The 8 Greatest Family Travel Movies Ever
September 13, 2012
by Matt Villano
© Flickr user jovisala47, CC licensed.
The next best thing to traveling with your family? Watching movies about family travel, of course. Here are my top eight favorites of all time.
No. 8: Lost In Space (1998)
In this cinematic take on the 1960s television show of the same name, the Robinson family takes the trip of a lifetime—into space. The good: The science behind the plot, and the cameos by actors from the original series. The bad: The fact that both kids spend much of the movie being neglected by their doctor dad.
No. 7: Jurassic Park (1993)
Special effects take center stage in this movie, which chronicles the adventures of a gaggle of grown-ups and kids as a preview tour of a theme park with real-live dinosaurs goes horribly wrong. The good: Those lizards! Also, the focus on multi-generational travel. The bad: Sam Neill.
No. 6: Home for the Holidays (1995)
The best of the family-oriented Thanksgiving movies (Planes, Tranes and Automobiles didn’t qualify), this film tells the story of Claudia Larson’s holiday with her family. The good: Incredible cast, helmed by a young Holly Hunter (swoon). The bad: Save for one peripheral character, the “kids” in this flick are all grown.
No. 5: The Great Outdoors (1988)
One of the most underappreciated John Candy flicks, this uproarious movie tells the tale of how a surprise visit from the in-laws derails a family vacation in the woods. The good: Gotta love a good camping flick. What’s more, Candy and Dan Ackroyd make a funny, funny pair. The bad: The bear shtick gets old. Fast.
No. 4: Up (2009)
This adorable animated film tells the story of a grandfather and a stowaway grandson who set out to see the world the cheap way: By tying balloons to their house. The good: The film is suitable for family members of all ages. The bad: The film comes in 3-D, and, IMHO, 3-D as a technology is intrusive and annoying.
No. 3: Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)
One could consider this film the granddaddy of family travel flicks. The plot: During what is supposed to be a quiet beach getaway, the Hobbs family is joined by a host of random relatives. The good: Jimmy Stewart! Old-school cinematography makes it campy for grown-ups. The bad: Expressions and styles are so out-of-date, kids of today might have trouble relating.
No. 2: Vacation (1983)
There’s no denying that this film could be No. 1 on any family travel list; the story of the Griswolds’ quest for Wally World is one of the most epic tales in movie history. The good: What’s not to love? The scenes with Aunt Edna are particularly snarf-inducing. The bad: It might be blasphemy, but I’m not a fan of Cousin Eddie.
No. 1: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
This lighthearted movie takes audiences along with the Hoover family as they drive across the country to the youngest member to the finals of a beauty pageant. The good: The script, the nuanced acting and the break-out performance of Abigail Breslin, who (at least in this flick) is utterly lovable. The bad: Runtime; it was only 101 minutes. I could have watched for hours.
Did I miss a good one? Which flicks are on your list? Please leave a comment and let me know.