Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, togetherness, and treasured family moments. What better way to celebrate this special occasion than by watching a heartwarming movie? We’ve put together this list of Thanksgiving movies for kids that offer entertainment and valuable life lessons. From tales of gratitude to whimsical adventures, these films will ensure laughter, reflection, and shared memories for the whole family. We’ve also included a few that adults can enjoy that may not be suitable for young kids but share some important reminders (and a few laughs!) for grown-ups this time of year!
Please note: Discussions around cultural sensitivity and representation in media are ongoing and evolve over time. We aimed to exclude Thanksgiving movies that portray Indigenous people and cultures in historically inaccurate and culturally insensitive ways. Also, criteria for movie ratings have changed over time, so older films with PG ratings may have surprising language or content. We recommend previewing all movies to ensure they’re appropriate for your audience.
Animated Thanksgiving Movies
Add a sprinkle of animated fun to your Thanksgiving celebration with these kid-friendly movies.
Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving
This direct-to-video movie takes us on an adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and the rest of the gang as they search for the ingredients they need for Thanksgiving dinner. Not rated.
Buy it: Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving on Amazon
Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow
Inspired by Jim Henson’s unfinished works, this holiday movie follows two kids who are tracking the Howling Hoodoo, an elusive monster in the small town of Turkey Hollow. Rated PG.
Buy it: Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow on Amazon
Garfield’s human, Jon Arbuckle, falls for the veterinarian who wants to put his sassy cat on a diet. Worst of all, she’s coming to Thanksgiving dinner! At just 24 minutes, this is a great option if you’re short on time. Not rated.
Buy it: Garfield’s Thanksgiving on Amazon
Follow the adventure as two turkeys find a way to travel back in time to stop people from eating turkeys on Thanksgiving forever. Rated PG.
Buy it: Free Birds on Amazon
Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
With your help, Dora can save the Pirate Piggies from disaster and save the Thanksgiving parade. Rated G.
Buy it: Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Amazon
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration
In this sweet holiday movie, Dave is getting married, but things aren’t going as planned. It never does with the Chipmunks! Rated G.
Buy it: Alvin and the Chipmunks: Alvin’s Thanksgiving Celebration on Amazon
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story
Four dinosaurs—a tyrannosaurus rex, a pterodactyl, a triceratops, and a hadrosaur—travel forward through time and end up in New York City. Can they pretend to be part of the Thanksgiving parade long enough to make it to the Museum of Natural History and find their way home? Rated G.
Buy it: We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story on Amazon
Thanksgiving is all about eating delicious food and spending time with the ones we love. That’s why this film about an ambitious chef in Paris is perfect for the holiday! Rated G.
Buy it: Ratatouille on Amazon
A Looney Tunes Thanksgiving
Part of the Holiday Triple Feature, this Looney Tunes Thanksgiving special follows Bugs, Daffy, and the gang as they prepare to enjoy their annual feast. Rated TV-PG.
Buy it: Looney Tunes: Holiday Triple Feature on Amazon
Thanksgiving Movies for Kids and Families
These films feature heartwarming and memorable Thanksgiving scenes that are perfect for watching with the entire family.
A Family Thanksgiving
A successful attorney is forced to reevaluate her priorities and reconnect with her estranged family when a twist of fate brings her back home for Thanksgiving. As she navigates her past and present relationships, Claudia learns valuable life lessons about love, forgiveness, and the importance of family during the holiday season. Rated TV-G.
Buy it: A Family Thanksgiving on Amazon
Watch the heartwarming original musical about Annie, an orphan who lives with the wealthy Daddy Warbucks as he tries to help her find her real parents. A turning point in the movie and one of the most heartwarming scenes is when Daddy Warbucks invites Annie to his mansion for Thanksgiving dinner, and she experiences the warmth of a loving family for the first time. This set also includes the updated 2014 version! Rated G.
Buy it: Annie 2-Movie DVD Collection on Amazon
The Benji Collection
Each film in the collection presents a new set of challenges and heartwarming moments as Benji, along with his human friends, demonstrates the power of friendship, love, and kindness. “Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story” opens with Benji and his human family celebrating Thanksgiving together, so it’s a perfect movie to watch as you wrap up your Thanksgiving celebration and look toward Christmas. Rated PG.
Buy it: Benji Collection on Amazon
Addams Family Values
The macabre yet lovable Addams family faces a new set of challenges when a conniving nanny targets Uncle Fester for his fortune, causing a rift in the family. Wednesday and Pugsley are cast in a Thanksgiving play at their summer camp. However, Wednesday’s dark sense of humor clashes with the saccharine and historically inaccurate portrayal of the first Thanksgiving, leading to a memorable and humorous scene during the play. Rated PG-13.
