The Best ’80s Family Movies to Watch With Your Kids

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

November 7, 2018

80s family movies

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We asked you what your favourites ’80s family movies were, and you sent us flying down memory lane! There are so many fantastic movies that have stood the test of time, so check out our list of cult and classic ’80s family movies to watch with your kids.

Don’t miss the chance to have your say! We’re looking for parents to get involved and give their feedback on all aspects of family life. Find out more here.

While the special effects may not be as phenomenal as modern movies, there is much to love about 80s family movies. Which one is your favourite?

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Don’t Miss These 80s Family Movies

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess BrideRating: PG

What’s not to love – sword fights, giants, magic, quicksand, a love story, and plenty of classic fairy tale action.

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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Rating: PG

The first of the Indiana Jones movies was a sure-fire hit full of action, suspense, snakes, treasure and the always cool Harrison Ford.

The Karate Kid (1984)

Rating: PG-13

Mr Miyagi teaches new-kid-in-town Daniel how to master karate in the ultimate martial arts movie.

Annie (1982)

Rating: PG

The tale of feisty orphan Annie is a fantastic family movie, complete with plenty of sing-along opportunities.

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Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989)

80s family moviesRating: PG

This is an easy-to-watch family movie with a fun concept, and some special effects that the kids will love (be sure to look our for hitchhiking on a bee, in particular).

The Land Before Time (1988)

Rating: U

Dino-fans will love this movie! Full of dinosaur facts, as well as endearing characters, it tells the tale of Littlefoot, Cera and friends as they embark on an adventuresome journey.

Back To The Future (1985)

80s family moviesRating: PG

Marty McFly and Doc began their time-travelling adventures in the first of the Back to the Future series.

Big (1988)

Rating: PG-13

In this Tom Hanks classic, 12-year-old Josh wishes to be ‘big’ and wakes up the next day as an adult, with hilarious consequences. Imagine a pre-teen decorating a New York City apartment for a start…

Gremlins (1984)

Rating: 15

While Gizmo might be cute, not all the little Mogwais are, especially not when they get wet…

The Flight of The Navigator (1986)

Rating: PG

A really fun sci-fi action movie with surprisingly good (for the time) special effects.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Rating: 15

The epitome of 80s movies was Ferris Bueller and his determined avoidance of school.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Rating: PG-13

A dark fantasy movie from Tim Burton, Beetlejuice has a stellar cast that bring this completely crazy movie to life.

The Neverending Story (1984)

80s family moviesRating: PG

The whole family will enjoy the special effects and story in The Neverending Story – it is the ultimate fantasy movie!

Three Men and A Baby (1987)

80s family movies

Rating: PG-13

This movie brought three of the big ’80s stars together (Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Michael Guttenberg) for a cute and watchable movie. The sequel, Three Men and a Little Lady, is also worth a watch.

Spaceballs (1987)

80s family moviesRating: PG-13

One of the most popular spoof movies, Spaceballs takes on Star Wars in a goofy, sometimes crude and typical Mel Brooks’ innuendo style.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Rating: PG

Action, adventure, comedy and slime – perfect!

Uncle Buck (1989)

Rating: PG

Another John Hughes comedy makes the list, with John Candy in truly inimitable fashion as Uncle Buck, the irresponsible adult brought in to take care of three unruly kids.

Short Circuit (1986)

80s family moviesRating: PG

Kids will love Number Five, the robot with human characteristics, who escapes from a military compound and needs to be kept safe by the scientists who created him.

The Goonies (1985)

Rating: PG

This absolute cult classic follows a misfit group of outcasts who discover a pirate treasure map and embark on a series of adventures along the way.

Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

Rating: PG-13

A geek-to-chic comedy, with a young Patrick Dempsey who longs to be accepted by the cool crowd.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Rating: U

Spielberg’s tale of a wrinkly little alien looking to return to his own planet is a family classic.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Rating: PG-13

Teenage crushes and trying to fit in with the ‘cool kids’ are the main stories here in another Molly Ringwald-John Hughes combo.

Labyrinth (1986)

80s family moviesRating: PG

A true fantasy adventure, packed with imaginative and ‘otherworldly’ scenes – and, of course, David Bowie as the Goblin King.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

80s family moviesRating: PG-13

One of the first animation-live action hybrid movies, this hilarious caper also won four Oscars for animation and special effects.

Santa Clause: The Movie (1985)

Rating: PG

An evil toymaker threatens the magic of Christmas in this heartwarming festive movie (the first film I ever saw in the cinema!).

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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Rating: 15

The John Hughes’ hilarious 80s high school comedy is another Molly Ringwald classic.

Stand By Me (1986)

80s family moviesRating: 15

The Stephen King adaptation tells the story of four young boys on a coming-of-age adventure.

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What are your favourite ’80s family movies? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you?

The Best 80s Family Movies to Watch With Your Kids - Mykidstime

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Published On: November 7th, 2018 / Categories: Entertainment / Last Updated: March 12th, 2021 / Tags: , , , , /

About the Author: Emily Manning

Emily is the coffee-loving Editor of MyKidsTime. Mum of one daughter and two naughty Tibetan Terriers, she is particularly partial to Curly Wurlys and unable to resist pretty stationery and new cookbooks. As an avid foodie and domestic goddess-wannabe, she is most likely to be found in the kitchen.

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