in a powerful, feature animated film for video and DVD. JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS focuses clearly on God. God is given the credit, and even the songs witness to Him.
MIRACLE is a splendid, inspirational re-telling of the U.S. hockey team’s hard-earned road to victory play at the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York. Though it contains some light obscenities, it is a fine, entertaining, and positive movie which shows that the success of the 1980 hockey team was not just some fluke or happy coincidence, but was the result of hard work, persistence, and detailed preparation.
DOLPHIN REEF follows the story of a young dolphin named Echo who’s in the process of trying to decide if he should grow up or put off his responsibility a little while longer. DOLPHIN REEF is a beautiful documentary that offers gorgeous, vibrant and lively images of life underwater and a strong moral worldview showing that mothers will do anything to protect their young.
GLORY ROAD tells the true-life story of the 1966 Texas Western basketball team’s arduous and inspiring season that culminated with an NCAA championship. With convincing acting and a redemptive message, GLORY ROAD is a winner, full of teamwork, drama, heart, and soul.
PENGUINS is a delightful Disneynature documentary about an Adelie penguin named Steve and his year of finding love and family on the icy continent of Antarctica. PENGUINS is full of love, humor and jeopardy, with a positive theme of family that runs throughout the movie. There’s only a light caution because of some violence between penguins and their natural predatory enemies in God’s animal kingdom.
TOY STORY 4
TOY STORY 4 is another breakthrough in great computer animation, and even greater storytelling, with a story about Woody needing to rescue a new friend who’s being held hostage in an antique shop. Filled with laughter, tears, thrills, and romance, TOY STORY 4 has a few scary scenes that merit caution for very young children.
FINDING DORY, the animated sequel to the classic family movie FINDING NEMO, shows Dory suddenly remembering she has a mommy and a daddy and getting help from her friends, both old and new, to reunite with them. FINDING DORY is another heartwarming, funny, whimsical fish story from Pixar and Disney showing that family and friends make life worth living.
IT TAKES TWO
IT TAKES TWO tells the story of two identical girls living at the extremes: one is rich; the other is an orphan. They switch places in order to stop the rich girl's father from marrying a woman he doesn't love, so they can pair him with the orphan's case worker. The movie is innocuous fun for families with small children, especially girls.
LETTERS TO GOD
LETTERS TO GOD is an entertaining, heart-rending, and inspiring story about a boy with cancer whose letters to God change the lives of the people around him. LETTERS TO GOD is an impressive, well-written, redemptive, powerful movie that will touch the hearts of most people who see it.
GOD'S NOT DEAD
GOD’S NOT DEAD is an entertaining, profound, powerful Christian movie about a college student who has to stand up for his faith when bullied by an atheist professor. Despite some of the smartest dialogue ever, GOD’S NOT DEAD entertains viewers as well as enlightens and inspires them. The ending is terrific.
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE
I CAN ONLY IMAGINE is about the story behind the most-played Christian contemporary song of all time, “I Can Only Imagine” by the band MercyMe, which involves overcoming an estranged relationship between a father and son. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE is a powerful, tear-jerker story of redemption and reconciliation through Jesus Christ with only a light caution for younger children.
IMAGINE THAT is the story of Evan, an executive competing inside his company for a promotion, only to discover that he needs his daughter and her imaginary friends in order to succeed. With little negative content but some magical elements, IMAGINE THAT is a heartwarming, funny movie showing the love that can grow between a father and a daughter.
WONDER PARK is an animated comedy about a girl named June and her mother who create a wonderful, amazing, exciting, theme park called Wonder Park, but June must remember how she and her mother created the park when it’s threatened by dark forces. WONDER PARK is a delightful, heartfelt movie with a strong redemptive, moral worldview but it sometimes feels like the story falls short a bit.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
In the animated fantasy adventure HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD, new Viking chief Hiccup must find a legendary dragon world and defend both his people and their dragons from a villainous dragon-hunter. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD features the heart-pounding adventure and stunning visuals moviegoers have come to expect from this movie franchise, along with a wonderful story promoting selflessness, marriage, love, and family, but caution is advised for young children due to action violence and some light pagan, environmentalist elements.
THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
Magnificent entertainment, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT takes animated movies to a new level as it dramatizes the biblical story of Moses and his call from God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. THE PRINCE OF EGYPT combines magnificent art, music, story, and realization to make one of the most entertaining moral masterpieces of all time.
THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART
In THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART, the LEGO world of Bricksburg is invaded by aliens who kidnap their best leaders, and it’s up to the city’s big-hearted savior hero, Emmet, to rescue them. LEGO MOVIE 2 has plenty of laughs, action and twists to keep everything engaging, with a strong Christian, biblical worldview promoting love and sacrifice, including a reference to a major passage in the New Testament.
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In desperate need of love and the security of a family, 12-year-old Jesse recognizes similar needs in his new-found friend Willy, a 7000-pound killer whale, living in the North West Adventure Park, and knows there can be only one solution...FREE WILLY. This film is well made and very clean, to the point of being refreshing. FREE WILLY is a great treat and suitable for the entire family.