Buy it: Addams Family Values Double Feature on Amazon
This story revolves around Daniel, a talented but irresponsible voice actor who loses custody of his children after a divorce. In the film, there’s a memorable scene involving a dinner party that takes place around Thanksgiving time where Daniel must manage the complex situation of simultaneously being himself and Mrs. Doubtfire to spend time with his children. Rated PG.
Buy it: Mrs. Doubtfire on Amazon
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
This comedy is about a mild-mannered security guard, Paul Blart, who becomes an unlikely hero when a group of criminals takes over the mall on Black Friday. Blart must use his unorthodox skills to protect the shoppers and save the day. Rated PG.
Buy it: Paul Blart: Mall Cop on Amazon
Football-Themed Thanksgiving Movies
For many people, Thanksgiving and football go hand-in-hand. When you’re done eating turkey and watching the big games, turn on one of these classic football movies.
It’s not necessarily Thanksgiving-themed, but football and Turkey Day are the perfect combination for some families! This sports drama is based on the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, a determined young man with dreams of playing college football for the University of Notre Dame. Rated PG.
Buy it: Rudy on Amazon
The Blind Side
This heartwarming film is based on the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless and underprivileged teenager who is taken in by a caring family, the Tuohys. With their support, he overcomes adversity and discovers his extraordinary talent in football, eventually earning a scholarship to play for the University of Mississippi and transforming his life. Rated PG-13.
Note: While this is a beloved and touching story, it’s worth noting that some unfortunate details surrounding this real-life story have emerged. For more, read The True Story of Michael Oher and ‘The Blind Side.’
Buy it: The Blind Side on Amazon
Remember the Titans
This sports drama film portrays the true story of the racially integrated T.C. Williams High School football team in Virginia during the early 1970s. Led by their determined coach, Herman Boone, and the team’s captain, Gerry Bertier, they overcame racial tensions and prejudice to become a unified and successful football team, promoting racial harmony in their community. Rated PG.
Buy it: Remember the Titans on Amazon
Thanksgiving Movies for Older Kids and Adults
If you’re looking for Thanksgiving movies to watch with an older crowd of kids, check out these titles.
Home for the Holidays
Thanksgiving can be a tough time for any family, and this comedy-drama film follows the dysfunctional Larson family as they reunite for Thanksgiving. The film explores the humorous and touching moments of their time together, revealing the complexities and quirks of family dynamics during the holiday season. Rated PG-13.
Buy it: Home for the Holidays on Amazon
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Starring Steve Martin and the late great John Candy, this classic Thanksgiving comedy tells the story of two mismatched travelers trying to make it home for Thanksgiving. Their journey is marked by a series of hilarious misadventures involving planes, trains, and automobiles as they form an unlikely friendship along the way. Rated R.
Buy it: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles on Amazon
When a working-class man named Dutch Dooley embarks on a journey to pick up his girlfriend’s spoiled, bratty son from boarding school for Thanksgiving, hilarity ensues. The two clash during the trip, but Dutch tries to teach the boy life lessons while encountering various comedic situations along the way. Rated R.
Buy it: Dutch on Amazon
Pieces of April
A heartfelt drama-comedy, this film follows April, the black sheep of the family, as she attempts to host Thanksgiving dinner for her estranged family in her small New York City apartment. The film explores themes of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the importance of family bonds during the holiday season. Rated PG-13.
Buy it: Pieces of April on Amazon
Thanksgiving Movies for Kids to Get Ready for Christmas
For many of us, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas season. Watch one of these films as you put away the pumpkins and start trimming the tree.
Miracle on 34th Street
This beloved holiday classic follows a man claiming to be Santa Claus who is put on trial to prove his authenticity. As the case unfolds, it spreads the message of faith, love, and the magic of Christmas, leaving viewers with a heartwarming belief in the spirit of the season. Rated G.
Buy it: Miracle on 34th Street on Amazon
Based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, the story follows the lives of the four March sisters as they navigate the challenges and joys of growing up during the American Civil War. It explores themes of family, love, and the pursuit of individual dreams in a time when women’s options were limited. It remains a beloved and enduring tale of sisterhood and female empowerment. Rated PG.
Buy it: Little Women on Amazon
It’s a Wonderful Life
While it’s technically a Christmas movie, the overall theme is perfect for Thanksgiving too! This classic holiday film tells the story of George Bailey, a kind and selfless man who, in moments of despair, is shown what life would have been like if he had never existed. Rated G.
Buy it: It’s a Wonderful Life on Amazon