Here's something to be thankful for: We rounded up six of the very best Thanksgiving movies for kids, including a few animated classics, as well as films the entire crew can gather around to enjoy once everyone is good and stuffed.
Even if you are planning a movie marathon to entertain the tots while you baste the turkey and mash the potatoes, or if you need a good way to corral the kids to the couch as their pie sugar high sets in, these Thanksgiving movies for kids — and adults — will do the trick.
‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ is a holiday classic.
Thanksgiving isn’t the same without family members sparring over politics, cranberry sauce, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. What we love about A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is that it’s only 25-minutes long, so it’s the perfect after-dinner flick for small kiddos to screen before they go to bed. Meanwhile, the nostalgia factor makes the film a score for tired parents who spent all day cooking, and just want to settle down on the couch to snuggle (glass of wine optional).
According to USA Today, this 1973 cartoon featuring all of our favorite Peanuts characters isn't scheduled to be on cable in 2022. Instead, the short is available to stream on Apple TV+ for subscribers. Otherwise, families can stream the special free starting Wednesday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 27.
‘Garfield’s Thanksgiving’ tells a relatable tale.
Anyone who has overindulged on Thanksgiving fare will feel Garfield eating everything in sight so hard. The message of this holiday classic is relatable for parents, but the 1989 animated movie is sure to delight little ones of all ages.
After the dishes are done, you can rent the 24-minute Garfield special on Amazon Prime for $1.99, a price that will surely recall a simpler time, like, well, 1989. Bonus: The short run time means children will still get to bed early enough for adults to get a quiet moment to peruse Black Friday sales!
‘Free Birds’ flips the script.
Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson voicing turkeys? What’s not to love about that concept? Free Birds is a fun and funny animated feature film the kids will watch again and again — and adults will find themselves chuckling along to the antics as well.
Just be sure to screen this Thanksgiving movie for kids after the family meal if you want them to eat turkey, since it shows Thanksgiving from the POV of, you guessed it, turkeys.
‘The Blind Side’ offers teachable lessons for all family members.
If you are looking for a feel good movie for the whole family, try The Blind Side. The Academy Award-winning film tells the true story of professional football player Michael Oher and the family that adopted him.
The all-star cast, helmed by Sandra Bullock, and featuring Tim McGraw in a winning turn, will make you laugh, cry, and think about, well, the meaning of family and maybe even life itself! Sniff. We told you it was a tear-jerker — but 100 percent worth a watch this Thanksgiving.
‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ will have everyone laughing out loud.
Steve Martin and John Candy trying against all odds to make it home for Thanksgiving is simply one of the best films this time of year has to offer. Just beware that if you haven’t seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles before, this R-rated movie earns its designation as being best suited for older kids in the family.
Indeed, a few scenes feature quite a bit of bad language (especially the car rental sequence), so be sure to cover little ears or distract small children during these moments. Or, if you’ve put the under-10 set to bed already, stifle your uproarious laughter so as not to wake them!
‘Home Alone’ kicks off the Christmas season right.
Since Thanksgiving is the official start of the Christmas season, get in the spirit and turn on Home Alone after your turkey and stuffing (and pie!). We know we aren’t alone in our opinion that this movie never gets old, and makes the perfect backdrop for putting up the Christmas tree. Maybe sipping some eggnog? Just sayin’.
Even if you typically wait to decorate for Christmas until a few weeks after Thanksgiving, watching Kevin Arnold torturing Harry and Marv in his home fun house just feels right this time of year and is perhaps the ultimate Thanksgiving movie for kids — and everyone else, too!
Whatever movie or movies you decide to watch on Thanksgiving, enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!