If you’re gathering with your loved ones for the long holiday weekend, then you may find that there are not a lot of Thanksgiving-related movies, especially on Netflix. And if you dig too deeply into holiday-related movies on rival platforms, you may find yourself trapped in a long marathon of VeggieTales direct-to-video films. And let me tell you, friends, once the VeggieTales characters start singing, there is no escape.
In the absence of films about Thanksgiving, our picks for the five best Netflix movies to watch for Thanksgiving are instead focused on the thing that the holiday season is supposed to be about: family. Anyone can make a turkey dinner, but it’s the people you love who make it a special occasion. So with the spirit of the holiday in mind, enjoy these fine family-themed films this Thanksgiving.
Admittedly, Addams Family Values would be a better choice for Thanksgiving, especially given the scene where Wednesday Addams (Yellowjackets‘ Christina Ricci) stages a revolt by Native Americans against the Pilgrims during a Thanksgiving camp play. But that sequel is not on Netflix, so we’ll go with what we have, which is the original movie inspired by the TV series and Charles Addams’ New Yorker comics: The Addams Family.
It’s appropriate for the holidays because, for all of their macabre characteristics, Gomez (the late Raul Julia in a standout performance) and Morticia Addams (Anjelica Huston) are wildly in love with each other. Even their kids, Wednesday and Pugsley Addams (Jimmy Workman), genuinely love their parents. This isn’t lost on Gordon Craven (Christopher Lloyd), the man who was sent to steal the Addams’ family fortune by pretending to be Gomez’s long-lost brother, Fester. With so much love in the family, Gordon can’t stop himself from loving them too, even if it conflicts with his mission.
Watch The Addams Family on Netflix.
Paddington Bear is an incredibly popular character among children, and Paddington is the perfect example of why generations of kids find him so endearing. In this retelling, Paddington (Passages star Ben Whishaw) is an orphaned bear who makes his way from Peru to Britain in the hope of finding a new home. Despite some initial misgivings, Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins) agree to take Paddington in, much to the delight of their kids, Judy (Madeleine Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin).
But there’s one person who isn’t moved by Paddington’s infallibly polite demeanor: Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman). She wants to add this bear to her taxidermy collection, even though Millicent and Paddington share a connection that neither of them realizes.
Watch Paddington on Netflix.
There is no Peter Pan anymore in Steven Spielberg’s Hook. Instead, the boy who never grew up has in fact done just that. Now known as Peter Banning (Robin Williams), the former leader of the Lost Boys has lost a lot of the fire and passion that he once had. That’s one of the many reasons that Peter is unprepared when his old nemesis, Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), kidnaps Peter’s two children, Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie Banning (Amber Scott).
With the help of a still smitten Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts), Peter embarks on a return visit to Neverland to rescue his children and reclaim the inner child he once had.
Watch Hook on Netflix.
Like Paddington, Stuart Little is also based upon a popular series of children’s books The title character (as voiced by Michael J. Fox) is a talking mouse who is adopted into the Little family by Frederick (Hugh Laurie) and Eleanor (Geena Davis). This does not go over well with the Little’s human son, George (Jonathan Lipnicki), or the family cat, Snowball (voiced by Only Murders in the Building star Nathan Lane).
Although Stuart is able to form a bond with George over their shared interests, winning over Snowball proves to be more difficult. Snowball is so put off by the idea of being Stuart’s pet that he takes part in a scheme to permanently remove Stuart from his home by tricking him into believing that his real parents are still alive.
Watch Stuart Little on Netflix.
There is a certain irony about eating turkey while watching a film about chickens trying to escape their eventual place on the dinner menu. But Chicken Run is a genuine animated classic, and Netflix even has a sequel, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, lined up to premiere next month.
On a chicken farm run by Mr. Tweedy (Tony Haygarth) and Mrs. Tweedy (Miranda Richardson), Ginger (Julia Sawalha) and the other chickens realize that their goose is cooked – figuratively speaking – if they don’t get out soon. Enter Rocky (Mel Gibson), an American rooster who crash-lands on the farm. This leads Ginger and her friends to believe that Rocky can fly, and they hide him from the Tweedys in return for his promise to teach them how to fly so they can pull off their great escape.
Watch Chicken Run on Netflix.
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