75 Best Movies for Kids: Top Family Movie Night Ideas

These kids' movies are classic hits!
These kids' movies are classic hits!
12/31/23 - By Ally Noel

Looking for fresh family movie night ideas? Here are some of the best movies for kids of all ages, from toddlers all the way through teens.

Family movie night is always exciting... until you spend so much time choosing a movie everyone can agree on, it's already past bedtime. We are here to save family movie night by sharing 75 of the best movies for kids of all ages. From classic family-friendly movies we all grew up watching to popular Disney and Pixar flicks to movies that will thrill tweens and teens, there are family movies on this list to please everyone.

So get out the popcorn, grab a blanket, and check out this list of the 75 best movies for kids. Then visit our Guide to Boredom Busters for Kids for more ideas for family fun night, from the 100 best board games for kids and family game night to the 100 best kids' TV shows of all time.


The original 1961 The Parent Trap was an instant classic. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Best Classic Kids' Movies for Family Movie Night

1.The Parent Trap (PG, 1961& 1998)

Whether you watch the 1961 or the 1998 version, The Parent Trap will entertain the whole family. This “separated at birth” story of identical twins and their conniving plan to get their parents back together is pure sweetness. Kids will be wowed by the fact that in both movies, the twins are played by the same actress—Hayley Mills in the 1961 film and Lindsay Lohan in 1998.

2. The Wizard of Oz (G, 1939)

This is the classic of all classic movies for kids! Who can resist the tale of Dorothy and her little dog Toto as they journey through the wonderful land of Oz? For over 80 years, this film has managed to captivate generations of families.

3. The Neverending Story (PG, 1984)

The fantasy land of Fantasia is being threatened by "The Nothing," a darkness that ruins anything it touches. Flying dragons, swamp monsters, and mad scientists lead audiences through a fantastic science-fiction adventure trying to save the world.

4. The Goonies (PG, 1985)

If “Goonies never say die," then this feel-good 80s movie will live forever! The Goonies has all the elements of a childhood dream adventure: pirates, lost treasure, and a harrowing journey to save a childhood home. Oh, and yes—plenty of tween and teen angst.

5. Back to the Future Trilogy (PG)

Doc Brown’s souped-up DeLorean takes Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) on the adventure of his lifetime. This time-traveling trio of films, starting with 1985's Back to the Future and followed by Back to the Future II (1989) and Back to the Future III (1990), takes viewers from the Wild West all the way to the future.

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Kids will swoon at the treats, songs, and colorful characters in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Photo courtesy of Warner Home Video

6. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (G, 1971)

Welcome to this delightful “world of pure imagination.” Based on Roald Dahl’s book, this movie is filled with dark humor, but families will still find joy watching Charlie persist over many obstacles thrown his way.

7. Star Wars saga (PG & PG-13)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... the ultimate sci-fi classic was born. Since the very first film, 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Star Wars saga has firmly implanted itself into pop-culture history. Gather everyone on the couch and teach the whole family the ways of the Jedi.

8. Short Circuit (PG, 1986)

“Johnny 5 is alive!” When a lightning strike hits an experimental military robot, Number 5, it begins taking on human characteristics. STEM-loving kids will love this tech throwback of a kids' movie.

9. The Karate Kid (PG, 1984)

When teenager Danny becomes the target of a group of bullies, Mr. Miyagi steps in to train him in karate. If the kids love The Karate Kid—and they will—follow up by watching the sequels: The Karate II (1986), The Karate Kid III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994).

10. Labyrinth (PG, 1986)

When the Goblins come and steal young Sarah’s baby brother, she has no choice but to venture into the Labyrinth to save him. Filled with mythical creatures designed by Jim Henson and a catchy soundtrack performed by David Bowie, Labyrinth is a cult classic for a reason.

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ET might be an iconic 1980s kids movie, but this one never gets old. Photo courtesy Universal

11. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (PG, 1982)

“E.T. phone home!” For all “80s kid” parents, there is nothing more magical than E.T. and Elliott soaring past the moon on a bicycle. There have been many alien movies over the years, but none have been as kid-friendly or featured a storyline as captivating as E.T. and Elliott’s friendship.

12. Annie (PG, 1982)

Annie is the quintessential rags-to-riches tale. Young audiences will delight in watching Little Orphan Annie get picked from the orphanage to live with Daddy Warbucks in his mansion. You can also catch the modern version of the story in 2014's Annie, starring Quvenzhané Wallis.

13. The Princess Bride (PG, 1987)

This fairy tale of a film delights fans of all ages. The Princess Bride is that perfect mixture of an adventure and a love story—with plenty of comedy mixed in—to appeal to your entire household.

