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    BlogEntertainment and Fun for Kids15+ Amazing Thanksgiving Movies for Kids to Kick Off the Holiday Season

    15+ Amazing Thanksgiving Movies for Kids to Kick Off the Holiday Season

    As you take down your Halloween decorations and start prepping for the fast-approaching holiday season, it’s time to begin thinking about turkeys, pies, grocery store crowds, and all the other hallmarks of Thanksgiving. It’s easy to get carried away with the festivities, but Thanksgiving is all about the opportunity to appreciate and cherish precious moments with your family and friends. 

    If you’re looking for fun ways to spend Thanksgiving with your loved ones this year and are struggling to wade through all the holiday specials and thanksgiving shows for kids, we’ve curated a list of movies that are perfect for this day of feasting and gratitude. Thanksgiving movies for kids are the perfect way to relax with your family after you’ve polished off Thanksgiving dinner! There are plenty of tear-jerkers and feel-good romps to choose from when it comes to kids’ Thanksgiving movies. So what are you waiting for? 

    A family of four shares a couch as they watch TV

    Gather around the TV with your family and start streaming the best Thanksgiving movies for kids to sprinkle some extra laughter and nostalgia into Thanksgiving night this year! Whether you settle on a classic like Home Alone, or something a little more recent like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, you can’t go wrong with any of these Thanksgiving movies for kids! 

    Related Reading: Fun Thanksgiving Activities for Kids to Keep Them Busy

    1. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

    Theatrical poster of the movie Planes Trains and Automobiles

    Alt: Theatrical poster of the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    Source

    A true Thanksgiving classic, Planes, Trains and Automobiles probably isn’t the first movie that you would picture when you think of Thanksgiving movies for kids. This 80s gem combines the once-in-a-lifetime travel tale of three close-knit buddies as they try their best to make it home in time for Thanksgiving. 

    Some kids may recognize Steve Martin from his work in the Pink Panther live-action comedies as he plays Neal Page alongside Del Griffith. We don’t want to give away too much, but if you’re hoping to experience a moving story about goodwill, friendship, and family, it’s hard to go wrong with Planes, Trains and Automobiles

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 7.6/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    2. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)

    If you were asked to name a Thanksgiving film that you watched as a child, we’re willing to bet that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a name that’s bound to crop up. And for good reason! Nothing ever goes right for poor Charlie Brown. But when it comes to kid-friendly Thanksgiving movies, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is perfect on all counts!

    An animated short that’s only 30 minutes long, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the perfect nostalgic trip for parents that should also satisfy new generations unfamiliar with its magic. So get your movie snacks ready as you introduce your kids to a Thanksgiving treasure from your childhood.

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 7.7/10

    Where to Stream It: Apple TV

    3. A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving (1998)

    If you’re thinking about taking Thanksgiving to the Hundred Acre Woods with your family this year, why, you’re bound to run into Pooh and all his friends! A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving invites you and your family to join Poo, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit, and of course, Tigger, to join them for a potluck dinner to celebrate the magic of Thanksgiving. 

    With so many heartwarming Winnie the Pooh holiday specials that have been released over the years, A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving stands apart as an especially moving take on Thanksgiving dinners. Join this adorable band of misfits as they try to create a magical Thanksgiving day!

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 6.8/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    4. Free Birds (2013)

    Theatrical poster of the movie Free Birds

    A movie about two turkeys that travel back in time to save other turkeys from the very first Thanksgiving and effectively destroy the tradition of Thanksgiving was certain to be an absolute riot! But don’t take our word for it. If Chicken Run had a cousin, Free Birds would be it.

    Owen Wilson stars as Reggie in this irreverent animated comedy as a know-it-all gobbler who discovers a magic doorknob with his buddy Jake, played by Woody Harrelson. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving movies for kids on Netflix, you can take your family on this time-traveling Thanksgiving adventure with Reggie and Jake.

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 5.8/10

    Where to Stream It: Netflix

    5. A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving (2016)

    Eh…what’s up, Doc? Ring any bells? Kids today may be too young to recognize the precious world and characters of Looney Tunes. But it’s never too late to revisit and introduce some of our most beloved iconic cartoon figures to this new generation. And what better way to do that than with A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving.

    Composed of two different Thanksgiving specials, the first one treats you to Bugs Bunny’s Thanksgiving diet, while the second explores Daffy Duck’s love for Thanksgiving. Perfect for all ages, when it comes to kid-friendly thanksgiving movies, don’t forget to try A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving on this day of thanks. That’s all, folks! 

