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An animated dog butters toast as two young boys look on in this image from Lee Mendelson Film Productions
Get in the holiday spirit with “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” (Image: Lee Mendelson Film Productions)

The season for family bonding is upon us! Rather than arguing about switching between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the football game, put on a movie the whole family will enjoy. Whether you love older classics or prefer to keep up with newer Pixar movies, there are plenty of films to choose from. We’ve put together our favorite 12 movies that are perfect to watch during Thanksgiving weekend.

‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ (2021)

 A boy and his robot study a corkboard covered in notes and string in this image from 20th Century Fox.
Learning to be a good friend isn’t a one-way street. (Image: 20th Century Studios)

“Ron’s Gone Wrong” is all about learning how to be a good friend — perfect for reminding family to put on their best behaviors on Thanksgiving. During the rise of the social media age, awkward middle-schooler Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) doesn’t fit in. He thinks his troubles are solved when he gets Ron (Zach Galifianakis), “the best friend out of the box,” for his birthday. Things go south when Ron’s malfunctions cause troubles at school and at home, ultimately teaching Barney that friendship is a two-way street.

“Ron’s Gone Wrong” is available to stream on Disney+.

‘The Peanuts Movie’ (2015)

An animated boy hanging upside down and tied with kite string is scolded by an animated girl skating on a frozen lake in this image from Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
“Peanuts,” which features the main character Charlie Brown, is a classic for all ages. (Image: Twentieth Century Fox Animation)

“Peanuts” is a classic cartoon, but now a new generation gets to see Charles M. Schulz’s magic. “The Peanuts Movie” features all our favorite jokes from the originals, from Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller) picking on Charlie (Noah Schnapp) at every turn to Snoopy’s (Bill Melendez) fight with his archnemesis, the Red Baron. Join Charlie and the rest of the gang on a new adventure in 3D animation.

“The Peanuts Movie” is streaming on fuboTV and Disney+.

‘Free Birds’ (2013)

A turkey presents pizza to a pilgrim and two Native Americans for consideration in this image from Reel FX Animation Studios.
You can’t change the past, but that doesn’t stop this turkey from trying! (Image: Reel FX Animation Studios)

If you’re looking for a movie with a plot that includes Thanksgiving, you’ve got to watch “Free Birds.” Reggie (Owen Wilson) isn’t in danger from the holiday because he’s the yearly Pardoned Turkey, but he’s pulled into Jake’s (Woody Harrelson) fanatical activities. The two travel back in time to 1621 to ensure that turkeys never become part of the Thanksgiving meal.

Watch “Free Birds” on Hulu with a premium subscription.

‘Rio’ (2011)

An animated macaw and human girl fist bump in this image from Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
Overcoming fears can bring you closer to your family and loved ones. (Image: Twentieth Century Fox Animation)

If you’ve secretly always wanted to go on an exotic adventure abroad for the holidays but not miss out on seeing the family, then you need to watch “Rio.” Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), the last male macaw, is raised by Linda (Leslie Mann) in the U.S. Completely domesticated, Blu meets the last female macaw in Rio de Janeiro so they can save their species. Plans go awry when smugglers snatch Blu and Jewel (Anne Hathaway). are snatched by smugglers.

Full of fun adventures like attending Carnival, “Rio” is streaming on Disney+.

‘Night at the Museum’ (2006)

Tied to a display case, a night guard is held captive by a toy army in this image from Twentieth Century Fox.
The best way to learn is with lived experience. (Image: Twentieth Century Fox)

With a talented cast, “Night at the Museum” delivers a night of fun for the whole family. When Larry (Ben Stiller) becomes a new night security guard at the Museum of Natural History, he learns that the museum is cursed. He finds himself out of his depths when the animals and exhibits come to life, leaving a trail of wreckage throughout the museum. He meets a variety of historical people, from Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) to Attila the Hun (Patrick Gallagher).

Bring out the pumpkin pie and settle in the living room for a movie marathon the entire family will be entertained by — the “Night at the Museum” trilogy is available on Hulu and Disney+.

‘National Treasure’ (2004)

A woman holding a scroll reacts with two men at her side in this image from Walt Disney Pictures.
Who knows what hidden treasures are out there? (Image: Walt Disney Pictures)

Nicolas Cage may not be my favorite actor, but I still enjoy “National Treasure.” It’s a fun film the whole family can watch. It’s action-packed and full of puzzles that lead the heroes to an epic treasure — dodging mercenaries along the way. With all the historical elements related to America’s founding, it’s a perfect pick for Thanksgiving.

