When it comes to watching movies with your kids, you don’t really have too many genre choices. Rom-coms? Too kissy-kissy for young kids. Horror? Well, you know, too violent. Psychological thriller? Um, kinda inappropriate. That’s what makes family adventure flicks so fun, since they’re exciting and might entice you to explore all on your own. And if you grew up in the 80s or 90s, then there’s one film that tops them all:
Jumanji. So if you’re looking for something new to watch, these 15 movies like Jumanji will make you want to go out and have an adventure.
Picture it. 1995. A
movie named is released in theaters and becomes a box office success. Starring Robin Williams as Alan Parrish, a man who has been stuck inside a board game named Jumanji Jumanji for 26 years. When siblings Judy and Peter Shepherd come across the game and play it, the now-adult Alan is finally released along with giant mosquitoes, a lion, carnivorous vines, and swarms of monkeys. Ultimately, the fantasy film (which grossed over $262 million worldwide) is about the chances we take, learning how to work as a team, and ultimately how sometimes you just have to keep rolling the dice to move forward in life.
So if you’re ready to have an adventure of your own with your kiddo, stream Jumanji, or if you’re old school, pop a cassette tape into your VCR. Because adventure is out there — if you want it.
Originally known as
Zathura: A Space Adventure, Zathura follows a similar set-up to Jumanji. There’s a mysterious board game, bored kids, and chaos that threatens to overtake their house — and their lives. In the case of Zathura, brothers Walter and Danny bicker all the time, while older sister Lisa wants to sleep the day away. But when their divorced dad (played by Tim Robbins) heads into work, the boys discover the game that blasts their home into outer space — and takes them up close and personal with nasty extraterrestrial reptiles called Zorgons… and an astronaut that might be related to the boys in a way that neither could have imagined. Stream Zathura, rated PG, on NBC (and woot, for free) 2 Up
Don’t let that tear-jerker of an opening sequence stop you from watching
Up, a Disney Pixar Animation Studios film. Cranky Carl Fredricksen ties thousands of balloons to his home in an attempt to fly it to South America (and more precisely, Paradise Falls), a place that he had promised to take his beloved wife, Ellie. But when he finds Russell, a Junior Wilderness Explorer, on his front porch — mid-flight, no less — the two become an unlikely pair that somehow form a friendship. Up has everything you’d expect from a Pixar flick, including friendship, fun, a dastardly foe, and Dug, an adorable golden retriever who can speak, thanks to a special collar. And if you couldn’t get enough of the cuddly canine, there’s Dug Days, a collection of shorts based on the precocious pup. Stream Up, rated PG, on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu 3 Finding Nemo
An aquatic adventure tail (ha),
Finding Nemo explores the great big blue and the lengths that a parent will go to protect their child. Clown fish Marlon loses his wife, Coral and almost all of their eggs in a barracuda attack, sans one — Nemo, a little fish with a big heart. When Nemo gets captured by scuba divers, it’s up to Marlon and Dory, a blue tang with short-term memory loss, to track down Nemo, even if it means escaping sharks, bouncing in a forest of jellyfish, riding the East Australian Current, and being swallowed by a blue whale. Stream Finding Nemo, rated G, on Disney+ 4 Labyrinth
If your only experiences with Jim Henson were the happy-go-lucky Muppets and Fraggle Rock, prepared to get your mind blown by Labyrinth. The movie follows Sarah, a 16 year-old girl, who wishes that the goblins would take away her bratty baby brother Toby — and, welp, they do. The Goblin King himself, Jareth, (David Bowie, in form-fitting pants), appears and offers Sarah her wildest dreams in exchange for Toby, but realizing that her parents are probably going to be pissed off that the baby is gone, she enters the Labyrinth, full of creatures like The Worm, Sir Didymus, Ludo, and Hoggle, who helps her get through the ever-changing maze to reach the castle and rescue Toby. The movie is as much for kids as it is for adults, and the soundtrack (which Bowie sings several songs on) alone makes it worth watching.
