Disclosure: the Moana DVD is affiliate-linked! Please read my disclosure page for more info.

Moana came out last year. I took the kids to see it with my niece and bonus-sister (Yu-Han’s mom, Jeanie). I sobbed my way through, like you know, the BIG GULPING kind of sobs, help! I can’t control my snot and sounds kind of sobs. It was so wrenching for me, having lost Dana and my grandma (and grandpa too).

And the details! The manta rays! I LOVE MANTA RAYS! The tapa cloth, the island stuff – I grew up in the Pacific, remember? I’m the whitest island girl you’ll ever meet.

So anyway, I was sobbing, a red-eyed, wet-shirted mess when we left the theatre.

Then we went again.

Both times, Moxie was totally cool watching it, which is rare. Normally it takes a while for her to like a movie, and in the meantime, she wants bathroom breaks, which involve lots of running around, hand driers and automatic soap dispensing. If the movie isn’t captivating enough, it’s just not worth shelling the bucks out to go, because I’ll spend half the movie escorting her to the bathroom or chasing her around the theatre lobby.

Moana was different though- Moxie really loved it; the boys did too, and me, yeah, well, I might have loved it the most.

Then Moana Came Out on DVD!

Mack saw it at Target (and everyone in Target knew he did, too! Ha!), right after every other drool-worthy product (good thing we have birthdays coming up in May). We bought it and it’s been viewed at least once a day at home. At least once a day; we’re looking at twice on weekends.

I’m okay with it – I’ve needed little breaks, but overall, I’m oddly comfortable with 600 viewings of Moana.

Perhaps I’m comfortable with it because besides the fabulous music and gorgeous animation, there are a lot of messages about courage, self-sufficency, inter-dependence, history and love that I like about it.

I even liked the fact that Moana disobeyed her Dad in the story. Why? Because Moana’s not a child at that point. She is nearly a chief herself. She is obeying her Grandma and most importantly, her own heart.

I don’t want my kids to be blindly obedient; I want them to think for themselves after they – like Moana has in the movie, reached the age of reason. I saw a whole lot of that blind obedience while I lived in Japan, and frankly, it didn’t impress me all that much.

Another thing I like about it?

I like that the kids love it so much that they role play it out now. Moxie becomes Moana, Mack becomes Maui and Micah plays the part of the ancestors (he likes singing in the foreign language). As I posted on the video on Facebook, I love seeing my daughter standing up and imitating it all:

We’re Going Back to Hawai’i in a Couple of Weeks

Besides the fact that I’m excited to go back and really start figuring out where we want to move to, and also excited to SWIM (and stuff myself with lilikoi, poki, spam musubi and shave ice), I’m looking forward to going over a lot of the stuff from Moana with the kids.

Like, for example, visiting the Volcano and talking about Te Ke/Pele. It’s cool that we’ll be able to look at lava in every stage of its evolution.

I am really lucky in that I know how to make kapa (called tapa cloth in Fiji; the “cloth” that Moana’s Grandma has her stories drawn on, and in which they wear), and know the plants that they used to weave the mats and clothes. I want to take the kids to the observatory on Mauna Kea, talk about the stars and way finding.

That’s where my PhD in Moana is going to come in handy, right?! I’m pretty sure at this point that I’ll be able to relate most of the movie to real-life stuff that helps the kids understand life and the Pacific Islands a little better, and even better (as Tamatoa says), in song form!

Funniest Family Friendly Movies of All Time: 2017 Edition

Funniest family friendly movies of all time: we all need a handy-dandy list to turn to when we forget what once made us laugh, right?

I’ve made this list “family friendly” which means that the bulk of the movies I’m recommending are really kid movies. I have to do this because I’m a mom and I almost never get time to watch movies on my own; for me, it’s watch with the kids or not at all.

These are the ones that I think are funny.

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally watched. Please read my disclosure page for more info.

Funny Kid Movies


Minions is our family’s go-to funny movie. We have watched it a million-billion times and it never gets old. It’s easy, hilarious, non-offensive and light.

