Thanksgiving worldwide started in the early seventeenth century and is a cherished holiday celebrated primarily in the United States, traditionally observed on the fourth Thursday of November.
The first recorded history of Thanksgiving states that it originated as a harvest festival, started by England and the Native American Wampanoag people, where people express gratitude for the blessings in their lives.
Mostly in America, Families and friends come together on the fourth Friday of November every year to enjoy a festive meal, reflect on their blessings, and spend quality time together.
The Concept of Thanksgiving Movies
In addition to the delicious food and family gatherings, people also like the aspect of Thanksgiving, which allows them and their families to indulge in entertainment activities, including watching movies, singing songs, or playing games that capture the holiday spirit.
In every household on Thanksgiving, movies offer a chance for families to relax, unwind, and enjoy heartwarming stories that resonate with gratitude, togetherness, and love and bring families together, forgetting about their past differences.
Whether it’s a comedy, drama, or animated adventure, these films provide an excellent way to enhance the Thanksgiving experience with the entire family.
How We Shortlisted Thanksgiving Movies for Kids
A. Selecting the Movies
Choosing the top 30 Thanksgiving movies for Kids and family viewing is a strenuous task and involves considering several factors carefully.
The below criteria, which we have used to select and recommend the top 30 kids Thanksgiving movies, ensure the films are suitable for all age groups, can be watched with family members, and promote a positive, inclusive atmosphere during the holiday season.
B. Family-Friendly Themes, Humor, and Heartwarming Stories
We ensured that the selected movies prioritize family-friendly themes that resonate with viewers of all ages, from young children to adults. The below-recommended movies from our editors often explore the value of familial relationships, gratitude, and the power of coming together as a community further fosters love, affection, humility, and social understanding in young children and teens.
They also offer a healthy dose of humor, ensuring the whole family can share in the laughter. Additionally, these movies tell heartwarming stories that touch emotions and leave a lasting impact on the audience.
C. Variety of Genres and Styles
The list includes various genres and styles to cater to different tastes and preferences. From animated adventures that enchant the family’s youngest members to heartwarming dramas that evoke deep emotions, there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer comedy, romance, or adventure, these movies provide a delightful assortment of choices for a memorable Thanksgiving viewing experience.
Following the above criteria measures, the list below presents the top 30 Thanksgiving movies for the enjoyment of kids and families.
Below are the 30 best Thanksgiving Movies for Kids and Family to Stream on Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Apple TV and Disney+
|Movie Title||IMDb Rating||Available On||Critic Review|
|Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)||7.6/10||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu||“He calls this movie – A near-perfect comedy” – Roger Ebert|
|A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)||7.7/10||Apple TV+||“A timeless classic for all ages” – Common Sense Media|
|Home for the Holidays (1995)||6.6/10||Amazon Prime Video||“A relatable and heartfelt family dramedy” – Entertainment Weekly|
|Miracle on 34th Street (1947)||7.9/10||Disney+||“A heartwarming holiday tale” – The New York Times|
|Free Birds (2013)||5.9/10||Amazon Prime Video, Netflix||“A fun and entertaining animated adventure” – Rotten Tomatoes|
|Pieces of April (2003)||7.1/10||Amazon Prime Video||“Katie Holmes shines in this touching Thanksgiving story” – Variety|
|The Blind Side (2009)||7.6/10||Netflix||“A captivating and inspiring tale of compassion” – Rolling Stone|
|Addams Family Values (1993)||6.6/10||Amazon Prime Video||“A darkly comedic sequel that brings plenty of laughs” – The Washington Post|
|Dutch (1991)||6.5/10||Amazon Prime Video||“Ed O’Neill delivers a delightful performance in this road trip comedy” – Empire|
|The New World (2005)||6.7/10||Amazon Prime Video||“Terrence Malick’s visually stunning historical drama” – The Guardian|
|Son in Law (1993)||5.8/10||Amazon Prime Video||“Pauly Shore brings the laughs in this lighthearted Thanksgiving comedy” – Los Angeles Times|
|An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008)||6.8/10||Amazon Prime Video||“A charming Hallmark movie that captures the holiday spirit” – Common Sense Media|
|Funny People (2009)||6.3/10||Netflix||“Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen shine in this bittersweet Thanksgiving tale” – The Hollywood Reporter|
|The Big Chill (1983)||7.2/10||Amazon Prime Video||“A poignant exploration of friendship and reunion” – Chicago Tribune|
|Scent of a Woman (1992)||8.0/10||Netflix||“Al Pacino delivers a tour-de-force performance in this powerful drama” – Variety|
1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)
In this classic comedy, Steve Martin and John Candy star about two mismatched travelers who embark on an eventful journey to reach their families in time for Thanksgiving.
2. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (1973)
Charlie Brown and his friends teach us the true meaning of Thanksgiving in this beloved animated unique filled with heartwarming moments and a memorable feast.
3. “Home for the Holidays” (1995)
Directed by Jodie Foster, this dramedy follows a dysfunctional family as they reunite for Thanksgiving, navigating awkward encounters, love, and laughter.
4. “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
While not solely focused on Thanksgiving, this heartwarming classic tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who helps restore the spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
5. “Free Birds” (2013)
In this animated adventure, two turkeys join forces to travel back in time and change the course of history by removing the turkey from the Thanksgiving menu.
6. “Pieces of April” (2003)
Katie Holmes shines in this indie gem, portraying a young woman determined to create a memorable Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family.
7. “The Blind Side” (2009)
Based on a true story, this inspirational film follows the journey of a homeless teenager who finds hope, love, and a sense of family with a caring woman during the Thanksgiving season.
8. “Addams Family Values” (1993)
In this darkly comedic sequel, the Addams Family faces a new challenge when a conniving nanny tries to disrupt their unconventional celebrations during Thanksgiving.
9. “Dutch” (1991)
Ed O’Neill stars as a working-class man who embarks on a road trip to pick up his girlfriend’s spoiled son from boarding school, leading to humorous and heartfelt moments.
10. “The New World” (2005)
Directed by Terrence Malick, this visually stunning historical drama tells the story of the first Thanksgiving and the encounter between English settlers and Native Americans.
11. “Son in Law” (1993)
Pauly Shore stars in this lighthearted comedy as an eccentric college student accompanying a naive farm girl home for Thanksgiving, causing delightful chaos.
12. “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” (2008)
This Hallmark Channel film is based on a short story by Louisa May Alcott and follows a young girl’s attempts to reunite her family for a memorable Thanksgiving celebration.
13. “Funny People” (2009)
Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen star in this dramedy about a famous comedian who forms an unlikely friendship with a struggling stand-up comic during the Thanksgiving holiday.
14. “The Big Chill” (1983)
While not solely centered on Thanksgiving, this ensemble film explores themes of friendship, love, and reunion as a group of college friends gathers for a weekend during the holiday.
15. “Scent of a Woman” (1992)
Al Pacino delivers a memorable performance as a blind veteran who takes a young student on a Thanksgiving weekend escapade, resulting in life-changing experiences.
16 Grumpy Old Men” (1993)
This comedy follows two elderly neighbors who engage in a hilarious rivalry that reaches new heights during Thanksgiving.
17 “What’s Cooking?” (2000)
This ensemble film explores the diverse Thanksgiving traditions and gatherings of four different Los Angeles families.
18 “The Ice Storm” (1997)
Set in the 1970s, this drama unfolds over Thanksgiving weekend, capturing the complexities of suburban family dynamics during a time of social and cultural change.
19 “Sweet November” (2001)
In this romantic drama, a free-spirited woman takes a man under her wing and teaches him to appreciate the simple joys of life, leading up to a meaningful Thanksgiving.
20 “Dutch” (2021)
A new take on the classic 1991 film, this comedy follows a working-class man who embarks on a wild road trip with his girlfriend’s son during Thanksgiving.
21 “The Family Stone” (2005)
An uptight businesswoman visits her boyfriend’s eccentric family for the holidays, leading to a series of comical and heartfelt moments.
22 “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986)
Woody Allen’s comedy-drama explores the lives and relationships of three sisters and their families over two Thanksgiving celebrations.
23 “For Your Consideration” (2006)
Christopher Guest’s mockumentary hilariously follows the cast and crew of an independent film as they navigate the awards season leading up to Thanksgiving.
24 “The Great Outdoors” (1988)
John Candy and Dan Aykroyd star in this comedy about a family’s eventful vacation at a lakeside resort, culminating in a memorable Thanksgiving feast.
25 “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992)
While primarily a Christmas film, this Muppet adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic story features a heartwarming Thanksgiving scene and is perfect for the holiday season.
26 “The War at Home” (1996)
This powerful drama explores the impact of the Vietnam War on an American family during Thanksgiving in 1972.
27 “Dutch” (1987)
A working-class man volunteers to pick up his girlfriend’s snobby son from prep school, leading to a road trip filled with comedic misadventures.
28 “Tower Heist” (2011)
A group of employees in a luxury high-rise plot to rob their corrupt boss during the Thanksgiving holiday.
29 “A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion” (1993)
This made-for-television movie reunites the beloved Walton family for a heartwarming Thanksgiving celebration.
30 “Nobody’s Fool” (1994)
Paul Newman stars as a middle-aged man trying to reconcile with his estranged son while navigating the ups and downs of life in a small town during Thanksgiving.
Breaking barriers, one day at a time! Politically incorrect/learner for life. Mom to a beautiful daughter. Consultant – Talent Acquisition at WhiteCrow Research Group