Stream Labyrinth, rated PG, on Netflix and HBO Max 5 Nim’s Island
Nim, an 11 year-old girl, lives on a remote South Pacific island with her widower dad, Jack (Gerard Butler). To keep her company, Nim has several animals that have become like friends, from Fred the bearded dragon to Selkie the sea lion, to Galileo, the pelican. A marine biologist, Jack sets off to find a new species of plankton that he plans to name after Nim; Protozoa nim. Nim stays behind since Chica, her sea turtle, has eggs that are about to hatch. A cyclone prevents Jack from returning home, and Nim, who loves Alex Rover adventure books, coincidentally gets an email from “Alex Rover”. When Nim tells Alex (who is actually agoraphobic author Alexandra Rover) that she is alone, Alexandra (played by Jodie Foster) vows to rescue Nim — if she can leave her house, that is. For kids who love animals and the beach, this is an awesome adventure movie.
Stream Nim’s Island, rated PG, on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu 6 Jurassic Park
Sure, your little sweetie loves their stegosaurus, but be sure to wait until they’re a little older to watch
Jurassic Park, a film that freaked out moviegoers back in 1993. A dinosaur theme park featuring once-extinct dinosaurs that have come back to life seems almost too good to be true — and it is — when a greedy worker decides to steal fertilized dinosaur embryos and shuts down the power at the park… allowing dinosaurs such as a Tyrannosaurus rex to roam (and kill) freely. Jurassic Park is still hailed as a classic adventure movie that follows paleontologists Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Sam Neill and Laura Dern, respectively), along with mathematician Ian Malcolm (the always awesome Jeff Goldblum) along with Jurassic Park creator John Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim, as they try to escape the island — and that treacherous T rex. Stream Jurassic Park, rated PG-13, on HBO Max, Peacock, and Netflix 7 The Princess Bride
A list of adventure movies for kids that doesn’t include
The Princess Bride? Inconceivable! A grandfather (Peter Falk) reads a story to his sick grandson, which includes adventure and (ick) kissing. The story centers on Buttercup, who falls in love with farmboy Westley. He sails away on a ship to make enough money so they can get married, but the ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts. The movie has a colorful cast of characters such as Fezzik, a giant, and Inigo Montoya, who wants to kill the six-fingered man who killed his father. There’s swashbuckling, comedy, romance, and that swoonworthy line: “As you wish.” Stream The Princess Bride, rated PG, on Hulu Plus or Disney+ 8 The Jungle Book
To date, there have been four versions of
The Jungle Book made. Each one centers on the pint-sized protagonist, Mowgli, a boy who has been raised by wolves. Although he’s happy with his wolf family, he must return to the “man village” so he can escape Shere Khan, a man-eating tiger. Along the way, he faces many adventures with Baloo, a fun bear, and Bagheera, a wise panther. In the 2016 version, Mowgli (played by Neel Sethi) lures Shere Khan up a dead tree, and when the tiger ventures onto a branch, it collapses under his weight and he falls to his death. But what will Mowgli choose to do? Will he stay in the “man village” or return home? Stream The Jungle Book, rated PG, on Disney+ 9 The Never Ending Story The Never Ending Story is a fantasy film based on the 1979 novel The Neverending Story. It’s about 10 year-old Bastian, who loves reading books and is often bullied. When he takes shelter in a bookstore, he is curious to see the book that the store owner, Mr. Coreander, is reading. When he’s not looking, Bastian takes the book and reads the story of the fantasy world of Fantasia, where the Childlike Empress has become sick. An evil force called The Nothing threatens life in Fantasia, and Atreyu, a young warrior, sets out to find a cure for the Empress. Bastian becomes a part of the story when Atreyu sees a mirror image of himself. As The Nothing continues to consume parts of Fantasia, it will take everything to save the magical land and cure The Childlike Empress. And did we mention that there’s a cuddly flying dragon named Falkor? Stream The Never Ending Story, rated PG, on Vudu and Google Play 10 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Kiddos playing in closets is nothing new. But the one in this film isn’t for storing your seasonal items. Siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are sent to live with Professor Kirke during World War II. During a game of hide and seek, Lucy hides inside the wardrobe and discovers the magical world of Narnia. Unfortunately, the White Witch has cast a spell on Narnia, causing an eternal winter, but sadly, no Christmas. The siblings work together to defeat the White Witch, and along the way, make friends with creatures such as a faun named Mr. Tumnus, as well as Aslan, a talking lion who is described as the King of Beasts. The movie is based on the C.S. Lewis book, and is the first one in a series of seven books.
