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10 Family-Friendly Movies You Must Watch Before Going To Paris

26 January 2016 Tips & Tricks 8 Comments

Paris has always been a great source of inspiration for the movie industry. Think about it… I am sure you can name at least 5 movies where you can see the Eiffel Tower. And never mind the movie genre. We’ve seen the city of Lights in all of them: children’s animated movies, romantic comedies, action-packed movies and even bloody horror productions!

But just like any major silver screen production, there are some movies that are better than others. While some really do describe the true Parisian atmosphere, others, on the other hand, just get it completely wrong!

We are not going to talk about all the movies that have used the Paris as the decor. Since Family Twist is a 100% family oriented travel agency, we thought we’d give you an insight on the best family friendly movies that take place in Paris! After all, it’s always nice to watch a movie about your next travel destination, and when traveling with kids, it’s a great way to get your children motivated and interested. Animated or not, here are the 10 best family-friendly movies you must watch before going to Paris.

 

# 10 – Madeline

10 family friendly movies Paris - Madeline

Madeline might not be the most famous movie of all time, but it is definitely worth watching when planning a family holiday to Paris. You will have a glimpse at a lot of iconic areas of Paris when Madeline heads out on adventures outside her Parisian boarding school.

 

About the movie:

Plot: In 1956, the adventurous orphan Madeline attends a boarding school in Paris, headed by her school-mistress, Miss Clavel, a nun. Madeline is very good at getting into trouble but she is also very good at solving problems. When she learns that Lord Covington decides to sell Miss Clavel’s school, Madeline and her friends set out for an adventure like never before, which hopefully will lead to saving the beautiful boarding school that she calls home.

Year: 1998

Main Cast: Frances McDormandas, Nigel Hawthorne and Hatty Jones

Adaption of the book series by Ludwig Bemelmans

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYqx5vFA6is

 

 

# 9 – Before Sunset

10 family friendly movies Paris - Before Sunset

Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset is the sequel to the first episode of the “Before” trilogy. Since this movie is mostly about 2 people talking and sharing their history and points of view about life and love, it might not be entertaining enough for young children. But when it comes to enjoying off the beaten path views of Paris, and getting the essence of Paris with its small cobblestone streets, cozy bookstores, parks and cafés, nothing beats this powerful romantic movie.

 

About the Movie:

 

Plot: American author Jesse Wallace is in Paris to promote his best-selling book: a love story that strangely resembles his own experience with Celine, a French woman he met in Vienna 9 years earlier. As his presentation draws to a close, Jesse spots Celine in the crowd. Although he only has a couple of hours before his flight back to the US, Jesse decides to walk the streets of Paris with Celine and talk about what has happened in their lives in the intervening nine years. They discuss their current lives, their philosophies of life and love, this time knowing how their day together in Vienna has shaped their future.

Year: 2004

Main Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HurI2rFB_mk

 

 

# 8 – A Cat in Paris (Une vie de Chat)

10 family friendly movies Paris - A cat in Paris

A Cat in Paris is a French animated movie. With a drawing style that is completely different from the all too famous Disney or Dreamworks classics, “Une Vie de Chat” managed to get nominated for an Oscar in 2011. Since it is a French movie, it is very close to the Parisian spirit, and there are many references to the French culture, art and history. The movie is as entertaining for adults as it is for kids.

 

About the movie:

Plot: Dino is a cat that leads a double life. Gentle cat by day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a police officer. But by night, Dino’s life is totally different: he teams up with Nico, a kind-hearted burglar. After the murder of Zoe’s father by Costa, a dreaded gangster, Dino brings Zoe a lovely bracelet. But the police officer soon notices this bracelet is part of a jewelry collection that has been stolen. Zoe then decides to follow Dino and discovers that her nanny, Claudine, is part of the Costa’s team…

Year: 2010

Main cast (English voices): Marcia Gay Harden, Steven Blum, Angelica Huston, Lauren Weintraub

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7e07c52VWg

Experiment with the camera with our fun-packed “See Paris From Behind the Lens” activity.

 

 

# 7 – Moulin Rouge

 10 family friendly movies Paris - Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is one of the best movies when it comes to enjoying the essence of old Montmartre. The charming “village” of Montmartre, in the North of Paris is still one of the most artistic neighborhoods of the French capital. Since 1784, the foot of Montmartre hill has been an area dedicated to art, fun, dance and alcohol and many artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, Renoir and Toulouse Lautrec would come here and drink/dance their night away. The Moulin Rouge is the most iconic cabaret of Montmartre: its classic French Cancan attracts thousands of spectators every night.

