Top Children’s Movies of All-Time

I recently began doing research on a list of the top children’s movies ever made. I’d hoped to be able to compile a list of 100 great movies you can watch with any age child and not have to explain anything to do with sex, cover their eyes during graphic violence or explain ideas that are well over their heads. The first thing I discovered is that there really aren’t that many resources for this type of list and no one seems to ever have been able to come up with 100 movies that you could watch with both a 4-year-old and a nine-year-old. I fairly quickly assessed that my list would have to be considerably shorter. Perhaps 50 films. In reality, fewer films


Many lists included films that I believe everyone should see at some point in their lives but I didn’t feel were even remotely appropriate for or interesting to children. Some of the truly wonderful animated films that were included in other lists I simply have found too complicated for younger children to understand and, in some cases, too frightening. Many included movies that would be terrific for your pre-teen and teenaged children, but not for younger children. What I was looking for were those films that your family could pop into the DVD player on Friday evening and watch as a family. Eventually, I put together a list of 45 films that you can all watch together. Disney is, of course, heavily represented, mostly because they are the only studio that has been putting out movies for children for as long as they have. Many are classics, some are new, some are foreign (but no subtitles are needed), many are animated, and some are part of a series. I have not attempted to rank the movies; I’ll let you do that on your own.

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 (the trilogy of shorts as well as the full-length feature) 
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