Great Family Movies to Rent (2016 Round-Up)

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Winter has only just begun! Pop some corn and snuggle up with your peeps to watch these great family movies in the coming weeks.

Great Family Movies | Life as Mom

We are a movie family. While we only go to the theater a few times a year, we regularly rent movies to watch in the comfort of our own home. I love the convenience of watching whenever we want — no need to check show times — and the price of popcorn can’t be beat.

Have you seen movie theater popcorn prices lately? Oh my!

I know that it can be challenging to find family movies that a range of ages will enjoy. And to find films that are family-friendly is like an exercise in walking a very thin line. Looking over the movies we’ve watched over the last year, I’ve rounded up a few of our favorites. 

Currently Amazon has a great promotion going where you can rent a single movie for only $0.99! This promotion is available through January 23, 2017, so it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a cheap movie! Go here to find the directions for redeeming the code and to see the list of all available films.

Great Family Movies to Watch

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom


I really didn’t know what to expect about Zootopia, but my middle boys were sure that they weren’t going to like it. The 12 and 13 year olds were going to go on someone else’s opinion and not even watch it. I convinced them that they needed to make their own assessment of the film. Turns out they both liked it. “It wasn’t bad,” they said.

Zootopia was funny and cute, and made me wonder why Jason Bateman always sounds so smarmy. Ever since the Silver Spoons days…. smarmy.

It’s a story about prejudices and justice and treating people by their merits, not their background. It’s not the best Disney movie you ever saw, but it’s a good one.

Rent Zootopia here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Jungle Book

In case you didn’t know, Disney is in the process of remaking classic Disney animated films into live-action. Cinderella is one great example of this trend that was successful. Jungle Book is another. This version uses one live action actor combined with phenomenal CG. While the story is a little slow-paced, it’s still a sweet rendition of the classic we all know and love.

Rent Jungle Book here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Captain America: Civil War

While I had previously been an enthusiastic Avengers fan, when Captain America: Civil War was released, I refused to see it in the theater. I’m a little tired of the in-fighting. Go Team Cap!

That said, if you have seen the previous eleven films in the series, this installment is, of course, a must-see, even if you don’t like what a jerk Tony Stark is. Ahem.

Rent Captain America: Civil War here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Alice Through the Looking Glass

This sequel to Johnny Depp’s Alice in Wonderland came and went to the theaters quietly — probably due to his personal problems. That said, we were very pleasantly surprised by the story of Alice Through the Looking Glass. It tells us what happens after Alice comes back from Wonderland, but also shares the back story of how the Hatter and the Queen of Hearts got to their current states of craziness.

Rent Alice Through the Looking Glass here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Finding Dory

I took the kids to the theater to see Finding Dory this past summer. While it is certainly cute, it’s not quite Nemo, if you know what I mean. According to FishBoy14, “It’s Pixar’s B Material.” It’s a sweet story and definitely fine for kids; it’s just a bit of a yawner.

Rent Finding Dory here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom


So BFG is a pretty mellow family movie. It’s a little slow, which made it hard to get into or feel bonded to the characters. But it is sweet. “Sweet-bitter” as my 8yo said as she handed me the Kleenex box. FYI, You’ll need the tissue at the end.

Rent BFG here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Pete’s Dragon

This is not the Pete’s Dragon you watched as a child. This is another Disney remake with CG. While Pete’s still an orphan, his experience is vastly different in the new rendition.

Rent Pete’s Dragon here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom

Miracles from Heaven

My girls really wanted to see Miracles from Heaven so we rented it one night. It was good. Based on a true story, the film tells the experience of a young girl with a debilitating illness and how she is cured.

Rent Miracles from Heaven here.

Great Family Movies to Watch | Life as Mom


Far and away, Sing was FishChick8’s favorite movie of the year. We were able to see an early screening of the film in the theaters and were blown away. The music and the character development are fantastic. If you can swing a trip to the movies this winter, go see Sing.

I’d love to hear what new movies crossed your path this year. It can be so hard to find great films, so send your film recommendations my way!

What great family movies have you seen lately?

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  1. I shared the same thoughts on Dory as your son 🙂 We are actually headed today to see Moana. It will be the 11am showing to save a few bucks.

      1. I have a really sensitive just turned 6 year old boy and he liked it a lot, but was scared of the lava monster and got choked up at a part with moana and her grandmother. I really liked the movie and teared up twice, so I suppose he gets his sensitivity from me 🙂 I recommend it, love a Disney movie with no love interest and a greater good hero.

  2. I would add Kubo and the Two Strings to your list of family movies from 2016. We watched it last night and we all loved it. It is rated PG, but I think only toddlers would find any of the material scary. My 12 and 14 year old enjoyed every minute of it. It is a combination coming of age and hero’s quest journey with touches of humor throughout. It is also visually beautiful. If you watch it stay for the credits during which they show how some of the animation was done.

    1. Follow-up: we were talking about the movie today and my daughter told me a part of this movie made her sad. There is a scene reminiscent of Bambi’s mother or Old Yeller. So if you have a sensitive child you might want to take that into account.