Good Kid Movies

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 at 11:54 pm
By Shane Rivers

Good kid movies entertain young people above all else, but a well-crafted kid movie may also contain plenty for adults to enjoy. In this case, the movie may also be known as a family film, and the ability to draw three or four people to the theater at once has allowed family films to make billions each year at the box office.

The biggest difference between good movies for children and good family films is content. Family movies may feature talking animals and musical numbers for kids, while the creators will also insert pop culture references and clever jokes for adults to enjoy. In a movie aimed solely at kids, no such effort will be made to entertain the parents.

With so many good kid movies on the market, how do you know which ones are the best for your child? Below, I have put together a number of lists which offer selections for good childrens movies and good family movies.

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IMDB Top-Rated Family Films

Good Kid MoviesThe members of the Internet Movie Database have voted the following motion pictures as the best family films currently available:

  1. Star Wars (1977)
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  3. The Little Fox (1981)
  4. WALL·E (2008)
  5. Anand (1971)
  6. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)
  7. Safety Last! (1923)
  8. Coraline (2009)
  9. Back to the Future (1985)
  10. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  11. Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation (1973)
  12. The Cameraman (1928)
  13. The Gold Rush (1925)
  14. The Kid (1921)
  15. Ratatouille (2007)
  16. Finding Nemo (2003)
  17. I Remember Mama (1948)
  18. The Lion King (1994)
  19. The Incredibles (2004)
  20. Toy Story (1995)
  21. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  22. Our Hospitality (1923)
  23. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  24. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  25. Kidnapping Caucasian Style (1966)
  26. Come on, India! (2007)
  27. Seven Chances (1925)
  28. Castle in the Sky (1986)
  29. A Christmas Story (1983)
  30. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  31. Ponyo on the Cliff (2008)
  32. Toy Story 2 (1999)
  33. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  34. Shrek (2001)
  35. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  36. Finding Neverland (2004)
  37. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
  38. Captains Courageous (1937)
  39. The Circus (1928)
  40. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  41. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  42. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  43. Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds (2004)
  44. Brilliantovaya ruka (1968)
  45. My Fair Lady (1964)
  46. The Iron Giant (1999)
  47. The Diamond Arm (1989)
  48. Fantasia (1940)
  49. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  50. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

A few of the foreign films on the list don’t belong, such as Kidnapping Caucasian Style and Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation. It’s not that I have a beef with foreign films, but rather that a small number of people have given these films very high grades and thrown off the IMDB rating scale. The Incredibles is a good movie, but I personally thought some of the subject matter was a little too mature for kids.

50 Best Kid Videos from Parents.com

Parents.com is a massive online resource for parents of all ages. They recently put together this list of 50 best videos for children, and it’s an excellent resource for anyone looking for good kid movies. They even included the appropriate age group next to the title of the film.

