There’s nothing better than building a fort in the living room, popping some corn, getting out the (hidden) candy stash, and watching a few of the best family adventure movies together!
The only problem is that, nowadays, you have to spend what feels like hours scrolling through your streaming service of choice, desperately searching.
It’s tough enough to find something you will all enjoy, let alone something that is family-friendly in content. Especially if you’re looking for an adventure movie that can, and will, keep the attention of the whole family.
Here’s the good news: we’ve done the work for you! Read on — and bookmark this site for the next family movie night(s) — and we’re confident that you’ll find your next favorite family adventure flick.
Best Family Adventure Movies of All Time
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The Wizard of Oz (1939)
This bizarre, magical film is still an all-time favorite musical adventure.
Everyone from the littlest family members to the young-at-heart great-grandparents will find something to love (and something new to see) when you turn on The Wizard of Oz.
It’s at turns suspenseful, magical, funny, clever, and full of lots of songs and dances.
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
From Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of Spirited Away, this wonderful family film will entrance each and every family member!
Gentle but full of adventure and spirit, My Neighbor Totoro will leave you happy and content.
The Polar Express (2004)
How does that animated conductor look exactly like Tom Hanks? I mean, he looks more like Tom Hanks than Tom Hanks himself does…
Anyway! This instant classic film is based around Christmas, but whoever said you can’t have Christmas spirit in the summer? I mean, isn’t that why “Christmas in July” exists? Turn on The Polar Express for an adventure you’ll never forget.
And for animated Tom Hanks.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Full of singing flowers, cantankerous talking rabbits, and lots of magic, little Alice is swept away to Wonderland — and you’ll be swept along with her! Maybe get out some tea and keep switching seats to get that Mad Hatter tea party experience.
Who says classic movies can’t be packed to the brim with fun and adventure? Definitely not anyone who has actually seen one.
This film is so magical and a near-perfect adaptation of the children’s classic book! It’s like nothing else out there, so it’s perfect for entertaining kids of all ages, from the teens to the little ones (and their parents).
Dog lovers, this one’s for you!
This classic tale will get the kid’s imaginations fired up in all the right ways! They’ll instantly fall in love with Balto, the tale of a courageous half-wolf that saves an entire village.
The Black Stallion (1979)
If you’ve ever been a little girl (can’t speak for the boys for obvious reasons), then you spent a lot of time wistfully staring out the window of a 1984 Caprice Chevrolet station wagon, wishing you were riding a horse, the wind blowing through your hair…
Wait. Maybe that was just me. The Black Stallion will make you feel young again, and your kiddos will long for a horse of their own just as you did!
Toy Story (1995)
If you’ve never wiped away sneaky tears while watching a cartoon about toys, then you haven’t watched Toy Story.
There’s enough clever humor to keep the adults entertained, but enough adventure and silliness for even the youngest toddler. One of the all time classics you don’t want to miss out on.
The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)
It weaves beautiful cinematography and fabulous acting with a glorious storyline of love and redemption. Based on the beloved classic books by C.S. Lewis.
For more thought-provoking Christian films, Click Here!
The Great Escape (1963)
Rating: NR – Approved
Is your family ready for the sweeping saga about an inspirational escape from a WW2 Nazi camp? The Great Escape will move you in so many ways, especially considering that it is based on a true story.
A great film to spark important conversations afterwards with your kids.
Best Adventure Movies for Younger Audiences
If you have younger kids that you want to ensure won’t be frightened by live-action adventure movies, then this selection of mostly animated films should be just right.
The Snowman (1982)
The kids will love the adventurous storyline and magical snowman, and the adults will get a kick out of knowing he’s voiced by David Bowie! This sweet little tale is just right for the littles.
Another great film that’s perfect for around the holiday season.
Tweety’s High-Flying Adventure (2000)
Who doesn’t love Tweety Bird? This one is so fun because you can introduce the next generation to everyone’s favorite little fowl, and relish in your own childhood as well.
The Land Before Time (1988)
Every child goes through a dinosaur phase, am I right? There’s just something so fascinating and wonderfully strange about giant creatures that no longer exist.
So, this one is an easy choice. It’s gentle and sweet, and doesn’t have any too-scary parts. Adults will love snuggling up to this nostalgia filled classic, as well.
The Red Balloon (1956)
Rating: NR – Approved
How can such a simple and almost wordless film be so endearing? It’s for that very reason that The Red Balloon has taken its rightful place as one of the best family adventure movies of film history.
Having passed the test of time, this sweet story remains one of the most popular family and children’s films.
The Peanuts Movie (2015)
Join the gang — the Peanuts gang that is!
This cute movie will hit you in all the feels, and your kiddos will love getting to know the beloved Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, and the rest of the kids.
Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1997)
Everyone gets a little wiser after following Pooh around!
The sweet friends of Christopher Robin make for everyone’s favorite 100-acre movie. Be prepared to watch it more than once, because it’s just that sweet.
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
It doesn’t have to be December to watch everyone’s favorite red-nosed reindeer save the day!
Kids will love the old-fashioned charm and simple story, and you’ll love all the childhood memories this movie invokes.
The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1986)
You can’t beat a good dog and cat flick! Gather up the kiddos and the canines/felines and settle in to watch this enormously funny caper. Honestly one of the cutest animal movies out there.
Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins (2015)
Besides the dinosaur phase every kid goes through, there’s the inevitable train phase. Go ahead, give in, and introduce them to Thomas, everyone’s favorite tank engine.
Thomas is one of the oldest surviving characters (1942) whose adventures are still ongoing, and we know why! He’s so endearing.
