Best Family Movies of 2004

1.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

6.8

Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts for another magic-filled year. Harry comes face to face with danger yet again, this time in the form of escaped convict, Sirius Black—and turns to sympathetic Professor Lupin for help.

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, David Thewlis
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Release date: 2004-05-31
2.

The Incredibles

6.6

Bob Parr has given up his superhero days to log in time as an insurance adjuster and raise his three children with his formerly heroic wife in suburbia. But when he receives a mysterious assignment, it's time to get back into costume.

Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee
Directed by: Brad Bird
Release date: 2004-11-05
3.

Shrek 2

6.2

Shrek, Fiona and Donkey set off to Far, Far Away to meet Fiona's mother and father. But not everyone is happy. Shrek and the King find it hard to get along, and there's tension in the marriage. The fairy godmother discovers that Shrek has married Fiona instead of her Son Prince Charming and sets about destroying their marriage.

Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas
Directed by: Kelly Asbury, Andrew Adamson, Conrad Vernon
Release date: 2004-05-19
4.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

5.7

Three wealthy children's parents are killed in a fire. When they are sent to a distant relative, they find out that he is plotting to kill them and seize their fortune. This movie is extremely alarming, an expression which here means "a thrilling misadventure involving three ingenious orphans and a villainous actor named Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) who wants their enormous fortune." It includes a suspicious fire, delicious pasta, Jim Carrey, poorly behaved looches, Billy Connolly, an incredibly deadly viper, Meryl Streep, and the voice of an imposter named Jude Law.

Starring: Emily Browning, Liam Aiken, Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Jude Law
Directed by: Brad Silberling
Release date: 2004-12-16
5.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

5.6

There's trouble brewing in Bikini Bottom. Someone has stolen King Neptune's crown, and it looks like Mr. Krab, SpongeBob's boss, is the culprit. Though he's just been passed over for the promotion of his dreams, SpongeBob stands by his boss, and along with his best pal Patrick, sets out on a treacherous mission to Shell City to reclaim the crown and save Mr. Krab's life.

Starring: Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Carolyn Lawrence
Directed by: Stephen Hillenburg
Release date: 2004-11-14
6.

The Polar Express

5.6

When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Michael Jeter, Nona Gaye, Peter Scolari, Eddie Deezen
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Release date: 2004-11-10
7.

The Lion King 1½

5.3

Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog are best pals and the unsung heroes of the African savanna. This prequel to the smash Disney animated adventure takes you back -- way back -- before Simba's adventure began. You'll find out all about Timon and Pumbaa and tag along as they search for the perfect home and attempt to raise a rambunctious lion cub.

Starring: Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Julie Kavner, Jerry Stiller, Matthew Broderick
Directed by: Bradley Raymond
Release date: 2004-02-06
8.

Two Brothers

5.3

Two tigers are separated as cubs and taken into captivity, only to be reunited years later as enemies by an explorer (Pearce) who inadvertently forces them to fight each other.

Starring: Maï Anh Le, Guy Pearce, Oanh Nguyen, Jaran 'See Tao' Petcharoen, Stéphanie Lagarde
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Release date: 2004-04-07
9.

Shark Tale

5.1

Oscar is a small fish whose big aspirations often get him into trouble. Meanwhile, Lenny is a great white shark with a surprising secret that no sea creature would guess: He's a vegetarian. When a lie turns Oscar into an improbable hero and Lenny becomes an outcast, the two form an unlikely friendship.

Starring: Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie
Directed by: Bibo Bergeron, Vicky Jenson, Rob Letterman
Release date: 2004-09-20
10.

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

5.0

Mia Thermopolis is now a college graduate and on her way to Genovia to take up her duties as princess. Her best friend Lilly also joins her for the summer. Mia continues her 'princess lessons'- riding horses side-saddle, archery, and other royal. But her complicated life is turned upside down once again when she not only learns that she is to take the crown as queen earlier than expected...

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Héctor Elizondo, John Rhys-Davies, Heather Matarazzo
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Release date: 2004-08-06
11.

Dear Frankie

4.7

Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story that he is away at sea on the HMS Accra. Every few weeks, Lizzie writes Frankie a make-believe letter from his father, telling of his adventures in exotic lands. As Frankie tracks the ship's progress around the globe, he discovers that it is due to dock in his hometown. With the real HMS Accra arriving in only a fortnight, Lizzie must choose between telling Frankie the truth or finding the perfect stranger to play Frankie's father for just one day...

