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Top 10 Children's Movies That Adults Like

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher These are the Top 10 Children's Movies That Adults Like! For this list, we’re looking at the best family movies which might be geared towards younger audiences but that have a layer of interest for people of all ages.We’ve included books like Harry Potter, Home alone, Willy Wonka, The Lego Movie, WALL-E, Toy Story and The Iron Giant! Which children’s book do you like as an adult?

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Top 10 Children's Movies That Adults Like

These kids’ movies are actually fun for the whole family. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Children's Movies That Adults Like.

For this list, we’re looking at the best family movies which might be geared towards younger audiences but that have a layer of interest for people of all ages.

#10: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” (2001)

Calling the Harry Potter series “kids’ books” will make many fans see red. They may be placed on shelves of the children’s sections of most bookstores, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyed by grown-ups as well. The same definitely goes for the movies. Some of the visual gags and fantastical plots may be there to spark excitement in younger audiences, but the darker themes and advanced character development are definitely written in with adults in mind. Since the series gets progressively darker, this first entry is closest in tone to a child’s movie – but also will also have adults gasping and applauding.

#9 “Home Alone” (1990)

The star of this movie might be a mischievous youngster, but that doesn’t mean only kids his age can enjoy this fun holiday flick. “Home Alone” is about a kid who gets left behind at home while his family boards a flight for Paris for a Christmas vacation. The hijinks that ensue when he encounters a pair of bumbling home invaders were definitely included to make kids laugh but honestly, what adult doesn’t like a little slapstick? It could be our nostalgia talking, but we’re predicting this will be a holiday classic for the ages.

#8: “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factrory” (1971)

Based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl, this incredible fantasy film was not a huge hit when first released but has found an appreciative audience through the years. It’s easy to see the appeal to children - exploring a chocolate factory is every kid’s dream. At the same time, the odd fates that befall the greedy children create an extra layer of black comedy more appreciated by older viewers. Best of all is Gene Wilder, whose subtle, nuanced performance is a beautiful mixture of merriment and menace.

#7: “The Iron Giant” (1999)

A retro Cold War era vibe, a classic animation style and a compelling tale of a boy and his giant - what’s not to love about this movie? The anti-war message of the film may have gone over kids’ heads, but adults were definitely able to internalize this theme. There are some seriously touching moments in this movie as well, leaving grown-ups just as teary-eyed as their kids. This was the first full length animated film directed by Brad Bird, who went on to oversee popular Pixar flicks like “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.”

#6: “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

Don’t worry Disney fans, of course we were going to have at least one of the animated classics on our list. Though there are many to choose from, “Beauty and the Beast” took this spot because of the many accolades it received when it was released. The spellbinding tale charmed audiences, the score was fresh and tuneful and the animation was glorious. No wonder it became the first animated movie to be nominated for a best picture Oscar. It even took home the statue for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globes that year. The following year, “Aladdin” was similarly well received by critics and audiences alike.

#5: “The Lego Movie” (2014)

What adult wants to watch a movie based on a line of children’s building blocks? Especially ones that are notoriously left scattered around the house and stepped on? Adults were surprised and delighted by this movie though, which exceeded expectations with its wit, creativity and subtle political message. For the kids, it may have been all action and silly jokes, but there was almost a completely different storyline written in just for the grown-ups. Not to mention the incredible cast of voice actors. Everything about this movie really was awesome.

#4: “WALL-E” (2008)

Speaking of underlying political messages...there may be no movie to come out of the House of Mouse that has such an overt thematic agenda. It can kinda be summarized as “It’s the environment, stupid.” Though it’s an animated movie marketed towards kids, it almost seems as though this 2008 film was created solely for adults. The entire first act of the film doesn’t even feature any dialogue, which you’d think might be off-putting for youngsters. Thankfully, it’s not. The visuals are stunning, the sci-fi setting is compelling and the relationship between the two central characters is one that anyone can appreciate.

#3: “The Lion King” (1994)

Do we really have to explain why this movie is amazing? “The Lion King” is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Disney’s traditionally animated films, the culmination of decades of incredible classics. It goes without saying that the songs are incredible, whether they boast a classic pop sound or an immersion in African-based rhythms. More importantly, the characters are lovable and the visual landscape of the African savannah is wonderful. The Shakespearean themes and dramatic storylines in this epic tale of family, love and power make an impact on kids but are definitely more appreciated by the older set.

#2: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

This classic Steven Spielberg film may fit more into the category of “family film” than “kids’ movie.” Wherever you put it, this delight deserves every positive review and accolade it has received. At the time of its release, it jumped ahead of “Star Wars” to become the highest grossing movie of all time. It missed out on winning Best Picture at the Oscars to “Gandhi,” but even that film’s director asserted that “E.T.” should have taken home the award that night. The extraordinary story of a boy who befriends an alien is timeless and stands up to re-watching even decades after its release.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Shrek” (2001)

“Zootopia” (2016)

“The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984)

#1: “Toy Story” (1995)

Pixar knocked it out of the park with their first foray into feature length films, producing this game-changing movie that captivated audience’s imaginations, both young and old. “Toy Story” has an astounding 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with 78 reviews, an honor typically only bestowed to the true greats of cinema. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes this film so beloved. The winning characters are certainly a big part of it, as is the animation which was novel at the time of release. Also, its classic buddy comedy elements and note-perfect voice cast help tremendously. As good as it is, its sequels surprisingly stand up to the original.

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