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Best Movies for 4 Year Olds

Updated on September 19, 2014

The Best Movies for 4 Year Olds

My son is 4 years old and he is now old enough to follow a full length movie so we can have family movie nights and go to the cinema.

This year we have watched quite a few movies and the article below suggests lots of movies for 4 year olds based on those my son loves as well as my 4 year old niece. When choosing a movie for a 4 year old bear in mind that all 4 year olds are different. My niece is able to watch more sophisticated movies than my son who preferred films that were shorter with easier to follow story lines. There are some great shorter films by movie makers such as Pixar (featured below) which are great for kids who don't want to sit down for an hour and a half.

I have tried to select a wide range of movies that will appeal to a wide range of 4 year olds of varying lengths. There are classic movies and more modern suggestions. There are family movies and those just for kids too.

If you are unsure if a movie you like will be suitable for your 4 year old, it's well worth checking out reviews online to see whether other similar aged children have enjoyed the movie. You can also watch clips of most movies on youtube - you could even show your child a clip to see if it engages them.

Ask friends or other family members who have children what movies their kids have enjoyed to give you ideas too.

Read on for ideas of the best movies for 4 year olds.

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Disney Pixar Movies

I have begun the list of the best movies for 4 year olds with Disney Pixar as they have probably produced the movies my son loves the most. His favorite Disney Pixar movies include Wall-E, Toy Story and Cars. He preferred Cars to Cars 2 as some of the storyline in Cars 2 was a little difficult for him to follow.

Disney Pixar make great family movies. Its extremely clever how their movies can appeal to the different age groups at different levels.

Other great Disney Pixar movies include Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3

My 4 year old loves all the Toy Story movies but I've featured Toy Story 3 as it's probably my favorite!

We saw Toy Story 3 at the cinema with my son and husband and it moved us both to tears (I think you would have had to have watched Toy Story 1 and 2 before watching the final movie to get so emotional!). However, the emotional bits went over our almost 4 year olds head, he just loved the movie and all his loveable characters. He is still mad about Buzz and Woodie.

Cars (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)
Cars (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)

Another firm favorite of my 4 year old.

It tells the story of Lightening Mcqueen, the famous racing car who due to unforeseen circumstances ends up in the sleepy town of Radiator Springs. Here, he learns that friendship and relationships are much more important than the fame fortune and success that he ultimately has been seeking.

Obviously 4 year old boys love this film due to the racing cars but it has female characters in it and will appeal to girls too.


Animations for 4 Year Olds

There are some great animated movies by Dreamworks, Disney and others which are also good choice for 4 year olds.

Animated movies are normally always a good choice for young children as they are engaged by the bright colors and animated characters

Robots (Widescreen Edition)
Robots (Widescreen Edition)

Robots is another movie my son was particularly taken with. It tells the story of the robot Rodney (the voice of Robin Williams) who is the son of a dishwasher. However, he dreams of becoming an inventor and the film tells the story of how he goes to the big city and sets about following his dream. However, its not all a smooth ride to his ultimate goal and he comes up against some challenges. Its a film that's full of humor too.


Ratatouille is a Walt Disney / PIxar film which tells of a rat's journey to become head chef in a top Paris restaurant.

My 4 year old loved this movie but the good thing is we (his parents) enjoyed watching it too. Some of the humor is directed at adults but kids love the excellent pixar animation and the cooking rat! A good choice for a family movie night. The run time is 111 minutes so it is quite long but maybe one you could watch in two sittings if your child has a shorter attention span.

Shrek: The Whole Story Boxed Set (Shrek / Shrek 2 / Shrek the Third / Shrek Forever After)
Shrek: The Whole Story Boxed Set (Shrek / Shrek 2 / Shrek the Third / Shrek Forever After)

I've featured this movie as my 4 year old niece has especially enjoyed Shrek on her family movie nights! It's a story set in a fairytale world, full of fairytale characters and a green ogre.

It's another good one for the whole family as it appeals to different age groups on different levels. There is humor directed at adults that will go over the head of kids.There is potty humor, action, romance and adventure too. Younger kids will enjoy the stunning animation and the loveable characters.

Again it is a full length movie so for those with longer attention spans.


Shorter Films for 4 Year Olds

If your 4 year old sometimes struggles to sit through a full length movie there are lots of shorter animations you could try.

The Winnie the Pooh movie featured below is only just over an hour.

Pixar also has shorter spin off films that are suitable for 4 year olds. Check out some ideas below.

Winnie The Pooh
Winnie The Pooh

When sad old Eeyore loses his tail, Owl sends the whole gang - Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga and Roo on a wild journey to help Eeyore and save Christopher Robin from the mysterious Bakson.

Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales
Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales

My 4 year old just loves this DVD and will watch it again and again.. Its a spin off from the movie CARs and last for about 35 minutes.


Movies for 4 Year Old Girls

There are quite a few "boys movies" in this article due to the fact that many are based on movies my own son likes. Here are some ideas of great films for 4 year old girls.

