In the darkness and cold that come with every winter, it can be tough to find good ways to spend time as a family. Summer allows for outdoor play, fairs, and often vacation, but in winter, entertaining your kids can be a major challenge. Thankfully, we have movies to get us through the boredom that can come with every winter.
There are plenty of great kids & family movies that the whole family can get something out of, but eventually, you might hit a point where you’ve seen the most obvious titles. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, then we have the perfect list for you. Here are three underrated movies that your whole family can enjoy.
Perhaps one of the smaller-scale Pixar films ever made, Luca tells the story of two friends who really want to win a Vespa scooter in a small Italian coastal town. The only twist? They’re both actually fish people who only appear to be human when they don’t get wet.
Although it has its fair share of hijinks, Luca is really about a friendship between two boys, and specifically about the delicate moment when the paths those two boys are on begins to diverge. It features a great lineup of voice talent including Maya Rudolph and Sacha Baron Cohen, and it feels refreshingly intimate for a kids’ film. Even so, there’s still plenty for children to hang on to, including the wonder of the undersea world that these boys call home.
Luca is streaming on Disney+.
Telling the story of a chameleon desperate to find a way to stand out, Rango follows this character as he assumes the role of sheriff in a small Western town. Although he takes the job mostly to assuage his own ego, Rango quickly finds that he’ll have to be a real hero if he wants to save the town.
One of the best things about Rango is that, in addition to its vivid animation, which still holds up more than a decade later, it’s an animated movie that has real heft. Kids will love its sillier moments, but adults will be able to relate to its ruminations on the nature of identity, and its fairly sullen central character.
Rango is streaming on Paramount+.
Most of the Disney live-action remakes have not been worth more than a passing thought, but David Lowery’s Peter Pan & Wendy manages to find something genuinely new to say about its central characters.
Although the movie follows the familiar beats of every Peter Panstory, this film feels a little more wistful about what it means to grow up than its predecessors. Of course, there’s also Captain Hook to be dealt with, and this movie manages to make it feel like they occasionally used some real sets instead of just slapping CGI on everything.
Peter Pan & Wendy is streaming on Disney+.