This month, dozens of lists have been published about the best films of 2023, and each critic likely defined “best” differently.

My definition is simple: These are the 10 films released this year that I most want my kids to see.

1. ‘A Million Miles Away’

There is no movie I’d rather my kids watch this year than “A Million Miles Away.” It’s a true story about a migrant farm worker who, through the power of hard work and the support of his family, became an astronaut.

The movie captures so much of how I hope my kids will interpret and pursue their world. It does not have the bright colors or packed plot typically needed to entertain the youngest of kids, but if there’s one movie worth trying to get them to sit through, this is it.

How to watch: Stream on Amazon Prime.

2. ‘Leo’

You probably didn’t predict that an animated movie featuring Adam Sandler as a classroom pet lizard would be the wisest movie of the year. But here we are.

The film’s first half involves the titular pet lizard dispensing legitimate life lessons to each of the children in the classroom. Then, in the back half, Leo is sent on an adventure where he must apply those lessons himself.

How to watch: Stream on Netflix. 

3. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’

This movie is the likely Oscar winner for Best Animated Picture, and easily the prettiest movie of the year. It’s a sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and it’s a spectacular half of a movie — the other half is set to release sometime in 2024.

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is slightly darker than the first entrant, so beware of watching with the youngest of kids. I want my kids to see this film because it has a deeply engaging hero who is trying to be as good as possible.

How to watch: Stream on Netflix.

4. ‘Chupa’

This film about the mythological Mexican chupacabra hits all of the same notes as “E.T.” Kids find the creature and help it escape the evil scientists and return.

But in this retelling, the adventure brings the family together.

How to watch: Stream on Netflix.

5. ‘Migration’

This light-hearted animated movie from the makers of “Minions” and “Sing” is a road trip movie that loves families.

Yes, the overprotective father is hesitant to go out on an adventure, but his instincts ultimately help the family work together and save the day.

How to watch: Playing in theaters.

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Why ‘Migration’ is an ideal film for families

6. ‘The Boy and the Heron’

The latest film from Hayao Miyazaki is a whimsical post-World War II adventure to save a family and create peace.

The film is a more profound reflection on birth, death and parenthood than you’d expect in family fare, and it probably isn’t the best fit for families with young children. But this is a movie that is asking all the right questions.

How to watch: Playing in theaters.

7. ‘The Magician’s Elephant’

I want my children to see this movie about a boy searching for an elephant to save his sister because of its deserved — and explicit — messages about the power of redemption and sacrifice.

The story comes from the master behind other deeply moral tales such as “The Tale of Despereaux.”

How to watch: Stream on Netflix. 

8. ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is fun. It keeps kids engaged and interested as Mario tries to save his brother and prove that he can hold down a dependable job as a plumber.

As morality tales for children go, this one is unobjectionable.

How to watch: Stream on Netflix.

9. ‘Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget’

The message of this movie is simple: Obey your parents, or you might become a chicken nugget.

Sure, it’s a bit didactic, but sometimes as a parent I can use all the help I can get, even if it’s from a group of hysterical stop-motion chickens 23 years later.

How to watch: Stream on Netflix.

10. ‘Crater’

“Crater” is the best Disney film for families this year. It follows a boy who lives on a lunar colony for one last adventure before he moves.

It’s a film that extols classic virtues such as bravery, justice and friendship.

How to watch: Available for purchase.