  1. 101 Dalmatians (ages 6 and up)
  2. The Aristocats (ages 4 and up)
  3. Babar: King of the Elephants (ages 4 and up)
  4. Babe (ages 5 and up)
  5. Bear in the Big Blue House Live! (ages 2 to 6)
  6. Beauty and the Beast (ages 6 and up)
  7. The Black Stallion (ages 7 and up)
  8. Blue’s Big Musical Movie (ages 2 to 6)
  9. Born Free (ages 5 and up)
  10. Charlotte’s Web (ages 4 and up)
  11. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (ages 3 to 5)
  12. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (ages 4 and up)
  13. Chrysanthemum . . . and More Kevin Henkes Stories (ages 5 to 8)
  14. Clifford Tries His Best (ages 2 to 7)
  15. Doctor Dolittle (ages 4 and up)
  16. Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (ages 3 and up)
  17. Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat (ages 3 and up)
  18. Dumbo (ages 4 and up)
  19. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (ages 5 and up)
  20. The Fantasia Anthology (all ages)
  21. Finding Nemo (ages 6 and up)
  22. Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales (ages 1 to 5)
  23. Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (ages 3 and up)
  24. Harry the Dirty Dog . . . and More Terrific Tales (ages 2 to 8)
  25. The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit (ages 6 and up)
  26. The Jungle Book (ages 4 and up)
  27. The Land Before Time Anniversary Edition (ages 5 to 12)
  28. The Lion King (ages 6 and up)
  29. The Little Mermaid (ages 6 and up)
  30. The Looney Tunes Golden Collection (ages 4 and up)
  31. The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (ages 2 and up)
  32. Mary Poppins (ages 4 and up)
  33. Monsters, Inc. (ages 5 and up)
  34. Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection (ages 3 and up)
  35. The Red Balloon (ages 4 and up)
  36. Schoolhouse Rock! Special 30th Anniversary Edition (ages 4 and up)
  37. Sesame Street’s 25th Birthday–A Musical Celebration (ages 1 to 6)
  38. Shrek (ages 6 and up)
  39. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (ages 4 and up)
  40. The Sound of Music (ages 6 and up)
  41. Totally Teletubbies (ages 1 to 3)
  42. Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends: Platinum Collection (ages 2 to 7)
  43. Toy Story 2 (ages 5 and up)
  44. VeggieTales: Heroes of the Bible–Lions, Shepherds, and Queens (Oh My!) (ages 3 and up)
  45. Where the Wild Things Are (ages 3 to 5)
  46. The Wiggles: Wiggly Safari (ages 2 to 6)
  47. The William Steig Video Library (ages 3 to 5)
  48. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (ages 6 and up)
  49. The Wizard of Oz (ages 5 and up)
  50. Yellow Submarine (ages 4 and up)

A word of warning: if you go to the store to rent The Aristocats, be damned sure that you don’t pick up The Aristocrats by mistake (notice the difference in spelling). Trust me, it’s not what most would consider a good family film.

Charlotte’s Web is a must-see for any child, although they’ll probably bawl their eyes out (just like I did at their age). I thought the selection of The Yellow Submarine was an interesting outside-the-box choice, and you can never go wrong with The Looney Tunes Golden Collection.

Top 100 Movies for Children

According to the book entitled “The New York Times Essential Library: Children’s Movies,” these are the best available kid movies for ages 8 to 12. Prepared to be amazed.

  1. “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948)
  2. “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938)
  3. “The African Queen” (1951)
  4. “Apollo 13″ (1995)
  5. “Babe” (1995)
  6. “Back to the Future” (1985)
  7. “The Bad News Bears” (1976)
  8. “The Bear” (1988)
  9. “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)
  10. “Beetlejuice” (1988)
  11. “Big” (1988)
  12. “The Black Stallion” (1979)
  13. “Bound for Glory” (1976)
  14. “Breaking Away” (1979)
  15. “Bringing Up Baby” (1938)
  16. “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978)
  17. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969)
  18. “Casablanca” (1942)
  19. “Cat Ballou” (1965)
  20. “Chariots of Fire” (1981)
  21. “Chicken Run” (2000)
  22. “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)
  23. “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
  24. “Dick Tracy” (1990)
  25. “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
  26. “Duck Soup” (1933)
  27. “Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
  28. “Emma” (1996)
  29. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
  30. “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971)
  31. “Field of Dreams” (1989)
  32. “Fly Away Home” (1996)
  33. “Gandhi” (1982)
  34. “Ghostbusters” (1984)
  35. “The Gold Rush” (1925)
  36. “The Great Escape” (1963)
  37. “Great Expectations” (1946)
  38. “Groundhog Day” (1993)
  39. “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)
  40. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
  41. “High Noon” (1952)
  42. “The Iron Giant” (1999)
  43. “It Happened One Night” (1934)
  44. “James and the Giant Peach” (1996)
  45. “Jurassic Park” (1993)
  46. “The King and I” (1956)
  47. “King Kong” (1933)
  48. “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)
  49. “A League of Their Own” (1992)
  50. “Lilo & Stitch” (2002)
  51. “The Lion King” (1994)
  52. “Little Fugitive” (1953)
  53. “Little Man Tate” (1991)
  54. “The Little Mermaid” (1989)
  55. “A Little Princess” (1995)
  56. “Little Women” (1994)
  57. “The Longest Day” (1962)
  58. “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)
  59. “Lost Horizon” (1937)
  60. “The Magnificent Seven” (1960)
  61. “Mary Poppins” (1964)
  62. “Monsters, Inc.” (2001)
  63. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939)
  64. “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993)
  65. “The Music Man” (1962)
  66. “My Fair Lady” (1964)
  67. “National Velvet” (1944)
  68. “Never Cry Wolf” (1983)
  69. “North by Northwest” (1959)
  70. “Peter Pan” (1953)
  71. “Pinocchio” (1940)
  72. “The Princess Bride” (1987)
  73. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981)
  74. “Rear Window” (1954)
  75. “Rocky” (1976)
  76. “The Rookie” (2002)
  77. “The Secret Garden” (1993)
  78. “The Secret of Roan Inish” (1994)
  79. “Shane” (1953)
  80. “Shrek” (2001)
  81. “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)
  82. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937)
  83. “Some Like It Hot” (1959)
  84. “The Sound of Music” (1965)
  85. “Spirited Away” (2001)
  86. “Star Wars” (1977)
  87. “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928)
  88. “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941)
  89. “Superman” (1978)
  90. “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960)
  91. “The Three Musketeers” and “The Four Musketeers” (1974 and 1975)
  92. “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)
  93. “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2″ (1995 and 1999)
  94. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954)
  95. “Walkabout” (1971)
  96. “West Side Story” (1961)
  97. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988)
  98. “The Winslow Boy” (1999)
  99. “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
  100. “Yellow Submarine” (1968)

