Let’s face it — unlike the two holidays it’s sandwiched between, Thanksgiving isn’t exactly blessed with an abundance of great movies about it. But there are still plenty of options to watch on the major streaming services that touch on much of what makes the holiday memorable: food, family, the first settlers and other Thanksgiving subjects.
If none of the Thanksgiving-themed picks appeal, then give thanks for modern conveniences by popping some popcorn and checking out some of the new movies and TV shows available to stream this month.
“Pocahontas” — This 1995 animated musical came at the tail end of the so-called “Disney renaissance.” It’s not exactly historically accurate in its depiction of the clash between English colonists and Powhatan tribesmen in 17th-century Virginia, but if you take it with a large, tree-size grain of salt, it’s a great movie to watch with kids. “Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World” is also available to stream on Netflix.
Available on: Netflix Instant
“National Geographic: Jamestown” — A look at the historical setting of the Pocahontas story and the hardships endured by early settlers. Although the production value leaves something to be desired, it’s a valuable reminder of why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the first place. Clocking in at under an hour, it’s also a good double-feature to pair with the Disney “Pocahontas.”
Available on: Netflix Instant
“Dutch” — Ed O’Neill of "Modern Family" stars as a blue-collar guy from Chicago escorting his girlfriend’s snobby prep school son home for the holidays. Needless to say, hijinks ensue, but not without some genuinely touching moments along the way. Written by John Hughes (of “Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles” fame). It should be noted that there are a few instances of sexual humor that might be considered inappropriate for younger viewers.
Available on: Netflix Instant, Amazon Prime Instant
“Babette’s Feast” — Set in a remote village in 19th-century Denmark, “Babette Feast” is a classic of food cinema. The titular meal isn’t a Thanksgiving dinner — rather, it’s a lavish, multi-course showcase of haute cuisine prepared in commemoration of the 100th birthday of the village’s late pastor — but viewers would be hard-pressed to find a movie that better captures the way a meal (like Thanksgiving) is able to bring people together, and not just physically. Be prepared to drool.
Available on: Hulu Plus
“Happy” — There’s nothing explicitly Thanksgiving-related in this 2011 documentary, which takes a look at stories from around the world to try to discover what it is that makes people happy. However, it perfectly fits the core theme of giving thanks. A film that’s both uplifting and educational.
Rating: Not rated
Available on: Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus
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