There’s just something about autumn that makes it the best season of the year. It could be the cooler temperatures, the fact that it marks the start of sweater weather, or the fact that it gives everyone permission to start drinking pumpkin spice lattes. These family-friendly fall movies highlight everything great about pumpkin season, and will make you so excited to get outside.
The fall marks the
birth of something new — the birth of a new school year (which means the start of football season), the holiday season (yes, Christmas is right around the corner), and the season for hot lattes and warm soups. Yum. These films show everything great that fall has to offer, even if the main characters aren’t chugging mugs of apple cider or going pumpkin picking with their family.
Some of these films like
You’ve Got Mail and Fantastic Mr. Fox take place in autumn, highlighting the moody weather and color-changing trees. While other films like Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown are centered around autumn’s favorite holiday, Halloween.
So grab your coziest cardigan, and get ready to watch some of these amazing fall movies. It’s pretty much guaranteed that everyone in the family will be obsessed with at least one of them, no matter how young or how old they are.
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The Addams Family is the creepy, kooky, and spookiest family on the block. And the whole entire family is preparing for a visit from their even creepier relatives. But when a shady TV personality sets her sights on their mansion, the Addams’ realize that they have taken on a lot more than they bargained for. With an all-star cast including Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Oscar Isaac, Martin Short, Bette Midler, and even Snoop Dogg,
The Addams Family is sure to entertain your little monsters and make you feel a whole lot better about not being the weirdest family on the block. Watch The Addams Family, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Celebrate one of the tastiest holidays of the fall with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew. When Peppermint Patty invites everyone to Charlie Brown’s for Thanksgiving, he has to let his friends know that he is going to his grandmother’s instead. So, Snoopy decides to cook his own Thanksgiving meal and the menu is pretty darn daring. Together with Woodstock, Charlie, and Linus, the budding chef whips up a feast of toast with margarine pan-fried popcorn to sweetly ensure that no one is home alone for the holiday, and that the Peanuts have the best Friendsgiving ever.
Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, rated TV-G, on Apple TV+. The Blind Side
A Black teenager overcomes adversity and living on the streets to become a professional NFL player with the help from a local family.
The Blind Side is all about football, which is, of course, one of the most popular fall sports. Sandra Bullock stars as real-life football mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy, in the role that won her both a shiny Golden Globe and Academy Award. This sports movie combines athleticism and heart, to tell the story of an incredible young man who beat the odds and found the love and support he always deserved from his adoptive family. You’ll be cheering like a fan in the stands and passing the tissues too! Be warned, The Blind Side is rated PG-13 due to one scene involving brief violence and drug references, but some parents might love the positive messages of inclusion and benefits of hard work. Rent The Blind Side, rated PG-13, on YouTube Movies for $3.99. The Book of Life
Three childhood pals living in a small, Mexican town have found that their lives have all taken different paths. But one must face his greatest fears and take on three fantastical worlds to pursue the girl of his dreams, who also happens to be one of his best friends. This stunning animated film is set in the fall and is absolutely breathtaking. Zoe Saldana stars as a feisty princess who is also an expert fencer. Diego Luna and Channing Tatum also round out the cast to lend their voices to this charming animated movie about choosing between fulfilling family expectations and following your heart.
Watch The Book of Life, rated PG, on Disney+. Coraline
A young girl discovers an alternate universe behind a secret door in her brand new home. While this world looks a lot like her own home but better, she discovers that some things aren’t so sweet. Dakota Fanning lends her voice to star as the titular 11-year-old, Coraline. The screenplay is also written by famed British writer, Neil Gaiman, who also penned the dark fantasy children’s novel of the same name Die-hard
Coraline fans can also check out the comic books, video games, and even opera, that are tie-ins to the movie too! This animated, stop motion movie evokes all of those warm and chilling feelings that are exactly like autumn. Rent Coraline, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video for $3.99. Coco
A young boy, Miguel, dreams of being a musician in spite of his family’s strict ban on music. But when Miguel finds himself in the land of his ancestors, he meets Héctor, who helps him uncover his family’s secrets.
