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Best Family Movies Of 2024 So Far

Let's be honest: Getting the family together for a movie is no easy task sometimes. When you're trying to find something that can appeal to your youngest without losing the interest of your teenager or vice versa, the entire process can often seem like a lost cause. Even when you only have one age group that you need to please, there's always yourself to consider — you might find a picture that appeals to young kids or teens, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy it. It's easy to just forget it and have another night where everyone does their own thing, but that's a real shame.

If you want a movie that will appeal to the whole family, you just have to know where to look. Sometimes it seems like Hollywood doesn't make family friendly films anymore, but that's not the case — in fact, there were a bunch of great family movies in 2023 alone, and 2024 has also started strongly. We've used a wide range of reviews and fan feedback to compile a list of the best family films of 2024 so far. This way, you don't have to waste time endlessly scrolling through streaming services or trying to decide which picture to see at the movies.

Kung Fu Panda 4

The "Kung Fu Panda" franchise has managed to consistently tell entertaining stories for well over a decade at this point, and the latest installment is definitely worth a watch on your next family movie night. In the critically acclaimed "Kung Fu Panda 4," Jack Black returns as Po, who starts looking for someone to replace him as the Dragon Warrior when he becomes the leader of the Valley of Peace. While he's busy searching for his perfect successor, a sorcerer named Chameleon (Viola Davis) is trying to bring back all of his greatest adversaries.

"Kung Fu Panda 4" has all the charm viewers have come to expect from the franchise. Black and the rest of the all-star cast (which includes Awkwafina, Bryan Cranston, Ke Huy Quan, and many more) really bring their best to this one. You don't need to be entirely caught up on "Kung Fu Panda" lore to get invested in the story, but the fourth film does play a bit like a greatest hits album — and that's actually to its benefit. Considering that plenty of new parents were still pretty young themselves when this franchise got started, rewatching the other movies with the rest of your family is the perfect lead-in.

Mean Girls

Penned by Tina Fey (who reprises her role of math teacher Ms. Norbury from the 2004 film, which she also wrote), 2024's "Mean Girls" is a blast for older kids. It stars Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, who has just moved back to the United States with her family after spending years in Kenya. Now, Cady has to contend with life in an American public school. She's trying her best to find a place for herself and befriends Janis (Auli'i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), two kids who don't fit into any of the school's cliques. However, before Cady can really get settled in, she sets herself up for failure by falling for Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney), a senior who used to date Regina George (Reneé Rapp), the most popular girl in school.

"Mean Girls" makes for an excellent movie night with your teens. It's an adaptation of the Broadway musical, so it's essentially a remake of a remake, but that doesn't make it any less fun. In fact, the musical aspect makes it even more suitable for the family. The new movie is a bit goofier and arguably even more entertaining, and all of its improvements to the source material are excellently translated. It can't take the place of experiencing "Mean Girls" on stage, of course, but it's still a great time. Parents need to be aware that there are some grown-up themes here, but, like the original film, "Mean Girls" has its heart in the right place.

Peppa's Cinema Party

This is the cinema event for baby cousins everywhere. "Peppa's Cinema Party" is the perfect go-to for the youngest members of your family. Anyone who's had little ones in the past couple of decades is probably quite family with Peppa Pig (voiced by Lily Snowden-Fine) and her adorable friends and family. Episodes of "Peppa Pig" tend to be slice-of-life shorts following Peppa and other animal characters going to the park, playing in the backyard, or visiting their grandparents for a relaxing afternoon.

"Peppa's Cinema Party" celebrates 20 years of the series by taking everything that makes the TV show work and packaging it into a movie theater experience that's still intensely engaging for young kids. Instead of shifting around the regular format, the movie keeps kids' attention by packing in multiple short stories that would otherwise make for standalone episodes and breaking them up with sing along segments. Your kids won't have to sit still for an entire hour because Peppa will get them up and moving for some fun dance numbers. It's a great idea, and parents are loving it — the film has an audience score of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing.

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

No new "Ghostbusters" movie is ever going to reach the heights of the original two films, but "Frozen Empire" is still a fun watch for everyone in your family, particularly those who won't have their judgment affected by nostalgia. This latest installment is a direct sequel to 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." It picks up following the Spengler family shortly after they've made the decision to move to New York City. The Spenglers are living in the old firehouse that belonged to the original Ghostbusters, which is just as well, because a new ghostly entity is about to be unleashed on the city.

If you enjoyed "Afterlife," you're probably going to love "Frozen Empire." Stars Paul Rudd (Gary Grooberson), Carrie Coon (Callie Spengler), Finn Wolfhard (Trevor Spengler), and Mckenna Grace (Phoebe Spengler) are all back, and so are original Ghostbusters Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz), and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore), who are as entertaining together as ever. The movie sets up an intergenerational Ghostbusters team in a way that manages to be more than pandering.

"Frozen Empire" is a fun film, though parents should be aware that it definitely earns its PG-13 rating — while it's suitable for teens, it does contain some mild swearing and some potentially awkward innuendo-based jokes. The ghosts being busted are also pretty scary at times, so if you've got tweens who are prone to nightmares, maybe wait a few more years before introducing them to this one.

