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Movies Every Kids Should Watch Before They Are 12 Years Old

Movies are great in molding a child’s mind and they can have a lasting impact on their adult lives. As such, you should treat your kids a mixture of genres from classic musicals, fairy tales and animation series to adventures of superheroes and holiday favorites. These movies that we listed here are rich in positive messages and role models. While some of them will teach your kids about family, role and responsibilities, others will teach them about cultural issues and society. Remember, the list is not final, you can add own suggestions in the comment box.

Charlotte’s Web (2006)
Enchanting take on a beloved children’s classic.

Finding Nemo
Sweet father-son tale has some very scary moments.

Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.

Lilo and Stitch
Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.

Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.

My Neighbor Totoro
Beautifully animated fantasy about friendship fit for all.

Toy Story (1995)
Pixar classic is one of the best kids’ movies of all time.

Brainy, charming, eco-friendly animated adventure.

Heartwarming farm story is touching and a bit scary.

Beauty and the Beast
Disney fave has great music, strong messages, some scares.

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Adventurous animal tale will have kids riveted.

The Iron Giant
Touching robot-kid friendship tale has great messages.

The Land Before Time
Original baby-dinosaur buddy tale has scares, sadness.

The Lego Movie
Hilarious toy tale plugs product but is nonstop fun.

The Lion King
Musical king-of-the-beasts blockbuster is powerful, scary.

Mary Poppins
World’s coolest nanny celebrates family and fun.

Miracle on 34th Street
Classic holiday movie for the whole family.

Modern Times (1936)
Families will cherish Charlie Chaplin’s silent slapstick.

The Muppet Movie (1979)
First Muppet movie is full of wonderful songs, plus guns.

Gross-out laughs meet a marvelous fairy-tale mix.

The Sound of Music
Outstanding family film features glorious music.

The Wizard of Oz
Even decades later, one of the best family films ever made.

Anne of Green Gables
Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.

Elf (2003)
Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Spielberg’s family classic is still one of the best.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.

How to Train Your Dragon
Thrilling 3-D adventure sends brains-over-brawn message.

The Incredibles
Top-notch, action-packed fun for the entire family.

The Indian in the Cupboard
Classic, heartwarming fantasy will rivet kids.

James and the Giant Peach
Fabulous adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic book.

A Little Princess (1995)
Wonderful adaptation of classic book; some scary moments.

Song of the Sea
Beautiful Irish tale explores myths, sibling relationship.

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
Sci-fi action classic perfect for sharing with kids.

Akeelah and the Bee
Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.

Fly Away Home
Thrilling, touching adventure for animal lovers.

Howl’s Moving Castle
Charming Miyazaki fairy tale with surreal villains.

Hugo (2011)
Spectacular book adaptation is great for tweens and up.

Mad Hot Ballroom
Enchanting dance documentary hits all the right beats.

The Princess Bride (1987)
Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.

Superman: The Movie (1978)
Super-nostalgic superhero adventure still soars.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This classic delivers warmth all year long.

Spirited Away
Magnificent movie with scary creatures and a strong heroine.

Children of Heaven
Excellent subtitled Iranian coming-of-age story.

A League of Their Own
Terrific tweens-and-up story of women’s baseball.

October Sky
Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.

Remember the Titans
Inspiring football drama brings history to life.

Napoleon Dynamite
One-of-a-kind high school comedy for the family.

Sense and Sensibility
A lush and witty adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel.

Fun movie, but may be too intense for younger kids.

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Mother of one beautiful daughter. Former airport employee and now a homemaker. Loves movies and cooking besides administering this forum which has been online since September, 2011.


  1. Babe is a must for 6-8 years old.

    • You can add your own fav movies.

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