Outer space for the whole family. The five best space movies and cartoons for the holidays

2022 is coming to an end. It brought many troubles and trials. We all want to take a break, at least for a short time, to suspend watching the news and get a charge of positivity and positive emotions. Anticipating the upcoming winter holidays, the team of The Universe Space Tech has made a selection of the five most iconic heartwarming films and cartoons about space fit for watching by the whole family.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

What is the movie about?

Alien scientists secretly arrive on Earth to collect plant samples. One of them strays from the group and gets left on our planet.

Why is it interesting?

E.T. is rightfully considered not just one of the best films in Steven Spielberg’s career, but also one of the greatest sci-fy films of all time and peoples. Despite the fact that this year the picture celebrated its fortieth anniversary, the story of the ten-year-old Elliot’s friendship with an amazing creature from another world is not outdated. It is still very popular and new viewers from all over the world continue to discover it.

A frame from the E.T. movie

There is nothing surprising in this. The primordial themes of family, childhood, growing up and friendship are interwoven in E.T. All this is complemented by excellent direction, stunning music by John Williams and a lot of scenes that have long become classics. It is impossible not to mention the space alien himself. The authors of the film managed to create a truly convincing image of a small and vulnerable creature from another planet.

And if you add the optimism imbuing the film, then there is no doubt that watching E.T. is a great way to bring some warmth, kindness and optimism — all those things so sorely lacking in our difficult times.

Iron Giant

What is the cartoon about?

This is a story of the friendship of the boy Hogarth and a giant alien robot, which, despite its formidable appearance, turns out to be the kindest creature. When the military have learned of the alien’s existence, they decided to destroy it, and Hogarth turned out to be the only one able to save it.

Why is it interesting?

Just like in E.T., the plot of The Iron Giant is built around the friendship between a boy and an alien creature. But while the first film is about a clumsy alien nerd, the second one is about a huge combat humanoid robot. Here is the source of the central conflict of the cartoon. Everyone sees a dangerous machine at work that must be destroyed immediately. And only Hogarth recognizes him as a sentient being who actually does not wish harm to anyone.

A frame from the Iron Giant cartoon

The Iron Giant is full of both funny and touching and even dramatic moments. But the most important thing is that watching it the soul gets infused with feelings of warmth and positivity. Unfortunately, in the year of its release, Brad Bird’s cartoon was a failure — which, however, did not prevent it from later acquiring a cult status and collecting many excellent reviews, both from the audience and from critics.

It should also be noted that the Iron Giant was made using classic hand-drawn animation and is now generally considered one of the last great cartoons of that era. Another funny feature of the picture is that the Iron Giant speaks with the voice of Vin Diesel. Many years later the actor brilliantly realized his then-acquired skill of voicing amazing and laconic creatures from outer space.

Zathura: A Space Adventure

What is the movie about?

Brothers Walter and Danny find a mysterious game called Zatura in the basement of their old house… and they end up in outer space. If they fail to finish the game in time and reach the planet Zatura, they will never return to Earth.

Why is it interesting?

Due to its plot, Zatura is often compared to the 1995 film Jumanji. But do not rush to accuse the authors of plagiarism. The fact is that Zatura is an adaptation of the book by Chris Van Allsburg, who previously wrote Jumanji. Therefore, it is usually considered a spin-off of the 1995 film.

A frame from the movie Zatura: A Space Adventure

Zatura can boast of a dynamic plot, picturesque locations and situations in which the heroes get into. It is a good option for viewing with children. And among the young actors, you can see several familiar faces who later starred in a number of very popular films.


What is the cartoon about?

Year after year, the WALL·E robot diligently works on the empty Earth, cleaning our planet from the mountains of garbage left behind by human race who flew away into space. The robot has no premonitions about incredible events ahead, due to which he will acquire friends, rise to the stars and even be able to humanize a bit his former masters, who have completely forgotten their native Earth.

Why is it interesting?

While the Iron Giant is an example of a masterpiece of the era of classical hand-drawn animation, WALL·E demonstrates the capabilities of modern computer graphics in the hands of really creative artists. Andrew Stanton’s cartoon has long been among the best representatives of its genre, and its name has become really symbolic. To all this you can add a very significant box office and an Academy Award for the best animated film.

A frame from the cartoon WALL•E

There are many reasons for this success. One of them is a beautiful script. WALL·E has a filigree plot, which provide artist opportunities to skillfully explore many important topics — from loneliness and making friends, to the problem of pollution of our planet and the dangers of uncontrolled development of technology. And, of course, one cannot but say about the main character. Pixar’s team of animators did their best to create a very memorable and living image of a selfless robot scavenger who is looking for love and helping to save the Earth.

All this secured WALL·E immense popularity. In various “best of the best” ratings, the cartoon traditionally occupies the highest positions. And in 2021, the American Congress even recognized it as a national treasure.

Guardians of the Galaxy

What is the movie about?

Adventurer Peter Quill lays his hands on a mysterious artifact belonging to the powerful and ruthless villain Ronan, who is making insidious plans to take over the universe. Peter finds himself at the center of an intergalactic manhunt where he is the victim. The only way to save his life is to team up with a quartet of alien outcasts.

Why is it interesting?

Guardians of the Galaxy is part of the vast Marvel Cinematic Universe. But this circumstance should not deter anyone. The film is structured in such a way that, if desired, it can be watched as a self-sufficient product that does not require special knowledge of other superhero films.

A frame from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy

The gist of the movie is the story of a group of eccentric heroes who have to forget about their quarrels and learn to work as a team. Of course, such a plot by itself is far from new. But, in this case, the main thing is not novelty, but general performance. And it is above all praise. Guardians of the Galaxy has very bright characters, and exciting action scenes, and humor, and touching moments. It is not surprising that among all the Marvel films, James Gunn’s picture has become one of the most popular.

In 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy got a sequel, and this year, a Christmas special. It features Christmas spirit quests, holiday carols and Kevin Bacon. The third part of the Guardians  will be released next year.