Lockdown is the perfect time to dedicate to just spending time together as a family. With no obligation to go out and get stuff done, this is a great opportunity to just slow down and take some time out. After a morning's homeschooling, why not grab the popcorn and hit the sofa for a Disney marathon? Check out our list of Disney movies old and new to introduce your kids to on lazy afternoons.
If you haven't already jumped on the Disney Plus bandwagon, you can rent or buy the Disney movies on our list from Amazon Prime or Youtube. If you have Disney Plus you can watch every single movie on the list on their platform. With The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and so much more, there is a Disney movie for every single night of lockdown on Disney Plus.
Remy is a bonafide culinary genius with the determination and grit to make it to the top in the world of French cuisine. The only problem is that he's literally from the gutter. Remy is a rat, so claiming his rightful spot as a celebrity chef in a prestigious Parisian restaurant isn't going to be a smooth ride. However, he is so passionate about cooking that nothing can get in the way of his following his dream.
In the end, Remy's dream comes true, through blind determination and hard work. A great lesson to all children and parents everywhere, that anyone can - and should - follow their passion, regardless of who they are or where they're from.
Perfect for: children over the age of 6 who have a passion in any field, particularly in cooking, food or rodents.
A Westerner wakes up to the fact that people in different places do things differently, and that the differences between different groups of people should be respected. Pocahontas teaches Smith to see the world as a conscious entity to be worshipped and protected rather than plundered for its natural resources. Respect animals, respect the environment you live in and respect other people's ways of life. Though the original story was far more complicated than this rose-tinted interpretation, Pocahontas is still one of the best Disney classics to help kids understand the importance of taking care of their planet.
Perfect for: children 6 +, particularly nature lovers.
Finding Nemo (U)
Nemo's dad is no stereotypical hero. Over-protective, uptight and pessimistic, he's had his fair share of trauma and wants to make sure his only son never goes through what he's been through. One of the main messages of this classic Disney movie is that kids have to be free to live their own lives. Succumbing to peer pressure and eager to break away from his dad's stifling control, Nemo swims off on his own and gets lost.
Indecisive, weak and risk-averse before his son's disappearance, Marlin's love for Nemo propels him on an adventure that will radically change him. By the end of the film, he is a fearless hero, and the time spent apart results in father and son being closer than ever.
Perfect for: fish fanatics over 6. A few scary moments for little ones.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (U)
The first Disney animated feature film and the original Disney princess, Snow White is a must-see Disney classic based on the 19th-century German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. Here we have it all - a beautiful, saintly orphan, a wicked stepmother, charming prince and a magical true love's kiss. Full of immediately recognisable songs and animation that required over 750 artists to complete, Snow White was truly groundbreaking at the time and paved the way for all future Disney fairytale blockbusters.
While the cruel stepmother's insecurities about Snow White's beauty eventually turn her into a literal monster, Snow White's good nature makes her appear more and more beautiful to everyone she meets. Moral of the tale - real beauty lies within.
Perfect for: little princesses of all ages, though some scenes might be scary for younger children.
Sleeping Beauty (U)
Another classic princess tale, Aurora has a spell cast on her as a baby which means that on the eve of her sixteenth birthday she'll prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Luckily, she has her fairy godmothers to guide her prince charming to her and break the spell with true love's kiss.
Sleeping Beauty is a pretty faithful adaptation of a 17th-century fairy tale by Charles Perrault. Walt Disney planned for this to be his greatest masterpiece and it took almost a decade to make. Its lush animation and beautiful music based on Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty ballet make this one of the must-see classics on any Disney movies list.
Perfect for: princess fans of any age. Again, scary witch scenes that might frighten very young viewers.
