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Finding kid-friendly war movies can be quite a challenge! The nature of war itself is a heavy topic, so it makes sense that bringing that to kids would be a feat. Fortunately, there are some excellent options available that tie together children-oriented stories with the drama and excitement of a war movie. For families looking for a movie night selection that will be enjoyable for both adults and kids alike, I think these 5 may be the best family-friendly war movies.
The Absolute Best Family Friendly War Movie
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
When it comes to family-friendly war movies, the animated film Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an absolute must-see. Released in 2018, this kid-friendly war movie follows the incredible true story of a stray dog who befriends an American soldier during WWI and eventually earns the rank of Sergeant. With strong themes of courage, loyalty, and friendship, Sargent Stubby is a heartwarming and inspiring adventure for the whole family to enjoy.
The historical accuracy in this film makes Sgt Stubby: An American Hero the best family-friendly war movie in my opinion. We first watched this movie when it came to theaters. My boys were only 4 and 5 at that point in time. They loved the heroism of Stubby the dog and quickly grew attached to some of the characters. I will say that a few of the scenes were a bit heavy for that age group and would probably be better for the 7+ age group. We ended up having lengthy discussions about one of the characters who died and even delved into topics on the ethics of warfare (discussing the use of mustard gas in the film), which was unexpected on an afternoon at the theater with young kids, but the educational moment was very welcome.
I truly think that seeing Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is what sparked a great interest in history for my kids. They often relate things they learn about this time period in history back to the movie.
You can stream Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero for free on Tubi.
The Best WWII Movies for Kids
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Your mind may not immediately jump to a musical featuring a witch if you are asked to make a list of war films, but Bedknobs and Broomsticks is definitely one of our favorite WWII movies for kids in our home.
Released in 1971, this Disney classic follows three children who are evacuated during WWII England and stumble upon a witch with magical powers. This kid-friendly yet still captivating movie is one that has been passed down through the generations since its release.
This fictional family-friendly war movie stars Angela Lansbury as an amateur witch in a magical battle against Nazi Germany during World War II. It follows three children who help her in her quest to save the world from a powerful spell.
With its whimsical characters, witty dialogue, and thrilling scenes, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a kid-friendly war movie that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. My elementary-aged kids really enjoyed the dancing scene of soldiers from different countries within the British Empire and our toddler loved the songs and animated portions. If your family likes the Disney classic Mary Poppins, they will love Bedknobs and Broomsticks!
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is currently available on Disney+ or you can rent it on Amazon for your next family-friendly war movie night.
Fun fact for Disney fans: There is actually a hidden Mickey in this movie! Look for him during the animated soccer scene.
Did you know that pigeons have played an important role in wars? Carrier Pigeons were used to deliver messages during both World War I and World War II. Their missions were often dangerous as enemy soldiers would shoot them down.
Valiant is another enjoyable WWII movie for kids. It is an animated film that tells the story of a small but brave pigeon who trains to be a part of the elite Royal Homing Pigeon Service during WWII. Valiant and his misfit group of homing pigeons are sent across enemy lines to retrieve a pigeon who has been taken as a prisoner of war. On this very dangerous mission, the pigeons face an anti-aircraft attack and a fierce group of falcons – representative of Axis powers – that stand in the way of their assignment.
While World War II is a very dark time in history, the writers of Valiant did really well in balancing history with humor. While many of the jokes in the film are geared toward a crowd with some knowledge of World War II, the storyline and fun characters will keep kids entertained.
For the military history-interested kid, this movie was a definite win. Throughout the movie, one of our kids loved identifying all of the planes, ships, and tanks they had seen on visits to military museums.
With its heartwarming plot, humorous characters, and exciting action scenes, Valiant is a great choice for a family-friendly war movie that will be enjoyable for children and adults alike.
Fun fact: Pigeons are only second to dogs, the species that has received the most wartime service medals. Who knew?!
Kid-Friendly War Movies For Family Movie Night Currently on Disney+
Disney’s Mulan is a solid family-friendly war movie but is an often overlooked film. Perhaps it’s because the story doesn’t involve modern warfare or maybe it is due to the fact that the movie doesn’t feature a war that America participated in (since the story takes place somewhere between the 4th and 6th centuries).
This Disney-animated kid-friendly war movie is a heartwarming and inspiring story of a brave young girl who disguises herself as a man in order to take her elderly father’s place in the Chinese army.
Through spectacular visuals and an Oscar-nominated soundtrack, Mulan tells the story of strength and courage in facing danger and adversity. The themes of bravery, loyalty, honor, sacrifice, and love are all tightly packaged within the story of Mulan.
Oh, and we can’t forget the comedy! Mushu, Mulan’s tiny dragon sidekick, is sure to keep kids and adults laughing with his antics and one-liners.
If your family has yet to watch Mulan, we highly suggest it for your next Disney movie night!
Operation Dumbo Drop
Operation Dumbo Drop is a family-friendly war movie that follows a group of soldiers on a daring mission to deliver an elephant to a remote Vietnamese village during the Vietnam War. It is loosely based on a true story, but nevertheless, the movie provides an inspiring story of courage and heroism that will keep your whole family entertained.
Our kids cracked up over some of the messy obstacles that the characters face on their mission! This movie is definitely a win for the 7+ age group.
If you are looking for Operation Dumbo Drop, you can currently find it available for streaming on Disney+ or to rent on Amazon Prime.
Movies about war can be informative and entertaining for all ages, especially when they are tailored to be family-friendly!
War movies can often provide an interesting look into the lives of those who served in various wars, and can also serve as a way to teach valuable lessons about heroism, courage, and loyalty.
Not only do these films provide insight into the struggles of war, but they also show examples of courage, camaraderie, and even humor in the face of danger. Additionally, by watching these movies together, parents and teachers are able to open up conversations about difficult topics with children and foster a deeper understanding of both past and present war experiences.
Whether you’re looking for something action-packed or heartwarming, these kid-friendly war movies are sure to be a win!
3 thoughts on “The 5 Best Family Friendly War Movies”
Thank you for these suggestions! I have watched Mulan with my daughter, and I think she would like Sgt. Stubby because she loves dogs and I think she would enjoy watching it.
Lovely suggestions! I love this post. Thanks for putting this list together.
You’re welcome for these ideas.
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again soon.