In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us are home-bound with our kids. While we all try to find activities and great content to keep them busy, we thought you might enjoy a few recommendations of movies to watch together.
Below, we've rounded up a list of French family-friendly flicks available on U.S. streaming platforms that both kids and parents would like!
A Bag of Marble (Un Sac de billes)
Directed by Christian Duguay, 2017, 1h52, recommended for ages 10+
Joseph and Maurice are the sons of Roman, the local barber. At ages 10 and 12, the boys have so little understanding of the persecution of Jews that Joseph thinks nothing of swapping his yellow star for a bag of marbles....
Asterix at the Olympic Games (Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques)
Directed by Frederic Forestier, 2008, 1h57, recommended for ages 9+
In their new adventures, Asterix and Obelix come to the aid of their friend Alafolix, who must fight Brutus, Cesar’s son, to win both the Olympic Games and the hand of beautiful Irina. But heinous Brutus is determined to beat the Gaul and take his father’s place.
Belle and Sebastian (Belle et Sébastien)
Directed by Nicolas Vanier, 2013, 1h44, recommended for ages 10+
Based on the beloved children's book, this exciting tale set in the picturesque French Alps follows the friendship of a 6-year-old boy and a stray dog who prove to be heroes when they help defend their occupied village from the Nazis.
If you like it, you can watch the entire series:
Belle and Sebastian: The Adventure Continues (Belle et Sébastien, l’aventure continue) by Christian Duguay, 2015, 1h37, PG / recommended for ages 8+
Available on FandangoNow | YouTube | Google Play | iTunes
Boule & Bill
Directed by Franck Magnier & Alexandre Charlot, 2013, 1h22, PG / recommended for ages 8+
Buddy is an abandoned young cocker spaniel waiting dejectedly in his cage for a kind, new owner to adopt him. Suddenly, Billy, a little boy whose hair is as red as Buddy's, appears. It's love at first sight and the beginning of a great friendship. But for Billy's parents, this is where the trouble begins.
Christmas & Co (Santa & Cie)
Directed by Alain Chabat, 2017, 1h39, recommended for ages 7+
Christmas Eve is right around the corner, when everything goes haywire. Santa's 92,000 elves all fall ill and collapse... Simultaneously! Santa panics and worries about who will make the toys for all the kids all around the world? He has no choice! Santa and his reindeer must go to Earth in search of a cure. But once he gets there, Mr. Claus will need some help to save the magic of Christmas...
Donkey Skin (Peau d'âne)
Directed by Jacques Demy, 1970, 1h30, PG / recommended for ages 6+
The King seeks the hand of his own daughter in marriage after promising his dying wife to only wed a woman more beautiful than herself. Listening to her fairy godmother, the frightened Princess flees and hides, disguised as a scullery maid, while wearing the skin of a donkey. As a visiting prince passes by, he asks Donkey Skin to bake him a cake. She decides to bake him a Love Cake, in which she hides a ring…
Available on The Criterion Channel
Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami (Sur la piste du Marsupilami)
Directed by Alain Chabat, 2012, 1h40, PG-13 / recommended for ages 10+
When reporter Dan Geraldo arrives in Palombia to hunt for a scoop, he never suspects that he is about to make an incredible discovery... With his resourceful local guide Pablito, Dan has one surprise after another during a thrilling adventure that allows him to bring the world some spectacular news: the Marsupilami, a mythical and mischievous animal, really does exist! You too will believe in furry tails!
Directed by James Huth, 2009, 1h43, PG-13 / recommended for ages 12+
During his mission in Daisy Town, the city where he grew up, Lucky Luke is going to come across Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Pat Poker, Jesse James and sexy Belle.
Mia and the White Lion (Mia et le lion blanc)
Directed by Gilles De Maistre, 2018, 1h38, PG / recommended for ages 8+
A young girl and her beautiful white lion Charlie set off on an epic adventure across the wild African savanna in search for another land where Charlie can live out his life safe and free.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot)
Directed by Jacques Tati, 1953, 1h27, recommended for ages 7+
Monsieur Hulot, Jacques Tati’s endearing clown, takes a holiday at a seaside resort, where his presence provokes one catastrophe after another. Tati’s masterpiece of gentle slapstick is a series of effortlessly well-choreographed sight gags involving dogs, boats, and firecrackers; it was the first entry in the Hulot series and the film that launched its maker to international stardom.