The Lego Movie

The Lego Movie is a bit of a satire and the humor is kind of edgy. It always makes us laugh.


Despicable Me 1 & 2

Despicable Me 1 & 2. We love them. I guess it figures, since Minions is our go-to movie. But yeah, we can watch Despicable Me 1 or 2 over and over and not get tired of it. The jokes are classic to us, and Mack loves Victor’s dance moves.



Storks made us laugh. It’s not particularly deep, but we aren’t looking for that. We’re looking for funny, and we laughed.



Enchanted was a winner – it was frothy and princess-y enough to hold Moxie’s attention, battle-prince-y enough for Mack and with a fun enough story line to make Micah and I laugh.

A Simple Wish

A Simple Wish. Mack and Moxie don’t like this movie much, but Micah and I die of laughing when we see it (in a holy-cow, ‘nooooooo!‘ kind of way). It’s hilarious and awful. Awfully hilarious.

The 3 Amigos

The 3 Amigos: 8-year old Micah’s on the fence about this (a little too slapstick for him) but my husband Mikey and I love it!


Finding Dory

Finding Dory is funny and doubles as a disability-awareness movie. Win-win for our family. We love it, along with Finding Nemo (of course! Nemo!!!!)

Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 & 3

Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 & 3 are all super funny, with lovely life lessons woven in the tight story threads. All 3 kids love it, which is saying something, because there is no frothy-princess-y stuff in here.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story – Christmas or not, this movie always makes me laugh. My kids seem like they are just laughing at watching me laugh (more than laughing at the movie itself). Whatever floats their boat, it works. I love this movie.

Rio 1 & 2

Rio 1 & 2. I personally like Rio 2 more than Rio 1 – I think it’s funnier and the music is awesome. But Rio 1 wasn’t a slouch of a movie either – my daughter Moxie likes Rio 1 better. Watch ’em both if you haven’t already – they are both funny and your kids will love them (but if you have to choose, I’d say go for Rio 2).

Shaun the Sheep & Timmy Time

Shaun the Sheep is a TV series and a movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t say if it’s any good, but the TV series is the kind that is so funny that it has you rolling around, crying. If you sign up for Amazon Prime (Try it for free for 30 days here), you get free shipping and bunch of stuff in addition to access to Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time.


Zootopia – I was torn between adding this or not. It’s funny, yeah, but it’s also really deep. It’s a powerful movie that I think I’d recommend more as an introduction to getting kids to think about race, privilege and social justice more than as a movie to sit down with and laugh-your-cares-away. You know what I mean? So, if you are looking for a funny movie with a little more to chew on, this one is for you.

Book of Life

Book of Life isn’t the funniest movie out there. I think it qualifies more as “mildly amusing and light-hearted.” It’s also a hit with all 3 of my kids and the soundtrack is the best-loved one after Moana.

Movies That Are Iffy For Kids: Use Your Discretion

Rat Race

Rat Race. This movie makes me laugh. Full stop. Super funny, not particularly deep, but funny.


Office Space

Office Space. Anyone who has ever worked in an office has to love this movie. It’s ridiculously on-target with every little annoying detail an office has ever offered to it’s workers: the boss, the copy machine, “flair” – it’s awesome.


Airplane! – hey, don’t hit it. It’s a classic!


The Naked Gun

The Naked Gun. If we have Airplane, we have to include The Naked Gun. The Naked Gun was my brother and my own favorite movie for a long time, along with the Police Academy series.

Dumb and Dumber

Dumb and Dumber is a fantastic non-thinking movie. It’s the one you put on to space out with, having checked your brain in at the door.

This is accompanied by all of the Ace Ventura movies.

That's it

I’m going to stop here, before I get too carried away with more movies.

The point of this was to give you a handy list of funny movies that you can watch with your kids, because it’s almost impossible for you find the time to watch anything without them, right?!

Pop one in and laugh a little.

(and add your own favorites in the comments)

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funniest family friendly movies of all time 2017 edition - a collection of movies to make everyone laugh
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