Coco boasts an all-Latino cast, celebrates Mexican cultures and heritage, and will fill your heart with the music and inspiration to follow those seemingly unreachable dreams. Although the land of the dead is just that, it’s filled with stunning fall imagery that will make you want to carve your nearest pumpkin ASAP. So grab your guitar and pumpkin-scooper and get ready to encounter a melodic underworld like you’ve never seen (or heard) before. Watch Coco, rated PG, on Disney+. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
When an alien becomes stranded on earth, he is discovered and befriended by a young boy who takes him into his home and attempts to keep his existence a secret. But when the alien, who they name E.T., becomes sick, the government attempts to intervene. With a super nostalgic setting, this film will evoke those homey fall feelings. And even if aliens and the ‘80s aren’t your thing, it’s impossible to deny the out-of-this world cuteness and star quality of a 7-year-old Drew Barrymore, who plays scene-stealing Gertie in this classic family movie. Extra-credit points to
E.T. for reminding kids to do what moms are always asking of them: “phone home.” Watch E.T. the Extra Terrestrial , rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Get your fall fashion inspiration from the adorable animated film,
Fantastic Mr. Fox. This film focuses on Mr. and Mrs. Fox who live at home with their fun son, Ash. But things are disturbed when Mr. Fox reverts back to his old ways when he plans a chicken heist. The movie is worth watching for the blazer looks, alone. But it’s also definitely worth checking out for the legendary cast. Silver fox George Clooney plays the animated Mr. Fox, and screen goddess Meryl Streep stars as his foxy wife, Felicity. The Fantastic Mr. Fox will appeal to kids and adults of all ages, and even reach the high standards of cinephiles who will watch anything by director Wes Anderson. Watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, rated PG, on Disney+. Fly Away Home
When Anna loses her mom in a devastating car accident, she moves to Canada to live with her estranged father, who is a bit of an oddball. While she struggles to fit in, she finds a new purpose when she adopts an orphaned flock of geese and teaches them how to fly. Anna Paquin plays 13-year-old Amy Alden who moves to New Zealand with her dad and his girlfriend after enduring tragic loss.
Fly Away Home is a soaring journey of a young girl who also heals herself when she rescues an abandoned nest of 16 goose eggs and incubates them in a dresser in an old barn. All the heartwarming feels for the cool fall weather. All of them. Watch Fly Away Home, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video. Frozen II
Journey into the unknown in this
Frozen sequel, which puts the main characters in a less frosty environment. When Anna and Elsa have to search for the truth of their past, they journey into fantastical autumn forests beyond Arendelle. The animation of the fall leaves is stunning, to say the least. For budding animators who might be fascinated by the behind the scenes magic of Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, there’s also a pretty awesome docuseries called. Although most movie’s sequels never manage to live up to the hype of the original film, Into the Unknown: The Making of Frozen II Frozen II is a welcome exception and features a fun soundtrack with a high-flying song by Panic! At the Disco. Watch Frozen II, rated PG, on Disney+. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
After an orphan learns that he is a wizard on his 11th birthday, he is transported to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he learns about the past of his deceased parents and discovers all of the power he has inside. With an all-star cast of young actors who were catapulted to fame by this film,
Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, was a magical launching pad for A-listers Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. This film is worth watching this fall, if only for the stunning scenery, oh my word. J.K. Rowling’s books that preceded the movie are also the perfect reads for kids to curl up with on an autumnal rainy day. Watch Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone, rated PG, on Peacock. Halloweentown
Marnie is an uncool teen with a passion for Halloween. So, when she discovers that her grandmother is a good witch who lives in Halloweentown, she finds that she must use her newfound powers to help save her relative’s home from destruction. This family-friendly ‘90s movie is a witchy delight that stars iconic actress and singer Debbie Reynolds in her role as Agnes “Aggie” Cromwell. As soon as the credits roll, gear up to watch three more sequels:
Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High, and Return to Halloweentown. Come on, it’s right there in the title, Halloweentown is the quintessential fall film. Watch Halloweentown, rated TV-PG, on Disney+. Hotel Transylvania
Dracula runs a lavish resort called Hotel Transylvania, where all of the monsters in the world can live it up with their families. But when one visitor crashes the party and falls in love with Dracula’s daughter, chaos ensues. Selena Gomez, Andy Samburg, and Adam Sandler round out the cast of this hilarious vampire movie that will offer great costume ideas as well as effective tips for anyone who finds himself in the position of trying to woo Dracula’s daughter. While
