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Family Films

Films for kids have changed dramatically over the last 100 years, as seen in this family-friendly collection.

The early silhouette animations by Lotte Reiniger make the tales of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Thumbelina come alive, offering a traditional and delightful take on the fairy stories. Nostalgic adults and children alike will take to the films from the Children’s Film Foundation, from the hair-raising adventures of Sky Bike to the spookier gothic tales of Out of the Darkness (not suitable for very young children) and Haunters of the Deep.

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Family Films
View The BFG
The BFG
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The BFG 2016 PG

Steven Spielberg’s luminous Roald Dahl adaptation boasts an enchanting performance from Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant who befriends a little girl (Ruby Barnhill).

117 mins USA Director. Steven Spielberg

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Moomins on the Riviera
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Moomins on the Riviera 2014 U

The Moomins sample the delights of high society with a Riviera holiday, bringing mayhem with them.

80 mins Finland Director. Xavier Picard

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Zarafa
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Zarafa 2011 PG

A gorgeously composed French animation following a boy and a giraffe's epic journey from Africa to 19th-century Paris.

78 mins France Director. Jean-Christophe Lie

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Song of the Sea
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Song of the Sea 2014 PG

Tomm Moore’s Oscar-nominated animation follows the magical journey of Ben and his sister Saoirse, the last Seal-child.

93 mins Ireland Director. Tomm Moore

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Shaun the Sheep Movie
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Shaun the Sheep Movie 2014 U

Aardman returns with another delightful animation for young and old, telling the story of Shaun’s adventures in the big city after Farmer is led astray.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Richard Starzak, Mark Burton

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Chicken Run
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Chicken Run 2000 U

Mel Gibson’s Rocky the rooster helps the chickens escape from fascistic farmers in Aardman Animations first foray into feature films.

84 mins USA Director. Peter Lord, Nick Park

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Paddington
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Paddington 2014 PG

The marmalade-loving bear from Peru returns to the screens in a new incarnation that will enrapture children and adults alike.

95 mins France Director. Paul King

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Flash Gordon
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Flash Gordon 1980 PG

Sam J. Jones stars as the quintessential comic strip hero, out to save the Earth from Ming the Merciless, in Mike Hodges’ visually ravishing sci-fi.

115 mins Netherlands Director. Mike Hodges

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E.T.  The Extra-Terrestrial
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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 1982 U

Devotion meets imagination in Spielberg's ultimate crowd-pleaser, part of our new Sci-Fi Collection.

115 mins USA Director. Steven Spielberg

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Back to the Future
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Back to the Future 1985 PG

The beloved 1980s classic transports Marty McFly back to the 1950s, where he has to ensure his parents fall in love and get himself back to the future.

116 mins USA Director. Robert Zemeckis

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Back to the Future Part II
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Back to the Future Part II 1989 PG

Marty McFly and Doc return for the fast-paced sequel that flits between 2015, 1955 and an alternate 1985 where the dastardly Biff has become rich and powerful.

108 mins USA Director. Robert Zemeckis

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Back to the Future Part III
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Back to the Future Part III 1990 PG

In the series’ final entry, Marty travels back to 1885 to rescue Doc but becomes similarly stuck in the Western era when the DeLorean runs out of gas.

118 mins USA Director. Robert Zemeckis

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Short Circuit
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Short Circuit 1986 PG

Johnny Five is alive! The sci-fi comedy about a military robot that gets struck by lightning and gains a personality.

98 mins USA Director. John Badham

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Flight of the Navigator
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Flight of the Navigator 1986 U

1980s family sci-fi at its best, following a boy’s relationship with a talking spaceship that has filled his brain with intergalactic star charts.

90 mins USA Director. Randal Kleiser

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*Batteries Not Included
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*Batteries Not Included 1987 PG

Doomed tenement residents are saved by the ‘Fix-Its’, small alien spacecraft that repair their battered apartments, in this much-loved family sci-fi.