    MPA Film Rating: G

    Amazon Reviews: 4.5/5

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    Related Reading: How to Explain the Story of Thanksgiving to Kids

    6. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)

    Nobody does family comedies quite like Kevin James. He stars as an ordinary mall security guard at a quiet mall, confronted with a hostage crisis. But what’s this movie got to do with Thanksgiving, you ask?

    Well, the hostage situation that Paul Blart has to confront takes place on Black Friday, the infamous shopping extravaganza that takes place the day after Thanksgiving! We expect kids to have a great time cheering on Paul Blart as he takes on a group of criminals with his trusty Segway and a clip-on speaker microphone!

    MPA Film Rating: PG

    IMDB Score: 5.2/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    7. Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989)

    When it comes to Thanksgiving movies for kids rated G, we’d be hard-pressed to recommend anything before Garfield’s Thanksgiving. Arguably one of the most recognizable cats in the world, Garfield has captured the imagination of generations. Garfield’s Thanksgiving sees John fall for Garfield’s veterinarian. 

    After putting Garfield on a diet, she invites them both over for Thanksgiving. You can probably guess how that diet ends for Garfield. If a quirky film centered around the exploits of a lazy household cat sounds like just the thing you need, then you can’t do better than Garfield’s Thanksgiving

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 7.7/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    8. Home Alone (1990)

    The quintessential holiday movie, Home Alone has become a tradition of sorts. Can you think of a better movie to watch with your kids to welcome the holiday season than one that involves a naughty eight-year-old boy who’s forced to protect his house from a pair of burglars after he’s accidentally left home alone by his family? 

    If you were searching for Thanksgiving movies for kids on Disney Plus, Home Alone is worth checking out with your family! We wouldn’t be surprised if your kids ask you to put on the sequel as soon as the credits start rolling! 

    MPA Film Rating: PG

    IMDB Score: 7.7/10

    Where to Stream It: Disney Plus

    9. Beethoven (1992)

    Theatrical poster of the 1992 movie Beethoven

    Like many of the titles we’ve already mentioned, Beethoven, the affable St. Bernard from the 90s, may not be particularly recognizable to kids from this generation. But his fuzzy warmth and charm have a universal appeal that should make new viewers feel right at home. 

    Named after the famous composer Ludwig Van Beethoven, Beethoven isn’t exactly centered around Thanksgiving, but does feature a delightfully memorable scene that parents might recall seeing on TV. The scene sees Beethoven cause a bit of havoc at the dinner table on Thanksgiving night once the turkey makes an entrance. If you’ve got a dog in the family, you can’t go wrong with Beethoven.

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 5.7/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    10. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

    One of the most famous Christmas movies of all time, Miracle on 34th Street went on to win three Academy Awards, and watching this during the holiday season has become a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition for many. If your kids haven’t experienced a film in black-and-white before, well, you’re in luck, because there’s no better movie for them to start with than this beloved classic.   

    Miracle on 34th Street begins on Thanksgiving morning at the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, when Susan, a young girl played by Natalie Walker, stumbles upon Santa. This encounter nudges the film to explore the existence of Santa Claus, an idea that should be especially gripping for Santa’s younger fans. 

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 7.9/10

    Where to Stream It: Disney Hotstar

    Related Reading: Best Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family

    11. Friendsgiving (2020)

    Friendsgiving, as the title suggests, is a unique take on the idea of Thanksgiving. Instead of revolving around a family Thanksgiving dinner, it involves a low-key holiday plan between two friends that takes a dramatic turn when more and more guests show up. 

    Although the two likable leads don’t experience the kind of Thanksgiving that most families expect to have, its message is clear. Family can mean different things to different people. If you’re looking for Thanksgiving movies on Netflix for kids, this one’s worth checking out!

    MPA Film Rating: R

    IMDB Score: 4.4/10

    Where to Stream It: Netflix

    12. Valley of the Lanterns (2018)

    Are you on the hunt for free Thanksgiving movies for kids? We’ve got you covered. Family Central’s Valley of the Lanterns was released on YouTube in September this year! It’s an animated family fantasy adventure with references to the holiday season, including Thanksgiving.

    Set in the Middle Ages, this warm animated movie features cobbled streets, magical spells, stone castles, and a cast of affable, loving, and beautifully designed characters. If you’re hoping to add a little magic to Thanksgiving this year, there’s no better way than gathering around with your family to enter the Valley of the Lanterns.

