Throughout my entire childhood and teenage years, it was a cruel joke that anytime I watched something with even the briefest of ~love~ scenes, my mum or dad would walk into the room at the very moment it got hot and heavy. Sometimes, the scene was a surprise to even me, and other times, it was just a case of bad luck.
So you never have to go through what I did, I’ve compiled a list of mum-safe movies streaming on Disney+ that you can enjoy together without cringing the entire way through. There’s basically something for every taste and while a couple do skirt the edge of what you may be comfortable watching with your mum, we’re confident that you’ll figure that out before pressing play.
First up: Titanic. In case you haven’t seen it, there is a nude scene with Kate Winslet’s character Rose (are the words “I want you to draw me like one of your French girls” familiar?) and a steamy scene in the car, but it’s all very tasteful. And aside from those two moments, which we’re confident you and your mum can hold your composure through, you can both safely watch this love story unfold without cringing too painfully.
Starring Frances McDormand (from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) as Fern, Nomadland is about a woman in her 60s who embarks on a nomadic journey around the US after losing everything in the Great Recession. The movie has a documentary vibe and features real-life nomads, Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors. The 2020 film was directed by Chloé Zhao and just picked up three awards at the 2021 Oscars.
Swerving sharply into “fun for the whole family” territory, Onward is an animated film about two teenaged brothers, Ian and Barley, and their mum, Laurel (voiced by Seinfeld veteran, Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who use a wizard staff to bring their father back from the dead. When they accidentally only bring his bottom half back, shenanigans ensue as they only have 24 hours to find the rest of him.
You have two options if you decide to press play on Mulan — the OG animated movie and the live-action remake. Either way, the story is pretty similar and follows a young Chinese girl (Mulan) as she disguises herself as a young boy to join the army and bring honour to her family. There is action, emotion, and plenty of sweet moments of family love.
The Greatest Showman
If you want to sing along to some banging bops, The Greatest Showman is the one. Starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, and Zac Efron, the 2017 film tells the true story of P.T. Barnum’s (Jackman) many rises and falls during the 1820s and how they lead him to start an inspiring show filled with incredibly talented people who are usually cast to the side. Warning: you’ll be humming the songs for weeks.
For families who love a classic, the 1979 sci-fi hit Alien is always a good option. Less with the awkward, cringe-inducing scenes and heavy on the “finding deadly aliens that breed inside a human host while digging around on a barren planet”, it should be a safe choice for mum (assuming she loves a bit of space action drama).
Secrets of the Whales
This is a cheeky addition, but trust us when we say this limited series (executive produced by James Cameron and created with National Geographic) is worth your time. Secrets of the Whales is a four-part series that took three years to film and dives into the world of, you guessed it, whales. The docuseries explores how these majestic animals love, play, and even mourn a loss and I’m not weeping, you are.
Now, team, make sure you keep this list very handy because you’ll be needing it the next time you’re planning a movie night with mum. You can find all of the above films streaming on Disney+ right now.Image: 20th Century Fox