 

About the movie:

Plot: In 1899, Christian, a young English writer, comes to Paris to document the thrill of its underworld. And it is at the Moulin Rouge, a night club where the rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers, that this underworld is on fire! But soon, Christian finds himself in a dangerous love affair with the star of the Moulin Rouge: Satine…

Year: 2001

Main Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-Ejbg4KLPg

 

 

# 6 – A Monster in Paris

10 family friendly movies Paris - A monster in Paris

A Monster in Paris (French title: “Un Monstre à Paris”) is a great movie to watch with the whole family before going to Paris. This animated movie is as interesting for adults as it is for kids, with 2 different ways to see it. With great Parisian backdrops, including the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Coeur Basilica and the lovely narrow streets of old Paris, A Monster in Paris will definitely leave you wanting to head out to Paris the moment the movie ends!

 

About the Movie:

Plot: Emile, a movie projectionist, and Raoul, an eccentric inventor, are on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens in Paris in the early 1900s. Lucille, the star of a famous Parisian cabaret, as well as an eccentric scientist and his crazy monkey all join Emile and Raoul…to save the monster.  It appears that this “monster” is none other than an over-sized but harmless flea, but the city’s ruthless police chief is on a quest to eliminate him.

Year: 2011

Main Cast (French stars): Gad Elmaleh, Vanessa Paradis, Matthieu Chedid, François Cluzet

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJnv3DPZn1M

 

 

# 5 – The AristoCats

10 family friendly movies Paris - the Aristocats

The AristoCats is one of Walt Disney’s all-time greatest animated movie, which has entertained many generations since its release in 1970. The story takes places in Paris and although the movie does not have the same quicker tempo as the newer Disney movies, the children will not only have a great time while watching it, they will also learn a lot about the landmarks and culture of France. A perfect introduction to your next family holiday destination.

 

About the movie:

Plot: Adelaide Bonfamille is a retired women who likes to spend her time in her Paris villa with her cat Duchess and three kittens: Berlioz, Toulouse and Marie. But when Edgar, the butler, hears that she will donate her wealth to the cats, he drugs and kidnaps them. Soon, the cats must find their way back to their home and owner, and with the help of a courageous and smart alley cat and other animals, they outsmart the evil butler’s plans…

Year: 1970

Main Cast: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZSFUwgeIM

 

 

# 4 – Midnight in Paris

10 family friendly movies Paris - Midnight in Paris

Young children might not enjoy this Woody Allen movie as much as the parents, but Midnight In Paris is truly one of the most beautiful movies about Paris. Set in both modern times and the early 1900s, the whole family will be able to enjoy the beauty of modern Paris as well as its special ambiance 100 years ago. A Paris that the Lost Generation of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein loved so much…

 

About the movie:

Plot: Gil and Inez, who are about to get marries, are in Paris for a holiday. Gil, already passionate about Paris’ golden age of the 1920s, immediately falls in love with the city. One night, while Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk in the streets of Paris and, at midnight, he is transported to the 1920s, where he meets all his Lost Generation idols. Gil soon notices that his walks take him closer to the time he loves, but further from the woman he will soon marry.

Year: 2011

Main Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAfR8omt-CY

Our Paris Sightseeing tour is a great way to see some of Paris most iconic monuments.

 

 

# 3 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame

10 family friendly movies Paris - the hunchback of Notre Dame

Another one of Disney’s classics, the Hunchback of Notre Dame is an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s most famous novel: “Notre Dame de Paris”. Back in 1831, when the book was published, the Cathedral of Notre Dame was meant to be destroyed as it was abandoned and very fragile after the French Revolution. The book helped to save Notre Dame, and a long phase of renovation works made it the famous cathedral it is today. The movie is a great way to discover the history of Paris’ most visited monument.