I have to wonder if a nine-year-old is going to enjoy a black-and-white classic such as Some Like It Hot? The same goes for films like Rear Window, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It Happened One Night. Which part of a 1930’s romantic comedy is a member of the Xbox generation going to find appealing?

And don’t forget about the inclusion of movies like Dr. Strangelove and Cat Ballou. Whoever put this list together must have a very sophisticated 10-year-old.

Best Movies to Watch as a Family

Lisa Sheppard at Associated Content put together this list of films you can watch as a family. While these flicks are primarily known as good family films, that doesn’t mean they’re not good kid movies, also.

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. National Velvet
  3. The Yearling
  4. Old Yeller
  5. Black Stallion
  6. E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial
  7. The Princess Bride
  8. Fantasia (the original)
  9. The Red Balloon
  10. Babe, the Gallant Pig
  11. Toy Story (both)
  12. Beauty and the Beast
  13. Finding Nemo
  14. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs
  15. The Music Man
  16. The Sound of Music
  17. Shrek
  18. The Little Mermaid
  19. Mary Poppins
  20. The King And I
  21. Peter Pan
  22. Pinocchio
  23. James and The Giant Peach
  24. The Secret Garden
  25. The Rookie
  26. Duma
  27. Neverland
  28. The Incredibles
  29. The Princess Diaries
  30. Fly Away Home
  31. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
  32. Cinderella (animated)
  33. Sleeping Beauty
  34. Wallace & Gromit
  35. Oliver (1968)
  36. Whale Rider
  37. Jungle Book
  38. The Bear
  39. The Incredible Journey (original)
  40. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang
  41. The Lion King
  42. The Iron Giant
  43. The Secret of Roan Inish
  44. Pollyanna
  45. Lassie Come Home

Lots of classics are included on this list, with everything from The Yearling to Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang. If you’re a parent, consult this list with the highest level of confidence, as I see nothing to really complain about.

Top 10 Animated Films

With developments in technology over the last decade, animated films are becoming increasingly advanced; they’re also making more and more money at the box office. This list of the best animated films was released by the American Film Institute in 2008.

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  2. Pinocchio (1940)
  3. Bambi (1942)
  4. The Lion King (1994)
  5. Fantasia (1940)
  6. Toy Story (1995)
  7. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  8. Shrek (2001)
  9. Cinderella (1950)
  10. Finding Nemo (2003)

Not surprisingly, each of the top animated films listed above were monster hits at the box office. It’s hard not to like gentle classics like Bambi, although I must admit to being partial to Toy Story. Any movie that has Don Rickles providing the voice for Mr. Potato Head gets my vote.