Orion and the Dark

Based on a children's book by Emma Yarlett, Netflix's "Orion and the Dark" is a truly special family movie that, despite widespread critical acclaim (it has a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing) still hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. The story follows a boy named Orion (Jacob Tremblay) who's 11 years old and scared of just about everything. From the girls in his class to the dangers of the world around him, there's nothing that Orion won't hide from, but his greatest fear is the dark. That puts him in an uncomfortable position when the embodiment of Dark itself (Paul Walter Hauser) shows up in his bedroom. Dark wants to stop the children of the world from being afraid of him, and he takes Orion on an adventure that he hopes will cure all the boy's fears in a single night.

Charlie Kaufman's script for the film really brings the entire experience to a whole new level. It's got powerful lessons for young viewers, but even parents are going to get caught up in Orion's emotional struggle with fear. Netflix collaborated with DreamWorks for the movie, and that really shows in the animation. The character design for Dark (and his nocturnal buddies, such as Sweet Dreams) is phenomenal, and the tiny details in the background make every shot of the movie a treat. There's no shortage of family options on Netflix, but we recommend giving "Orion and the Dark" a shot on your next family movie night.

Ordinary Angels

"Ordinary Angels" is a faith-based film with a boatload of talent behind it. The movie is written by Meg Telly, who you may remember from her roles in "Body Snatchers" and the "Chucky" TV series, and Kelly Fremon Craig, who wrote the screenplay for the 2023 YA flick "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." Directed by Jon Gunn ("The Case for Christ"), the film is inspired by the true story of a woman who worked hard to save the life of a local girl in need of an urgent liver transplant.

Sharon (Hilary Swank) is a Kentucky hairdresser trying to get sober and pull her life together, but it's a struggle. Then she meets Ed ("Reacher" star Alan Ritchson), a man who's trying to care for his severely ill daughter after losing his wife. Sharon is inspired by Ed's struggles, and she shows up at his door with money she's collected from the community. From there, she makes it her mission to make Ed and his daughter's lives easier.

As you might expect from the premise, "Ordinary Angels" is a tear-jerker, and everyone will want to have their tissues handy. The story is deeply moving and undeniably uplifting, and even though it wears its Christian influences on its sleeve, just about anyone could sink into the story and enjoy it. Critics have raved about it, and it has a near-perfect 99% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing.

The Tiger's Apprentice

If half of your family has superhero fatigue but the other half still can't get enough of superpowered stories, then "The Tiger's Apprentice" is the perfect way for you to bridge the gap on movie night. It's based on a middle-grade fiction book from Newbery Honor-winning author Laurence Yep, and it perfectly captures what made the novel popular enough to spark a trilogy.

It follows a Chinese-American boy named Tom Lee (Brandon Soo Hoo), who just wants to fit in at his San Francisco High School. One day, Tom meets a man named Mr. Hu, who has the ability to transform into a tiger. Mr. Hu (voiced by "Crazy Rich Asians" star Henry Golding) reveals that Tom comes from a long line of Zodiac-powered beings called Guardians, and he wants to train Tom to use his own abilities to save the world.

"The Tiger's Apprentice" is a little bit of Marvel and a little bit of Harry Potter all wrapped up in a deeper cultural story. Does it bring a bunch of new elements to the table? No, but it does expertly combine ideas and themes that have worked in the past, and the visuals from Paramount Animation are gorgeous enough that you could watch the whole thing on mute and still have a great time.

The Thundermans Return

"The Thundermans Return" is a blast from the past, bringing back an underrated Nickelodeon show for an entertaining encore. The original series played a bit like a Nickelodeon take on an "Incredibles" TV show: The titular family are super-powered heroes who spend most of their time trying (and failing) to live normal lives in the town of Hiddenville.

At the end of the series, the family joined a superhero team called the Z-Force, but this movie sees them return to Hiddenville after injuring a different super team called the V-Team during a mission. As the family once again tries to lead a normal life, twins Max (Jack Griffo) and Phoebe (Kira Kosarin) investigate the V-Team and make a shocking discovery about them.

"The Thundermans Return" is about as silly as superhero movies get. The jokes are eye-rollers, and the visual effects look like something from '00s-era "Doctor Who," but that's all part of the charm. If your family still watches Nickelodeon — or if old reruns make you all well up with nostalgia — then this 70-minute flick is a perfect way to get together for a laid back movie night.

The Casagrandes Movie

For fans of present-day Nickelodeon, "The Casagrandes Movie" is a must-see movie. "The Casagrandes" TV series started in 2019 as a spin-off from "The Loud House" and it ran for three seasons before getting canceled in 2022, upsetting fans of the show. Luckily for anyone who loved this hilarious and brilliantly animated cartoon series, the movie picks up right where it left off and supplies a 90 minute adventure with all your favorite characters.

The story begins just as Ronnie Anne is turning 12 and looking forward to spending a summer doing kickflips at Xtreme Eddie's Sick and Twisted 12 and Over Skate Park. Unfortunately, her dreams come crashing down when her family decides to spend the summer in Mexico, and Ronnie Anne accidentally awakens the evil Purépecha demigod Punguari. Even though Ronnie Anne thinks her family ruined her summer, they end up being exactly who she needs beside her to get through an unexpected adventure. "The Casagrandes Movie" is a heartwarming experience that offers over the top fun for everyone in the family.