17 Fun Flicks That Are the Perfect First Movies to Watch with Your Kids
Every generation has their favorite movie picks that pull them back in time with fond memories of childhood. Some of us have grown up to share them with our own families or will simply sit through them and cry (or laugh) when they pop up on TV.
As soon as our kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews are old enough to understand, we choose what films would be the best fit for their age, personality, and stage of life. So, what are good options for young children?
If you’ve got toddlers in the house, we know it’s hard to keep their attention, but they usually love music, goofy characters, and animals. It’s hard to go wrong with a Disney film for them. But you’ll find many more gems that kids – and the kid in you – will love for years and want to watch over and over again.
We’re sharing a small list of family flicks that rank as great first picks for the little ones in your life. Although you won’t find The Goonies or Back to the Future on here, feel free to save those for later!
Once you get past the sad part, it’s a tale about friendship, nature, and growing up. And it’s hard not to love all the cute baby animals.
The Wizard of Oz
A movie that will never go out of style, The Wizard of Oz has much to offer with its music, characters, and memorable one-liners. It’s got action, it’s got life lessons, and heartwarming moments too. It’s hard for kids NOT to get sucked in by all its magic.
I remember watching this for the first time at school and being mesmerized by the lady with the magical bag. I wanted one too! It’s about two kids whose lives were rather dull before this nanny blew in and made things lively. Kids will become entranced with the dancing, music, and whimsy, and maybe wish for fun tea parties or carousel rides too!
The Lion King
Like many Disney movies, there is a tear-jerking scene etched in people’s minds forever. But this is also a tale of resilience, courage, family, and friendship. It’s also a wonderful lesson about “the circle of life”. Watch it with tissues!
You can’t help but root for Nemo and his father to find their way back to each other, and who doesn’t love Dory? A movie about a kid fish who doesn’t follow the directions of his overprotective dad but learns lots of lessons because of it, Finding Nemo ranks high on the list of Disney classics.
A Bug’s Life
For curious kids who imagine what life is like as an insect, this is the perfect movie. A heroic ant teams up with a band of unlikely helpers to beat some villainous grasshoppers. It’s fun and action-packed!
Alice in Wonderland
So many versions of this story have been made into movies, but Disney’s animated version from 1951 is still a winner. Your child will love Wonderland and its rich scenery and loony characters.
It’s hard not to feel compassion for farm animals or spiders after watching this story of a determined pig and his spider mentor. It’s a sweet movie about friendship, love, and kindness that’s engaging enough that it might inspire your little one to read the book once she’s older.
Another tale about a pig determined to escape fate as someone’s dinner, Babe is a smart movie full of smart, thoughtful animals. Parents and kids alike will root for Babe and his unlikely life path as a sheep herder.
With its theme about accepting others for who they are, Zootopia offers lessons about tolerance, kindness, and bravery. It’s also full of comedy, beautiful animation, mystery, and music.
This retelling of Rapunzel is a favorite in our household with its catchy songs and adventurous plot. Yeah, there’s romance, but this princess (who doesn’t know she’s one) is independent, feisty, and can hold her own while barefoot.
Shrek quickly earned a spot as one of the most beloved family films of all time. It’s hard not to love the cool musical pieces, the action scenes, and the smart-mouthed, hilarious characters in this one. Start with the first movie and then watch the rest!
This is a great way to help little kids get over their fear of monsters hiding in their closets. They’ll spend most of the movie laughing and want to hug these characters by the end. Kids will love Sully and Mike’s friendship and the enchanting world of monsters.
First and foremost, no one will be able to resist the Minions. Their name is capitalized for a reason and they help to make this movie shine. A bad guy with a big heart? Orphans in need of a loving home? This movie is entertaining, funny, and heartwarming for all ages.
Pirates, fairies, and a magical land where kids can fly? What’s not to love about Peter Pan? Kids will love journeying to Neverland with Wendy, Peter, and Tinkerbell in this fanastical, fun tale.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Frozen, a movie that’s cemented itself as a modern classic and box office hit. Buy it, stream it, and be prepared to sit through it multiple times as Elsa and Anna work through their sisterly issues in the snow.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Introduce your child to Pooh with this classic movie about the loveable bear and his band of friends. Bounce with Tigger or empathize with Eeyore in this sweet, fun, and witty movie!
We realize there are plenty of movies that could be added to this lineup based on the age of your child, fun factor, and plain old nostalgia. Think back to when you were a kid and which films still make you smile.
Which of these movies have you seen and love? Have you already watched the movies on this list with your kiddos? What other films would you add here and why?