15 of the Best Kid Movies You've Never Seen

This one was nominated for an Oscar!

This time of year  in my house, we watch a lot of movies. It gets dark about 12 seconds after the kids get home from school and everyone is in some stage of drippiness in between sick and well.  It’s freezing outside and not even the dog wants to play. So we get our homework done and curl up together for movie time.

The only problem is what to watch. We’ve seen all the same movies a million times and we’re getting a little sick of Finding Nemo. The girls don’t want to watch Star Wars and the boy doesn’t exactly want to watch Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale.  Every movie we like, we’ve seen too much.

So I asked the readers of Rants from Mommyland what their favorite obscure kid movies were, the really good ones that most people didn’t know about.  We got a huge list.  Here are the top 15 that were mentioned most frequently.

  • Fairy Tale 1 of 15
    This very sweet movie about two young girls who photograph fairies is based on a true story. My daughter first saw it at age 5 and loved it.
  • The Secret Of Moonacre 2 of 15
    We stumbled across this fantasy movie on cable and fell in love with it. There's a great female heroine — no sitting around in dresses looking pretty while other people save the day.
  • My Neighbor Totoro 3 of 15
    This Japanese anime movie from Miyazaki (Ponyo and Spirited Away) is recommended for kids of all ages — even littles as young as 3 or 4. Some movie snobs prefer the less Disney-fied American version, but truly, it's a wonderful family movie that kids will love.
  • Iron Giant 4 of 15
    Readers suggested this movie again and again, and it does not disappoint. The message of friendship and making your own choices is awesome, though the end may result in mommies with cry-baby tendencies (such as myself) to go for the tissues.
  • Stardust 5 of 15
    I could watch this movie a hundred times. It's a little dark and some parts can be scary. My 8-year-old loves it but for many this is a better fit for tweens than younger kids.
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service 6 of 15
    It KILLS me that this movie isn't available for streaming on Netflix. This was one of the top recommended movies by our readers and also received great reviews from places like Common Sense Media. Another movie from Miyazaki.
  • The Secret of Kells 7 of 15
    This movie was nominated for an Academy Award! The animation is amazing. The story is about Celtic legends and discusses actual historical documents. Recommended for kids 8 and up (but use your own judgment).
  • The Little Princess 8 of 15
    I love the Shirley Temple version of this movie but this one is incredibly sweet, heartwarming and beautifully filmed. It will appeal more to girls, but boys will like it too if they can get past the title. And for movie nerds, it was directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
  • The Brave Little Toaster 9 of 15
    This classic is fun for everyone, even younger kids. But if they're younger than 6, I would have a parent watch with them the first time — just to make sure nothing freaks them out. If they dig it, you could find this movie as part of those your kids want to watch all the time.
  • The Adventure of Milo and Otis 10 of 15
    This movie is adorable and even our youngest (age 3) likes it. The first time they see it, littles may need to be reassured that everything will be fine as the adventures get pretty exciting.
  • The Secret of Roan Inish 11 of 15
    Another Irish movie, this sweet story has been fairly described as a "film" and not a movie because it's just that good.
  • Meet the Robinsons 12 of 15
    I think this may be the most under-rated Disney movie. The messages of family, perseverance and hope for the future ring true without being preachy. It's also laugh out loud funny. Just LOVE, love, love. Not to be missed.
  • The Sandlot 13 of 15
    This movie may appeal more to boys (especially those who love baseball) but it's a great family movie and one of those gems that once you discover it, you wonder why everyone doesn't already know about it.
  • Secondhand Lions 14 of 15
    I've been waiting for years for my big kids to be old enough to watch this movie with me. It has some mature themes and some fighting, but is such a wonderful, funny and moving movie.
  • The Secret Garden 15 of 15
    This film version of the book is magical. Boys may think it's a girl movie, but two of the main characters are little dudes. Beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted and just as good as you remembered.

For a longer list of movies, you can click over to Rants from Mommyland. If you want more information about whether a movie is age appropriate, try looking it up on Common Sense Media.

Read more from Julie at her blog Rants from MommyLand. Follow Julie on Facebook and Twitter for additional goofy nonsense at no extra charge. You can catch up on her posts for Strollerderby, too – where she is often slightly less stupid.

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