If you’re looking for something fun to entertain the children, but need something which is catered specifically to the youngest members of the household, then this post is for you. Below is a list of movies ideal for very young children.
From feature-length movies through to shorts, this list is filled with colourful films which are sure to entertain. The list includes the likes of Thomas the Tank Engine, Elmo, Paddington, Postman Pat and more.
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
First up, everyone’s favourite Sesame Street character, Elmo takes to the big screen for an imaginative musical adventure perfect for the youngest members of the household. Songs include Together Forever, Take the First Step, and Make it Mine.
The Gruffalo (2009)
Adapted from the children’s picture book of the same name by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, The Gruffalo is a delightful animated movie short about a monster living in a forest. Running to just under 30 minutes, The Gruffalo is perfect for audiences who get a little fidgety watching long films and boasts a cast that includes Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, and Robbie Coltrane.
The Gruffalo’s Child (2011)
In this follow-up to The Gruffalo, the Gruffalo’s daughter takes centre-stage in another delightful animated movie short. The cast from the previous entry return, and the running time is once again around the 30-minute mark.
Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000)
The Rev. W. Awdry’s hugely popular creation, Thomas the Tank Engine appears in a big screen adventure from Britt Allcroft. The movie stars Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, Mara Wilson, and Didi Conn.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
In this fantastic animated musical, a mermaid sets out on an adventure to win the heart of a prince. Along the way she sings her heart out, takes on a fearsome sea witch, and proves that love is worth fighting for.
Room on the Broom (2012)
In this wonderful cartoon, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s picture book, Room on the Broom is adapted into a 30-minute animated movie short, with Gillian Anderson playing the role of a witch and Simon Pegg as the narrator. Those who love The Gruffalo stories should find this short film equally as entertaining.
Ice Age (2002)
A collection of prehistoric animals band together in Ice Age – an imaginative and comical tale about friendship. Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Jack Black, and John Leguizamo provide voices, while Chris Wedge directs this hilarious tale that both young audiences and their parents will adore.
Stuart Little (1999)
Next up is Stuart Little, a delightful live-action movie about a talkative mouse who goes to live with an American family. Stuart Little is a real treat of a movie, perfect for the whole family, and will certainly entertain the younger members of the household.
Shaun the Sheep: The Movie (2015)
British animated character, Shaun the Sheep is given his own big screen adventure in the aptly titled film, Shaun the Sheep: The Movie. The film follows Shaun as he goes on an adventure in the big city and features plenty of humour and a colourful collection of characters.
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
Shaun returns in this stand-alone sequel in which the eponymous sheep encounters an alien life-form. More madcap fun and adventure follows, in this hilarious movie from Wallace and Gromit creators, Aardman Animations.
Help! I’m a Fish (2000)
Alan Rickman, Terry Jones, and Aaron Paul provide voices in this animated adventure about a special potion that can transform humans into fish. The movie includes the song Help! I’m a Fish (Little Yellow Fish) and is aimed at younger audiences.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
Horses are the focus of this next movie – an animated tale from DreamWorks which was nominated for an Oscar. Matt Damon and James Cromwell provide voices, while Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook direct this animal adventure.
Stick Man (2015)
Another animated movie short, similar in style to The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, Stick Man tells the story of a stick who gets separated from his family. Sally Hawkins, Martin Freeman, Jennifer Saunders and Rob Brydon provide voices.
The Swan Princess (1994)
Based on the ballet Swan Lake, The Swan Princess is an enchanting animated movie featuring the voice work of John Cleese, Jack Palance, and Michelle Nicastro. The movie includes the Golden Globe-nominated track, Far Longer than Forever and became so popular it spawned a long-running series of sequels.
Michael Bond’s loveable bear, Paddington takes centre-stage in this wonderful movie about a bear, his new-found family, and his love for marmalade sandwiches. Delightful from start to finish, this is a simply superb movie for all ages, but young children will love it!
Paddington 2 (2017)
Paddington returns for yet another fun adventure, which is just as good (if not better) than the first movie. The film offers up a good mix of comedy and heart, as well as a standout turn from Hugh Grant as the big villain.
Postman Pat: The Movie (2014)
Iconic British postie, Postman Pat appears in a feature-length story from director Mike Disa. Stephen Mangan takes on the title role, while the supporting voice cast includes David Tennant, Rupert Grint, Jim Broadbent, and Ronan Keating.
The Grinch (2018)
Dr. Seuss’ miserly character, the Grinch is given the feature-length, animated treatment in this computer-animated festive fantasy. During the course of the story, the green-coloured Grinch learns the true value of Christmas, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the titular character.
Short in stature, but big in personality, the yellow-skinned Minions become the focus of this comical movie, a spin-off of the Despicable Me series. Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton, Jon Hamm, and Allison Janney are amongst the cast.
A collection of New York zoo animals find themselves a little out of their depth when they wash up on the shores of Madagascar, in this wacky and humorous adventure. Youngsters will love the characters, while parents will enjoy the opportunity to sit back and watch a family-friendly film.
The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
Transported from the gaming world onto the big screen, The Angry Birds Movie is a colourful children’s comedy about the conflict between a group of birds and a group of pigs. Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly direct.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Garden gnomes come to life in this funny children’s musical featuring the songs of Elton John. James McAvoy and Emily Blunt take on the title roles, while the supporting cast include Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Dolly Parton, Patrick Stewart, and Ozzy Osbourne.
Horrid Henry: The Movie (2011)
Popular children’s television show and book series, Horrid Henry gets turned into a movie in this musical adventure comedy from director Nick Moore. The cast includes Richard E. Grant, Noel Fielding, and Anjelica Huston.
Disney-Pixar’s Cars is an animated feature ideal for youngsters who love playing with trucks and cars. The movie tells the story of a red race car and is loaded with gags and crazy characters.
The Tigger Movie (2000)
And finally, Winnie the Pooh’s hyperactive friend, Tigger takes top-billing in this adorable and heartfelt movie about family and friendship. The Tigger Movie is a wonderful story, packed with songs, a little bit of drama, and some loveable characters.
I hope this list of movies for young children has proved useful. To save you some time from scrolling back through this post to make some notes, here is the list in full.
- The Gruffalo (2009)
- The Gruffalo’s Child (2011)
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
- Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000)
- The Little Mermaid (1989)
- Room on the Broom (2012)
- Ice Age (2002)
- Stuart Little (1999)
- Shaun the Sheep: The Movie (2015)
- A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2019)
- Help! I’m a Fish (2000)
- Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
- Stick Man (2015)
- The Swan Princess (1994)
- Paddington (2014)
- Paddington 2 (2017)
- Postman Pat: The Movie (2014)
- The Grinch (2018)
- Minions (2015)
- Madagascar (2005)
- The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
- Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
- Horrid Henry: The Movie (2011)
- Cars (2006)
- The Tigger Movie (2000)
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about movies for young children. For more posts about children’s movies, please take a look at the recommended reads below.
- 45 children’s musical movies to watch during the holidays
- How many Dr. Seuss movies are there?
- 65 kids’ movies to watch during the holidays