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Best Movies for 3 Year Olds

Updated on September 23, 2014

The Best Movies for 3 Year Olds

This article gives a list of the best movies for 3 year olds based on the movies my son lovest to watch. My son is currently 3 years and 3 months.

They are all non violent, family friendly and fun.

He is now able to watch a movie from start to finish without getting bored halfway through. He doesn't like anything that has something even slightly sinister or scary in it.

Here is a list of the best movies for 3 year olds based upon the movies he currently loves to watch.


Robots is currently my 3 year old son's favorite movie of the moment and I like this one too. It tells the story of a young robot called Rodney Copperbottom and his journey of following his dream of becoming an inventor.

If only kids just picked up their morals from movies like Robots - (the movie's message is, you can be great at something no matter what your background) - the world would be a better place.. 


No list of the best movies for 3 year olds would be complete unless it featured Cars. This is another great family movie by Pixar that my son loves. Follow the race cars Lightening Mcqueen's adventures from superstar on the racetrack to outlaw in the small town of Radiator Springs. Its during his time at Radiator Springs that Lightening learns about many of lifes true values ( such as the importance of friends and teamwork) before he takes these lessons back to the racing track. 

Of course, my son loves it because all the characters are cars but its not just for boys. There are female cars and other great characters that 3 year old girls and the rest of the family will love too. 

Toy Story 1, 2 And 3

Toy Story is another one of my son's recent favorites. He loves the adventures of the main character who is a toy cowboy called Woody. You can't go wrong with a movie for a 3 year old which brings toys to life.

My son's at an age where he loves imaginative play and he brings all his toys to life with personalities.So, Toy Story is totally in keeping with how is imagination is currently developing at 3 years old.

Update: We took our son at 3 1/2 to watch his first movie at the cinema and it was Toy Story 3. He loved it and so do we. Both my husband and I had tears in our eyes at the end!


Wall-E was the first movie my son ever watched at 2 years old but its still a firm favorite now he's 3. 

It tells the story of a robot Wall-E who is the sole survivor a one make of robot left to clear rubbish on Earth, long after human beings have left the planet. However, his world begins to change after he another more modern type of robot lands on Earth and he meets Eva. 

I especially love the beginning part of this movie. There is no talking for the first 25 minutes but the viewer is left transfixed. My son and I like this one. 

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo is another one of my son's favorite animations. Maybe it's because he loves the book (The Gruffalo is written by Julia Donaldson) but it's also a shorter movie (40 minutes long) so is just the right length for his attention span.

It's also a 2011 Academy Award Nominee for Best Short Film!

In case you haven't read the book, The Gruffalo tells the story of a mouse who takes a walk though the woods in search of a nut. On his walk, he meets three animals who wish to eat him - a fox, an owl and a snake - so the mouse uses his wits to survive. He announces that he is meeting a monster, a 'Gruffalo', and the three animals are each panicked into running away. Mouse is now confident there is nothing that can touch him..... or so he thinks. That is, until he rounds a corner and comes face-to-face with the terrible creature of his imagination: the Gruffalo himself!

Shorter Movies

As well as The Gruffalo above there are lots of shorter films. Many 3 year olds don't have the attention span to watch a whole movie from start to finish. If this is the case than there are some shorter movies and movies spin offs that they will love.

Mater's Ghost Tales is one my own 3 year old son loved. He wanted to watch it again and again. The run time is about 40 minutes and it's a spin off from Disney Pixar's Cars featuring characters from the movie. There are several different tales on the DVD lasting about 10 minutes each.

Winnie the Pooh has just been released and it's a movie that is appealing to 3 year old boys and lasts just over an hour.

Disney Pixar has released a DVD with lots of their short films which are perfect for 3 year old boys. The DVD includes a spin off called "MIke's new Car" from Monsters Inc and a Mater and the Ghost LIght which is a spin off from the movie Cars.

More Great Movies for 3 Year Olds


Frozen is so popular amongst young children both girls and boys. My boys both loved it. It features some lovely songs which kids will love.

It focuses on the relationship between two princess sisters. It has some great side characters that younger children will love including Olaf the snowman.

Some Great Resources

If you're unsure whether a certain movie will be suitable for your 3 year old, there are some great websites .

Common Sense Media gives an age recommendation from parents and kids for all kinds of different movies. You can read about any potentially scary for children and make your own decision as to whether it will be suitble.

Another cool site is Kid Pick Flicks. This is probably better for choosing movies for older kids. bit it can give you an idea. Kids reviews the movie and give their age too so you can tell what they really thought of it. is also a great site to read reviews from other parents.

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      Nancy 5 years ago

      Ratatouille is my grandson's favorite movie, along with any Curious George movies. He also likes (from Netflix) Timmy Time series and Shaun the Sheep movies.