Hotel Transylvania might not seem like the obvious fall movie, there’s never a wrong season to fall in love! Rent Hotel Transylvania, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video. Hocus Pocus
You can’t celebrate Halloween without watching
Hocus Pocus, the 1993 film about three, undead, sister witches who set out to cast a spell on an unassuming town and reclaim their power. Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Kathy Najimy make for a tricky trio of siblings who just so happened to be executed in the 17th century. Of course that would make any self-respecting witch pretty pissed, so the Sanders sisters are not messing around when a new kid comes to town to end their quest to become immortal. This enchanting film, set during the fall, will definitely cast a spell on its viewers! Watch Hocus Pocus, rated PG, on Disney+. Hubie Halloween
When Halloween actually turns spooky in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, it’s up to the good-hearted, scaredy cat neighbor, Hubie, to keep the town safe. This Netflix original film starring the very popular Adam Sandler is rated PG-13 due to
crude and suggestive content, but it’s a modern day fall film that might be more appropriate for an older crowd. Julie Bowen rounds out the cast as Hubie’s love interest who also happens to be a foster parent with a heart of gold. Maya Rudolph plays a less angelic former classmate who loves to prank poor Hubie. Sandler’s character might be a simple grocery deli store clerk with an unfortunate mustache, but you’ll still find yourself rooting for this underdog who has appointed himself a Halloween authority out to reign in trick-or-treaters who stash too much candy. Watch Hubie Halloween, rated PG-13, on Netflix. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
While the Peanuts gang preps for a party in their town, Linus awaits a miracle from the Great Pumpkin in the local pumpkin patch. Leave it to Charlie Brown’s smitten sister, Sally, to be the only member of the Peanuts gang to stand by her blanket-obsessed crush. Big sister and Miss Bossypants, Lucy, might not be the most supportive sibling of Linus at first, but she steps up in a big way when her little brother falls asleep among the pumpkins at 4 AM. Meanwhile, Snoopy is living his best doggy-life as a fighter pilot in an iconic animated scene where his doghouse races through the skies. This made-for-TV special is one of those programs that just screams fall and family traditions.
Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, rated TV-G, on Apple TV+. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Explore the hundred acre woods with Winnie the Pooh and his lovable cast of animal friends, who go on so many exciting adventures together. No matter the seasons or the weather, these friends are always there for each other, which will make you feel so warm and cozy. So grab your favorite mug and some piping hot tea and stir in all the honey that this lovable yellow bear could swallow . While
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh might be a movie from the ‘70s, these delightful stories of one of the most beloved children’s characters are truly timeless and endlessly sweet. Watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, rated TV-Y, on Disney+. Monster House
When three local kids set out to expose the terrors of an abandoned neighboring house, no one will believe them. But when Halloween approaches, the trio of friends must find a way to destroy the house and save the trick-or-treaters. You can’t go wrong with a movie that takes on a crotchety next door neighbor who confiscates little kids’ belongings and has the perfect nemesis name — Horace Nebbercracker. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as one of the tweens in this animated comedy horror that is sharp, scary, and most importantly, tons of fun.
Monster House is a great family movie with an autumn setting that will provide plenty of laughs as well some screams. Watch Monster House, rated PG, on Netflix. October Sky October Sky is a coming of age story starring Jake Gyllenhaal, who plays a high school student named Homer living in a very small town. The movie is set in the 1950’s and based on the true story too. The gist: a West Virginian coal miner loves his job, and expects his sons to follow in his footsteps and take over. But when one son becomes fascinated with space, he begins building rockets, in the hopes that they will lead him to a better life. While this film is super inspiring (making it a great watch for any time of the year), more importantly, it takes place in one of the best fall months: October. Watch October Sky, rated PG, on Peacock. ParaNorman
A young boy, Norman, with the ability to speak to the dead, is the only one who can stop an evil curse put on his hometown. And when zombies rise from their graves, it’s up to Norman to communicate with them and send them away. Anna Kendrick plays Courtney, Norman’s big sister who isn’t so keen on her little brother communing with their dead grandmother smack dab in the middle of their living room.
