Skip to main content


By Noelle Buffam · March 26, 2011

Family film is a genre that is contains appropriate content for younger viewers. Family film aims to appeal not only to children, but to a wide range of ages. While the storyline may appeal to a younger audience, there are components of the film that are geared towards adults- such as witty jokes and humor. This genre may fall into many other genres, including comedy, adventure, fantasy, and animated film.

Family Film Examples:

Shrek – A grumpy Ogre, seeking to reclaim his swamp, embarks on a journey with the help of a wise-cracking  donkey to deliver a princess to the sinister Lord Farquaad.

The Wizard of Oz – Dorothy is caught in a tornado and transported to a magical land where she embarks on a journey to visit the wizard, the only one who can send her home.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial – A boy befriends a stranded alien and ultimately helps him find his way back to his home planet.

FAMILY Film Sub-genres


A Musical interweaves vocal and dance performances into the narrative of the film. The traditional Family Musical has a simple storyline, while having elaborate dance and musical numbers. Aiming to appeal to a broad age range, Family Musicals often have many primary characters of all different ages.

Examples: The Sound of Music, High School Musical, Mary Poppins.


Animated Family film is a sub-genre that has a large target audience. Many classic Animated Family films incorporate musical numbers to engage younger audiences. More contemporary Animated Family films have developed a dual sided form of humor – one side that appeal to children, and another that appeals to adults.

Examples: Toy Story, Despicable Me, The Lion King.