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, summer holidays have arrives and life is returning to (some kind of) normal, this will be the last week of recommendations. We hope you have enjoyed checking out the list of films each week and that you found something to entertain, inform and inspire you, perhaps giving something a go that you wouldn't normally have watched. It's fitting that the final list includes one of the most famous Yorkshire-based films of all time - The Railway Children.

While we will no longer be creating a weekly list, you can still check out our 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 31 July that can be watched for free (with just a TV licence).

Shark Tale (Film4, Fri 31 Jul, 2:50pm)

Dirs. Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson & Rob Letterman, 2004, USA, 90 mins, Cert U


Shark Tale Film Still

A parody of The Godfather, Jaws and other classic 70s movies, Shark Tale boasts an impressive voice cast including Will Smith, Robert de Niro, Renée Zellwegger, Martin Scorsese, Angelina Jolie and Jack Black.

Oscar, a fast-talking fish, becomes an overnight sensation when he lies about having killed a shark. However, he soon begins to suffer the consequences of his deceptive actions.

The film had its worldwide premiere as part of the Venice Film Festival, marking the first time that Piazza San Marco was closed for a premiere of a major feature film. The film was projected on the largest inflatable screen in the world, measuring more than six stories tall and 360sqm.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Railway Children (BBC2, Sat 1 Aug, 1:20pm)

Dir. Lionel Jeffries, 1970, UK, 109 mins, Cert U


The Railway Children Film Still


Director Lionel Jeffries is better known as Grandpa Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This was his directorial debut and he also adapted the screenplay from E. Nesbit's celebrated novel.

After the enforced absence of their father, three children move with their mother to Yorkshire, where during their adventures they attempt to discover the reason for his disappearance, while making friends and helping others in the village.

This film was made on the preserved Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and used the Oakworth railway station as the backdrop for the film. Many of the locomotives used in the film still exist and can be found at Middleton Railway in Leeds, Haworth and Oxenhope.

Read more on IMDB here.

Ice Age (E4, Sat 1 Aug, 7:25pm)

Dirs. Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha, 2002, USA, 81 mins, Cert U


Ice Age

Ice Age was the first computer animated feature film from Blue Sky Studios who went on to make Robots, Horton Hears a Who!, Epic, Rio and most recently, Spies in Disguise.

Manny the mammoth, Sid the loquacious sloth, and Diego the sabre-toothed tiger go on a comical quest to return a human baby back to his father, across a world on the brink of an ice age.

It was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away. It has since spawned three sequels, the most recent, Ice Age: Collision Course, released in 2016.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Adventures of Tintin (E4, Sun 2 Aug, 6:50pm)

Dir. Steven Spielberg, 2011, USA / New Zealand / UK / France / Australia, 107 mins, Cert PG


The Adventures of Tintin Film Still

The Adventures of Tintin was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, co-produced by Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy, written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, and stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, who portray their characters through voice acting and motion capture.

Tintin, a young reporter, buys a model ship, The Unicorn, and is intrigued when his dog finds a hidden scroll inside when the toy breaks. He tells his friend Captain Haddock and they embark on an adventure to find the shipwreck of the real Unicorn, which legend tells is still laden with treasure.

The film was inspired by three volumes of the Tintin series of comic books by Belgian cartoonist Hergé - The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943) and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944). It was the first motion-captured animated film (as well as the first non-Pixar animated film) to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.

Read more on IMDB here.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Film4, Sun 2 Aug, 1:10pm)

Dir. Shawn Levy, 2009, USA / Canada, 105 mins, Cert PG


Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Film Still

A sequel to the original Night at the Museum movie, Ben Stiller returns along with all the favourites from the original, along with some new characters, including Amelia Earhart, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon Bonaparte and Al Capone.

Security guard Larry Daley infiltrates the Smithsonian Institution in order to rescue Jedediah and Octavius, who have been shipped to the museum by mistake. There he finds his friends under attack from the evil Kahmunrah, who intends to take over the world.

Numerous artefacts which inspired the movie are still on display at Smithsonian Museums along the National Mall. Many of the artefacts are labeled with 'Night at the Museum' logos. A third and final instalment of the saga, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb was released in 2014.

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.

Chicken Run (ITV2, Sat 1 Aug, 4:50pm)
Addams Family Values (5Star, Sat 1 Aug, 12:45pm)
Kubo and the Two Strings E4, Sun 2 Aug, 10:55am)
The Lorax (ITV2, Sun 2 Aug, 2:55pm)
War Horse (BBC1, Sun 2 Aug, 4:20pm)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (ITV2, Sun 2 Aug, 6:30pm)