mightysparks' Recommendations for Children Under 12

by DaveHedgehog | created - 1 week ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public

This list is a mixture of favourites from my childhood that I felt were important in some way or were just extremely enjoyable as a kid, films that I feel I would've enjoyed as a kid (or that kids like me might've liked), and films that I feel provide an introduction to different genres and types of films or experiences that I cherished as a child. This is a list of films for all types of kids under 12.

Currently unranked.

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1. Shrek (2001)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

84 Metascore

A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Votes: 551,477 | Gross: $267.67M

2. Shrek 2 (2004)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

75 Metascore

Princess Fiona's parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews

Votes: 373,803 | Gross: $436.47M

3. Lilo & Stitch (2002)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

73 Metascore

A Hawaiian girl adopts an unusual pet who is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive.

Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Chris Sanders, Tia Carrere, David Ogden Stiers

Votes: 146,695 | Gross: $145.79M

4. Bicentennial Man (1999)

PG | 132 min | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi

42 Metascore

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill, Oliver Platt

Votes: 100,967 | Gross: $58.22M

5. Deep Blue Sea (1999)

R | 105 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

54 Metascore

Searching for a cure to Alzheimer's disease, a group of scientists on an isolated research facility become the prey, as a trio of intelligent sharks fight back.

Director: Renny Harlin | Stars: Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie

Votes: 114,098 | Gross: $73.65M

6. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

PG-13 | 89 min | Adventure, Comedy

51 Metascore

A 1960s secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers

Votes: 204,137 | Gross: $53.88M

7. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 990,010 | Gross: $136.80M

8. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 831,960 | Gross: $293.51M

9. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

R | 81 min | Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

73 Metascore

When Cartman and his friends go see an R rated movie, they start cursing and their parents think that Canada is to blame.

Director: Trey Parker | Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes

Votes: 180,155 | Gross: $52.01M

10. Campfire Tales (1997)

R | 88 min | Horror

A group of teens entertain themselves by telling an anthology of famous urban legends with a modern twist; including make-out-point, monsters, psychopaths, and ghosts.

Directors: Matt Cooper, Martin Kunert, David Semel | Stars: Jay R. Ferguson, Christine Taylor, Christopher Masterson, Kim Murphy

Votes: 3,417

11. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 767,786 | Gross: $402.45M

12. Napoleon (1995)

G | 81 min | Adventure, Family

The adventures of Golden Retriever pup Napoleon and his friend, the parrot Birdo Lucci.

Director: Mario Andreacchio | Stars: Jamie Croft, Philip Quast, Susan Lyons, Coralie Sawade

Votes: 1,462 | Gross: $0.05M

13. A Troll in Central Park (1994)

G | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

An evil witch banishes a flower loving troll named Stanley, to New York City, where he befriends two young children.

Directors: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman | Stars: Dom DeLuise, Cloris Leachman, Charles Nelson Reilly, Jonathan Pryce

Votes: 5,474 | Gross: $0.07M

14. The Lion King (1994)

G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

83 Metascore

A Lion cub crown prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused his father's death and flees into exile in despair, only to learn in adulthood his identity and his responsibilities.

Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg

Votes: 815,006 | Gross: $312.90M

15. Zootopia (2016)

PG | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

78 Metascore

In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush | Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate

Votes: 371,788 | Gross: $341.27M

16. FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

G | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

67 Metascore

The magical inhabitants of a rainforest fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus.

Director: Bill Kroyer | Stars: Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, Robin Williams, Tim Curry

Votes: 24,319 | Gross: $24.65M

17. It (1990)

TV-14 | 192 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

In 1960, seven pre-teen outcasts fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.

Stars: Richard Thomas, Tim Reid, Annette O'Toole, Harry Anderson

Votes: 100,862

18. Oliver & Company (1988)

G | 74 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

58 Metascore

A lost and alone kitten joins a gang of dogs engaged in petty larceny in New York City.

Director: George Scribner | Stars: Joey Lawrence, Billy Joel, Cheech Marin, Richard Mulligan

Votes: 38,609 | Gross: $74.15M

19. The Land Before Time (1988)

G | 69 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

66 Metascore

An orphaned brontosaurus teams up with other young dinosaurs in order to reunite with their families in a valley.

Director: Don Bluth | Stars: Pat Hingle, Gabriel Damon, Judith Barsi, Helen Shaver

Votes: 72,205 | Gross: $48.09M

20. Alice in Wonderland (1985 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 187 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Alice is in Looking Glass Land, where she meets many Looking Glass creatures and attempts to avoid the Jabberwocky, a monster that appears due to her being afraid.

Director: Harry Harris | Stars: Natalie Gregory, Sheila Allen, Sharee Gregory, Red Buttons

Votes: 2,628

21. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

46 Metascore

A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen | Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach, Gerald McRaney

Votes: 117,062 | Gross: $20.16M

22. Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

PG | 101 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

44 Metascore

Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.

Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Doug McGrath

Votes: 29,808 | Gross: $29.50M

23. The AristoCats (1970)

G | 78 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

66 Metascore

With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Phil Harris, Eva Gabor, Sterling Holloway, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 80,775 | Gross: $37.68M

24. 101 Dalmatians (1961)

G | 79 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

When a litter of Dalmatian puppies are abducted by the minions of Cruella de Vil, the parents must find them before she uses them for a diabolical fashion statement.

Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Rod Taylor, Betty Lou Gerson, J. Pat O'Malley, Martha Wentworth

Votes: 134,948 | Gross: $144.88M

25. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

95 Metascore

Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 161,123 | Gross: $184.93M

26. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 347,085 | Gross: $2.08M

27. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

PG | 95 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

In a small American town, a diabolical circus and its demonic proprietor prey on the townsfolk.

Director: Jack Clayton | Stars: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Diane Ladd, Royal Dano

Votes: 7,505 | Gross: $8.40M

28. Brave (2012)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

69 Metascore

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell | Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters

Votes: 331,855 | Gross: $237.28M

29. ParaNorman (2012)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

72 Metascore

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell | Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tucker Albrizzi

Votes: 85,956 | Gross: $56.00M

30. Time Bandits (1981)

PG | 110 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

79 Metascore

A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam | Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Katherine Helmond

Votes: 52,655 | Gross: $42.37M

31. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman

Votes: 173,673 | Gross: $21.00M

32. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

G | 100 min | Family, Fantasy, Musical

67 Metascore

A poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

Director: Mel Stuart | Stars: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Votes: 157,833 | Gross: $4.00M

33. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 775,086 | Gross: $191.80M

34. Toy Story 2 (1999)

G | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

Woody is stolen by Al who is a toy collector of Al's Toy Barn. Buzz and his friends are on a rescue mission to save Woody before he becomes a museum toy property with his roundup gang Jessie, Prospector, and Bullseye.

Directors: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer

Votes: 459,882 | Gross: $245.85M

35. Toy Story 3 (2010)

G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

92 Metascore

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.

Director: Lee Unkrich | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty

Votes: 667,600 | Gross: $415.00M

36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

PG | 152 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

An orphaned boy enrolls in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith

Votes: 559,328 | Gross: $317.58M

37. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

63 Metascore

An ancient prophecy seems to be coming true when a mysterious presence begins stalking the corridors of a school of magic and leaving its victims paralyzed.

Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris

Votes: 483,105 | Gross: $261.99M

38. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

PG | 142 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

82 Metascore

It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Richard Griffiths

Votes: 479,375 | Gross: $249.36M

39. The Iron Giant (1999)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

85 Metascore

A young boy befriends a giant robot from outer space that a paranoid government agent wants to destroy.

Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Eli Marienthal, Harry Connick Jr., Jennifer Aniston, Vin Diesel

Votes: 154,293 | Gross: $23.16M

40. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson | Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 827,537 | Gross: $293.00M

41. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

73 Metascore

The Dragon Warrior has to clash against the savage Tai Lung as China's fate hangs in the balance. However, the Dragon Warrior mantle is supposedly mistaken to be bestowed upon an obese panda who is a novice in martial arts.

Directors: Mark Osborne, John Stevenson | Stars: Jack Black, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman

Votes: 372,806 | Gross: $215.43M

42. WALL·E (2008)

G | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

95 Metascore

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Director: Andrew Stanton | Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, Fred Willard

Votes: 887,622 | Gross: $223.81M

43. Flushed Away (2006)

PG | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

74 Metascore

The story of an uptown rat that gets flushed down the toilet from his penthouse apartment, ending in the sewers of London, where he has to learn a whole new and different way of life.

Directors: David Bowers, Sam Fell | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno

Votes: 100,715 | Gross: $64.67M

44. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

G | 85 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

87 Metascore

Wallace and his loyal dog, Gromit, set out to discover the mystery behind the garden sabotage that plagues their village and threatens the annual giant vegetable growing contest.

Directors: Steve Box, Nick Park | Stars: Peter Sallis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Kay

Votes: 113,822 | Gross: $56.11M

45. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

82 Metascore

After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director: Irvin Kershner | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 1,031,470 | Gross: $290.48M

46. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)

PG | 108 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

When a massive fire kills their parents, three children are delivered to the custody of cousin and stage actor Count Olaf, who is secretly plotting to steal their parents' vast fortune.

Director: Brad Silberling | Stars: Jim Carrey, Jude Law, Meryl Streep, Liam Aiken

Votes: 183,071 | Gross: $118.63M

47. Elf (2003)

PG | 97 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

64 Metascore

After discovering he is a human, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole decides to travel to New York City to locate his real father.

Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel

Votes: 188,955 | Gross: $173.40M

48. The Little Mermaid (1989)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy