Although Leeds Young Film Festival 2020 has been postponed due to Coronavirus, we want to make sure that you still have the opportunity to watch and discover new films, along with some family favourites.

To help you navigate the world of online streaming we will be suggesting ten films you can watch as a family each Friday, along with where to find them. Some of the films require either a Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ account but we know most households have at least one of these (and all are offering a free trial before you have to subscribe). We will also ensure that we include some free-to-watch films as well which only requires you to have a TV Licence.

Here are the selections for w/c Friday 8 May.


James and the Giant Peach (Amazon Prime)

Dir. Henry Selick, 1996, UK / USA, 80 mins, Cert U

James and the Giant Peach

Films based on Roald Dahl's books turn up in this list week after week and it's because his stories provide such amazing, vibrant (and often subversive) material that make such wonderful films. Here Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) creates an animated delight with an A list cast of voice actors.

James, an orphan who lives with his two cruel aunts, befriends a number of insects who live inside a giant peach, and they embark on a journey to New York City.

Read more on IMDB here.

King Kong (CH5, Sun 10 May, 12:25pm)

Dir. Peter Jackson, 2005, New Zealand / USA / Germany, 187 mins, Cert 12

King Kong 2005

Peter Jackson reimagines the iconic antihero story using his now famous motion capture technique to create a living, breathing, Kong (Andy Serkis once again doing some terrific physical acting).

When a greedy film producer assembles a team of moviemakers and sets out for the infamous Skull Island, they find more than just cannibalistic natives. Seeing an opportunity to become famous, he hatches a plan to bring the mighty giant gorilla back to civilisation.

Read more on IMDB here.

Madagascar (CH4, Sun 10 May, 5:50pm)

Dir. Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath, 2005, USA, 82 mins, Cert U


Animated films with talking animals are commonplace but Madagascar raised the bar with brilliantly written and realised characters and excellent casting. While the main four characters are great, it's the supporting cast that steal the show, from the poo-flinging monkeys to King Julien and the dancing, singing lemurs and of course the scene-stealing penguins, who quite rightly got their own spin-off show.

Marty, the bored zebra of New York zoo is accidentally shipped to Africa with his friends: Alex the lion, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus. Having dreamed of being free in the wild, reality turns out to be a much bigger challenge!

Read more on IMDB here.

How To Train Your Dragon (Netflix)

Dirs. Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders, 2010, USA, 94 mins, Cert PG

How To Train Your Dragon

A huge hit in LYFF 2010, when we welcomed author Cressida Cowell (on whose books the films are based) to introduce the film and meet her fans. A surprisingly intelligent, thought-provoking and touching film about responsibility, fitting in, coming of age and finding your own path that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Hiccup, a hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Read more on IMDB here.

Arrietty (Netflix)

Dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2011, Japan, 91 mins, Cert U


Studio Ghibli's adaptation of the wonderful novel The Borrowers was written by Hayao Miyazaki (although he didn't direct) and has similarity to several of their other films where the hand-drawn animation is used to show scenes of everyday life of the characters in a truly beautiful way.

Fourteen-year-old, ten-centimetre-tall Arrietty and the rest of the Clock family live in peaceful anonymity as they make their own home from items that they borrow from the house's human inhabitants. However, life changes for the Clocks when a human boy discovers Arrietty.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Way, Way Back (Film 4, Sat 9 May, 7:00pm)

Dir. Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, 2013, USA, 103 mins, Cert 12

The Way Way Back

The 'way-back' refers to the third seat sometimes found in the back of American station wagons that are literally so far from the front seats as to seem excluded from everything else going on in the car. The Way Way Back plays on this idea of being excluded and ignored as life elsewhere goes on without you.

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

A definite must-watch if you enjoy coming-of-age dramas with that hint of heartwarming humour.

Read more on IMDB here.

Song of the Sea (Amazon Prime)

Dir. Tomm Moore, 2014, Ireland / Denmark / Belgium / Luxembourg / France, 92 mins, Cert PG

Song of the Sea

Probably one of the most enduring films to be shown at Leeds Young Film Festival, Song of the Sea is an achingly beautiful animation that taps into the Celtic mythology of the selkie (a kind of mermaid). Directed by Tomm Moore (Secret of Kells) the film is a visually stunning masterpiece that perfectly blends fantasy and real-life.

Saoirse is a child who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy creatures trapped in the modern world.

Find the time to watch this enchanting film - you will not be disappointed.

Read more on IMDB here.

Mary and the Witch's Flower (All 4 until 13 May)

Dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi & Giles New, 2017, Japan, 103 mins, Cert U

Mary and the Witch's Flower

The first film from the newly formed Studio Ponoc, based on The Little Broomstick novel from British author Mary Stewart, who was renown for writing novels with strong, smart, adventurous heroines. The director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, also directed Arrietty (also on this week's list) and When Marnie Was There for Studio Ghibli before moving to Studio Ponoc.

Young Mary follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest and discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms once every seven years. Together, the flower and the broomstick whisk Mary above the clouds, and far away to Endor College - a school of magic run by headmistress Madam Mumblechook and the brilliant Doctor Dee. But there are terrible things happening at the school, and when Mary tells a lie, she must risk her life to try and set things right.

An action-packed film full of jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, ingenious characters, and the stirring, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to find a place in the world.

Read more on IMDB here.

Mary Poppins Returns (Disney+)

Dir. Rob Marshall, 2018, USA / UK, 130 mins, Cert U

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins returns after 54 years (the longest ever gap between a film and its sequel) for a story that is set in 1930's London, 25 years after the original film (which was on last week's Friday Family Film picks). Emily Blunt takes over the role from Julie Andrews and makes it her own while also keeping nostalgic viewers happy with tributes to the original.

A few decades after her original visit, Mary Poppins, the magical nanny, returns to help the gorwn-up Banks siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.

Guaranteed to make you feel happy and put a smile on your face.

Read more on IMDB here.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney+)

Dir. J.J. Abrams, 2019, USA, 139 mins, Cert 12

Star Wars Episode 9 The Rise of Skywalker

The latest Star Wars movie and the last in the current series was released onto Disney+ on Monday, earlier than originally planned. For the few people out there that weren't aware or haven't seen it, here's a chance to see J.J. Abrams conclusion to the epic space saga. You may love it or hate it but you certainly can't ignore it!

The surviving members of the resistance face the First Order once again, and the legendary conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its peak bringing the Skywalker saga to its end.

Read more on IMDB here.