10 Movies to Show Your Kids Before They Turn 6

Modern Parenting
March 18, 2019
Ethan Krupp

It's never too early to start raising a film buff. There are tons of great kids movies these days (Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon, Inside Out), but if you're looking to plant that cinephile seed, start with these 10 movies (animated and not animated). 

1 - Toy Story

Toy Story is the first Computer Animated movie, and maybe still the best. You can explain the significance of what this meant to animation and how Pixar built an empire, thanks to Toy Story. Also Don Rickles as Mr. Potato Head is the best casting.

2 - The Lion King

Disney’s Platinum Age produced a string of incredible movies (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Mermaid), but none stood out like The Lion King. Introduce your kids to Elton John (everyone should know all the words to Tiny Dancer), Shakespeare (the movie is Hamlet with lions), and the voice of James Earl Jones (because eventually they will meet a certain Darth Vader).

3 - Space Jam

Features the best of so many categories: Greatest Basketball Player, Greatest Animated Character, Greatest Bill Murray. It’s the ultimate 90s experience, and an opportunity to explain to your kids that Michael Jordan will always be greater than Space Jam 2 star Lebron James (sorry, we’re from Chicago). Also talk about other movies that combine live action and animation, like Mary Poppins (later on this list) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (too mature for a 6 year old, but you should go watch it again; it’s better then you remember).

4 - The Kid

“A silent movie that’s in black and white? Are you crazy!” You may think that, but Charlie Chaplin’s 68-minute movie is still hysterical, and features a kid! Movie buffs know how City Lights and The Gold Rush hold up, so introduce your kids to cinema’s greatest ballerina.

5 - Fiddler on the Roof

It’s never too early to get your kids started on great movie musicals. Although Fiddler on the Roof is long (3 hours… yea…) the songs are great and the story is a good history lesson. Maybe make watching this a two night event, like they used to do in the old days.  

6 - Miracle on 34th Street

The original in black and white (not digitally put in color or the remake with the husband from American Horror Story season 1). It’s one of the best holiday movies ever made. Also, you can explain to your kids what the Post Office is, because who knows how long that will be around.

7 - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Definitely not the remake. Outside of that very trippy scene in the tunnel, this is pure family movie magic. Did you know that most of Wonka’s lines are from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest?

8 - Mary Poppins

Julie Andrews is an international treasure, and this movie is why. This classic blend of animation and live action features one of Walt Disney’s favorite songs (Feed the Birds) and the worst British accent of all time (Dick Van Dyke). It’s impossible to not be charmed by this movie at any age.

9 - Muppet Treasure Island

Classic literature, Tim Curry doing a better version of Captain Jack Sparrow, and all the Muppets. This is one of the finest Muppet outings, and the songs are insane. 

10 - Wallace and Gromit - The Wrong Trousers 

So many animated movies these days are big and loud. Wallace and Gromit is the opposite, and all the better for it. Introduce your kids to some of the finest British comedy around.


Are there any other movies you think kids should see before they turn 6 years old? Let us know below in the comments. 


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