There are thousands of children’s movies out there, and there are thousands of cartoon movies too, but which ones actually make great movies for kids? More importantly, which childrens movies make the greatest kids movies to add to your collection?
Honing one’s parenting skills isn’t just about baby-proofing, and nurturing, entertaining is important too.
Keep in mind that a great movie is not necessarily a great kids movie. A story that makes perfect sense in just a few short years is opaque enough as a toddler to cause an incessant stream of, “Why are they doing that?,” “What are they doing?”, and “Where are they going?” Shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, and Dora the Explorer are all painfully simple and obvious for a reason. As smart as toddlers are, they just aren’t experienced at following along with a movie for as long as necessary to get the answers to the questions that pop up in their minds.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best kids movies for toddlers and youngsters that should have a home in any parent’s library of children’s movies.
Good Kids Movies for Toddlers and Youngsters
- Finding Nemo – One fast-forward, or better, next chapter button, at the beginning and you’ve got a fun, colorful, family movie that has plenty of laughs and entertainment for both young children and their parents. (Just be careful, that first chapter is where a scary looking fish kills the mom and eats most the eggs.)
- Monsters Inc. – Deliberately cuddly and funny “monsters” help kids that they only scare in order to get energy. However, by the end of the movie, making them laugh is just as good. As an added bonus, the credits have several additional funny bits.
- Wreck It Ralph – The bad guy is comical. The monster doesn’t show up very much. It’s about a big lovable guy who doesn’t want to be the bad guy anymore teaming up with an outcast girl in a different video game than his own. It’s funny, heartwarming, and not insulting to adults. Plus, no love interests, if that kind of thing bothers you or your kids.
- Wall-E – A robot develops a crush on another robot and both of them end up in space trying to save a tiny plant from earth with a bunch of other misfit robots. No real bad guys at all to be scared of, but still a wonderful, entertaining story. Added Bonus: Both animated short films on the DVD are fun as well.
- Emperor’s New Groove – A selfish Emperor learns about life’s lessons when he is accidentally turned into a llama. Colorful, adventuresome, and fast-paced, plus a fun opening theme song.
- Shrek – Shrek is the scariest thing in this movie, and he’s really as cuddly as a teddy bear if you really know him. The only thing you’ll have to worry about in this movie is explaining the maiden who turns into a monster after nightfall thing.
- Big Hero Six – A young boy loses his older brother but gains a wonderful robot friend. In addition, this movie has strong a strong female character and is funny enough for adults.
Think some movies are missing? Let me know!
But, first, check out the list below.
Great Movies That Might Be Too Scary For Kids
Some movies are great movies, but not all great movies are really that good for kids. Scary scenes or characters, complex plots, slow moving plots, “too much talking,” or just one too many “boring parts” can turn a movie that Mom or Dad treasures into a not good for kids movie.
Keep these DVDs in reserve until the kiddos are a little bit older and then you’ll get to truly cherish a great movie with your child for the first time, when they are ready.
- Snow White – Yeah, it was just re-released, but the witch is very scary, the old woman she disguises herself as is creepy, and unlike most kid’s movies, a murder occurs face-to-face, on-screen. You’ll be pressing Next Chapter so often you won’t be able to hold your kid.
- Cats and Dogs – Kids love cats. Kids love dogs. Why wouldn’t they love a movie filled with cats and dogs that talk? Well, for one thing, kids think of their cats and dogs as pure. The animals in this movie aren’t all so cuddly. That plus a confusing narrative that involves a history flash-back and the back and forth between two different viewpoints is sure to throw most kids off.
- Mulan – Scary Huns in dark scenes, aren’t a recipe for fun times. Plus, you’ll end up having to explain that whole why she isn’t supposed to do some things because she’s a girl thing. Once you do that, then you’ll have to explain why it is O.K. to do some things even when you aren’t supposed to. Is this really the age to be explaining moral relativism?
- The Fox and the Hound – “Why can’t they be friends?” Enough said.