The 50 Best Movies for Kids

Movies For Siblings Two Kids Watching TV With Popcorn
Shutterstock
Check out some of the best kid-friendly films of all time.
Priscilla Gragg
Priscilla Gragg

When planning a family movie night, nothing spoils the fun like arguing over what's appropriate to watch. We've taken the guess work out of the equation with this comprehensive list of the best movies for kids of all time. Pick one, press play, and enjoy!

Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

What kid doesn't want a magic chariot, an inventor dad, and a "Truly Scrumptious" stepmom? This high-flying feature film makes wishes come true – and delivers some of the best music in children's movies. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Dumbo

Great music, charm, and a trainload of animals make this feature a timeless classic. The 1941 tale of a baby elephant ostracized because of his unwieldy ears teaches tots about the upside to uniqueness. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg's masterpiece gets new life in the digitally altered update (police guns are replaced with less-frightening walkie-talkies). Big and little viewers will be moved by Elliott's friendship with the homesick alien. (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Disney
Courtesy of Disney

My Neighbor Totoro

This 1988 Hayao Miyazaki film is just as beautifully animated as the more popular Spirited Away, but not as scary. It focuses on the friendship of two girls, ages 4 and 10, as they move into a new home in the countryside. (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Looney Tunes Golden Collection

With this four-disc set, Bugs Bunny fans will take delight in a simpler time when duck-on-pig violence was all in good fun and falling off cliffs never truly spoiled your day. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh

Introduce your kids to author A. A. Milne's original Pooh stories. Whether he's in pursuit of honey or braving the blustery elements, this 1977 collection captures the big heart of the "willy-nilly, silly old bear."  (Ages 2 and up; available on Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Red Balloon

In this beautiful, wordless 1956 tale of friendship and loss, a helium-filled balloon magically follows a lonely boy through the streets of Paris. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Walmart
Courtesy of Walmart

The Black Stallion

Movie critic Pauline Kael called this possibly "the greatest children's movie ever made." Kids will envy the unbreakable bond that forms between a young castaway and a wild horse. (Ages 7 and up; available at Walmart)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Based on the classic books, this collection of cartoon shorts brings the ABCs to life. Kids will learn and laugh as 26 childlike letters scamper up a coconut tree to a funky beat. (Ages 3 to 5; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Best Buy
Courtesy of Best Buy

Chrysanthemum . . . and More Kevin Henkes Stories

In this collection of animated shorts, Meryl Streep narrates the title tale of a tenderhearted mouse teased because of her unusual name. Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt narrate Henkes' other tales of mice scampering toward self-acceptance. (Ages 5 to 8; available at Best Buy )

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Clifford Tries His Best

Enjoy 90 minutes of canine fun with this larger-than-life dog, voiced by the late John Ritter. Little kids will be tickled by the notion that Clifford is the master of the house. (Ages 2 to 7; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Best Buy
Courtesy of Best Buy

Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales

Vocal talent rules in these animated shorts, as Susan Sarandon warmly narrates Margaret Wise Brown's bedtime classic, Natalie Cole shares Tar Beach, and Billy Crystal livens up There's a Nightmare in My Closet. (Ages 1 to 5; available at Best Buy)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Harry the Dirty Dog . . . and More Terrific Tales

Like all Weston Woods titles, these beautifully done shorts are a welcome change from many of today's fast and loud media that leaves little to the imagination. This series has four funny stories about dogs and a darling one about rats. (Ages 2 to 8; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Pop in the 2001 film—starring a young Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson—after your wizards-in-training have finished the first book in J.K. Rowling’s much-beloved series. (Ages 7 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Paddington Live Action

In this movie featuring celebs like Nicole Kidman and High Bonneville, Paddington, a beloved bear from picture books, travels to London in search of a home. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The William Steig Video Library

The work of beloved picture-book author William Steig is brought to dazzling life in this collection that includes enchanting masterpieces such as The Amazing Bone and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. (Ages 3 to 5; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Brave