Starring: Gerard Butler, Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Sharon Small, Katy Murphy
Directed by: Shona Auerbach
Release date: 2004-05-18
12.

Ella Enchanted

4.6

Ella lives in a magical world in which each child, at the moment of their birth, is given a virtuous "gift" from a fairy godmother. Ella's so-called gift, however, is obedience. This birthright proves itself to be quite the curse once Ella finds herself in the hands of several unscrupulous characters whom she quite literally cannot disobey. Determined to gain control of her life and decisions, Ella sets off on a journey to find her fairy godmother who she hopes will lift the curse. The path, however, isn't easy -- Ella must outwit a slew of unpleasant obstacles including ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, elves and Prince Charmont's evil uncle, who wants to take over the crown and rule the kingdom.

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes, Vivica A. Fox, Joanna Lumley
Directed by: Tommy O'Haver
Release date: 2004-04-09
13.

Garfield

4.4

Garfield, the fat, lazy, lasagna lover, has everything a cat could want. But when Jon, in an effort to impress the Liz - the vet and an old high-school crush - adopts a dog named Odie and brings him home, Garfield gets the one thing he doesn't want. Competition.

Starring: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, Evan Arnold
Directed by: Peter Hewitt
Release date: 2004-06-10
14.

Barbie as The Princess & the Pauper

4.3

In her first animated musical featuring seven original songs, Barbie comes to life in this modern re-telling of a classic tale of mistaken identity and the power of friendship. Based on the story by Mark Twain,

Starring: Kelly Sheridan, Roger Monk, Garry Chalk, Janyse Jaud, Pam Hyatt
Directed by: William Lau
Release date: 2004-09-28
15.

Mulan II

4.2

Fa Mulan gets the surprise of her young life when her love, Captain Li Shang asks for her hand in marriage. Before the two can have their happily ever after, the Emperor assigns them a secret mission, to escort three princesses to Chang'an, China. Mushu is determined to drive a wedge between the couple after he learns that he will lose his guardian job if Mulan marries into the Li family.

Starring: Ming-Na Wen, BD Wong, Mark Moseley, Lucy Liu, Harvey Fierstein
Directed by: Darrell Rooney, Lynne Southerland
Release date: 2004-11-03
16.

Home on the Range

4.2

When a greedy outlaw schemes to take possession of the "Patch Of Heaven" dairy farm, three determined cows, a karate-kicking stallion and a colorful corral of critters join forces to save their home. The stakes are sky-high as this unlikely animal alliance risk their hides and match wits with a mysterious band of bad guys.

Starring: Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, Jennifer Tilly, Steve Buscemi, G. W. Bailey
Directed by: Will Finn, John Sanford
Release date: 2004-04-02
17.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas

4.2

Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse and all his Disney pals star in an original movie about the importance of opening your heart to the true spirit of Christmas. Stubborn old Donald tries in vain to resist the joys of the season, and Mickey and Pluto learn a great lesson about the power of friendship.

Starring: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Jim Cummings, Tress MacNeille
Directed by: Carole Holliday, Matthew O'Callaghan, Theresa Cullen
Release date: 2004-01-01
18.

Balto III: Wings of Change

4.0
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Balto and the other sled dogs are feeling dejected because the mail that used to be delivered by dogsled is now being delivered by airplanes. But when a mail plane crashes in the mountains, the dogs come to the rescue.
Starring: Sean Astin, Jodi Benson, Keith Carradine, Bill Fagerbakke, Charles Fleischer
Directed by: Phil Weinstein
Release date: 2004-04-14
19.

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

4.0
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In Disney's take on the Alexander Dumas tale, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy want nothing more than to perform brave deeds on behalf of their queen (Minnie Mouse), but they're stymied by the head Musketeer, Pete. Pete secretly wants to get rid of the queen, so he appoints Mickey and his bumbling friends as guardians to Minnie, thinking such a maneuver will ensure his scheme's success. The score features songs based on familiar classical melodies.
Starring: Wayne Allwine, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Russi Taylor, Tress MacNeille
Directed by: Donovan Cook
Release date: 2004-08-04
20.

Christmas with the Kranks

4.0

Luther Krank is fed up with the commerciality of Christmas; he decides to skip the holiday and go on a vacation with his wife instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home, he must put together a holiday celebration.

Starring: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth Franz
Directed by: Joe Roth
Release date: 2004-11-24

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