7 new children's movies to watch this holiday season

Entertain your kids — and yourself — with these family films coming through the end of 2023

Children stand in front of a TV screen.
plenty of family-friendly films are coming this holiday season
(Image credit: Illustrated / Getty Images)

The holiday season is approaching, and your kids have already seen "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" enough times to burn the lyrics of "Peaches" into your brain. Luckily, there are plenty of new family films headed their way to watch — and endlessly rewatch — in the coming months, many of which adults should actually enjoy too. 

'Trolls Band Together' (Nov. 17)

We're not trolling you: the "Trolls" franchise is returning in November — and bringing NSYNC back with it. The animated series' latest installment sees Poppy (Anna Kendrick) discover that Branch (Justin Timberlake) used to be in a boy band with his brothers. One of those brothers is soon kidnapped, leading Branch and Poppy on an adventure to rescue him. Appropriately, the film features a new song by Timberlake's boyband, NSYNC, their first in more than 20 years. Try to enjoy the track before your kids make you thoroughly sick of it, à la "Let It Go." 

'Leo' (Nov. 21)

Get ready to experience the secret life of (class) pets. In this Netflix film, Adam Sandler voices Leo, an aging lizard and class pet at an elementary school. But when a student takes him home, "he plans to escape to experience life on the outside," per Netflix's synopsis — and the student can understand Leo when he speaks. Sandler co-wrote the film with Robert Smigel, creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" fame. Nothing brings kids and parents together like the Sandman. 

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

'Wish' (Nov. 22)

For those hoping Disney might switch up its animated art style, your wish was their command. From the filmmakers behind "Frozen," "Wish" is set in a land whose ruler, voiced by Chris Pine, decides whose wishes to grant. But when a young woman, voiced by Ariana DeBose, makes a wish upon a star, a star comes to life and grants it. The film is being billed as an overall celebration of Disney given its release for the company's 100th anniversary, and will feature multiple original songs. Do the thing, DeBose! 

'Good Burger 2' (Nov. 22)

Can they take your order? The 1997 Nickelodeon comedy "Good Burger," a spinoff of an "All That" sketch, gets a long-awaited sequel that's headed to Paramount+ in November. Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell return as Dexter and Ed, who reunite more than 20 years later. New additions to the cast include Lil Rel Howery and Jillian Bell, and the film also features "All That" stars Josh Server and Lori Beth Denberg. All we need now is a bag of chips. 

'Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever' (Dec. 8)

The "Wimpy Kid" expanded universe is coming home to Disney+ for the holidays. The latest animated installment, a follow-up to last year's "Rodrick Rules," is holiday-themed, as it follows Greg Heffley during a stressful Christmas season as he and his family become snowed in their home. It's based on the 2011 book by Jeff Kinney, who also penned the screenplay. Families can unwrap his gift to Disney+ subscribers on Dec. 8. 

'Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget' (Dec. 15)

It's clucking time. In this sequel to Aardman's 2000 stop-motion film, Ginger, who has a daughter with Rocky, is now living in a bird sanctuary. But when Mrs. Tweedy — who ran the farm in the first film — returns, Ginger and the gang must break into her compound. Much of the original cast has been replaced, with Thandiwe Newton now voicing Ginger and Zachary Levi voicing Rocky. "The Last of Us" star Bella Ramsey also voices their daughter. The film is a Netflix original, so the streamer's long-awaited first Best Picture win is surely in sight. 

'Migration' (Dec. 22)

Illumination already crushed it this year with "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," but the animation studio behind "Minions" isn't done yet. Their latest project is the possible start of a new franchise: "Migration," which follows a family of ducks who migrate south but get more than they bargained for after finding themselves out of their element in New York City. Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks and Awkwafina lead a stacked voice cast. The most recent trailer offered the first glimpse at Taylor Swift's re-recording of "Out of the Woods," so prepare for screenings to be divided evenly between tired families and energetic Swifties. 

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.