106 mins USA Director. Matthew Robbins

View The Amazing Mr. Blunden
The Amazing Mr. Blunden
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The Amazing Mr. Blunden 1972 U

Entertaining family ghost movie directed by Lionel Jeffries, based on the novel The Ghosts by Antonia Barber.

99 mins United Kingdom Director. Lionel Jeffries

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Captain Stirrick
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Captain Stirrick 1982

Pickpockets, mad puppets, and murder – all from the 1840 press accounts of a real case that lead to the gallows – conceived as a musical by the Children’s Film Unit.

90 mins United Kingdom Director. Colin Finbow

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Doombeach
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Doombeach 1989

A truant schoolboy sabotages the secretive power station he believes killed his friend. With Glenda Jackson.

85 mins United Kingdom Director. Colin Finbow

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Pop Pirates
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Pop Pirates 1984

Home taping almost kills music as a schoolboy band's dreams of talent show glory may be scuppered by video piracy.

58 mins United Kingdom Director. Jack Grossman

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Anoop and the Elephant
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Anoop and the Elephant 1972

Fun-packed comedy for kids, in which a boy befriends a baby elephant – then teams up with his friends to stop it being sold

55 mins United Kingdom Director. David Eady

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Friend or Foe
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Friend or Foe 1981 U

Two evacuee boys from London sent to live on a farm face a tough decision when a German plane is shot down.

70 mins United Kingdom Director. John Krish

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Runaway Railway
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Runaway Railway 1965

A pre-Porridge Ronnie Barker plays a dim-witted train robber up to no good in this steam-era comedy adventure for kids

55 mins United Kingdom Director. Jan Darnley-Smith

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Eagle Rock
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Eagle Rock 1964

A teenage boy breaks all the rules of rock climbing to reach the top of an off-limits Lake District mountain.

62 mins United Kingdom Director. Henry Geddes

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Wings of Mystery
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Wings of Mystery 1963

A thrilling chase through Sheffield’s steelworks with young Don and Jane, looking for clues after the theft of a secret alloy.

55 mins United Kingdom Director. Gilbert Gunn

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Supersonic Saucer
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Supersonic Saucer 1956

A baby from Venus saves the day with his superpowers in this charming sci-fi tale produced by the Children's Film Foundation.

50 mins United Kingdom

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Peril for the Guy
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Peril for the Guy 1956 U

In the run up to November the 5th, kids collecting coins for their living Guy foil a dastardly plot to steal an amazing new oil detection machine.

55 mins United Kingdom

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Adventure in the Hopfields
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Adventure in the Hopfields 1954 U

Child actor Mandy Miller shines in this children's adventure set in the traditional hop picking season in Kent.

59 mins United Kingdom

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Child's Play
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Child's Play 1954

Splitting the atom is as easy as ABC in this family-friendly adventure.

68 mins United Kingdom Director. Margaret Thomson

View A Letter from Wales
A Letter from Wales
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A Letter from Wales 1953

A hard task it is for a schoolboy to sit and write a letter when so much more exciting things are claiming his attention. His adventures are dramatised as he relates them on paper.

15 mins United Kingdom

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Skid Kids
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Skid Kids 1953

Young 'Swanky' Clarke, leader of the Burton Bullets Cycle Speedway Club, foils bicycle thieves on the streets of 1950s Bermondsey.

49 mins United Kingdom Director. Don Chaffey

View Ballad of the Battered Bicycle
Ballad of the Battered Bicycle
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Ballad of the Battered Bicycle 1947

Henry demonstrates his two-wheel tomfoolery, but there's no happy ending for this bike.

10 mins United Kingdom

View Tom's Ride
Tom's Ride
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Tom's Ride 1944

Temptation on two wheels: should young Tom use the money he's found to buy himself a bike? Or should he do the right thing?

11 mins United Kingdom Director. Darrel Catling

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Amelia and the Angel
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Amelia and the Angel 1958 U

A young angel scours London for her wings in this tender short by the young Ken Russell.

25 mins United Kingdom

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Animal Farm
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Animal Farm 1954 U

Sixty years young, this British cartoon of George Orwell’s political ‘fairy story’ is still the most abiding adaptation of this powerful, cautionary tale for all ages.

