For the last fifteen weeks, since lockdown began and Leeds Young Film Festival was cancelled, we have been recommending ten family films to watch each week, to help you navigate the huge amount of content available for free on TV and across the most popular streaming platforms. These have included many new and little-known films, along with some family favourites.

As lockdown restrictions are being lifted, life is returning to (some kind of) normal and cinemas are re-opening, we have decided to reduce the recommendations each week to just a few titles, all of which will be available to watch for free (with a TV licence).

Alongside these weekly recommendations, we have also created a list of the top ten family film recommendations that are available on the most popular streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+) that you can watch anytime, as long as you have a subscription. You can find these top ten lists here.

In addition you may want to check out our recommended list of #BlackLivesMatter family films, aimed at entertaining, informing and showing positive black representation on screen and/or behind the camera.

Here are the selections for w/c Friday 10 July.

Ender's Game (Film4, Fri 10 Jul, 6:45pm)

Dir. Gavin Hood, 2013, USA, 114 mins, Cert 12

Ender's Game

Based on the renown novel by author Orson Scott Card and starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley.

Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young strategist, is recruited by the International Military to lead the force defending Earth from a genocidal alien race bent on annihilating humankind. Believing that he and the other recruits are playing war games, it soon becomes apparent that real lives are at stake.

A box office flop on initial release, the film has found a dedicated following on home media and TV and is an impressive and thought-provoking adventure.

Read more on IMDB here.

Home Alone (Film4, Sat 11 Jul, 4:55pm)

Dir. Chris Colombus, 1990, USA, 103 mins, Cert PG

Home Alone

Written and produced by John Hughes, Home Alone turned Macauley Culkin into a huge child star. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the film is considered to be one of the best Christmas films of all time (so why not watch it in July?!).

Eight-year-old Kevin is accidentally left behind when his family leaves for France. At first, he is happy to be in charge, but when thieves try to break into his home, he has to use all his mischievousness to put up a fight.

John Candy had only one day to film his scenes which took 23 hours. He was paid just $414, since he did the film as a favour to Hughes. In return, he was the only actor Hughes allowed to go off-script, improvising all his dialogue.

Read more on IMDB here.

Monster's University (BBC1, Sat 11 Jul, 5:15pm)

Dir. Dan Scanlon, 2013, USA, 104 mins, Cert U

Monster's University

A prequel to the hugely popular Monsters Inc. (the only prequel Pixar has ever made),

As we know, monsters Mike Wazowski and James P. "Sully" Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met, they couldn't stand each other. This movie explains how Mike and Sully overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

The film was originally planned to be a sequel called Lost in Scaradise, with Mike and Sully getting trapped in the human world after trying to deliver a birthday present to Boo, only to find that she had moved house. During rewrites the decision to instead investigate the pair's back story was made.

Read more on IMDB here.

Moomins on the Riviera (Film4, Sun 12 Jul, 11am)

Dirs. Xavier Picard & Hanna Hemilä, 2014, Finland / France, 80 mins, Cert U

Moomins on the Riviera

Based on the comics by Tove Jansson, this animated comedy was a huge audience favourite when it screened at Leeds Young FIlm Festival in 2015.

The Moomins, Snorkmaiden and Little My set sail for the Riviera, where, after a journey fraught with storms and desert island dangers, Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attentions of a playboy and Moomin learns that jealousy's sting is the most painful of all. When Moominpappa befriends an aristocrat and adopts the name 'de Moomin', an exasperated Moominmamma retires to the relative calm of their trusty old boat. For the very first time, the unity of the Moomins is threatened.

The success of the film led to the creation of a Finnish / UK TV series called Moominvalley in 2019 which is available on Sky Kids and Now TV.

Read more on IMDB here.

Ghostbusters (Film4, Sun 12 Jul, 6:20pm)

Dir. Paul Feig, 2016, USA, 116 mins, Cert 12

Ghostbusters (2016)

A reboot / sequel of the original 1984 film, this version focuses on an all-female team of Ghostbusters with cameos from many of the original cast appearing in new roles.

Paranormal researcher Abby Yates and physicist Erin Gilbert are trying to prove that ghosts exist in modern society. When strange apparitions appear in Manhattan, Gilbert and Yates turn to engineer Jillian Holtzmann for help. Also joining the team is Patty Tolan, a lifelong New Yorker who knows the city inside and out. Armed with proton packs and plenty of attitude, the four women prepare for an epic battle as more than 1,000 mischievous ghouls descend on Times Square.

While critically acclaimed and very funny, the studio abandoned ideas for a sequel, opting to go back and continue the original Ghostbusters movie series. The next film, Ghostbusters: Afterlife was due to open in cinemas this week but the release has been postponed until 2021 because of Covid-19.

Read more on IMDB here.


Some of the films that we've recommended on terrestrial TV over the last few weeks are repeated again this weekend. Here's another chance to catch them if you missed them first time round.

Chicken Run (ITV, Sun 12 Jul, 12:15pm)
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Film4, Sun 12 Jul, 12:35am)
Back to the Future Part II (ITV2, Sun 12 Jul, 6:50pm)