What Are the Top Movies for Children Under 5 Years Old?
G Rated Movies Best for Small Children and Families
My Top Picks for movies both suitable and enjoyable for children ages 5 and under are all G rated movies that have a minimal amount or none of the following materials 1) sex and/or nudity, 2) violence, and 3) profanity (even "shoot" or "heck").
On a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the highest amount of such material that could be packed into one film and 0 being none, all of my Top Picks for young children would score either a "0" or a "1" in each of the three categories listed above. They are also fun and some may contain a lesson or message to be learned. Parents and children can enjoy these movies together.
In addition to family viewing, I have shown these films at overnight indoor camps for young Tae Kwon Do students. Their older brothers and sister as well as the parents and grandparents have joined us and had a good time watching them. The first three films on the list are the favorites of not only myself, but of my friends' children and grandchildren.
Top 7 Films for Young Children
1. Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie
I love all of the Veggie Tales half-hour films and this full length feature. I thought they sounded silly until a friend and his wife invited me over to watch some of the singing vegetables with their 5 children.
When the weekend came, I went out and bought every single episodes of Larry Cucumber, Bob Tomato (like Harold and Uncle Red on The Red Green Show), and all the rest!
Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato remind me in a lot of ways of Harold Green and his Uncle Red Green on the Red Green Show. I have never found out if this is intentional or not. However, Harold and Red really make me laugh and when I heard Harold's voice patterns coming out of a cucumber, I was beside myself with hilarity.
Imagine vegetables with personalities. In one of their episodes, the Veggies reenact Hamlet as "Omelet." In another episode, they perform "Sumo of the Opera." Each episode has an interlude for a "Silly Song" that is so funny, adults cannot stop laughing and the songs are great for young children. "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps" is a good one, but my favorite Silly Song is "Endangered Love" about a soap opera star named Barbara Manatee.
- Video Credit: VeggieTales - YouTube
Through hilarious storytelling, silly songs and lovable characters, VeggieTales presents meaningful lessons with faith-based values - like forgiveness, honesty and thankfulness - that are easy for kids to understand and that help guide them in their
Larry Boy and his Larrymobile
A second set of half-hour computer animation stories from the same company is called 3-2-1- Penguins and set in England, where three British astronaut penguins take a young girl and her bother on adventures in outer space to learn about concepts like telling the truth. it is great fun.
My favorite Penguins episode is the "The Cheating Scale of Bullamanka" in which an Australian lizard challenges the young girl to a game show in a coliseum and everyone learns that cheating doesn't work in the long run. It is hilarious all the way through and teaches a lesson without browbeating the viewer.
I think many kids love talking animals and th4 trio of singing mice from scene to scene sends me into gales of laughter.
3. Finding Nemo
I have watched this one so many times that I have lost count. The seagulls shrilling "Mine, mine, mine!" sound just like gulls at the seashore I have known and all the characters have great personalities. The film shows the importance of family and trust.
4. Charlotte's Web
I put this in the same category as Babe, stories about pigs. This one also has a lady spider. My first grade teacher read the story to us in during classes. Parts of it made her weep and we found the story beautiful.
As an adult, I have scene several stage productions of the story, including a well-done Greek Theater production performed with masks by a high school drama class. I completely enjoyed the movie and have recommended it for all children of elementary age and younger.
A Charlotte's Web Float
5. Ferngully: The Last Rainforest
This movie is beautiful. Parents can talk with youngsters about the importance of preserving nature if they choose to have their children watch this film. Robin Williams and Tim Curry have great voices for animated films.
6. The Muppet Christmas Carol
I could watch the Muppets every day and I know preschoolers that do! The Muppets, now owned by Disney,will be appearing in many more films.
7. Balto (based on the famous dog that inspired the Iditarod)
Not everyone supports the concept of running the Iditarod yearly, but Balto helped save many children from dreaded Polio with the vaccine he helped carry across the Alaskans wilderness. I am glad the story of Balto is being told.