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
When it comes to taming the toddler beast inside, you can’t go wrong with Elmo! There’s something about that little red muppet that really speaks to the kindergarten and below crowd.
Classic Adventure Movies
The Incredible Journey (1963)
My son watched this everyday for two years. Is that enough of a recommendation?
The Three Musketeers (1948)
Rating: NR – Approved
Sometimes you just need a classic adventure tale packed with lots of sword fights, swoon worthy romance, defeat of the bad guys, and tons of rousing good times!
Look no further than this movie, which holds up well even in these modern CGI times.
Lassie Come Home (1943)
Oh, Lassie! Did Timmy fall down that well again? Give that Collie a raise already…
This beloved family film is full to the brim with adventure, life lessons, and simpler times.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
One of my first favorites (and the first time I formed a girlhood crush), this tale of Robin Hood — everyone’s favorite scoundrel with a heart of gold — is an absolute winner.
With so many retellings of the famous medieval hero out there, this one proudly holds its position near the top.
Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955)
For the outdoor lovers and boys who just can’t stand to be fenced in, this movie about the legendary Davy Crockett will have everyone inspired to go outside and play as soon as it’s over!
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Teach your kids that anything is possible and the sky’s the limit (literally) with this family film!
Based on the literary jewel of the same title by author Jules Verne (who is also responsible for Journey to the Center of the Earth), they’ll be entranced and itching for their own adventure in no time.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
One of my favorite childhood films, this one will have your kids trying to catch monkeys, ride the nearest ostrich, and blow up pirates.
So, basically it’s one of the best family adventure movies ever made.
Author’s Note: Once it’s over, consider hiding any coconuts and potentially explosive materials that may be lying around. Just in case.
The Blue Bird (1940)
Classic Shirley Temple in one of her absolute best movies! This gentle movie is sweet, but not cloying — it still has humor and life lessons without being preachy.
King Kong (1933)
Rating: NR – Approved
Younger viewers will be fascinated with the king of the apes! And adults can revel once again in their childhood, too.
This film has been remade 948,372,849 times, but we like this 1933 version with all of its old-timey horror feels.
The Hobbit (1977)
Are they ready for some classic Tolkien? Then start here and introduce them to The Hobbit.
With great voice actors and sweet animation, this movie version of the beloved fantasy novel is sure to be a new favorite. Young kids and older kids alike will be entranced!
Best Animated Adventure Movies
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
So many funny one-liners in this movie that are so quotable!
Monsters, Inc. is a totally fun flick that is clever enough to keep the adults entertained and laughing, but not too scary for the little ones.
The Aristocats (1970)
Rating – G
This beloved Disney movie has fun music and witty lines, and is sure to become one of your kiddo’s favorite shows.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Follow Kiki through all of her adventures on her delivery service. A sweet little movie about a sweet little witch who learns to believe in herself. A lesson we can all bear to learn again!
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Rating – PG
One of my personal favorites — and the source of quite a few of my most-used quotes — Lilo and Stitch is just all-around great for a laugh.
And the relationship between the sisters…well, it has always been a particular love of mine.
Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000)
Rating: NR – Approved
For just a smidge of “scariness” you can’t beat the Scooby-Doo gang! And they would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids…
Introduce the next generation to our generation’s favorite teenage sleuths!
Pokémon: The First Movie (1999)
Every little one (and big one) loves them some Pokemon. This cute tale will keep them entertained and laughing, and you’ll secretly love it, too. Because, well, it’s just a great movie!
Treasure Planet (2002)
A little bit steampunk, a whole lotta adventure! Treasure Planet is vastly underrated for a Disney film, and we know your kids and you will love it.
One of the great animated originals, this outer space adventure is based off of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved novel Treasure Island.
The Lion King (1994)
Get ready to sing along with this magical and uplifting tale! There’s so much to love here: the importance of family (even after they’re gone), friendship, adventure, and not to forget a cast of greats that make the performances unforgettable.
Sure it’s a kids movie, but rest assured this is one of the best family adventure movies and everyone will love it.
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
A classic Disney film that has stood the test of time, Lady and the Tramp will entrance dog lovers like you and your kids. It’s gentle and heartwarming, but not boring!
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
This fun adventure romp is full of all things cute and whimsical, including mice with Australian accents! How can you not love it instantly?
It has an equally great prequel, too, so be sure to add that to your list, as well.
More Family-Friendly Adventure Movies
- A Bugs Life (1998)
- A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995)
- All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
- An American Tail (1986)
- Asterix the Gaul (1967)
- Astro Boy (2009)
- Bee Movie (2007)
- Benji (1974)
- Black Beauty (1994)
- Bolt (2008)
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
- Coco (2017)
- Curious George (2006)
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
- Finding Nemo (2003)
- Free Willy (1993)
- Halloweentown (1998)
- Heidi (1937)
- Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
- Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
- Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008)
- Magic in the Water (1995)
- Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)
- Meet the Robinsons (2007)
- Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007)
- Mysterious Island (1961)
- Old Yeller (1957)
- Oliver and Company (1988)
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
- Pollyanna (1960)
- Ponyo (2009)
- Quest For Camelot (1998)
- Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)
- Robots (2005)
- Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
- Spy Kids (2001)
- The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
- The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D (2005)
- The BFG (2016)
- The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
- The Flintstones (1994)
- The Fox and the Hound (1981)
- The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
- The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
- The Incredibles (2004)
- The Lego Movie (2014)
- The Little Prince (2015)
- The Love Bug (1968)
- The NeverEnding Story (1984)
- The Pagemaster (1994)
- The Princess and the Frog (2009)
- The Rugrats Movie (1998)
- Thumbelina (1994)
- WALL·E (2008)
- Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
- Winnie the Pooh (2011)
- Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
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