For the last four months, since lockdown began and Leeds Young Film Festival was postponed, we have been recommending a number of 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.

Here are the selections for w/c Friday 24 July.

Bee movie (cBBC, Sat 25 Jul, 1:55pm)

Dirs. Simon J. Smith & Steve Hickner, 2007, USA / Australia, 91 mins, Cert U

Bee Movie

Produced, co-written and starring comedian Jerry Seinfeld, the movie also stars several veterans of the long-running TV show Seinfeld.

Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.

In November 2016 a YouTube video was uploaded where the entire film sped up every time the word "bee" was used. The video, titled 'The entire bee movie but every time they say bee it gets faster', lasts just under 6 minutes and has gathered over 17 million views.

Read more on IMDB here.

Shrek the Third (Film4, Sat 25 Jul, 2:45pm)

Dirs. Chris Miller & Raman Hui, 2007, USA, 93 mins, Cert U

Shrek the Third

The third film in the Shrek franchise sees all the popular main characters return, along with Justin Timberlake as Arthur Pendragon and Eric Idle as Merlin.

Prince Charming is plotting to overthrow Shrek and Fiona, who have inherited the throne following King Harold's death. Shrek, who believes an ogre does not fit in to be king and does not want to rule the kingdom, attempts to convince Fiona's underachieving, 16-year-old cousin Artie to reign instead.

There are 23 key fairy tale characters that appear throughout the movie and a further 4,378 generic characters were available for the animators to pull from a digital design library when making crowd scenes.

Read more on IMDB here.

Zootropolis (BBC1, Sat 25 Jul, 5:00pm)

Dirs. Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Jared Bush, 2016, USA, 108 mins, Cert PG


Another LYFF favourite the 55th Disney animated feature film, Zootropolis, was a huge box office success earning over $1bn worldwide making it the fourth highest-grossing film of the year.

When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force she is determined to prove herself. Jumping at the opportunity to solve a mysterious case in which tame animals have reverted to being viscous predators, she is forced to work with Nick Wilde, a wily fox who makes her job even harder.

Known as Zootopia in the USA and several other countries, the name was changed in the UK as there was already an existnig line of children's toys called Zootopia, which would have caused licencing issues for Disney.

Read more on IMDB here.

Jurassic World (ITV2, Sun 26 Jul, 6:35pm)

Dir. Colin Trevorrow, 2015, USA, 124 mins, Cert 12

Jurassic World

Jurassic World is the fourth film in the Jurassic Park series and the first in the new Jurassic World trilogy, while also being a direct sequel to the first film.

A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree. An ex-military animal expert steps up to save the day with help from the park's operations manager.

The final film in the Jurassic World Trilogy, Jurassic World: Dominion has been slated for a June 2021 release. Netflix are also planning an animated TV series titled Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous.

Read more on IMDB here.

Eddie the Eagle (Film4, Sun 26 Jul, 6:55pm)

Dir. Dexter Fletcher, 2015, UK / Germany / USA, 106 mins, Cert PG

Eddie the Eagle

Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael "Eddie" Edwards, an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

The real Eddie has said that the portrayal of him by actor Taron Egerton is uncannily accurate and the opening scene of the film moved him to tears. While the film captures the heart and soul of the famous underdog it does take a lot of artistic licence with the facts. Read more about the real Eddie and his incredible life here.

Read more on IMDB here.


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

Epic (Film4, Sat 25 Jul, 12:40pm)
The Addams Family (1991) (5Star, Sat 25 Jul, 2:15pm)
Chicken Run (ITV2, Sun 26 Jul, 4:50pm)
Bridge to Terabithia (Sony Movies, Sun 26 Jul, 12:35pm)