The Jungle Book (PG)
No Disney movie list could be complete without mentioning The Jungle Book. Brought up by wolves in the Indian jungle, Mowgli is forced to re-evaluate his place in the animal world when his nemesis, Shere Khan, returns to kill him. The Jungle Book is a coming-of-age story, charting Mowgli's journey from boy to man. A major theme is identity, and the need to belong to a pack. Mowgli is forced out of his wolf-pack and into the man-village and struggles with feeling out of place in both worlds.
If you've already seen the original version, why not try the rebooted 2016 live-action? With an all-star cast including Idris Elba as Shere Khan the tiger, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the panther and Bill Murray as Baloo, both kids and parents are sure to find both the performances and Oscar-winning visual effects mesmerising.
Forget about your worry and your strife and focus on the bare necessities of life to get you through the lockdown.
Perfect for: animal lovers of all ages.
The Little Mermaid (U)
One of the most popular Disney films of all time, The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel, a beautiful mermaid who longs to be human. Based on the book by Hans Christian Andersen, the Disney retelling depicts Ariel's breaking free from the safety of her kingdom under the sea and risking everything to start a new life on land.
The Little Mermaid is another classic coming-of-age story, featuring a father who wants his daughter to stay where and as she is, and a rebellious teen who's ready to take off and make her own decisions. Packed with unforgettable tunes and larger than life characters, this is a film little mermaids will want to put on time and time again.
Perfect for: mermaid and princess fans of all ages.
Alice In Wonderland (PG)
Alice is bored with studying, sees a white rabbit running off into the undergrowth and follows him down a hole and into the nonsensical realm of Wonderland. There she meets a whole host of eccentric characters and confusing situations. Ultimately an allegory for growing up, Alice is ejected from the safety of home into a chaotic world where nothing makes sense and she has to use her wits to survive.
Young children will love the Cheshire Cat and talking caterpillar, but might start declaring every day their 'unbirthday', which might get tiring after a month or so!
Perfect for: daydreamers of all ages.
Beauty And The Beast (PG)
' Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.'
If you haven't already seen the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, you're in for a real treat. Opulent set and costume design, a thoroughly modern heroine in Emma Watson and a charismatic, brooding beast, this remake really does justice to the original and is sure to become a classic in its own right.
Stand-out scenes from this musical extravaganza include Lumière's show-stopper, 'Be Our Guest', and Gaston's flamboyant, ego-driven number in the tavern. Not only is this beautiful remake a feast for the eyes, but it also boasts a fiercely independent bookworm as its heroine who is not at all interested in settling down and getting married. She does, of course, end up having a fairy-tale romance anyway, but only because she and the beast have bonded over a shared love of books!
Perfect for: all ages, particularly bookworms.
Peter Pan (U)
Join Peter and the Darling family as they fly off to Neverland, the mystical land of eternal childhood. Based on the book by J. M. Barrie, this Walt Disney classic has enchanted generations of kids since its release in 1953. With swashbuckling pirates, mermaids, fairies, and a band of kids ruling the roost, every child who has ever watched Peter Pan has wished they could get a rap at their window and a midnight flight to Neverland!
One of the most famous Disney classics, Peter Pan is a nostalgic ode to the innocence of childhood. Take a trip down memory lane and remember what it was like to never want to grow up.
Perfect for: kids of all ages who love adventure.
The Lion King (PG)
One of the most popular Disney movies of all time, both versions of The Lion King are sure to captivate your kids and have them belting out the 'Circle of Life' for weeks to come. Loosely inspired by both Bambi and Hamlet, Simba has an evil uncle who murders his father and forces Simba into exile so that he can take his place on the throne. Luckily, Simba's dad can offer some advice from beyond the grave and Simba ends up going back, overthrowing his tyrannical uncle and taking his rightful place as king. Simba is a hero, unjustly exiled, who returns triumphantly to be the perfect leader.
The live-action version is like a David Attenborough film with an Elton John soundtrack, so for animal lovers, it really is a must-see.
Perfect for: animal lovers over 6 (there are some scary scenes, particularly with the hyenas and Mufasa's death).
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Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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