Other ideas of movies for girls this age include modern Disney classics such as Tangled and possible The Little Mermaid (although there may be some slightly scarier parts in this movie).

Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses
Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses

Don't be put off this movie because its Barbie. There's lots of music and dancing and parents tend to like this movie too. Just read the reviews on amazon which are very good.

Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell

Another great Disney movie that 4 year old girls will love.

The story is simple and easy to follow. Tinker Bell thinks her fairy talent as a tinker isn t as special or important as the other fairies talents. But when Tink tries to change who she is, she creates nothing but disaster! Her friends help her see that her unique abilities and her true self are the key to solving all her problems.

Nanny McPhee (Widescreen Edition)
Nanny McPhee (Widescreen Edition)

Nanny McPhee is a favorite movie of my 4 year old niece. Nanny Mcphee is a little bit ugly, with a protruding tooth, warts and a unibrow. She comes to live with the children from the Brown family where her unusual styles of nannying get good results.

This is a great family movie although my 4 year old niece loved this movie but my son didn't have the same enthusiasm. Maybe one for the girls!


Movies based on books

There are lots of great movies for 4 year olds based on some classic stories and books. There are some animations of books by Julia Donaldson such as The Gruffalo below. Another good Julia Donaldson book which has been animated is Room on the Broom.

Other ideas include Charlottes Web and Stuart Little based on the books by EB White.

The Gruffalo
The Gruffalo

2011 Academy Award Nominee for Best Short Film! An animated film based on the classic children's picture book, The Gruffalo tells the magical tale of a mouse who takes a walk though the woods in search of a nut. Encountering three animals who all wish to eat him - a fox, an owl and a snake - the plucky mouse has to use his wits to survive. He announces that he is meeting a monster with terrible features, a 'Gruffalo', and the three animals are each panicked into running away. Mouse is now increasingly confident; there is nothing that can touch him..... or so he thinks.


Classic Movies

There are a wide range of movies for kids that have stood the test of time. These tend to be good choices for all the family. Adults know what to expect and can reminisce back to the time when they first watched the movies as kids.

I've featured The Jungle Book as one of the most age appropriate Disney classics. However, it may be worth checking out other Disney classics which may appeal to your children. Be careful though, some older classics such Dumbo and Pinnocchio are dark in places and contain some quite frightening scenes for young children.

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition
Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition

Mary Poppins was another favorite with my 4 year old niece.

The great thing about this movies is there are no dark or scary scenes that should frighten any children.

It's full of songs and music and contains cartoon characters too!

The Jungle Book (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition)
The Jungle Book (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Platinum Edition)

Catchy tunes, humor and loveable characters make this a Disney classic perfect for younger children.

My son enjoyed this one!


Movies 2014

Update : Since, first writing this article my 4 year old has grown up a bit (he's now 7!) But I have two 4 year old nephews and my youngest son is 3.

There are obviously lots of new movies for kids this year. One that we all went to see (including my 4 year old nephews) for my son's 7th birthday was the lego movie. It kept all the kids entertained including the 3 and 4 year olds so is a good family movie too.

One movie that you just can't go wrong with is Frozen. Boys, girls and adults of all ages love this movie. It's hard not to miss the hype but if you haven't seen it, it's one that the kids will love. Another one you can't go wrong with is Despicable Me 2. Kids love the minions!

The Lego Movie
The Lego Movie

I have to say I was surprised that my nephews who are both 4 sat through the whole of the movie in the cinema but they did and they both enjoyed it.

They story line may be a little hard for younger ones to follow but I think they enjoyed all the action.

FROZEN [Blu-ray]
FROZEN [Blu-ray]

This Disney movie is the highest grossing Walt Disney Picture release ever.

It is perfect for 4 year olds. Girls love it in particular probably due to the princess theme and they will especially like the soundtrack and the songs. There isn't a lot not to like. It has some powerful messages of sisterhood and love. One the whole family and different generations will enjoy!

Despicable Me 2
Despicable Me 2

I think the minions are what really appeal to kids of all ages in this film. My boys both enjoyed it.

It's very funny and adults will love it too.


Please let me know what you think of the suggestions of the best movies for 4 year old boys and girls. If you have any further suggestions or comments please let me know! Many thanks.

Comments and Feedback

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Try Rio! or Rio 2. great movies!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      My 3 1/2 year old granddaughter did not like Frozen because of the snow monster. It seems like so many of these movies have very scary parts for young children. At may be the difference between a 3 and 4 year old.

    • asereht1970 profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this informative lens. Great selection of movies for 4 years old.

    • PaigSr profile image


      4 years ago from State of Confusion

      Even though you have these listed for the 4 year old they can still be enjoyed by the family of any age group.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is wonderful, great informative lens.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      5 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Great selection here, nice job, I think Toy Story is my all time favorite, but there are so many good ones who can choose.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Agreed. My 4yo daughter was transfixed by ET.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      this is true, my 4 yrs old son love E.T. sooooo much lol he can watch the movies 3 times in a row lol

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice movie selection


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