Providing great movie entertainment for kids doesn't have to break the bank because downloading free movies online is as easy as clicking your mouse. With a little time and even less effort, you can locate hours of legal content from swashbuckling adventures to animated cartoons, documentaries, and more. Movie websites are constantly changing, so keep checking on whether films are free or if the website charges a fee. Try the following websites to view free films you and your children can enjoy.
All movies are free and in the public domain at Entertainment Magazine. Their website is easy to use and organized well. You can download cartoons like Bugs Bunny or get classic musicals like Royal Wedding with Fred Astaire. Try introducing your kids to film with Laurel & Hardy, the Three Stooges, or Charlie Chaplin. These comedies withstand the test of time and will entertain viewers of all ages for hours.
Free, classic movies are available on Internet Archive, a non-profit organization that offers an online library of historical content in digital format. Click on the film icon to find and search the movie selections. If you search by animation, you can find cartoons with Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker, Little Audrey, Felix the Cat, and Popeye. There are black and white comedies, slapstick, and film shorts, as well.
National Film Board
The National Film Board of Canada has over 2,000 items available for free by using their iPad, iPhone, or Android app. You can store the films for up to 48 hours for offline viewing. This is a great option for downloading movies your kids want to see on a plane trip or a car ride.
A relatively new addition to free film websites, Snagfilms offers free films for young viewers. The selections include animated and live movies, like Dragon Hunter, Wind Jammers, and Babysitters Beware. The site is easy to use and can be accessed through several platforms.
Popcornflix is another website that is easy to navigate and has many films for children, including Alice in Wonderland, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Dog Gone. It's an excellent site with lots to enjoy for all ages.
Sony owns Crackle, so the offerings are extensive and more up to date than some other sites. It's free to use and join, although there may be a few commercials. Still, it's worth the stop to see what's available.
Downloading Is Easy
Most downloaded films require no special software, though some websites will specify what type of player you need. Two of the most popular video players are Quicktime and VLC, which are both free applications. After downloading a movie, you can transfer it to MP3 players, cell phones, or laptops. Movies for download often come in different formats, so try various options until you find which is best for your computer, browser, and connection. Each website has information about the technical requirements, so check those out to see if they will work with your viewers.
Consider Streaming Instead of Downloading
If you want the biggest possible selection of kids' movies without the high prices, streaming may be a better option than downloading. Streaming services allow you to access a huge selection of titles from major movie studios. These movies are free to view although most of them will display an occasional commercial.
Hulu is by far the most comprehensive and best free streaming site on the internet. It has a large selection of movies in every imaginable genre, but they charge fees. You can, however, sign up for a free, one-week, trial.
With Netflix, you can get one month of free movies by signing up for the free trial. Just remember to dis-enroll at the end of the month so you don't get charged for future months. The streaming movies section has a big selection of films, but if you are looking for a particular movie, it usually doesn't have the most recent releases that just became available to rent.
FilmRise is a film distribution company that offers hundreds of free films for viewing. Family and kids films and television shows are also here, including My Magic Dog, Popular Mechanics for Kids, and The Big Comfy Couch. See stars like Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson in their early days!
YouTube, the original video cache, has hundreds of videos, films, and cartoons. Search for "full length" and "children's films." The offerings are always updated.
Avoid Illegal Downloads
Unfortunately, for every website that works hard to provide quality entertainment while not breaking any laws, there are many other sites that may be committing serious copyright infringements. Downloading illegal movies is against the law in most countries. The US has some of the most strict anti-piracy laws, targeting both the company that offers the download and the individual downloading the movie. For example, BitTorrent sued 50,000 users for illegal downloads. The consequences are real, and it is wise to protect yourself by only visiting legitimate websites.
Computer viruses are another downside to illegal downloads. It may not be worth saving a few dollars when it means taking your entire computer offline and losing all your data.
A Word About Old Animation
Many sites that allow you to download free kids movies will feature cartoons that are 60+ years old and were traditionally shown before a feature film. These cartoons may have themes and images that are violent, of questionable taste, frightening, and racist. It's always smart to check out a film yourself before sitting down with your child to watch it together.
Thinking Outside the Box
If you look for older movies and animation or even some older anime, you'll find a wealth of free and interesting material for young viewers. Kids will find old comedies hilarious, and musicals will have them dancing in their seats. Many old movies are in the public domain and are completely free and legal to download. With so many choices, your home will soon be filled with lively characters and enchanting stories without emptying your wallet.