72 mins United Kingdom Director. Joy Batchelor, John Halas

View It's a Bike!
It's a Bike!
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It's a Bike! 1983

A ripe slice of 80s cheese: a lively, rapping cautionary tale for the young cyclist.

21 mins Great Britain Director. Frank Prendergast

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Vote for Froglet
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Vote for Froglet 1974

As the general election is held in the UK, it's polling day for the Clangers on a small blue planet far away.

7 mins United Kingdom Director. Oliver Postgate

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Scrooge
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Scrooge 1951 U

Alastair Sim’s best known performance, as Dickens’ notorious curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge.

86 mins United Kingdom Director. Brian Desmond Hurst

View The Christmas Visitor
The Christmas Visitor
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The Christmas Visitor 1958

The Night Before Christmas meets Toy Story in this charming British cartoon from 1958.

8 mins United Kingdom

View The Toys Will Be Toys
The Toys Will Be Toys
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The Toys Will Be Toys 1988

Barbie dolls in pink battle khaki killing machines in a Christmas animation that cocks a snook at the “Disney Doctrine”.

5 mins United Kingdom

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Alice in Wonderland
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Alice in Wonderland 1903

The first-ever film version of Lewis Carroll's tale, made just 37 years after the novel’s publication and eight years after the birth of cinema.

9 mins United Kingdom Director. Cecil M. Hepworth, Percy Stow

View Elsie and the Brown Bunny
Elsie and the Brown Bunny
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Elsie and the Brown Bunny 1921

This early Cadbury advert plays like a surreal outtake from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.

8 mins United Kingdom

View Cinderella
Cinderella
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Cinderella 1955 U

A silent silhouette animation of the classic fairy tale.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Snow White and Rose Red
Snow White and Rose Red
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Snow White and Rose Red 1953

A kindly bear, an evil dwarf and two sisters populate a magical animated fairy story.

14 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
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Sleeping Beauty 1954 U

The Brothers Grimm's story springs to life in intricate silhouette animation.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Hansel and Gretel
Hansel and Gretel
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Hansel and Gretel 1955 U

One of the scariest Brothers Grimm tales is interpreted in delicate silhouette animation.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Thumbelina
Thumbelina
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Thumbelina 1955 U

An enchanting silhouette animation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Haunters of the Deep
Haunters of the Deep

Haunters of the Deep 1984 PG

A ghostly boy returns from the grave to warn against reopening 'The Devil's Mine' in this spooky drama.

61 mins United Kingdom Director. Andrew Bogle

View The Glitterball
The Glitterball

The Glitterball 1977 U

Somewhere in 1970s England, a UFO crashes in a potting shed. Inside is a strange round visitor from space: the Glitterball. How will it get home?

55 mins United Kingdom Director. Harley Cokliss

View The Boy Who Turned Yellow
The Boy Who Turned Yellow

The Boy Who Turned Yellow 1972 U

A London schoolboy’s surprise transformation marks the final collaboration of great British director Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.

52 mins United Kingdom Director. Michael Powell

View A Hitch in Time
A Hitch in Time

A Hitch in Time 1978 U

Two curious kids are sent back in time by an eccentric professor, played by former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton.

55 mins United Kingdom Director. Jan Darnley-Smith

View Johnny on the Run
Johnny on the Run

Johnny on the Run 1953 U

A Polish refugee runs into trouble with two scheming thieves in this superb early work from illustrious British director Lewis Gilbert (Alfie, You Only Live Twice).

68 mins United Kingdom Director. Lewis Gilbert

View Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek 1972 U

Gary Kemp (The Krays) becomes entangled with a borstal escapee known as the Deptford Dodger in this cracking drama from the Children’s Film Foundation.

62 mins United Kingdom Director. David Eady

View Emil and the Detectives
Emil and the Detectives

Emil and the Detectives 1935 U

The British adaptation of Eric Kastner’s much-loved children’s book is an evocative adventure on the streets of pre-war London.

70 mins United Kingdom Director. Milton Rosmer

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