Don’t get me wrong. I love the series… just not as much as my 3 year old daughter does. Once you play anything for what seems like days on end, I think it’s only natural for the adults in the room to want to throw the TV out the window. Kids are definitely creatures of habit, and it may be hard to get them to try something new once in a while. If you’re able to convince them, here are some other heart-warming movies the whole family can enjoy.
1. The Willoughbys
These kids basically try to send their neglectful parents away on a dangerous vacation hoping for their demise so they can be free of their reign. I know, from the first sentence, this sounds like something out of a Series of Unfortunate Events book, straight from the desk of Lemony Snicket, but Netflix lightened it up quite a bit for it to be kid-friendly. It also has an encouraging and strong message about family – even with all of the flaws and challenges that can be encountered.
If you’re looking for something a bit more lighthearted, give this one a shot. It’s still weird in it’s own wonderful way, and can even be enjoyed outside of Christmas time. A spoiled postmaster’s son gets sent to one of the most underappreciated and dangerous post offices at the Arctic Circle in an attempt to reform him – and winds up meeting the future Santa Claus (way before the red suit came into the picture).
If you like geeky references galore, this is definitely a good choice. Two teenage elves get an unexpected chance to have one last day with their dad, who had passed away years back… but only get his bottom half. The quests that ensue create unexpected chaos. The story is filled with unique examples of father-son bonding, and does a decent job showing how to move past grief and missed opportunities.
A cute story about a yeti wanting to be reunited with his family, and a teenage girl who desires to travel across China. It’s a familiar theme – a teamwork-oriented creature-rescue story that also underlines the importance of nourishing different relationships in a busy life, whether it be family members or friends.
5. Next Gen
Finally, if you’re an avid fan of The Office, you’ll find a welcome charm to the top-secret robot in the movie. A lonely girl discovers him in a world that has become heavily reliant on personal tech. (Definitely makes a jab at Apple here.) This one’s definitely action-packed, yet it manages to send home a powerful reminder to unplug from technology to reconnect with loved ones IRL (in real life).