 

About the movie:

Plot: The hunchback of Notre Dame is the story of Quasimodo, the misshapen but gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame. Nearly killed as a baby by Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice, the latter is forced by the Archdeacon of Notre Dame to raise the hunchback. But Quasimodo is hidden from the world by Frollo in the belltower of the cathedral. One day, encouraged by his gargoyle friends, Quasimodo decides to take part in the Festival of Fools. He meets the lovely gypsy girl Esmeralda and the handsome soldier Phoebus. The three of them unite to fight Frollo and his attempt to destroy the home of the gypsies, the Court of Miracles, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Year: 1996

Main Cast: Demi Moore, Jason Alexander, Tom Hulce

Trailer: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116583/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Learn all about Notre Dame with out “Knights and Damsels” tour of Medieval Paris.

 

 

# 2 – Amelie

10 family friendly movies Paris - Amélie

Amélie is an innocent feel good French movie (original title: “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”), that is best for kids in their early teens. Directed by one of France’s most talented directors, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Amélie is the perfect family-friendly movie to watch if you plan on spending time in Montmartre. Once in Paris, you will be able to hunt down all the places that you can see in the movie: the café, the grocery store and even the merry-go-round.

 

About the movie:

Plot: Amélie is a young woman with quite an unusual childhood: her father mistakenly thought she had heart failure. Without having any real contact with other people, she preferred the security of her own make-believe world. When moving into an apartment, she finds a treasure and sets out to return it to its rightful owner. After seeing his reaction of joy, she decides to devote her life to the people around her: her father, a failed writer, a hypochondriac, a man who stalks his ex-girlfriends, and a man whose bones are as brittle as glass. Her actions will take her through an amazing adventure that will lead to capturing the beauty of love she has always dreamed of.

Year: 2001

Main Cast: Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Rufus, Jamel Debbouze

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-uxeZaM-VM

Book our “The Village of Montmartre” activity to know everything about this Parisian neighborhood.

 

 

#1 – Ratatouille

10 family friendly movies Paris - Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a great movie to watch with the whole family before going to Paris. This animated Disney movie has everything Paris has to offer: the culture, the iconic monuments, the French accent when speaking in English and of course… the food! After watching Ratatouille, the whole family will want a taste of the real Paris, and go out to discover the many riches of the French capital.

 

About the movie:

Plot: Remy the rat dreams of becoming a great French chef. But the problem is… he is a rat! But fate helps Remy find a place where he has always wanted to be: a restaurant owned by his culinary hero, Chef Gusteau. Despite being an unwanted living creature in a kitchen, Remy soon teams up with a young apprentice to make some of the best dishes food critics have ever tasted!

Year: 2007

Main Cast: Patton Oswald, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3sBBRxDAqk

Learn how to bake your own bread or take a patisserie baking class when in Paris!

8 Comments

  1. Moving to Paris 2 years Reply

    Thanks for your list! But please be aware, Amelie is *NOT* a family-friendly movie for most people. 🙂

    • admin 2 years Reply

      Thank you for the comment and I hope this list was useful. Indeed, Amelie is not suitable for very young children, but it is a great movie for older kids (teenagers), and it perfectly describes this typical atmosphere you have in Montmartre. We will add a little comment in the article based on your comment though. Kind Regards!

  2. Jennifer Racine 2 years Reply

    I also suggest a few others: Hugo, Anastasia and Sabrina

    • admin 2 years Reply

      Thank you very much Jennifer. With New movies being made each year, we will be updating this article very soon! We’ll be sure to take your suggestions into consideration although to be honest, I have not seen any of the 3 movies you mentioned :). A good opportunity to do so!

  3. Concerned mom 2 years Reply

    Amelie is not family friendly at all. One of the main characters works in a porn store and at the very beginning of the movie she’s trying to guess how many couples are currently having an orgasm and you see multiple people having sex. I love the movie but how the hell did it get into this list?

    In Moulin Rouge, main character is a prostitute and on top of all the sexual innuendo and pervy jokes there’s an attempted rape scene. Who the hell wrote this list?

    • admin 2 years Reply

      Thanks for your comments. Surely these are not suitable for 5 year old children, but for teens, Amelie and Moulin Rouge are great, both for their scenery and decor. Same goes for Midnight in Paris and Before Sunset, which would be boring for younger children, but fantastic for teenagers. We never gave the title “10 kid friendly movies” but chose “Family-friendly” instead.

  4. Angela 1 year Reply

    Thank you! These are great movies that I could watch with either my older or younger daughter. Like you said, they are “family friendly”

    • admin 1 year Reply

      Dear Angela, Thank you very much for your comment. If you have a suggestion, we’ll be more than happy to hear it.