Published: 28th April 2022

Family box office hits: 2001 vs. 2021

Let us take you back to a time when Apple had just launched its first iPod and Friends was the most popular show on TV… but how does the box office of 2001 compare with popular children’s films today?

We’ve selected 14 family-friendly box office hits from 2001 and 2021, so that you and your family have a curated list of family classics, and more recent releases, to watch together.

All of these films are rated between U and 12, and we’ve included the ratings information for each film, so you can press play with confidence.



very mild bad language and mild comic violence

Shrek is a 2001 animated comedy adventure about an ogre who finds his swamp being taken over by various fairytale creatures who have been exiled by the evil Lord Farquaad. When Shrek tries to persuade Lord Farquuard to take the fairytale creatures back, he agrees on condition that Shrek rescues Princess Fiona, who he wants for his bride.


Bad language includes uses of 'ass', 'crap' and 'damn'.


There are some scenes of mild comic violence, including a spoof of a wrestling match featuring a headbutt delivered by a donkey. There is no detail of injuries and no characters come to any serious harm, with all the violence occurring in a fantastical context.

There are some moments of mild innuendo, including a reference to Snow White not being 'easy', even though she lives with seven dwarfs.

Rugrats In Paris: The Movie

Rugrats In Paris: The Movie is an animated sequel in which the Rugrats travel to Paris, France, where Chuckie hopes to find a new mother and keep his father from marrying an evil business woman.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

mild threat, violence, language

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone is a fantasy film which follows the adventures of a young boy and his two friends as they attend their first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

threat and horror

There are moments of mild threat, including a scene in which a boy falls into a snake pit, a scene in which three friends defeat a troll and another in which a character is chased through a spooky forest. The scary scenes are resolved quickly and moments of tension are balanced by periods of relief or humour.


There are scenes of mild violence after a boy is threatened by an evil wizard. The young boy presses his hands on the wizard's head and it starts to burn, causing his body to disintegrate. There is also a fantastical chess match, where one of the main characters is attacked with a sword. However, no blows make contact and the character emerges uninjured.


There is use of mild bad language ('arse', 'bugger', 'bloody') and milder terms ('God', 'damn').

It is suggested that a young boy doesn't have a particularly enjoyable home life, but none of these scenes are upsetting.

Cats & Dogs

contains infrequent mild language and some mild comic action violence

Cats & Dogs is an action-adventure about a top-secret, high-tech espionage war going on between cats and dogs, of which their human owners are blissfully unaware.

Jurassic Park III

contains moderate violence, threat and horror

Jurassic Park III is an action adventure film from 2001 in which a decidedly odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Grant to go to Isla Sorna for a holiday, but their unexpected landing startles the island's new inhabitants.

Planet Of The Apes

contains moderate violence

Planet Of The Apes is a 2001 film in which an Air Force astronaut crash-lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans.

The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring

moderate fantasy violence, threat

The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring is a film adaptation about a meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions who set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.


Creatures are decapitated or have limbs cut off, resulting in brief sight of blood. There are regular scenes of fantasy battle involving stabbing, slashing and arrow impacts.

threat and horror

Black-hooded demonic villains pursue the heroes, including by apparently breaking into their room at night. A creature is tortured, although without sight of injuries being inflicted. There is other fantasy threat from monsters and magical forces.


Peter Rabbit 2

mild comic violence, very mild threat, rude humour

Peter Rabbit 2 is a 2021 comedy adventure in which a mischievous rabbit falls in with a gang of criminal animals who are plotting a heist.

threat and horror

Animals are chased and sometimes caged by humans, but the threat is not prolonged or intense. A pig is suspended by a rope around his waist and threatened by a gang of animals, but this is revealed to be part of a prank. A hedgehog bites an electrical wire, causing her spines to shoot out unrealistically.

rude humour

Very mild rude humour includes burp gags. There is also a use of the term ‘sissy’.


One man punches another during a slapstick boxing sparring session. A woman runs into an open door and is knocked to the ground. In an imaginary sequence, a rabbit leaps onto a man, head-butts him and kicks him in the face. There is no injury detail.

Raya And The Last Dragon

mild violence, threat

Raya And The Last Dragon is an animated fantasy adventure in which a female warrior princess tries to find the last dragon and defeat her kingdom's enemies.

Threat and horror

There are scenes in which fantastical creatures threaten humans and turn them to stone. These scenes also include brief focus on scared characters. There are also some chase scenes, but there are often moments of humour to counterbalance the threat.


There are fight scenes which include kicks and punches to the head and body, as well as the use of bladed weapons. There is no injury detail. In one scene, a dragon is shot with an arrow; however, he subsequently reappears unharmed.

In one scene, a girl is saved by her father who pushes her into a river before he is turned to stone. There is brief very mild rude humour in which a character breaks wind, as well as one clear use of 'cretin'.