    MPA Film Rating: U

    IMDB Score: 4.8/10

    Where to Stream It: YouTube

    13. Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (2015)

    Not many movies can claim to have been made solely for Thanksgiving. In that regard, Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow may be one of the few that can. Narrated by Ludacris and Mary Steenburgen, this movie makes use of traditional animatronics to bring interesting new creatures to life!

    It follows the Emmerson family as they head to Turkey Hollow, a quaint town, to meet their Aunt Cly. With no Wi-Fi, the kids are bored out of their minds and decide to track down the howling hoodoo, an evasive monster that the locals think does not exist. With just the right hint of fantasy and mystery, this one’s sure to please the kids.

    MPA Film Rating: U

    IMDB Score: 5.5/10

    Where to Stream It: Amazon Prime

    14. Holidate (2020)

    Promotional poster of the Netflix movie Holidate

    Perfect for the holiday season, Holidate is about two strangers that agree to be each other’s platonic plus-ones across family holidays. Emma Roberts and Lukey Bracey star as Sloane and Jackson in a movie where they’re tired of their families poking their noses into their love lives and settle on this arrangement to keep them at bay.

    If you’re wondering whether their plan succeeds, don’t miss this holiday gem to find out for yourself! It’s certainly a departure from more traditional Thanksgiving classics, but doesn’t compromise on the fun, provided you watch it with your family. 

    MPA Film Rating: PG

    IMDB Score: 6.1/10

    Where to Stream It: Netflix

    15. What’s Cooking? (2000)

    Here’s another Thanksgiving movie for kids that you can enjoy without subscribing to any streaming platforms! What’s Cooking? follows four American families as they gather together for Thanksgiving dinner. The four families are of Latino, Vietnamese, African, and Jewish descent, and demonstrate how each of them celebrate this festival. 

    The movie conveys the power of love to unite while offering an inclusive look into a festival that unites Americans. Follow these families through their ups and downs as they get ready for Thanksgiving. We don’t want to give you any spoilers, so if you want to find out what’s cooking, remember to stream this old gem with your family this Thanksgiving! 

    MPA Film Rating: PG

    IMDB Score: 6.9/10

    Where to Stream It: YouTube

    Related Reading: Fun & Unique Thanksgiving Crafts For Your Kids

    16. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008)

    A sweet story about family, forgiveness and the true meaning of Thanksgiving, An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, based on Louisa May Alcott’s short story of the same title, is all heart and warmth. The movie rightfully has its place among heartwarming classics and holiday favorites. And who knows, it may just inspire you to go on the hunt for a recipe of Alcott’s famous Apple Slump. 

    Don’t be surprised if An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving becomes the family choice for the Thanksgivings yet to come! 

    MPA Film Rating: Not Rated

    IMDB Score: 6.5/10

    Where to Stream It: YouTube

    17. Pocahontas (1995)

    Is there ever a time that an animated musical isn’t welcome during family time? Not that we know of! Pocahontas has the added benefit of being a thoughtful and informative look at the lives of the native American peoples and the arrival of the European settlers. 

    Weaving a beautiful tale of courage, adventure, and friendship with all the “Colors of the Wind,” Pocahontas promises to be one of the best, fun-filled Thanksgiving movies for kids.

    MPA Film Rating: G

    IMDB Score: 6.7/10

    Where to Stream It: Disney Plus

    Grab the Popcorn and Get Watching!

    A family of four smiles as they share a couch and watch TV

    With so many great Thanksgiving films for kids to choose from this holiday season, which ones are you going to enjoy with your family? Regardless of which films you settle on, we expect this Thanksgiving to bring the warmth and comfort that comes with gathering around the TV to enjoy movies and shows with your loved ones!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Are there any films that we can enjoy this Thanksgiving which are free to stream?

    Of course! If you don’t have access to a streaming service this Thanksgiving, worry not! You can check out Valley of the Lanterns and What’s Cooking? on YouTube, and enjoy it with your family this Thanksgiving! You can browse the channels that have put up these films on YouTube to find other free movies to enjoy with your family this Thanksgiving!

    Are these movies suitable for kids to watch on their own?

    Yes! All the movies listed here are suitable for kids to experience. However, do make sure you look at the provided MPA film rating, as some of these movies do require parental supervision for kids who are below the ages of 13 and 17!

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    AUTHOR
    Brian Lee
    Brian Lee is a writer and parent of 3 spirited children. He loves writing about his parenting experience, the lessons his kids teach him every day and parenting hacks and tricks he’s picked up along the way.
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