It’s school holiday time in Australia again, and for many parents that means finding a way to entertain the kids while they’re at home. Thankfully, this has never been easier thanks to the excellent streaming services which are readily available to Australians, meaning the perfect family-friendly movie is just a few taps of a remote away.
We’ve scoured the content libraries of Netflix, Disney Plus, Binge, Amazon Prime Video and Stan in order to find our top 15 movies that are guaranteed to engage and delight until school comes back. So without further ado, here are our picks for the 15 best school-holiday flicks.
An adventure-packed film in the vein of The Goonies, Finding ‘Ohana sees a young girl from New York embark on a journey for lost treasure in Hawaii. Along the way, she learns the true value of family and heritage.
We Can Be Heroes
When their superhero parents are captured by a dastardly supervillain, a group of super-powered kids come together to rescue them. From the director of Spy Kids and Shark Boy and Lava Girl, We Can Be Heroes is colourful superhero fun for the whole family.
From the renowned Studio Ghibli comes Spirited Away, the story of a sullen 10-year-old girl named Chihiro who wanders into a magical world only to find her parents have been turned into pigs. In order to reverse the spell, Chihiro must work off a debt to the witch who turned them at a bathhouse for gods and spirits.
Struggling to prove herself as the first bunny on the police force in the all-animal city of Zootopia, Officer Judy Hopps teams up with a sly, scam-artist fox in order to uncover a huge conspiracy. Filled with jokes and references that even grown-ups will love, Zootopia is one of Disney’s most entertaining animated movies.
The premise of the holiday classic Home Alone is simple: an eight-year-old kid is accidentally left behind while his entire family goes on vacation, and finds himself fending off a couple of bumbling burglars with a series of comically over-the-top booby traps.
In years to come, Ratatouille may very well be considered the best of all of Pixar’s films. It follows a young rat from Paris named Remy who dreams of being a chef. In order to do so, he teams up with a kitchen-hand named Linguini who pretends to be a chef while Remy secretly takes the reins.
An utterly delightful film, Paddington sees a young bear from Peru who finds himself in London taken in and given a home by the kind Brown family, who name the bear Paddington after the station he was found at. Paddington is a film that’s absolutely impossible to dislike.
How to Train Your Dragon
A young Viking who aspires to become a dragon hunter like his father unexpectedly befriends a Night Fury, the rarest of all dragons. Eventually, he learns that his people have misjudged the species, and attempts to form an alliance between the Vikings and the dragons. Epic in scale and packed with heart, How to Train Your Dragon is a classic family film.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a timeless classic about a young boy named Elliot who befriends a kind space alien and sets out to help him return to his home world. At the same time, he must also protect him from the government.
Amazon Prime Video
Sonic the Hedgehog
Against all odds, Sonic the Hedgehog ended up being one of the best video game movies to date, thanks to its fun story, likeable actors and eye-popping action set pieces. After finding himself on Earth, a small, lightning-fast hedgehog must team up with a small-town cop against an evil scientist who wants to perform experiments on him.
Trolls World Tour
Our heroes from the first Trolls movie discover that they are just one of six Troll tribes from six different lands, each one devoted to a particular style of music. When the Queen of the Hard Rock Trolls tries to take over their land, Poppy and Branch devise a plan to stop her.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Based on the classic book by author Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr. Fox sees a cunning fox’s life thrown into chaos when a trio of local farmers become fed up with his turkey-snatching ways. Impeccably crafted, brilliantly written and oozing with charm, Fantastic Mr. Fox really is as fantastic as its title suggests.
The Lego Movie
Construction worker Emmett finds himself at the centre of a prophecy that must stop a tyrant from gluing the entire Lego universe into a state of immobility. Packed with pop culture references and hilarious jokes, The Lego Movie is endlessly entertaining.
The Adventures of Tintin
A visually-stunning adaptation of the classic Tintin books by Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin sees these beloved characters brought to life thanks to cutting edge CGI and motion capture techniques. The film sees the intrepid reporter Tintin set off on a quest to find lost treasure alongside his trusty companion Captain Haddock and his brilliant dog Snowy.
A heart-warming and inspiring true story of a dog who wandered the outback looking for his lost master and ended up uniting a broken community. A wonderful movie that will make you smile and cry, Red Dog is one of the best Aussie movies in recent years.