ParaNorman is a spooky and sweet film that takes on the many tropes of scary flicks and reveals that monsters aren’t always who they appear to be. Watch ParaNorman, rated PG, on Tubi. Pocahontas
Another film with stunning fall imagery is
Pocahontas, the 1995 animated Disney film about a brave young Native American woman who listens to her heart to determine which life path she should follow. Watching this movie will make you want to paint with all of the colors of that new fall wind. It also has quite a bit of romance too. History and forbidden love collide in this retelling of one of the most famous Native Americans who was part of the Powhatan people and was involved in the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas is the daughter of a powerful chief who wants her to marry a native warrior, but her heart belongs to Captain John Smith, one of the settlers who journeyed to the New World. Drama! Watch Pocahontas, rated G, on Disney+. Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
Go trick-or-treating in the hundred acre woods with Winnie the Pooh, Roo, and his new friend, Lumpy. But everyone needs to be afraid of the Gobloon, who transforms his victims into a Jaggedy Lantern. If that’s not problematic enough, Winnie the Pooh has eaten all the Halloween candy too! The crop-topped bear’s insatiable appetite for sweets becomes the surprising catalyst for Lumpy and Roo to muster up the guts to be braver than they ever imagined and catch that wretched Gobloon. A delicious treat about friendship and fun,
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is an animated adventure for every trick-or-treating kid and any kid at heart. Rent Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, rated G, on YouTube Movies for $3.99. Remember the Titans
Nothing says fall like tossing the pigskin and sitting in the lit crowds of the packed bleachers on a chilly Friday night. Celebrate football season with
Remember the Titans, the inspiring story about a Black football coach, newly appointed to lead a high school team in their first racially integrated year of playing. Denzel Washington stars in the true story of Herman Boone, who ushered his team of athletes to glory while helping them face a tragic accident that changed the life of one of their players forever. Ryan Gosling, Donald Faison, Hayden Panettiere, and Kate Bosworth are all part of this ensemble cast that will have you cheering one moment and reaching for your tissues the next. Watch Remember the Titans, rated PG, on Disney+. Wolfwalkers
In a time when wolves are seen as evil, a young apprentice and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But when they befriend a free-spirited girl, they discover her mystery — she can transform into a wolf at night. The fall color palette in this film is absolutely beautiful, and this 2021 Oscar nominated movie for Best Animated Feature might just inspire you to howl at the moon. Fun-fact: the animation for
Wolfwalkers was drawn by hand, but the movie also used a high-tech filming technique to achieve the “wolfvision” scenes that allow viewers to feel like they are truly part of the wild. Watch Wolfwalkers, rated PG, on Apple TV+. You’ve Got Mail
While this adorable romantic comedy might be a little uninteresting to the younger crowd,
You’ve Got Mail is the perfect fall movie, showcasing how beautiful New York City can be in the autumn. You’ve Got Mail pits a small children’s bookseller against an owner of a chain bookstore, but she unknowingly falls in love with him over the internet. Ooh la la. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are the adorable, swoony couple who catch feelings over the now defunct AOL instant messenger. While dial-up internet might seem like an ancient relic of the past, this epistolary e-romantic comedy is definitely more desirable than a random Tinder hookup. You’ve Got Mail is the perfect film to watch once the kids go to bed, but it’s also tame enough to have on for background noise while they do their homework. Watch You’ve Got Mail, rated PG, on Amazon Prime.
Now that sunny summer weather is on its way out, and crisp fall chills are just around the corner, why not get cozy on the couch with the family and watch some fun and spooky movies with autumn vibes? It’s a great way to score some quality time and get ready for most kids’ favorite candy-hoarding holiday — Halloween!
This article was originally published on
Aug. 18, 2021