Below are my picks for the ten best kids movies ever. Raising children, most parents become something of an expert in the kids movies ... and in humming songs from those movies at work, in the office, in the shower, and everywhere else despite themselves. (Hakuna matata!)
Beyond the hundreds of kids movies I've watched while raising my kids (and helping to babysit others), I also often watch them to revive my own spirits, spark my creativity, and to remind me of the beauty in this world when we keep our proper eyes on. They best kids movies are certainly positive little intense experiences unto themselves!
With that in mind, I strongly recommend these ten best kids movies for adults and children alike:
A perfectly rendered, gorgeously animated story of a massive metal-eating robot from another world and the young boy who, despite the grown-ups’ fear of the robot, befriends him. For how powerfully and delicately it serves its message of what love truly is and what really matters in life, this gets my vote for #1 of the best kids movies.
2) Spirited Away Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, most film critics I've followed also count this among the best kids movies ever, and it may be unlike you’ve ever seen or experienced with animation. It is the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan for good reason, as it will fascinate kids and also put you in awe and leave you exploring the very nature of your own identity.
3) The Wizard of Oz Of course it's one of the best! Perhaps you’ve experienced the magic of Dorothy and her little dog too fifty-four times, but it’s definitely worth seeing yet again.
4) E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial One of Steven Spielberg's several masterpieces. About a lost alien and a young boy that is simply love and imagination incarnate.
5) Fantasia Multiple Disney films can be counted among the best kids movies ever, but this is their masterpiece of masterpieces. Made in the late 1930s, Disney animators set out to interpret classical music on the big screen, and this visual delight and all the fantastic places it will take you is their amazing result.
6) Finding Nemo I don’t care if you’re a child of 6, 26, 56, or 86, you’re going to be awed and inspired by this Pixar movie masterpiece that takes you into Nemo’s underwater world in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
7) The Red Balloon This film, loved worldwide for good reason, runs just over a half hour and will absolutely enchant children and adults alike. On his way to school one morning, a young boy discovers a red balloon. It turns out to have a mind and heart all its own, and beautiful magic ensues. Film critic Owen Gleiberman said it best: "More than any other children's film, The Red Balloon turns me into a kid again whenever I see it...[to] see The Red Balloon is to laugh, and cry, at the impossible joy of being a child again."
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8) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Made in 1937 and STILL far more compelling animation than many kids movies made today. I probably don't need to tell anyone the story, but at it's base this is one of the best movies ever made in any genre about growing up. Hi-ho, Hi-ho!
9) The Snowman Based on a book by Raymond Briggs, this short movie (just over 20 minutes) captivated my son when he was just two, and kept him captivated year after year (and me too!) With absolutely no words, just beautiful hand-drawn animation and unforgettable music, The Snowman follows the adventures of a young boy and the snowman he brings to life. Easily one of the best kids movies and especially appropriate for winter viewing.
10) Beauty and the Beast Raising two kids when this movie came out on VHS, I only got to watch it (or hear it) about 6,143 times. And yet I, like my kids, never really tired of it. An enchanting and ultimately heartwarming story, and perhaps after Fantasia above the greatest soundtrack of all the best kids movies.
- by Brian Vaszily, IntenseExperiences.com Founder
Please share YOUR picks for the best kids movies ever at the Intense Experiences Forums now. Simply list your favorites, or let others know a bit about why you believe they're so wonderful.