Family Comedy Films

Monday, March 28 by Joshua Wade

Characterized by whimsical stories, heartwarming laughs and delightful special effects and animation, these family comedy films feature some of the most iconic characters known to children and parents alike from Kermit the Frog and his Muppet friends in “The Muppet Movie” to the teens of Mystery Inc. and their lovable Great Dane in “Scooby-Doo.” These family comedies are highlighted by wonderful ensemble casts featuring beloved and legendary actors.

  1. "The Shaggy D.A." A satirical 1976 gimmick comedy produced by the Walt Disney company about a man who turns into an English sheepdog through the magic of an old ring was the sequel to one of Disney’s most successful live-action films, “The Shaggy Dog.” A family-friendly story full of warmth and excitement, the film stars Disney icon Dean Jones as well as veteran actor Keenan Wynn and comedian Tim Conway.
  2. "Beethoven" This film written by '80s screen legend John Hughes features a burly St. Bernard as the titular canine begrudgingly adopted by a career-driven family man. A lighthearted family comedy film with touches of drama balanced beautifully by Hughes, “Beethoven” stars Bonnie Hunt and Charles Grodin, as well as Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt and Dean Jones.
  3. "Elf" No list of family comedy films would be complete without a Christmas movie. This hilarious tale features comedy great Will Ferrell as Buddy, a human raised by elves who seeks out his father in New York City. Rife with humor and charming special effects, the film features enchanting performances by Zooey Deschanel and an uncharacteristic James Caan as Buddy’s father, Walter Hobbs.
  4. "Stuart Little" Based on the beloved children’s novel by E.B. White, this 1999 family comedy film features Michael J. Fox as the voice of Stuart Little, a mouse adopted by human parents. The film features heartwarming performances by Fox as well as future “House” star Hugh Laurie and Geena Davis as Frederick and Eleanor Little.
  5. "Toy Story" The first CGI film ever made, as well as the first pairing of Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, “Toy Story” is one of the best family comedy films in history. The film features an amazing ensemble cast including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Don Rickles as toys who come to life when humans aren’t around.
  6. "Fantastic Mr. Fox" This 2009 family comedy film adapted from the children’s book by Roald Dahl was directed by indie filmmaker Wes Anderson. The film follows Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) whose plans to steal food from three area farms meet with hilarious results. This warm and inspiring stop-motion film features Anderson’s somber artistic style as well as his stock troop of actors including Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.
  7. "Scooby-Doo" The first live-action adaptation of the classic Hannah-Barbera cartoon about a group of teenage detectives and their talking Great Dane, this 2002 family film features an incredible ensemble cast including Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard and Rowan Atkinson. The film follows the infamous detectives of Mystery, Inc. as they attempt to uncover the cause of the bizarre behavior that has befallen the guests of the aptly named theme park, Spooky Island.
  8. "The Muppet Movie" This 1979 classic was the first to feature Jim Henson’s Muppets, among them Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, who recounts the history of the Muppets first encounters with one another via a film-within-a-film. As with the series of Muppet films that would follow, this film featured a powerful ensemble cast of legendary actors including Orson Welles, Mel Brooks, Austin Pendleton and Edgar Bergen in his last screen appearance.
  9. "Shrek" The first film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, this fairytale with a twist about a green ogre who must rescue a princess features the voice talents of Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz. The film spawned three sequels and helped establish Dreamworks Animation Studios.
  10. "Aladdin" One of Disney’s best animated features, this update of the “Arabian Nights” tale follows the titular character and his adventures with a sarcastic genie (voiced by Robin Williams) after his discovery of a magic lamp. The film features sweeping animation and a delightful story, as well as Academy Award-winning songs by legendary composers Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.