Movies4Kids’ 10 Best Family Musicals

With the Hugh Jackman-starring The Greatest Showman arriving in UK cinemas on Boxing Day (and already released in the US), it’s a perfect time to count down some of the best movie musicals to watch as a family.

Because this list is aimed at families, I’ve including the cutest, most fun musicals for you to share, but it does mean I’ve reluctantly left out some classic musicals (Chicago, West Side Story, Moulin Rouge to name a few) simply because they’re too grown up for younger viewers – having been traumatised by the baked bean scene in Tommy at the age of 10, I know all too well that just because something is a musical doesn’t mean it’s completely kid-friendly!

To get you in the musical mood, check out this Art Of The Musical clip from new release The Greatest Showman, and then enjoy some magical, singalong moments from Movies4Kids best family musical movies…

  • Sing

    Sing (U)

    4 out of 5

    Both 2016’s Sing and 2006’s Happy Feet are great introductions to musicals for the littlest of viewers. Happy Feet, of course, is the story of Mumble, the only penguin who can’t sing (but, boy, can he dance), and the animated adventure features Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Brittany Murphy delivering their own versions of songs by Queen, Stevie Wonder and Prince.

    Sing, meanwhile, is Zootropolis meets The X-Factor as a group of animals compete in a singing competition run by Matthew McConaughey’s koala Buster Moon. Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly sing hits including My Way, Golden Slumbers, Under Pressure, Hallelujah and Stay With Me in the animated comedy.

    Read the Review

  • Bugsy Malone

    Bugsy Malone (U)

    4 out of 5

    Writer/director Alan Parker’s 1976 kids’ musical is a treat for kids and adults – while adults will enjoy watching a very young Jodie Foster and Scott Baio, kids will love experiencing a gangster movie where all the roles are played by children and guns fire cream instead of bullets. Musical highlights include ‘Fat Sam’s Grand Slam’, Jodie Foster singing ‘My Name Is Tallulah’ and ‘You Give A Little Love.’

    Read the Review

  • Meet Me In St Louis

    Meet Me In St Louis (U)

    5 out of 5

    Released in 1944, Meet Me In St Louis remains an adorable family classic. It tells the story of the Smith family over the course of a year, leading up to the World’s Fair in 1904. Beautiful to look at (check out the gorgeous costumes), the movie stars Judy Garland as one of the four Smith daughters, alongside Lucille Bremer, Joan Carroll and Margaret O’Brien. Featuring the achingly sad ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, the musical is packed with well-known tunes such as ‘The Trolley Song’ and ‘The Boy Next Door’.

    Read the Review

  • Singing' In The Rain/On The Town (U)

    5 out of 5

    Every child should see a movie featuring the dancing talents of Gene Kelly and it’s almost impossible to choose between two classics – 1952’s Singin’ In The Rain and 1949’s On The Town. Singin’ In The Rain, choreographed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, has the energetic ‘Good Morning’ routine with Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds and, of course, perhaps the most copied but never bettered dance in the rain to Singin’ In The Rain.

    But On The Town, with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens, has Gene Kelly playing alongside Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin as three sailors in New York on shore leave and features ‘New York New York’, ‘Count On Me’ and ‘Come Up To My Place’. And did we mention it’s got Frank Sinatra in it?

  • Oliver!

    Oliver! (U)

    5 out of 5

    If your kid is struggling through Dickens’ Oliver Twist, sit them in front of this exuberant musical version from 1968. Mark Lester stars as young orphan Oliver, with Ron Moody as the nasty criminal Fagin, Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes and Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger. Featuring memorable music and lyrics from Lionel Bart, this is best watched with the subtitles on so you can sing along to ‘Food Glorious Food’, ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘Pick A Pocket Or Two’ and ‘I’d Do Anything’.

    Read the Review

  • Grease

    Grease (PG)

    5 out of 5

    Not one for very young viewers (remember, Rizzo thinks she is pregnant, and there’s smoking and drinking, not to mention the rather racy Cha Cha), this fifties-set classic is best enjoyed by the over 11s who will love the dancing, car race and performances from John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway and Didi Conn. Every song is memorable, and even those who say they don’t like musicals will find themselves singing along to ‘Greased Lightning’, ‘You’re The One That I Want’ and, of course, ‘Summer Nights’.

    Read the Review

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

    The Muppet Christmas Carol (U)

    5 out of 5

    Most of the Muppet movies have great songs in them – the 1979 original has ‘Rainbow Connection’ and the bouncy ‘Movin Right Along’ while the 2011 reboot The Muppets won an Academy Award for Best Song for ‘Man Or Muppet’ – but nothing beats the sight of all your favourite muppet characters singing along in Victorian England while a grumpy Michael Caine (as Ebenezer Scrooge) stomps past. ‘One More Sleep Til Christmas’ and ‘Scrooge’ are favourites.

    Read the Review

  • The Wizard Of Oz

    The Wizard Of Oz (U)

    5 out of 5

    The classic story of young Dorothy, swept away from her home in Kansas and deposited in multicoloured Oz, remains one of the best movies – let alone musicals – ever made. With Ray Bolger as The Scarecrow, Bert Lahr as The Cowardly Lion, and Jack Haley as The Tin Man she meets on the yellow brick road, Dorothy’s adventure is timeless, stunning to look at, and packed with musical moments. Judy Garland was never lovelier than when she broke our hearts singing ‘Over The Rainbow’, but there is also ‘Follow The Yellow Brick Road’, ‘If I Only Had A Brain’ and ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ to enjoy.

    Read the Review

  • The Sound Of Music

    The Sound Of Music (U)

    5 out of 5

    We challenge you to be able to watch this 1965 movie to the end without crying at least once. Will you shed that first tear when convent girl Maria (Julie Andrews) falls for the rigid Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), or when they make a daring escape from the Nazis? Our favourite weepy moments are all musical – Plummer (dubbed by Bill Lee) singing ‘Edelweiss’, the adorable ‘So Long, Farewell’, even ‘Do-Re-Me’ can bring a little lump to the throat in this utterly adorable film.

    Read the Review

  • Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins (U)

    5 out of 5

    Who hasn’t dreamed of having a magical nanny turn up on their doorstep? And Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is the most magical of all, delivering fun, good sense and love to the Banks family in 1910 London. Mixing animation sequences with live action, we’re treated to penguin waiters, dances among the chimney tops, Dick Van Dyke’s hilarious cockney accent and, of course, unforgettable songs including ‘A Spoonful Of Sugar’, ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’.

    Read the Review