14. Willow (PG, 1988)

When aspiring sorcerer Willow finds a baby, he heads off on a quest to return the child. Any young fantasy fan will instantly fall in love with this classic tale of good triumphing over evil.

15. The Sandlot (PG, 1993)

Every generation needs a good coming-of-age tale, and for many, The Sandlot is just that movie. Watch this group of young baseball players overcome bad luck with the power of friendship and loyalty. The Sandlot 2 (2005) and The Sandlot: Heading Home (2007) are worth a watch, too, but nothing beats the original.

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March of the Penguins is a feel-good documentary about the survival of these curious birds. Photo courtesy of Warner Home Video

Best Movies for Kids Under 5

16. March of the Penguins (G, 2005)

This beautiful documentary shows Emperor penguins making their annual trek from the Antarctic shore to the inland plains. Humans can learn a lot about perseverance and survival from these birds and their quest to survive, and little ones will be captivated by the adorable animals.

17. Toy Story (G, 1995)

Pixar's very first movie, Toy Story, and its sequels—Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Toy Story 4are consistently ranked among the animation studio's best. And what's not to love about Woody, Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, and their adventures with their fellow toys? Have tissues on hand: Even the opening strains of Randy Newman's "You've Got A Friend in Me" will bring on the waterworks!

18. Charlotte's Web (G, 2006)

In this heartwarming film based on the classic book, Wilbur the pig knows he'll end up on the dinner table at the end of the season. He hatches a plan with his spider friend, Charlotte, to ensure that this doesn't happen. The film stars Dakota Fanning as Wilbur's young owner Fern, as well as Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts.

19. Beauty and the Beast (G, 1991)

This animated Disney classic about a beautiful girl, Belle, who falls in love with a Beast is a tale as old as time. It turns out the Beast is actually a prince who'd been put under a wicked spell. The 2017 live-action version starring Emma Watson as Belle doesn't disappoint, either, and both films have great soundtracks.

20. My Neighbor Totoro (G, 1988)

My Neighbor Totoro is the perfect introduction to Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli's fantastic, family-friendly movies. It follows two young sisters as they settle into an old country house with their father while their mother recovers from an illness in the hospital. As the girls explore their new town, they meet friendly spirits, including a huge and adorable creature named Totoro.

21. Finding Nemo (G, 2003)

"Just keep swimming!" This Pixar masterpiece brings viewers into a dazzling undersea world filled with sea creatures of every color and shape. Clownfish Marlin teams up with the forgetful blue tang Dory (hilariously voiced by Ellen Degeneres) to find his missing son, Nemo.

22. The Little Mermaid (G, 1989)

Make Disney princesses a part of your world with this animated classic about a mermaid named Ariel who yearns to become human. The soundtrack is one of Disney's best. If your kids can handle a few scarier scenes, show them the 2023 live-action version of The Little Mermaid, rated PG. When Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel, she became Disney's first Black live-action princess in a major film.

23. Mary Poppins (G, 1964)

Mary Poppins is “practically perfect in every way.” After Jane and Michael Banks compile a list of qualities they're looking for in a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised when Mary Poppins arrives. This Disney movie is filled with magical adventures that appeal to the child in everyone. We love 2018's Mary Poppins Returns, too.

24. Babe (G, 1995)

Young kids will love the talking farm animals in Babe, a heartwarming tale about a runt pig who wants to herd sheep. Grown-ups will love the film's moral lessons of staying true to yourself and sticking up for others, as well as the ideas that families come in all forms and that the little guy doesn't always finish last.

25.Cars (G, 2006)

Disney's animated Cars is a thrilling treat for auto-obsessed kids and grown-ups alike, but you don't have to be into vehicles to fall in love with race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), rusty old tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), and all of their four-wheeled friends. Cars 2 and Cars 3 are fun follow-ups.

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The lovable Kermit for the family movie night win! Photo courtesy Disney/Jim Henson

26. The Muppet Movie (G, 1979)

The funny thing about watching Muppet movies is that as an adult, you laugh at completely different parts than your kids. Though there are many great Muppet films, the original truly stands out. Little ones will be especially delighted by Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection" as he strums a banjo.

27. Encanto (PG, 2021)

We don't talk about Bruno, but we will talk about this dazzler of a Disney film featuring eight songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It tells the tale of the Madrigal family, who live in a magical house in Colombia.Every child in the family has been blessed with a magical power except teenage Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). When Mirabel discovers that the family's magic is in danger, she realizes she might be their last hope.

28. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (G, 1993)

Chance, Shadow, and Sassy may be pets, but they sure can teach viewers a lot about family, perseverance, and grit. Kids will love watching these pets adventure across mountain ranges, rivers, and forests in search of their family. If your little one can't get enough, try Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco.

29. Frozen (PG, 2013)

If you were a human in 2013, there's no way you escaped hearing little girls belt out, "Let it Gooooooo!" everywhere you went. And the song is catchy, as are many of the other tracks from this Disney film about Princess Anna and her sister, Snow Queen Elsa. Josh Gad is incredible as the lovable and hilarious snowman, Olaf. Don't forget 2019's follow-up, Frozen II.

Best Movies for Kids Under 10

30. The Lion King (G, 1994)

This Disney masterpiece with an incredible soundtrack introduces kids to the circle of life, which is why it's better for slightly older children. A lion cub named Simba must decide whether he'll rise to the challenge of being king of the Pride Lands after his father, Mufasa, is violently killed. Try 2019's CGI version starring Donald Glover, Beyonce, and Seth Rogen, too.

31. Stuart Little (PG, 1999)

Little kids just love animal movies, and this one doesn't disappoint. Based on an E.B. White book, this is an adorable story about the Little family adopting a charming mouse named Stuart. Stuart Little 2 followed In 2002.

32. Freaky Friday (G, 1973; PG, 2003)

What kid doesn’t dream of switching places with a parent? Whether you watch the 1976 or the 2003 version, this switched-identity comedy teaches everyone to be careful for what they wish.

33. Coco (PG, 2017)

This gorgeous Pixar film follows 12-year-old Miguel, who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead, where he seeks the help of his deceased musician great-great-grandfather to return him to his living family and reverse his family's ban on music. Coco explores, culture, family, life, and death in a kid-friendly way.

34. The LEGO Movie (PG, 2014)

You don't have to be a LEGO lover to enjoy this film's colorful animation, laugh-out-loud jokes, and thoughtful plot. The voices of Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, and Elizabeth Banks bring major star power. You can also watch The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part or spin-offs The LEGO Batman Movie and The LEGO NIinjago Movie.

35. Paddington (PG, 2014)

In this adorable film based on the popular book character, a young bear named Paddington heads to England to find a new home after a deadly earthquake destroys his home in a Peruvian rainforest. A family takes him in, but a taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman sets her eyes on him. The film's sequel, Paddington 2, is just as great.

36. Matilda (PG, 1996)

This film version of a Roald Dahl book features a girl who is forced to put up with cruel parents and an evil school principal. When Matilda discovers she has the power of telekinesis (the ability to move objects using mental power), she begins to fight back. 2022's Matilda the Musical is also fantastic.

37. The Princess Diaries (G, 2001)

Mia may seem like an unlikely candidate for a princess, but that doesn’t make her any less worthy of wearing a crown. This modern-day “ugly duckling” story has some unique twists that make it an ideal family movie. Follow it up with The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

38. Cool Runnings (PG, 1993)

Cool Runnings is a feel-good underdog story about four Jamaican bobsledders who dream of competing in the Winter Olympics despite never having seen snow. A disgraced former champion sets out to help them make that dream a reality. There's plenty of light humor sprinkled throughout the film.

39. Spy Kids (PG, 2001)

In this action-packed family film, two young kids become spies in an attempt to save their ex-spy parents from an evil mastermind, all with the help of high-tech gadgets and crazy modes of transportation. Spy Kids and its various sequels are full of adventure and fun.

40. Inside Out (PG, 2015)

This coming-of-age Pixar tearjerker is about an 11-year-old girl whose emotions go haywire when her family moves from the Midwest to San Francisco. Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sadness are the main emotions, but they are soon taken over by Anger, Fear, and Disgust.

41. Nanny McPhee (PG, 2005)

Seven unruly children are in desperate need of a nanny. When Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives on the scene, she works her magic and teaches the whole family a lesson or two. Nanny McPhee Returns is the sequel.

42. Moana (PG, 2016)

"Make way, make way" for this visually stunning animated Disney film set in ancient Polynesia, which features incredibly catchy music by Lin-Manuel Miranda. When a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) reaches Moana's island, she seeks him out to set things right.

43. The Air Bud movies (PG)

There is probably an Air Bud film for every season, holiday, or activity. With a total of 14 movies in this franchise, young children will definitely fall in love with the Buds, a family of adorable golden retrievers.

44. Despicable Me (PG, 2010)

Who doesn't adore the lovable yellow minions led by supervillain-turned-secret-agent Gru (Steve Carell)? This animated film spawned two fun sequels, Despicable Me 2 and Despicable Me 3, followed by spin-off prequels Minions and Minions: The Rise of Gru. It can be a family movie night marathon!