There’s no tiara for the princess in this Pixar film. Bow-and-arrow-wielding Merida will inspire your mighty girl. (Ages 8 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

Finding Nemo

A boatload of critters inhabits a breathtaking seascape in this Oscar-winning film. Your whole family will root for a clown fish who goes on a daring mission to find his lost spawn. The best part: Ellen DeGeneres is a hoot as a forgetful fish. (Ages 6 and up; available on Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Frozen

You may have grown tired of this 2014 mega-hit, but the kids haven’t: And who could blame them given the fantastic music (shout-out to Idina Menzel), super-cute snowman, sisterly drama, and refreshing message, “You can’t marry a man you just met.” (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Target
Courtesy of Target

The Incredibles

It’s actually pretty incredible that with all of today’s comic book-inspired movies, this decade-old Pixar flick about a family of superheroes is still a hit with kids. Make sure to check out the sequel, too! (Ages 7 and up; available at Target)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Inside Out

This Pixar gem—which focuses on the feelings living inside a hockey-playing 11-year-old—is both hysterical and heart-wrenching. With voice actors like Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith, you won’t mind watching with the kids. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

The Land Before Time Anniversary Edition

The first and best of the popular 10-title series follows the exciting adventures of Littlefoot, an orphaned brontosaurus. Teaching cooperation and tolerance, Littlefoot joins forces with other baby dinosaurs. (Ages 5 to 12; available at Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Target
Courtesy of Target

The Lego Movie

Everything is awesome in this film that brings some of kids’ favorite Lego minifigures to life thanks to voice cast consisting of Will Ferrell, Chris Prat, and other A-listers. (Ages 6 and up; available at Target)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Monsters, Inc.

Kids everywhere will love the film's notion that "big, scary" monsters are actually afraid of them. Funny and reassuring, the cartoon is also a satire on corporate greed. (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Shrek

Forget Prince Charming! In this hip, kooky take on fairy tales, an ogre and his donkey sidekick save the princess. Kids won't get all the pop-culture jokes, but they just might learn that good looks are only skin-deep. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

Toy Story 2

Favorite toy Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) discovers he's a celebrity: a collector's item from a classic TV show. This sequel surpasses the original by combining fantasy and action with a soul-searching theme as Woody must choose love or fame. (Ages 5 and up; available on Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

101 Dalmatians

Small children love puppies, and classic film delivers in spotted spades. While Cruella De Vil's lust for a dog-skin coat may scare little ones, older kids will love her outrageous antics. Check out the 1961 Disney animated flick and the 1996 live-action version starring Glenn Close. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Charlotte's Web

Take a peek at the poignant 1973 cartoon that stays faithful to E. B. White's lovely and touching book. With the help of a motherly spider, Wilbur the pig puts on a show to avoid becoming bacon. Then, rent the 2006 live-action version starring Julia Roberts and Dakota Fanning. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Doctor Dolittle

Being able to talk to animals would be a dream come true for most kids. But the vintage 1967 movie shows that things can get out of control when a horse wears glasses, a chimp tries to be a chef, and the bizarre Pushmi-Pullyu is on the loose. Catch the Eddie Murphy version released in 1998 for even more laughs. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

You simply can't miss the 1966 animated television special-turned movie! Old-time horror star Boris Karloff stars as the holiday grouch. But don't forget to rent Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action version either. It's over-the-top fun! (Ages 3 and up; available at Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat

Based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss, both the 1971 tongue-tangling original film and the 2003 Mike Myers remake will be true kid classics for generations to come. (Ages 3 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Where the Wild Things Are

This book-turned-animated classic made new waves in 2009 when the film was remade into a live-action blockbuster. Though the book was first published in 1963 and the animated cartoon was released in 1973, the charming story about little monsters will continue to stand the test of time. (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie's awe of the chocolate factory becomes our own in this wonderfully original classic based on Roald Dahl's novel in the 1971 hit starring Gene Wilder. See the story with a modern twist in the 2005 version, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," starring Johnny Depp. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Beauty and the Beast

