Feel-Good Films to Stream at Home

18 May 2020 BY Maria Cabrera in Film Features

7 mins
Space Jam
Space Jam

As schools remain closed, and we continue to find ourselves in uncertain times due to coronavirus/COVID-19, it can be difficult to settle into new routines and cope with the draining nature of constant uncertainty and confusion. What can be helpful is to carve out some time for rest, or laughter, or to simply find a way to switch off from these difficult circumstances for a while. To help you out, and to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), here are some great feel-good films that you can stream at home to take your mind off of everything else for a while.

Film watching can be a great way to wind down. Films can provide comfort, with familiar favourites and beloved characters, or can spark the imagination by exploring unfamiliar settings, ideas and even mystical worlds. We hope this collection of films - with five for primary and five for secondary - can provide a few hours of joy, and/or serve as an introduction to some films you may not have seen before.

Note: While most streaming platforms require a paid subscription, or one-off rental fee, many offer a free trial that you can make use of. In addition, our recommendations will always include some titles on free-to-watch platforms.

Note: The information about films on streaming services is aimed at people at home only, and not for any film clubs still running in schools. Licencing conditions do not permit the access of streaming platforms from a school setting.

If you want to find out the complete details of where any given title is available to watch or purchase, please visit FindAnyFilm.com.

Primary (Ages 5 - 11)

Shaun the Sheep Movie

Wallace and Gromit's small sidekick gets his own feature length adventure in this hilarious British stop-motion animation from Aardman Animations. Getting bored of his everyday routine at the farm, Shaun decides to take the day off. Soon, events take a turn, and Shaun and friends must travel to the big city to help their Farmer recover his lost memory.

My Neighbour Totoro

When Satsuki and her little sister Mei move to their countryside with their dad, they must find new places to play and to keep busy. Exploring their new home and the forest surrounding it, they discover friendly spirits are all around them. The giant and furry Totoro takes them on a magical cat bus that allows the sisters to deal with some of the difficult emotions they are facing in their lives. This is wonderful introduction to Japanese animation that shows the potential of imagination.

Paddington 2

Just as delightful as the small bear's first feature film, this sequel sees Paddington now fully settled with the Brown family. While hoping to raise money to be able to purchase Aunt Lucy a special gift for her birthday, Paddington finds himself framed for the robbery of a rare pop-up book, leaving his new family and friends to track down the mystery thief. 

Space Jam

This classic 90s film stars Michael Jordan, who forms a basketball team with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Loony Tunes gang to defeat some tiny but dangerous aliens. Known for its mix of live action and animation - much in the style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit - and its bizarre story, this is the perfect film with which to escape from reality for a bit. Space Jam's nostalgic cartoon visuals and basketball references makes it an ideal film to watch with all ages.

Pick of the Litter

This adorable documentary follows a group of Labrador puppies from birth through to their training as guide dogs for the blind or partially sighted. This is an uplifting watch that showcases the hard work that goes into training puppies for their future careers, while also drawing attention to the invaluable role animals play in society.

Secondary (Ages 11 - 16+)

Children of Heaven

Set in a poor neighbourhood in South Tehran, Iran, the story follows siblings Ali and Zahra as they try to keep a secret from their parents - Zahra has lost her shoes, and the two must now swap their one remaining pair between them throughout the school day. Becoming the first Iranian film to be nominated for an Academy Award, this warm and endearing story is a great introduction to world cinema. 

Fast Girls

Released just before the 2012 Olympics took place in London, this film captures the excitement that filled the capital and the rest of the UK throughout that summer. Set in the tough world of athletics, the story follows a fierce women's sprint relay team, who are fighting to win gold for the UK, but whose goal is impacted by rivalry and struggles between some of their members of their team. Not just for those interested in sports, this is an inspirational triumph-through-adversity tale.

The Parent Trap

Starring a young Lindsay Lohan - who plays both American-born Hallie and her English twin, Annie, who she unexpectedly meets at summer camp - this silly yet sweet comedy is a feel-good staple. When the two discover that they were seperated by their parents, they decide to swap lives with the goal of bringing the whole family back together - even if that means sabotaging their father's wedding.

Kinky Boots

You may already be familiar with the popular Broadway show this British film is based on, but you may not know it's based on a true story! Set in the Midlands, a stubborn yet unworldly owner of a shoe-making firm is struggling to keep his business afloat and staff morale together - that is until he meets a charismatic drag queen named Lola, who gives him the idea to make special footwear for other drag queens. Exploring what happens when two cultures and regions meet, this is a great comedy about unlikely friendships.

Hairspray

Colourful, camp and boasting a catchy array of songs, this musical is a remake of a John Waters comedy, which later became a hit Broadway show. Set in 1960s Baltimore, the film celebrates differences through the story of Tracy Turnblad, a confident and talented teenager who will not let others' comments about her body stop her from auditioning for a role in the local dance television show. Even with the political issue of segregation at its core, the film remains uplifting and joyful.

Looking for even more feel-good films? Check out our existing film list below, which offers up even more examples of uplifting, life-affirming cinema to help keep spirits high.

Maria Cabrera news author image

Maria Cabrera , Curation Officer

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