45.How to Train Your Dragon (PG, 2010)

This film is about a boy from a Viking village who befriends an injured dragon named Toothless, changing the lives of everyone he knows forever. The plot is surprisingly deep (so even teens and grown-ups will enjoy it), and the animation is dazzling. How to Train Your Dragon 2 continues the fun.

46. Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (PG, 1989)

You know there's going to be an amazing adventure when oddball scientist Wayne Szalinski accidentally shrinks his and his neighbor’s kids in one of his contraptions. Honey I Shrunk the Kids is definitely a kids' movie that's big on adventure.

47. Kiki's Delivery Service (G, 1990)

Another Studio Ghibli masterpiece, this Japanese anime film follows a 13-year-old witch-in-training Kiki, who moves to a seaside town with her talking cat. Kiki uses her broomstick to start a flying courier service, but when she begins to lose her magic abilities, she must overcome her insecurity to get her powers back.

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Every kid wishes for a School of Rock-style substitute. Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Best Movies for Tweens and Teens

48. School of Rock (PG-13, 2003)

An impish but earnest unemployed rock musician poses as a substitute teacher at a posh local private school. High jinks ensue when he attempts to rewrite the curriculum and enter his surprisingly talented students in a local talent contest. Get ready to laugh a lot!

49. Mrs. Doubtfire (PG-13, 1993)

When divorced dad Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) longs for more time with his kids, he transforms into Mrs. Doubtfire, a nanny unlike any other. If you're looking for family movie night ideas that will have everyone howling with laughter, add this to your list.

50. Clueless (PG-13, 1995)

Relive the 90s in all its plaid glory by watching this iconic comedy that follows Beverly Hills teenager Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) as she navigates adolescence and popularity. Is there any chance your teen won't enjoy this film? "As if!"

51. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (PG, 2005)

Anyone who has ever tried on jeans knows how hard it is to find a pair that fits one person, let alone four young women with different body sizes. But, the magic of the pants goes far beyond their ability to stretch and form to each girl. Their fabric weaves a beautiful coming-of-age story of friendship, family, and sisterhood.

52. Napoleon Dynamite (PG, 2004)

This film about an awkward Idaho teen played by Jon Heder is cringeworthy, howlingly funny, and full of quotes that teens will repeat over and over again. When Napoleon befriends a new kid named Pedro, who speaks little English, the two launch a campaign to run for class president.

53. The Baby-Sitters Club (PG, 1995)

While many of today's tweens and teens were introduced to The Baby-Sitters Club from the 2020 Netflix series, the popular book series (first published in 1986) hit both the big and small screen in the 90s. In the film version, the group of middle-school babysitters organize a day camp for kids while experiencing adolescent growing pains.

54. Bring It On (PG-13, 2000)

No list of teen movies would be complete without a cheerleading film, and Bring It On is one of the most quintessential ones. A champion high school cheer squad discovers its previous captain stole all of their best routines from an inner-city school and must scramble to compete at this year's championships. There's romance, rivalry, and fantastic choreography.

55. Mean Girls (PG-13, 2004)

This Tina Fey high school comedy is so legendary, it has its own holiday (Mean Girls Day is October 3). It follows new-girl-in-school Cady (Lindsay Lohan) as she gets mixed up with The Plastics, a trio of Queen Bees led by Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Mean Girls tackles themes of popularity, bullying, drama, and romance that any high schooler will relate to.

56. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (PG, 2010)

This is the first of several hilarious films based on the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series by Jeff Kinney. It follows 12-year-old Greg Heffley and his best friend, Rowley Jefferson, as they transition to middle school and try to fit in. Watch sequels Rodrick Rules, Dog Days, and The Long Haul, too.

57. The Mighty Ducks (PG, 1992)

Before it was an actual NHL team, The Mighty Ducks was a sports comedy about an underdog youth league hockey team. D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks continue the team's story. Lessons abound on sportsmanship, friendship, and family in these fun movies for kids, tweens, and teens.

58. Now and Then (PG-13, 1995)

Tweens and teens will certainly relate to this coming-of-age movie telling the story of four strong women and their experiences during the unforgettable summer of 1970.

59. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (PG-13, 1986)

While this John Hughes comedy is truly a classic, it's definitely for families with tweens and up. Popular high school student Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) goes to great lengths to skip school, getting into various high jinks along the way. Warning: You'll hear lots of, "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?" from your teens after watching this movie.