Stream The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, rated PG, on Disney+ 11 Treasure Planet
Pirate ships in outer space? Yes, please. That’s the premise of
Treasure Planet (a sci fi rendition of the novel Treasure Island), in which rebellious teen Jim Hawkins finds purpose — and friendship — that are out of this world. When a spaceship crashes near his family’s inn, Jim discovers a star map that leads to the location of the real Treasure Planet, a place that was alleged to have loot stolen by legendary pirate Captain Nathaniel Flint. It’s up to Jim and cyborg cook John Silver to battle black holes, a supernova, and space storm. Will they make it to Treasure Planet alive and find the treasure? You’ll just have to watch this 2002 film to find out. Stream Treasure Planet, rated PG, on Disney+,Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and AMC on Demand 12 Bridge to Terabithia
Based on the book by the same name,
Bridge to Terabithia tells the story of unlikely friends Jesse and Leslie. Together, they create their own imaginary world, Terabithia, a beautiful kingdom where they rule as monarchs and that only they know about. The film touches on topics like bullying (and why bullies aren’t always what they seem), religion, and you guessed it, death. No spoilers here, but the movie explores how kids handle grief and loss, and how to rebuild your life once again — and possibly crown a new Queen of Terabithia. Stream Bridge to Terabithia, rated PG, on Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Google Play 13 Journey to the Center of the Earth
Have you ever wondered about the world that lies beneath your feet? Well, wonder no more, since
Journey to the Center of the Earth takes you down the rabbit hole to find out. The 2008 film stars Brendan Fraser as a volcanologist who plans to do a deep dive (literally) into his brother’s disappearance 10 years ago. Together with his nephew Sean (Josh Hutcherson), Hannah Ásgeirsson, the daughter of an Icelandic volcanologist, and a copy of Jules Verne’s book, Journey to the Center of the Earth, they set out to find the answers that lie below the surface. Stream Journey to the Center of the Earth, rated PG, on Netflix and Peacock 14 Onward
What would you give to have one last visit from a loved one who has passed away? That’s the premise of
Onward, in which brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot get the chance to cast a visitation spell to see their deceased father one last time. Unfortunately, only half of their dad’s body is reformed, which causes the brothers to go on a quest to find the gem that will allow them to complete the spell. In the end, Ian and Barley find that our loved ones never really leave us, and that sometimes, it’s the ones who remain who really matter. Stream Onward, rated PG, on Disney+, Amazon Fire TV Stick, PS4, Xbox One and Roku 15 Night At The Museum
By day, it’s the American Museum of Natural History. But by night, something exciting happens: all the exhibits come to life. That’s what night watchman Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) discovers when he gets the job at the iconic NYC landmark. And whether it’s playing with Rexy, a T-rex skeleton who thinks he’s a dog, or a key- (and scene) stealing capuchin monkey named Dexter, it’s one adventure (and laugh) after another in this film. But it’s Robin Williams’ performance as Teddy Roosevelt that makes the movie. For even more adventure, binge watch the trilogy, which includes
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Stream Night At The Museum, rated PG, on Disney+ or Hulu Plus
All of these movies can take you on magical adventures with your fam. From outer space to deep in the ocean depths, you’ll get to travel the world with the ones you love the most — and never have to leave home.