Especially if you’re someone who works from home, then you might be looking for ways to add some background noise to the room in order to distract yourself from that job you hate.
It’s cool, we’ve been there before ourselves, and sometimes music just doesn’t cut it, or you might want your distraction to be a little more distracting.
In that case, movies and TV shows can be a great pick for background listening, and take our word for it that you’ll want to access those through a service that doesn’t include commercials. There’s nothing more depressing in your background noise than yet another ad for business accounting software that you’ll probably never use, unless you’re running an LLC and the books are a mess.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help you out. We’re going to provide you with a nice solid list of good movies to listen to while working.
We had a good number of requirements for these movies. They couldn’t be too stressful or bombastic. No horror, no insane action movies, and nothing with salacious scenes that could pull you away from a project. All, these movies are pretty light in tone, so don’t worry too much about being confronted by serious world issues when you’re sorting through your emails, unless of course you get newsletters from the New York Times.
Alright, looks like it’s time to get started.
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
The NeverEnding Story is a classic adaptation of a classic story, and the first movie in the series is far better than the sequels. Trust us.
This movie is currently available on multiple streaming services, and it’s a nice easy watch, or rather listen, on a dull afternoon.
Though we should mention that if you’re not a big fan of a small boy yelling various things for half the runtime, then you might want to skip right ahead to the next entry on the list. That swamp scene lasts roughly two years.
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)
A famous documentary about legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki and his studio, Studio Ghibli, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness delivers plenty of great scenes and intimate moments, all while keeping the volume quite low.
The doc doesn’t contain raucous action or even arguments, really. It’s quiet and serene, despite Miyazaki’s sometimes somber view of the world. Also, if you don’t speak Japanese, this can be a great movie to listen to in the background with a minimum of distraction.
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Now we’re really livening things up. An upbeat movie from start to finish, The Emperor’s New Groove is easily an excellent closing chapter to the Disney Renaissance era.
A production disaster, it’s kind of a miracle that the movie turned out as well as it did. But it did, and it’s definitely worth appreciating.
This is an excellent movie to leave on in the background, and the wonderful voice acting performances make it a real delight to listen to now and again.
If you think we’re exaggerating, then you probably haven’t seen the movie yet. Time to change that.
Another flick from the Disney umbrella, Up is an excellent Pixar feature that only gets emotionally heavy at the start and the very end. For most of the runtime, it’s just an easygoing adventure story with plenty of comedic moments along the way.
And to be honest, another reason why Up makes the list for movies to listen to while working is because it’s really not the most captivating storyline the studio has ever come up with.
Watching this movie on its own, as an adult, really paying attention, it can be a bit disappointing. But left on in the background, it’s a pleasant addition to any workspace.
I may or may not have typed this as ‘chocolate’ at first. But it is in fact written and pronounced quite differently. It’s “sha-ko-laa.” It’s European.
This is a very famous feel-good movie about how sweets changed the world for the better, sort of. A town mired in a very specific ideology is suddenly confronted by a very different viewpoint, a viewpoint that leaves plenty of room for joy and happiness.
But if you’re using this movie for background listening, you don’t need to worry about any of that. It’s a calm, pleasant movie that won’t constantly be grabbing your attention.
How to Steal a Million (1966)
Taking things way back to the 1960s, we have an easygoing comedy called How to Steal a Million. Audrey Hepburn stars, and it’s not one of her best movies, but she still makes the movie a whole lot better by delivering some silly comedy.
Basically, our two leads need to rob a museum, and one of these leads just so happens to be an expert in high-profile theft.
A large part of the movie is the heist itself, and it’s filled with plenty of moments of light tension and 60s wackiness.
It’s a romcom at heart, so you can guess what happens with the two leads by the end. For casual viewing/listening, it’s a great fit.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Ok, to round things out we have a movie that probably deserves some kind of explanation. You won’t see Princess Diaries 2 on any of our lists of “masterpiece” movies. That’s not what this is. And anyone who grew up with this movie will already know that.
Directed by Garry Marshall, this sequel to the popular Princess Diaries Disney flick actually feels quite different compared to the first movie.
It’s lighter, easier to watch, and the stakes never feel very high at all, even though they are actually sort of, kind of high.
Technically, some bad guys are trying to steal the crown, the position not the jewelry. That’s a big deal, but it never really feels that way.
Actually, it’s really just another romantic comedy, just one for younger viewers. Julie Andrews also shows up to deliver a typically classy performance, despite the fact she’s much better than this movie.
It’s just something to put on if you want to have a good time during an otherwise uninteresting workday.