Nicholas on Holiday (Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas)
Directed by Laurent Tirard, 2014, 1h37, recommended for ages 7+
Nicholas, his parents and Granny hit the road, heading for the sea, and a stay in the Beau-Rivage Hotel. At the beach, Nicholas wastes little time making new friends, and the group has many adventures in this family…
On the Way to School (Sur le chemin de l’école)
Directed by Pascal Plisson, 2015, 1h17, PG / recommended for ages 6+
The story of four students from different parts of the world that travel long distances to attend school.
School of Life (L’école buissonnière)
Directed by Nicolas Vanier, 2017, 1h56, PG-13 / recommended for ages 8+
Paul has only ever had one and the same horizon: the high walls of an orphanage in the Parisian working class suburbs. Entrusted to Celestine and her husband, Borel, the city child, recalcitrant and stubborn, arrives in a mysterious and disturbing world, that of a soverign and wild region. In the heart of a fairytale Sologne, Paul will learn about life, and also about the forest and its secrets.
The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cent coups)
Directed by Francois Truffaut, 1959, 1h59, recommended for ages 8+
François Truffaut’s first feature is also his most personal. Told through the eyes of Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud), THE 400 BLOWS sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime.
The Bear (L’Ours)
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1988, 1h40, PG / recommended for ages 11+
Acclaimed account of an orphaned grizzly cub and a wounded Kodiak bear that join forces in their struggle for survival in 1885 Canada.
The Chorus (Les Choristes)
Directed by Christophe Barratier, 2014, 1h37, PG-13 / recommended for ages 12+
When he takes a job teaching music at a school for troubled boys, Clément Mathieu is unprepared for its harsh discipline and depressing atmosphere. But with passion and unconventional teaching methods, he's able to spark his students' interest in music and bring them a newfound joy! It also puts him at odds with the school's overbearing headmaster, however, locking Mathieu in a battle between politics and the determination to change his pupils' lives!
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec)
Directed by Luc Besson, 2010, 1h46, PG / recommended for ages 10+
The year is 1912. A 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg, housed on a shelf in the Natural History Museum, has mysteriously hatched, unleashing a prehistoric monster onto the Parisian streets. But nothing fazes Adèle, when she finds a connection with the ancient bird and reveals many more extraordinary surprises.
The Fox and the Child (Le Renard et l’enfant)
Directed by Luc Jacquet, 2007, 1h50, PG / recommended for ages 6+
What would it be like to have a fox for a friend? A 10-year-old girl who wants to know sets out to befriend a beautiful wild fox she names Lily. Bit by bit, in woods and fields blanketed by snow and carpeted by wildflowers, the girl and Lily build an extarordinary friendship as the fox leads her human companion on adventures bold, funny and even sometimes scary.
To Be and To Have (Être et avoir)
Directed by Nicolas Philibert, 2002, 1h44, recommended for ages 7+
Georges Lopez is an educator at a small school in France's Auvergne region, where between December 2000 and June 2001 he taught 12 students between the ages of four and ten. Employing a curriculum that embraces both academics and practical skills, Lopez and his school represent a surprising mix of the old and the new, where computer technology and old-fashioned memorization of the multiplication tables sit side by side.
Trouble at Timpetill (Les Enfants de Timpelbach)
Directed by Nicolas Bary, 2008, 2h13, recommended for ages 9+
Welcome to Timpetill, a small, serene village. Well, not really that serene… Indeed, for several weeks, the children have been playing multiple practical jokes and nasty tricks. The victims are, of course, other children… but also, and most of all, the parents. Overwrought, they decide to leave the village for what they think will only be one day. But nothing happens as planned: on the way back, they are taken prisoner by a group of soldiers. In Timpetill, the news of a village without parents makes Oscar and his gang of thugs happy! But that isn’t the case of a few daredevils who decide to side with Manfred and Marianne to regain control of the village.
War of the Buttons (La Nouvelle guerre des boutons)
Directed by Christophe Barratier, 2011, 1h40, PG-13 / recommended for ages 10+
War of the Buttons follows Lebrac, a pre-teen rebel in WWII-occupied France. Lebrac enjoys leading "wars" between rival gangs of kids, but once he falls for a young Jewish girl in danger of being exposed by the Nazis, he must put aside the petty conflicts to unite the gangs and protect his love. In doing so, Lebrac and the other children confront the very real war happening around them.
You can also watch this other remake:
And if you're looking for short films:
A Trip To The Moon (Le Voyage dans la lune)
Directed by Georges Melies, 1902, 14 minutes, recommended for ages 7+
Available on Amazon Prime
White Mane (Crin Blanc, le Cheval Sauvage)
Directed by Albert Lamorisse, 1953, 47 minutes, recommended for ages 6+
Available on The Criterion Channel