Tom & Jerry: The Movie

mild bad language, comic violence

Tom & Jerry: The Movie is a US family comedy in which a hotelier hires a cat to get rid of a bothersome mouse.


Language includes use of 'fricking', 'God' and 'screw up'.


There are regular scenes of comic violence, in which cartoon animals fight with a variety of weapons, including baseball bats, clothes irons, axes and chainsaws. Injuries are bloodless, comically stylised and fantastically transient.

There is rude humour: a dog fouls a pedestrian crossing, and causes humans to gag with its flatulence; a mouse makes photocopies of its bottom. There are very mild scary scenes when then cat and mouse are taken to an animal pound, where other animals menace them. There is a reference to animals mating. The cartoon characters drink alcohol.

Spider-man: No Way Home

moderate violence, threat

Spider-man: No Way Home is a fantasy action adventure in which a young superhero's life is thrown into turmoil after his identity is exposed.

threat and horror

Scenes include people fleeing from explosions, falling from heights, and brief jump scares as different villains appear.


Scenes include characters battling with fantastical powers and tech, as well as scenes of hand-to-hand combat which feature heavy punches.

flashing/flicking lights

This work contains flashing images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.

There are mild sex references. Language is largely mild ('shit', 'ass') or very mild ('God', 'hell', 'damn', 'screwed'). There is an incomplete use of "What the f-", and a man carries a mug which has a pictorial play on strong language. There is also an undetailed drug reference.

Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

moderate violence, fantasy threat, bloody images, language

Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings is a fantasy action film in which a man's family history draws him into a fantastical adventure.


There is infrequent moderate bad language ('bitch'), as well as other terms such as 'ass', 'hell', 'bloody', 'damn', 'God', 'screw', 'fricking' and 'freaking'. A middle finger gesture is used.

injury detail

Fantastical monsters explode in showers of colourful gunk. A child's bloody and wounded knuckles are seen, in close-up detail. A warrior cuts a teenager's cheek shallowly, with a resulting thin line of blood.

threat and horror

Huge fanged monsters do battle with humans, and each other. It is implied that a mother is killed by a gang while her son watches. There are high octane chase sequences, as well as pursuits over vertiginous drops.


There are regular scenes of violence in which warriors fight hand-to-hand, and with bladed weapons, electroshock devices, fantastical powers and metal bars. There is occasional limited bloody detail to this violence. A father's abusive treatment of his son is a theme of the film, including in a scene in which the man has the young boy whipped as a punishment. It is implied that a man cold-bloodedly executes another by fantastical energy blast.

There are references to discrimination when a character recalls being called 'Gangnam Style', despite not being Korean. There are mild upsetting scenes, and references to bereavement.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

moderate threat, horror, sex references, implied strong language

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a fantasy adventure in which a family move into their deceased relative's rural home, but discover he had learned a frightening secret about the area.


There is implied use of strong language ('fracking'), as well as milder terms including 'shit', 'asshole', 'screwed', 'God', 'hell' and 'damn'.


There are occasional comic sex references, such as to 'boning', 'humping', pole dancing, a man unintentionally refers to himself as 'escort', and a teen boy being a virgin.

threat and horror

There are scenes of threat and horror, including jump scares, ghosts and demonic entities, and a brief gory moment in which a man is torn in half by a supernatural being but without bloody detail. The scary moments feature action and comedy throughout, and although child characters are involved there is an emphasis on their bravery and resourcefulness. Infrequent scenes feature clips from horror films, including brief sight of a dog attacking a woman. Small marshmallow creatures are skewered, melted and eviscerated in comic sequences.

flashing/flickering lights

This work contains flashing images which may affect viewers who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy.

There are undetailed references to suicide within a supernatural context. A teenage boy drives a car at high speeds.

Black Widow

moderate violence, injury detail

Black Widow is an action-adventure in which the superhero goes on a mission that confronts her with her dark past.

injury detail

During violence, there is occasional sight of blood spray. A stabbed women is seen lying in a pool of blood. A woman's leg is broken after falling from a height. During an arm wrestle, a man's wrist is badly broken. In another scene, a woman forces her broken nose back into position.


There are frequent scenes of violence, including large action sequences that feature gunfire and explosions, and intense fight scenes. During fights, people use bladed weapons which result in occasional stabbings. A woman is shot in the arm with brief sight of blood spray. A man's head is slammed against a table with close up detail.

There is mild bad language ('bitch', 'shit', 'ass', 'douchebag', 'crap', 'piss'), as well as milder terms such as 'hell', 'God' and 'damn'. There is innuendo between characters. There is a reference to young girls having to undergo forced hysterectomies.

To find out where you can stream, buy or rent these films, check out Find Any Film.