What are the best movies to watch on Netflix this Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is a great day where Americans gather with family and friends to eat as much turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie as possible, before settling in for an afternoon and evening full of board games, football, or a good old-fashioned family movie night.
Naturally, it can be hard to find a movie everyone wants to watch, especially with a massive Netflix catalog to choose from, but this year there’s a number of movies that make for a perfectly cozy thanksgiving watch.
Here’s a selection of the best Netflix has to offer this Thanksgiving, with a focus on great movies that the whole family can enjoy.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings movies all came out in December, so many fans already have watching traditions during the holiday season. An epic adventure that’s already a staple film for many families, the Fellowship of the Ring should be a movie almost everyone can agree to, even if it’s just for the post-turkey nap. The only Lord of the Rings movie on Netflix is The Fellowship of the Ring, so you can’t exactly do a full trilogy marathon, but at 3 hours long, it’s long enough for a lazy Thanksgiving evening.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Widely accepted as the best installment of the Pirates franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl can be considered the pioneer of Disney’s current stranglehold of the PG-13 family-friendly action/adventure/comedy market. Full of epic music, quotable lines, and plenty of swashbuckling, it’s a great movie to watch with company, and odds are, it’s already a shared favorite between many siblings, cousins, and other family members. Perfect for Thanksgiving Netflix viewing.
Related: Netflix: 15 New TV Shows And Movies Coming In November
The Emperor’s New Groove
If you aren’t able to rattle off a couple dozen punchlines from The Emperor’s New Groove, or quotes from it aren’t already a part of your vocabulary with your family and friends, you may have missed out. Falling at an odd point between Disney’s older animated films and newer CGI endeavors, The Emperor’s New Groove often gets overlooked, but its hilarious dialogue and star-studded voice cast make for a great movie to watch with a group of family and friends on Netflix this Thanksgiving.
The Neverending Story
Long before The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, children and family movies made a regular habit of outright traumatizing kids, and the Swamp of Sadness in NeverEnding Story is one of the most classic examples. Despite that particular moment in the Swamp of Sadness, The NeverEnding Story is a classic fantasy adventure movie already held close by many that grew up with it and, as it’s on Netflix this Thanksgiving, would be a great introduction for any younger family members that haven’t seen it yet.
The Road to El Dorado
Another classic piece of family animation you should all be able to quote on demand is The Road to El Dorado. When two scammers get ahold of a map to the fabled city of gold and con the people into believing they’re gods, things naturally get out of their control as they try to find out how to escape with both their gold and their heads. With music by Hans Zimmer and Elton John and voice leads by Kenneth Branaugh and Kevin Kline, The Road to El Dorado is an underappreciated classic that makes for perfect post-turkey viewing on Netflix.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Edgar Wright’s certified cult classic about Michael Cera’s Scott Pilgrim finding a new girlfriend, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), only to learn he has to battle her seven exes, is the perfect viewing for both longtime fans, and those who have never seen it before. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is full of great dialogue, fun music, and creative action sequences, all with the iconic visual flair of Edgar Wright. If you have an opportunity to introduce your family and friends to this movie for the first time on Thanksgiving, don’t pass it up.
Long heralded as one of the greatest comedies of all time, Blazing Saddles is a classic probably more familiar with most older family members. One of Mel Brooks more famous comedies, Blazing Saddles offers a scathing satire of the racism of Hollywood westerns at the time, so, needless to say, it may inspire some conversations most people try to avoid with family on Thanksgiving, especially with the movie’s use of the N-word. It’s plain to see why Brooks claims Blazing Saddles could never be made today.
The Iron Giant
Possibly one of the greatest animated films ever made, The Iron Giant weaves a Spielbergian tale of a young boy who discovers an extraterrestrial murder machine during the height of the cold war, and quickly becomes best friends with the robot. Naturally, this becomes a problem as the army becomes aware of the robot’s existence. As the first feature-length animated film by Brad Bird, it’s clear to see why he was such a hot commodity for Disney.
During the height of Pixar, Dreamworks came out with the clear counterprogramming of Shrek, a relatively family-friendly movie full of innuendo and some other not-so-subtle raunchy humor thrown in along with an all-star cast and (literally) an All Star soundtrack (OK, there’s only two Smash Mouth songs, but still). Shrek satirizes every classic fairytale trope imaginable and makes for a great multi-generational viewing after a Thanksgiving feast.
After revolutionizing the way Hollywood made sci-fi/action movies with The Matrix trilogy and V For Vendetta, The Wachowskis could make just about anything they wanted, and they chose to adapt the classic cartoon Speed Racer to live action. In what could be one of the most faithful direct ports of a cartoon aesthetic to live-action, Speed Racer is bursting with color, comedy, and cheesy one-liners, and every actor chews every bit of CGI scenery. At its core, Speed Racer is (not so subtly) a movie about family, so it’s a natural pick to watch with family on Netflix this Thanksgiving.