Cracking the mold of Disney princesses, Belle rolls her eyes at "Prince Charming" in favor of inner beauty. Add singing tableware, and you have one unique musical. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Target
Courtesy of Target

The Jungle Book

Set in a jungle full of dangerous animals, the film is cushioned by the lighthearted humor and friendship of an orphaned boy and a bear. The madcap monkey business is set to jazz, swing, and groovy vocals from bandleaders Louis Prima and Phil Harris. (Ages 4 and up; available at Target)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

The Lion King

The laws of the jungle meet Shakespeare's Hamlet as a lion cub realizes he must avenge his father's death, claim the throne, and complete the circle of life. It can be heavy stuff at times. But Elton John's music and the vivid animation pack a powerful emotional punch worth experiencing. (Ages 6 and up; available at Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Little Mermaid

When Sebastian sings the sea's praises in a showstopping calypso number, it's easy to see why this 1989 film is credited with reviving Disney. While Ariel is Disney's first modern leading lady, her dad and Prince Eric still have to rescue her. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Mary Poppins

The sheer joy and wonder of Mary Poppins give the musical its timeless appeal. Julie Andrews is magical as the flying nanny whose adventures fuse live action with animation. With genius songs like "A Spoonful of Sugar," it's a movie kids will watch again and again. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This Grimm's fairy tale became the 1937 hit that made Disney synonymous with childhood wonder. The wicked witch will likely scare tykes, but there are seven jolly reasons and loads of catchy songs to end all worries. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Blue's Big Musical Movie

Parents and preschoolers will bop along with Blue while a Ray Charles-voiced character teaches kids about musical notes, tempo, and soul in the TV show's first feature film. (Ages 2 to 6; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Fantasia Anthology

Long before Baby Mozart married classical music and whimsical motion, Disney imagined that folks would enjoy watching stunning visuals set to songs. With works from Beethoven and Bach, Fantasia takes kids on a magical journey where they can hear the pictures and see the music. (All ages; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Schoolhouse Rock! Special 30th Anniversary Edition

This two-disc DVD set is a must-have for '70s-reared parents eager to prove that learning is fun-damental. The three R's meet rock and roll with retro-groovy hits like "I'm Just a Bill." (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Sound of Music

Youngsters won't comprehend the scary events that cause the Von Trapps to flee Austria. But they'll love seeing Julie Andrews' infectious spirit turn a sad house into a singing house. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

The Wiggles: Wiggly Safari

Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin introduces the Aussie preschool-pop singers to kangaroos, kookaburras, and other kid-pleasing critters. With backgrounds in early-childhood education, the group creates a combo of giggly songs and dances that teaches tykes about the Outback. (Ages 2 to 6; available at Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Aristocats

Thanks to its jazzy flair, this feline version of Disney's Lady and the Tramp is a real winner. Upper-class kittens and bumbling catnappers enhance a romantic rich-cat, poor-cat tale. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Babar: King of the Elephants

Skillfully adapted from Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff's endearing stories, this European animated feature maintains the sweetness and warmth of the book's humanlike elephants. (Ages 4 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Barnes & Noble
Courtesy of Barnes & Noble

Babe

Not since Charlotte's Web has a pig been so lovable as Babe in this surprise Australian hit. Kids will grow attached to Babe, the swine who beats the odds to work as a sheepdog. (Ages 5 and up; available at Barnes & Noble)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

Born Free

This 1966 real-life story follows a British couple who take in and later set free an orphaned lioness. The film's moving message of respect for animals and their habitats is especially effective. (Ages 5 and up; available on Amazon)

Courtesy of Amazon
Courtesy of Amazon

The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit

A must-have for parents determined to steer their kids off the beaten path, Nick Park's clever, quirky clay animation features the off-kilter escapades of cheese-loving Wallace and his faithful hound, Gromit. (Ages 6 and up; available on Amazon)

Share the gallery


All Topics in Movies


Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.