60. 10 Things I Hate About You (PG-13, 1999)

This rom-com, loosely based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, stars Julia Stiles as a smart but abrasive teen and Heath Ledger as a handsome new kid at school. While we can all guess how the film ends, it's unexpectedly clever script sets it apart from other 90s teen movies.

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The women of A League of Their Own just wanted to play ball! Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Best Kids' Movies the Whole Family Will Love

61. A League of Their Own (PG, 1992)

Finally, a sports movie with a whole lot of girl power! Inspired by a true story, A League of Their Own follows the Rockford Peaches, an All-American Girls Professional League team during the 1940s, as they win games and respect for women in sports. Tom Hanks is absolutely hilarious as manager Jimmy Dugan!

62. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (PG, 2023)

This hilarious animated spectacle based on the popular classic video game was a breakout hit of 2023. In it, plumber Mario and his brother Luigi travel through an underground labyrinth to try to save Princess Peach from Bowser, hilariously voiced by Jack Black. Just try not to sing, "peaches, peaches, peaches" over and over again after watching this film!

63. Akeelah and the Bee (PG, 2006)

Akeelah and the Bee is an underdog story about an 11-year-old South Los Angeles girl trying to make it to the National Spelling Bee despite her mother's objections. She finds help and support from a mysterious teacher and her community. The whole family will be rooting for Akeelah.

64. Sister Act (PG, 1992)

When Reno lounge singer Deloris is placed in the witness protection program at an inner-city convent, she brings a little life to the convent choir. Beware—you'll likely find yourself singing along to the rollicking music in this movie. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit continues the fun.

65. Apollo 13 (PG, 1995)

This stellar film portrays the true story of the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Although tense, this realistic depiction of a historic event is chock-full of stunningly accurate details that will appeal to older kids and teens, plus an award-winning cast that includes Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon.

66. Queen of Katwe (PG, 2016)

This feel-good Disney film is based on the true story of 10-year-old international chess champion Phiona Mutesi. Her success helps her to escape a life of poverty in a Uganda slum. Queen of Katwe features outstanding performances by Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo.

67. Home Alone (PG, 1990)

What kid doesn’t dream of having the whole house to themselves? When Kevin is accidentally left behind while the rest of his family is on Christmas vacation, he stops a pair of bumbling burglars by setting up a series of absolutely hilarious booby traps throughout his house. This is one of those family-friendly movies you'll watch over and over again—and not just during the holidays.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is also fun, though it doesn't have all the magic of the original.

68. Jurassic Park (PG-13, 1993)

This suspenseful blockbuster needs a top-notch sound system to really capture the magic and thrills of its prehistoric scenery and roars. What could possibly go wrong when you invite three scientists to check out a fictitious theme park with real-life dinosaurs? Check out sequels The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III.

69. Hidden Figures (PG, 2016)

Based on the true story of three African-American women who worked at NASA in the 1950s through 1960s, Hidden Figures offers families a story rich in integrity, teamwork, and tenacity. Sometimes the best movies for kids weren't actually made for kids!

70. Indiana Jones movies (PG &PG-13)

Whether you choose to watch 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1984's Temple of Doom, 1989's Last Crusade, 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or 2023's Dial of Destiny, all five Indiana Jones movies are jam-packed with action and adventure. Just note that the last three films are PG-13, so those are more suitable for older kids.

71. Harry Potter Saga (PG-13)

Pour a glass of butterbeer and grab your wand, because no matter which of the eight Harry Potter films you pick, the kids are in for an evening of fantasy, wizardry, friendship, and harrowing adventures.

72. Jumanji (PG, 1995)

Kids may associate this comedy with the 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and its sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jack Black, but the original film is a lot darker. Based on an award-winning Chris Van Allsburg book about a cursed board game, Robin Williams’ 1995 version is filled with very real-looking creatures that at times are a bit intense.

73. Night at the Museum (PG, 2006)

It’s every kid's dream and nightmare rolled into one—museum exhibits springing to life after the doors are locked! This hilarious and action-packed adventure starring Ben Stiller is suitable for kids as young as 7. Robin Williams plays Teddy Roosevelt in the original and its two sequels, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

74. Miracle (PG, 2004)

Miracle is one of the ultimate underdog sports movies for kids. Young viewers can learn a lot by watching the true story of the US ice hockey team pushing themselves to win gold in the 1980 Olympics.

75. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG, 2018)

Bitten by a radioactive spider, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales develops powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. But when he meets Peter Parker, he realizes there are many others who share his high-flying talents. This film combines striking animation, a fantastic plot, and plenty of humor and superhero action. We also loved the 2023's follow-up Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

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Originally published in 2019 and updated with additional reporting by Jennifer Marino Walters