5 all-time best Thanksgiving movies to watch with family this 2023

Official Release Posters of and still from the movies (Images via IMDb)
Official release posters of and still from the movies (Images via IMDb)

Family movie night is a beloved activity that feels especially fitting for the holidays. Further, when the Thanksgiving table is set with all family members, what better way to foster bonds than gathering everyone under one roof to enjoy a film? In fact, in an age where individual screens rule our existence, this tradition certainly needs protecting.

Whether one opts for an old favorite or discovers a new gem, cozying up to enjoy a film that reminds us to be grateful for togetherness can make for a much meaningful Thanksgiving. Needless to say, if one is curating a list of Thanksgiving movies, there are several must-watch productions that should certainly be considered.

5 all-time best Thanksgiving movies to add to your watchlist

1) A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)


Full of humorous mishaps, as Charlie Brown and the gang try to cook their own Thanksgiving dinner, this heartwarming story emphasizes togetherness and appreciating one another. Naturally, it has made the 1973 Peanuts special a beloved choice for families to watch on Thanksgiving.

The relatable characters, silly humor from Snoopy, and nostalgic charm remind viewers that holidays are about cherishing relationships over perfection.

2) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

The comedy classic starring Steve Martin and John Candy follows Martin's uptight character Neal, as he attempts to get home for Thanksgiving, paired up with Candy's company-loving but accident-prone character Del. What makes the film so enjoyable for the holiday is its emphasis on themes of family, patience, and gratitude.


Neal finds himself in one travel catastrophe after another, while trying to make it home, which brings him stress and frustration. However, he ultimately learns to appreciate Del and realizes that having company for the journey is more meaningful than just reaching the destination.

The film reminds viewers to be grateful for people who offer support in times of difficulty. With its funny mishaps that still lead to a heartfelt conclusion, this classic entertains while imparting some classic Thanksgiving wisdom.

3) Home for the Holidays (1995)

This dysfunctional family comedy, directed by Jodie Foster, has become a modern Thanksgiving classic. It stars Holly Hunter as Claudia, a single woman who loses her job and travels home to spend Thanksgiving with her eccentric relatives. What ensues is a hilarious but heartwarming look at family dynamics during the stressful holiday season.


The central message is about accepting family members even if they drive you crazy at times. With its relatable moments of family tension eased by comic relief, as well as a touching finish, Home for the Holidays captures why familial gatherings are worthwhile and serves up laughter and warmth that is perfect for the holiday.

4) Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox brings quirky charm and subtle themes suited to the holiday, with the enchantment of stop-motion animation movies.

Based on the Roald Dahl book, the plot follows the title character, voiced by George Clooney, pull off daring heists and outwitting mean farmers to feed his community. The humor, adventure, and colorful autumnal animation provide lively entertainment the whole family can enjoy.


More than just kid-friendly action, the film celebrates cooperation, forgiveness, and risking yourself for loved ones. With likable characters, humor that adults can appreciate as well, and heartwarming moments, Fantastic Mr. Fox delivers warmth and amusement that makes it perfect for a family movie.

5) Ratatouille (2007)

Ratatouille is a delightful choice for Thanksgiving night, and one of the best Disney movies, owing to its heartwarming themes and aesthetic appeal. The film's central focus on family and friendship mirrors the essence of Thanksgiving, with all the food and cooking resonating deeply with the culinary traditions of the holiday.


The animation style, with its warm and inviting depiction of Paris, creates a cozy atmosphere that complements the mood of Thanksgiving. It's a celebration of life's joys, warmth of relationships, and pursuit of passions.

These films are sure to add to the joy and warmth that the Thanksgiving feast promises. Since everyone's gotta get home in time for a hearty dinner and movie night, grocery stores might have special Thanksgiving hours, so be sure to check ahead if you need to pick up any last-minute items.

Further, embodying the spirit of these wholesome Thanksgiving movies, many local organizations, and restaurants are gonna be providing free turkeys and holiday meals for those in need. Wherever and however you spend the day, happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the company of your loved ones!

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Edited by Susrita Das
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