Netflix’s new arrivals always bring some good options. But in April, there are enough family-friendly choices to give you an entire month of family movie nights.
Based on the incredible true story of the bobsledding team from Jamaica that won the gold in the Winter Olympics, Cool Runnings is one of the quirkiest and most charming comedies Disney has ever produced. That’s a tall order to fill, but watch the film and you’ll see what I mean. There’s hardly a joke that doesn’t land, and the absurdity of the whole thing, combined with the fact that it actually happened, gives the film a tremendous license to just have a blast with the story. There are also some heartwarming elements of team-building and ambition built into the mix, which makes it a phenomenal all-around family film. Of all the films on this list, I’d recommend starting with this one.
The BFG (4/6)
Based on the book by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda), Steven Spielberg directs in this visual marvel about an orphan who becomes friends with a kind giant. With an author like Dahl and a director like Spielberg, there’s little to doubt and little to dislike. It’s a heartwarming adventure, albeit with some intense moments, that makes for a family movie night.
Kubo and the Two Strings (4/8)
As I said in my full review of the film, Kubo and the Two Strings is a phenomenal film, even if it is a little too grown-up at times for the kids. It takes some dark thematic turns, and is downright terrifying in moments, but has a far more emotional depth than any other animated film of 2016. Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey make the cast memorable, and the animation style in and of itself, with a paper origami feel, makes the entire story feel otherworldly. I said earlier that Cool Runnings deserves a number one priority spot this month, but Kubo and the Two Strings is not far behind. You can read my full review for more on the film.
Queen of Katwe (4/25)
One of Disney’s more critically successful releases in recent years, Queen of Katwe is the amazing true story of a young African woman who was able to get out of her small village and see the world because of her talent for Chess, of all things. But this film isn’t only about Chess; there’s also a Christian connection. Chess is how the mentor character, a preacher, keeps the kids off of the streets. Starting heavy hitters Lupita N’yongo and David Oyelewo, this film is one that deserves a spot in your queue.