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

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

November 7, 2020

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.

While the special effects may not be as phenomenal as modern movies, there is much to love about a good flashback to the ’80s! Which one is your favourite?

Don’t Miss These 80s Family Movies!

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

indiana jones for best 80s family movies

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)

best 80s family movies

Rating: PG-13

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

Annie (1982)

Annie for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG

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

The Princess Bride (1987)

The Princess Bride for best 80s movies

Rating: 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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Honey I Shrunk The Kids (1989)

Honey I shrunk the Kids for best 80s family movies

Rating: 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 out for hitchhiking on a bee, in particular).

Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

Can't Buy Me Love for best 80s movies

Rating: PG-13

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

The Land Before Time (1988)

The land before time for best 80s family movies

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)

back to the future for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG

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

Big (1988)

Big for best 80s family movies

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)

gremlins for best 80s family movies

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)

Flight of the navigator for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG

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

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The Neverending Story (1984)

The neverending story for best 80s family movies

Rating: 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)

three men and a baby for best 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.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in pink for best 80s family movies

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.

Spaceballs (1987)

spaceballs for best 80s family movies

Rating: 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.

Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG-13

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

Ghostbusters (1984)

ghostbusters for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG

Action, adventure, comedy and tons of slime – perfect!

Uncle Buck (1989)

uncle buck for best 80s family movies

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)

short circuit for best 80s family movies

Rating: 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.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Ferris bueller for best 80s family movies

Rating: 15

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

Labyrinth (1986)

labyrinth for best 80s family movies

Rating: 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)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit for best 80s family movies

Rating: PG-13

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

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Santa Claus the Movie for best 80s movies

Rating: PG

An evil toymaker, played by John Lithgow, threatens the magic of Christmas in this heart-warming festive movie (the first film I ever saw in the cinema!).

The Goonies (1985)

80s family movies

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.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

ET for best 80s family movies

Rating: U

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

Sixteen Candles (1984)

sixteen candles for best 80s movies

Rating: 15

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

Stand By Me (1986)

Stand by me for best 80s movies

Rating: 15

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

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

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Published On: November 7th, 2020 / Categories: Entertainment / Last Updated: February 28th, 2022 / 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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