Adventure Movies

14 Best Family & Kids Movies on HBO Max Right Now (May 2024)

May 17, 202411 Mins Read

When it comes to movies that the whole family can enjoy, there’s a plethora of options both live-action and animated on HBO Max. Home to timeless favorites such as the Harry Potter series, the works of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki, or those treasured films of your youth, Max has hours upon hours of family-friendly entertainment that’s perfect to pop in and enjoy both as an adult and as a child! Here are some of our favorite kid and family movies on HBO Max.

For more recommendations, check out our list of the best kid movies on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, or browse our picks for the best movies on HBO.

‘Wonka’ (2023)

Rotten Tomatoes: 82% | IMDb: 7.0/10

Wonka Poster Timothee Chalamet


Release Date
December 15, 2023

Paul King

116 minutes

The third film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1964 novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka focuses on the early days of the quirky chocolatier. Starring Timothée Chalamet in the title role, Wonka also features an impressive supporting cast, including Olivia Colman, Keegan-Michael Key, Matt Lucas, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, and Hugh Grant. Directed by Paul King, who co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Farnaby, Wonka is a strikingly vivid feature that allows audiences to dive deeper into the background of the famous titular character. Highlighted by stunning production design and catchy musical numbers, Wonka showcases the elite star power it gathered, resulting in a visually engaging gem.

Watch on Max

‘Inkheart’ (2009)

Rotten Tomatoes: 38% | IMDb: 6.1/10

inkheart poster


Release Date
January 29, 2009

Iain Softley

Run Time
1 hr 46 min

Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis, Eliza Hope Bennett, Rafi Gavron

Adapted from Cornelia Funke‘s German novel, Inkheart is an enchanting fantasy film geared towards audiences of all ages. Inkheart brings together Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis for an epic story brimming with action, magic, and family. Directed by Iain Softley, Inkheart centers on a teenage girl and her father as they find themselves on an amazing adventure where storybook characters come to life in the real world — as well as the real world becoming part of the storybook. Cheered for its whimsical core, Inkheart overlooks heavy messaging to provide an entertaining journey that will encourage viewers to seek out the books on which it was based.

Watch on Max

‘The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie’ (2004)

Rotten Tomatoes: 68% | IMDb: 7.2/10


The SpongeBob Movie

Release Date
November 19, 2004

Stephen Hillenburg

Tom Kenny , Bill Fagerbakke , Rodger Bumpass , Clancy Brown , Mr. Lawrence , Jill Talley

87 minutes

Slather on the sunblock and dive under the sea for the full length SpongeBob Squarepants Movie from series creator Stephen Hillenburg in his hilarious feature directorial debut. In addition to the original television series voice cast, which includes Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, and Rodger Bumpass, The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie also has guest voices Alec Baldwin and Scarlett Johansson, with a live-action appearance from David Hasselhoff. Feeling like an extra special episode of the series, The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie unites all the Bikini Bottom favorites for an epic adventure filled with hijinks, shenanigans, and Krusty Krab treats.

Watch on Max

‘Robots’ (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes: 64% | IMDb: 6.4/10

Robots Film Poster


Release Date
March 10, 2005

91 minutes

Robots is a silly computer-animated film directed by Chris Wedge that explores themes of growing up and finding yourself. Robots follows Rodney Copperbottom, voiced by Ewan McGregor, an ambitious inventor leaving his home in a small town for the big city in hopes of finding his idol, Bigweld (Mel Brooks). Upon arrival, he meets the mischievous Fender Pinwheeler (Robin Williams), who assists in stopping an evil plot from the menacing and arrogant Phineas T. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear). Robots delightfully showcases the comedic talents of its stars with an endearing journey of self-discovery wrapped in a bundle of laughs for viewers of all ages.

