11 Kids Movies Parents Secretly Love Having On Repeat

Looking for a good kids movie for you and your child? These flicks are magical and whimsical. Fun for the whole family.

Cheerful family with young children on sofa

There are endless options for children's entertainment these days. From musicals and princess tales to animated classics and superhero adventures, it seems like there is a kids movie for everyone. Children from age 2 to 92 can (and do) enjoy live-action films and animated features. But what are the best children's films for parents? What movies make us laugh, cry, and smile—even when we have no kids around? Well, the truth is there are dozens of children's flicks we parents like to see on repeat. Pass the popcorn. Dim the lights.

Here, our Parents' editorial team outlines a few fan favorites.

Best 'Cult' Classic: Frozen

OK, I know what you're thinking: Not Frozen. Not again. But this cult classic has a large following—and for good reason. Both Frozen films have a good message, i.e. "some people are worth melting for." Both have engaging and memorable characters. (We're looking at you, Olaf). And the music is GOOD. From "Let It Go" to "Into the Unknown," there are some catchy and meaningful tunes.

Best Hidden Gem: Hilda and the Mountain King

Based on a series of graphic novels written and illustrated by Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Mountain King is an action-fantasy-adventure flick featuring Hilda, a young female protagonist turned troll. Fun, compelling, and full of charm and whimsy, this film tackles some tough and—at times—scary subject matter. Ideal for older children and adults.

Best '90s Feature: Toy Story

The film that changed it all, Toy Story is (arguably) the best '90s kids' movie. Hands down. I mean, what's better than a film about toys coming to life?! But the movie is more than a kids classic. With a well-written story and memorable characters, Toy Story is beloved by many. It is a tale that transcends both age and time.

Best Princess Tale: Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

While there are a lot of princess movies out there, our editors' agreed: The 1997 adaption of Cinderella is something special. With a top-notch cast, stunning vocals, and a magical story, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella is a masterful, whimsical film—one where dreams really do come true.

Best Superhero Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse

With bold storytelling and striking animation, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse is a fun film full of heart, humor, and adventure. It is also an amazing superhero story. A real triumph, for the genre and animated features.

Best Musical: Encanto

You knew Encanto would make this list, right? I mean, it had to. New as it may be, it is one of Disney's most beloved features. But what keeps kids—and parents—coming back for more? The story, the songs, and Bruno, of course. Vibrantly colored, beautiful cast, and full of catchy tunes.

Best Movie for a Good Laugh: Shrek

Several of our editors mentioned Shrek, and honestly, we know why. The film—featuring Donkey, Princess Fiona, and the feature's namesake—is bright, cheery, and colorful. It is humorous, with jokes written for children and adults. And the music is memorable. You'll definitely be laughing and singing along.

Best Movie for a Good Cry: Inside Out

With a whopping 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes "Tomatometer" there is a good reason why Inside Out is an (adult) fan favorite. This film is beautiful. The animation is clean and crisp. The story is powerful. You'll be moved from the moment it starts. And from Joy and Sadness to Anger and Bing Bong, Inside Out isn't just a coming-of-age film, it is an exciting and heartwarming look at the human psyche.

Best Children's Film Series: How to Train Your Dragon

From vikings and dragons to adventure and love, the How to Train Your Dragon series has something for everyone. It is the perfect magical mix. It also has a stellar cast and top-notch animation. A touching and comedic triumph.

Best Seasonal Stream: Nightmare Before Christmas

If you're looking for a good Christmas watch or something with a Halloween theme, look no further than Nightmare Before Christmas. This stop-motion feature is beloved by children and adults. Plus, with classic songs like "This Is Halloween" and "What's This?," it is just plain ol' fun, from start to finish.

Best Animated Feature: Moana

Most of our editor's agree: Moana is a great movie. But what makes this Disney feature so darn special? The story is tight—and moving. The animation is lush and beautiful, and the music is memorable. From "You're Welcome" to "Shiny," there is a song for everyone. Plus, this film stars the incomparable and hilarious Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. An all-around delight.

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