Both National Treasure movies are streaming on Disney+ and fuboTV.

‘Finding Nemo’ (2003)

An animated clownfish is horrified when a blue tang pokes a jellyfish in this image from Pixar Animation Studios.
This film is all about family and sticking together. (Image: Pixar Animation Studios)

“Finding Nemo” has been a beloved film for kids and adults alike since its premiere in 2003, so pop it on the TV when the family needs entertainment and the turkey isn’t ready yet. When Marlin (Albert Brooks) is separated from his son, Nemo (Alexander Gould), he sets out on an adventure into the deep blue to find him. He meets an array of odd characters during his travels, including fan-favorite Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), with her short-term memory loss and happy-go-lucky attitude.

For a holiday all about coming together with family and friends, “Finding Nemo” is the perfect movie to stream on Disney+.

‘The Princess Bride’ (1987)

A pirate and swordsman chat on a cliff edge in this image from Buttercup Film Ltd.
True love conquers all. (Image: Buttercup Films Ltd.)

“The Princess Bride” is a classic from the ’80s with everything from screaming eels to funny one-liners to “twue” love. The tale follows Westley (Cary Elwes), a farm-boy-turned-pirate, as he journeys to reunite with his true love, Buttercup (Robin Wright). He climbs dangerous cliffs, duels in epic sword fights, and turns enemies into friends along the way. This is the ultimate feel-good movie to watch with your family. No one will object to playing it in the background while working on Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen.

“The Princess Bride” is streaming on Disney+.

‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (1986)

A couple strolls down a city street with a friend glumly following behind in this image from Paramount Pictures.
Skipping school isn’t what you should teach your kids, but this movie is still fun. (Image: Paramount Pictures)

One of the best things about holidays like Thanksgiving is being able to share older movies with the kids. It’s like sharing a piece of your own childhood with them.

In “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Ferris (Matthew Broderick) has decided to take the day off school, convincing his friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) to come along for the ride. While they’re gallivanting around Chicago, attending baseball games and participating in parades, principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is determined to catch Ferris playing hooky.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is available to stream on Pluto TV.

‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (1981)

An adventurer admires a golden idol in this image from Lucasfilm.
We love Indiana Jones, but we suggest sticking to the original trilogy. (Image: Lucasfilm)

If you and your family are feeling adventurous — or you can’t make it to Disneyland during Thanksgiving weekend to go on the Indiana Jones ride — then it’s time to strap in for a movie marathon, starting with “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Indy (Harrison Ford) is an archaeology professor who takes every opportunity to go out in the field and hunt down old artifacts. Hunting down the Ark of the Covenant, a biblical artifact, will pit him against a troop of Nazis and his worst fear, snakes.

For a whipping good time, all three original Indiana Jones movies are streaming on Paramount Plus.

‘Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope’ (1977)

A man aims his blaster as he backs up a ramp to a spacecraft in this image from Lucasfilm.
The Star Wars franchise has spanned four decades because of its loving fan base. (Image: Lucasfilm)

The Star Wars franchise has united generations, providing something for families to bond over during Thanksgiving. We love the new movies and TV shows, but nothing compares to the film that started it all: “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope.” Join Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he trains with a Jedi knight; flies through the galaxy with Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and two droids; and takes down the Death Star.

If you prefer watching the entire franchise chronologically, everything Star Wars–related is on Disney+.

‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ (1973)

 A group of kids and a dog gather at a Thanksgiving table in this image from Lee Mendelson Film Productions.
This holiday classic reminds us that family can be chosen too. (Image: Lee Mendelson Film Productions)

I remember popping the “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” VHS tape into the VCR and helping my mother decorate for the season. Now it’s an animated short I can’t skip each year. It fills me with nostalgia, and it’s always a fun watch.

It all starts when Peppermint Patty (Christopher DeFaria) invites herself to Charlie Brown’s (Todd Barbee) house for Thanksgiving. Suddenly, Charlie is pulling together a meal for all the neighborhood kids. By meal, I mean popcorn, toast, and candy — every kid’s dream meal. Of course, Linus (Stephen Shea) is there to remind everyone what the holiday is all about.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is streaming only on Apple TV+.

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