Watch on Max

‘Spirited Away’ (2001)

Rotten Tomatoes: 96% | IMDb: 8.6/10

Spirited Away Poster

Spirited Away (2001)

Release Date
July 20, 2001

Rumi Hîragi , Miyu Irino , Mari Natsuki , Takashi Naitô , Yasuko Sawaguchi , Tatsuya Gashûin

125 minutes

Without any hyperbole, Spirited Away is one of the most beautiful films ever made, and perhaps the crowning achievement of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki’s career. The story of young Chihiro Ogino as she travels to a mystical land that her parents can’t see still continues to be a delight for viewers both old and young, and for those looking to dive in Miyazaki’s filmography for the first time, there’s no better place to start. Nothing computer-generated can top the beauty of the Studio Ghibli hand drawn animation. HBO Max thankfully has a great Studio Ghibli collection, and after watching Spirited Away, you’ll surely be hooked. — Liam GaughanWatch on Max

‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ (2005)

Rotten Tomatoes: 55% | IMDb: 6.4/10

because of winn dixie poster

Because of Winn-Dixie

Release Date
February 18, 2005

Wayne Wang


Based on the novel of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, Because of Winn-Dixie is the story of a friendship between a lonely young girl and a mischievous dog who changes her life. India Opal Buloni (AnnaSophia Robb) and her father (Jeff Daniels) move to a new town filled with unfriendly locals, and she wishes that she could find just one friend. Her wish is granted in the most unexpected way as she saves a stray dog from the pound and adopts it into her family — much to her father’s chagrin. This southern small-town tale is a pleasant stroll through the ways that connection and compassion can soften those around us.Watch on Max

‘Tooth Fairy’ (2010)

Rotten Tomatoes: 17% | IMDb: 5.0/10

tooth fairy poster

Tooth Fairy

Release Date
January 14, 2010

Michael Lembeck


Tooth Fairy is an early installment in the acting career of Dwayne Johnson (The Game Plan) and lives in a uniquely late-90s-to-early-2000s space that occupies two separate tropes: a mean and skeptical man reluctantly becomes a mythical figure and learns a lesson like in The Santa Clause and big tough guy learns to empathize with children like in The Pacifier. The story follows Johnson as a hot-shot hockey player that’s forced to become a tooth fairy in order to rid him of his curmudgeonly dream-crushing ways and show him the importance of wonder. It’s a pretty whimsical affair that’s fun for kids of all ages. – Tauri MillerWatch on Max

‘Daddy Day Care’ (2003)

Rotten Tomatoes: 27% | IMDb: 5.6/10

daddy day care poster

Daddy Day Care

Release Date
May 9, 2003

Steve Carr


Eddie Murphy (Shrek) and Jeff Garlin (WALL·E) star in this wild and wacky family comedy about two dads who start a makeshift daycare after losing their jobs. Daddy Day Care is a cute film that, although it plays into the trope idea of men being incompetent caregivers, is a wonderful journey for the two main characters as they find comfort with being the homemakers and child care providers instead of the breadwinners — a message that is rarely seen in modern media. Plus, Murphy delivers a charming performance as always, making the film a must-see for any fans of his work in the family-friendly space. – Tauri MillerWatch on Max

‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 8.1/10

The Wizard of Oz poster

The Wizard of Oz

Release Date
August 15, 1939

Victor Fleming , Mervyn LeRoy , Richard Thorpe , King Vidor


One of the most iconic and inventive films of all time, The Wizard of Oz is more than just a work that holds up all these decades later as it continues to be just as glorious as it was when it first came out. It centers on young Dorothy (Judy Garland) who is swept away to the magical world of Oz after a tornado descends on her home in Kansas. Seeking to return home, she will have to undertake a journey where she will meet a whole host of friends while trying to avoid the clutches of a terrifying witch. Full of vibrant colors and wondrous songs, it is a classic for a reason, as it managed to push the medium of cinema forward even with its notoriously troubled production. There is nothing quite like it, making it always worth going over the rainbow to see it once more. – Chase HutchinsonWatch on Max

‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’ (1989)

Rotten Tomatoes: 98% | IMDb: 7.8/10

Kiki's Delivery Service Poster

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Release Date
March 1, 2014

Takashi Shimizu

Rie Miyazawa , Machiko Ono , Fûka Koshiba , Michitaka Tsutsui , Hiroshi Yamamoto , Ryohei Hirota


