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15 Family-Friendly Comedies That Will Cheer You Up during the Pandemic

15 Family-Friendly Comedies That Will Cheer You Up during the Pandemic

Too often, the phrase “family-friendly” doesn’t go hand in hand with the word “comedy.” 

That’s especially true among live-action comedy movies, which are frequently littered with coarse language, suggestive dialogue and other non-kid-friendly stuff. 

Still, it’s not too hard to find family-friendly comedy movies if you know where to look. Some are even live-action.

Of course, no film is perfect, so if something on our list has content you don’t like, then try a filtering service such as ClearPlay, VidAngel or Vudu. 

Here are 15 family-friendly movies that will always cheer you up:

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Evgenyatamanenko

1.&nbsp;<em>Paddington</em> (2014) / <em>Paddington 2</em> (2017)

1. Paddington (2014) / Paddington 2 (2017)

A British family raises a talking Peruvian bear, who teaches them (and everyone he meets) how to be kinder. This hilarious series is a favorite in my home. Both films are rated PG for mild action and (a little) rude humor. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Heyday Films

2. The Herbie Movies (1968-1980)

A Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, wins multiple racecar championships – and even falls in love. This Disney live-action series from yesteryear includes four titles: The Love Bug (1968), Herbie Rides Again (1974), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) and Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). All are rated G. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney

3. Toy Story Series (1995-2019)

A pull-string ragdoll (Sheriff Woody) and a space ranger superhero (Buzz Lightyear) go on multiple adventures with their toy friends in this Pixar franchise. Toy Story was the first fully computer-animated movie. The series is a cut above most children’s movies: It’s funny and contains important lessons about life. The series includes Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2(1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (2019). All are rated G. Animated.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney Pixar

4. Incredibles (2004) / Incredibles 2 (2018)

A superhero family is forced to navigate the real world while keeping their superhero powers secret. Of course, they fight the bad guys, too. Incredibles is rated PG for action violence. Incredibles 2 is rated PG for action sequences and some brief mild language. Animated.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney Pixar

5. Mom’s Night Out (2014)

Two men volunteer to babysit the children so their wives can enjoy an evening at a nice restaurant. Nothing, though, goes as planned. It’s one of my favorite live-action funny movies of all time – and it has a family-centric message, too. It stars Patricia Heaton and Sarah Drew and was directed by Jon and Andrew Erwin, the filmmakers behind I Can Only Imagine and I Still Believe. Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some action. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Provident

6. <em>Cars</em> Series (2006-2017)

6. Cars Series (2006-2017)

A human-like race car named Lightning McQueen learns about perseverance and life with his best friend, Mater. The Cars series follows every step of Lightning’s career, from his rookie years to his retirement. Like every Pixar film, it includes great messages for parents and children. This series includes Cars (2005), Cars 2 (2011) and Cars 3 (2017). All are rated G. Animated.

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7. Father of the Bride (1991) / Father of the Bride 2 (1995)

A father (played by Steve Martin) battles his emotions and his tight-wallet ways when his 20-year-old daughter gets married. In the second movie, his middle-aged wife and daughter become pregnant at the same time. Father of the Bride(1991) is rated PG. Father of the Bride 2 (1995) is rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements. Because of brief sexually suggestive content, these may be best for older family members. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney Pixar

8. The Parent Trap (1961)

Two teenage girls set out to reunite their divorced parents. The 1961 version starred Hayley Mills in a dual role as the twin sisters and was nominated for two Oscars, including for best film editing. It’s slightly more kid-friendly than the 1998 version. Rated G. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney

9. The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) / The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979)

In the first film, two bumbling outlaws (played by Don Knotts and Tim Conway) try to steal a pile of gold. In the sequel, they go straight but still get caught up with the law. Nearly anything with Knotts and Conway is hilarious. This pair of films is no different. Both films are rated G. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney

10. Gus (1976)

A Yugoslavian farm boy rises to stardom when it’s learned his mule, named “Gus,” can kick a football 100-plus yards. The duo join the fictional California Atoms and help lead the team to a championship. Don Knotts plays the coach. Rated G. Live-action.  

Photo courtesy: ©Disney

11. <em>Zootopia</em> (2016)

11. Zootopia (2016)

A rabbit rookie cop pairs up with a sly fox to solve a major crime and prove her worth on the police force. The sloth scene alone makes this one worth watching. Due to a few intense moments, Zootopia may not be suitable for young children. Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action. Animated.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney

12. Finding Nemo (2003) / Finding Dory (2016)

They’re two of the most family-centric films in the Pixar lineup. In Finding Nemo, a clownfish father, Marlin, searches for his missing son, Nemo. In Finding Dory, Marlin and Nemo help a blue tang fish named Dory find her parents. Finding Nemo is rated G. Finding Dory is rated PG for mild thematic elements. Animated.

Photo courtesy: ©Disney Pixar

13. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

An awkward high school boy, surrounded by awkward family members and friends, tries to find his place in the world. It’s a quirky, hilarious comedy with little plot but lots of laughs. Due to a few mature situations, this one may be best for older children. Rated PG for thematic elements and language. Live-action.

Photo courtesy: ©Fox Searchlight

14. Despicable Me (2010-2017)

A supervillain named Gru sees his view of the world transformed after adopting three little girls. Eventually, he even gets married. The Despicable Me series mixes a great message – bad people can change – with a hilarious family plot. The first two movies are rated PG for rude humor and mild action. Despicable Me 3 is rated PG for action and rude humor. Animated.

Photo courtesy: ©Universal Studios

15. Up (2009)

A cantankerous widower and a young “Wilderness Explorer” named Scout go on a cross-country adventure under a canopy of helium balloons. Up is one of the best films in the Pixar catalogue. It’s also a tear-jerker. Rated PG for some peril and action. Animated

Other good ones: Madagascar series, Elf, Spy Kids movies, The Secret Life of Pets films, The Strongest Man in the World, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and the Ice Age series.


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Photo courtesy: ©Disney Pixar

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.