7 Family Friendly Sci-Fi Films to Watch with Your Kids

When we’re little, we’re fascinated by space. We look up at the stars, eyes round as saucers, and wonder what’s out there. That feeling of awe only expands as we age. We see it embraced and celebrated in countless science fiction books, shows, comics, and movies. And then we get to share that interest and love for all things outer space with the next generation of intrepid explorers.

That’s why we’ve put together this blog. Each of these sci-fi films is perfect for kids, or even for adults embracing their inner child. No matter the reason you are pressing play, here’s a list of family friendly science fiction movies that are worth breaking out the big popcorn bucket for.

The Iron Giant (1999)

An animated adaption of a Cold War fable, The Iron Giant mixes whimsy and humor with tales of war, lies, and fear. A young boy named Hogarth finds a metal giant from space and teaches it empathy. Soon, a product of war becomes a message of peace and forgiveness. Not only is this film filled with laughs and love, it’s also gorgeously animated with art that sticks with you for days after watching it.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

Alright, so the entire Star Wars™ franchise is perfect for kids. Perhaps with a little parental guidance, but still. Luke Skywalker’s™ intergalactic adventures promise fun for all ages. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi™, however, has the added bonus of ewoks™. These adorable aliens will “yub nub” their way into any heart because they make the battles a little more bearable. Plus, the celebrations at the end of the film are way more fun with these forest dwellers’ bonfires and beats.

Lilo & Stitch (2002)

Who knew aliens and surfing were the perfect combination? Disney’s Lilo & Stitch did. This animated movie crash-lands a rambunctious rascal of an alien experiment onto Earth — Hawaii, specifically. Through a sun-drenched summer backdrop we get comedy, tragedy, and one of the most relatable older sister / little sister dynamics out there. Ohana means family, after all. That’s all the convincing you should need to stream Lilo & Stitch immediately.

BumbleBee (2018)

This one is more for middle schoolers/teens, but it’s still a family film. BumbleBee, part of the Transformers universe, is an action-adventure flick that’ll excite and delight. Plus these characters are based on Hasbro toys, so this franchise instantly appeals to anyone with a big imagination. Charlie is a lovable protagonist, and Bumblebee is an adorkable companion. So come for the car chases and stay for the heartwarming friendship!

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century is a silly, saccharine sweet dive into a colorful future. In the year 2049, 13-year-old Zenon enjoys a fabulous life on an Earth-orbiting space station. However, when she’s sent down to Earth, she’s a bit of an oddball. Yet along the way Zenon is able to find friends who accept her for who she is. This Disney Channel Original Movie is chock full of quirk and attitude. Plus, there’s a pop punk concert at the end. It’ll leave you and the fam humming — guaranteed.

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Inspired by a novel of the same name, Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time follows two gifted children struggling with school, grief, and time travel. Bursting with colorful costumes and rich sets, this film does more than pull us through an alternate universe. While the characters and concepts can sometimes be outlandish, A Wrinkle in Time is grounded in an important emotional dialogue. Messages about self love persist over anything else. Such themes make it a perfect watch for your own grade schoolers, especially if they struggle with similar issues.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial tells the story of a gentle alien stranded on planet Earth. E.T. befriends a misfit group of kids who help him get home. If you and your loved ones ever feel like outsiders, this movie will feel like the warm hug you’ve been needing. Here, the outsiders are heroes. Empathy and compassion are the only way to solve problems. And in the end, we learn how important it is to let loved ones leave if they want to.

What are your favorite family friendly science fiction movies? Connect with other fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!