Compared to some of the more emotionally grueling films in the Studio Ghibli filmography, Kiki’s Delivery Service is a heartwarming love story of magical outsiders. Hayao Miyazaki drew inspiration from the classic children’s story of the same name by author Eiko Kadono. The titular protagonist is a young witch who uses her newfound mystical abilities to land a job delivering toys, and as always Miyazaki subtly incorporates a meta-commentary about the state of capitalism. The natural beauty of the Japanese landscapes come to life in vivid detail during the flying sequences, which are among the most beautiful hand drawn visuals of the entire Studio Ghibli outlet. — Liam GaughanWatch on Max

‘Ponyo’ (2008)

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% | IMDb: 7.6/10

ponyo poster


Release Date
July 19, 2008

Yuria Nara , Hiroki Doi , Jôji Tokoro , Tomoko Yamaguchi , Yûki Amami , Kazushige Nagashima


If you’ve never seen a Hayao Miyazaki movie, Ponyo is the perfect starter – it features all of the legendary animator’s hallmarks (magical realism, environmental themes, a strong female hero, luscious animation) while also being more palpable and easily digestible as some of his other, knottier work. Essentially his incredibly weird version of The Little Mermaid, Ponyo is a kind of mermaid-esque sea creature who loves ham and dreams of living as a human on the surface world. She befriends a young boy on land and helps a small coastal village after a tsunami (see! Environmentalism!) One of the master filmmaker’s most underrated fantasies, Ponyo is deeply felt and effervescently told – the kind of movie that is too strange and dangerous to be produced by Disney, but feels like one of their animated classics just the same. – Drew TaylorWatch on Max

‘Harry Potter Series’ (2001-2011)

Rotten Tomatoes: 81% | IMDb: 7.6/10

Based on the highly successful book series, the Harry Potter series of films is one of the most successful franchises to ever grace the screen and for good reason: these stories are highly original and have some of the strongest world-building of any franchise. The film follows orphan Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) who is whisked away from his cruel relatives to learn how to become a wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There he meets new friends such as Ron and Hermione (Rupert Grint, Emma Watson) and learns his connection to the evilest wizard of them all: Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Some films in the franchise are better than others and the prequel series, Fantastic Beasts (which are currently unavailable on HBO Max) leave a lot to be desired, but the original eight films are go-to family entertainment, especially at the end of the year.Watch on Max

‘The Lego Batman Movie’ (2017)

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% | IMDb: 7.3/10

Nobody expected The Lego Movie to be any good when it was first announced but when it finally hit theaters in 2014, audiences everywhere were gobsmacked by the film’s brilliance and snarky sense of humor. So much so that the film was a huge box office and critical success. Warner Bros quickly put a sequel and several spin-offs in the development, and while The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and The Lego Ninjago Movie may not have lived up to the high standards of the first film, The Lego Batman Movie is an absolute riot.

Set in a completely Legofied version of Gotham City the film follows Batman (Will Arnett) as he is forced to suddenly take responsibility for himself and learn to work with others after he accidentally adopted Robin (Michael Cera), all while the Joker (Zach Galifianakis) stages a threatening villain uprising. The Lego Batman Movie will absolutely delight Batman fans of all ages, from its countless in-jokes and snark, to its beating heart. It is also most certainly a romantic comedy between Batman and the Joker.Watch on Max

‘My Neighbor Totoro’ (1988)

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% | IMDb: 8.1/10


My Neighbor Totoro

Release Date
April 16, 1988

Noriko Hidaka , Chika Sakamoto , Shigesato Itoi , Sumi Shimamoto , Tanie Kitabayashi , Hitoshi Takagi

86 Minutes

Hayao Miyazaki is not only one of the most legendary and revered filmmakers in the world of animation, he’s one of the most gifted cinematic storytellers ever. HBO Max offers every single Studio Ghibli film, but the perfect starting point for any young viewer is My Neighbor Totoro. The film follows two sisters who move to the countryside to be with their ill mother and soon have adventures with various cutesy forest spirits including the adorable Totoro. The film gives young audiences a sense of the creative mind of Miyazaki and his wonderful imagination, but it’ll also win over the hearts of older viewers as well.Watch on Max

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