Kids’ Movies that Adults Can Love Too

If you are an adult and saw this title, you may have rolled your eyes and thought, great, I'm about to see a list of Pixar movies. It is true that Pixar and Disney seem to have that secret animated formula of exceptional music and dialogue that exists on two levels. Thank goodness! Otherwise, I would have lost my snowflakes after the 100th viewing of Frozen or Frozen 2 (or the holiday special, Olaf's Frozen Adventure, which is also excellent).

So if you are lost for ideas on what to watch next, turning to Pixar or Disney can be a quick solution. For live-action kids' movies that I have enjoyed as an adult, check out the list below.

Where the Wild Things Are

A dark book becomes an even darker movie. My kids loved all the horseplay on display in the book. The same occurs in the movie. I won't say the storyline is straightforward, but because of its twists and turns, it invokes feelings of unease and confusion, similar to childhood itself. It is an adventure for kids and a trip for adults.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

The Willy Wonka movie of my childhood continues to invoke child curiosity for all ages. Who doesn't like chocolate, prizes, and adventure? This version strays from the book but brings in a lot of mystery. It has also conjured up plenty of compelling thoughts over its 50-year existence. Seriously, Google "Willy Wonka plot theories" (at your own risk!).


Robin Williams, need I say more? Hook is fun for kids who wish to stay young in Neverland forever. It is also a becoming-a-parent story (I just made that up) to remind us that kids see the world differently than we do. Constantly fun with a touching story.

The Princess Bride

My parents introduced this movie to me. It was a family favorite, but my parents probably enjoyed it without the kids around too. Besides being endlessly quotable, it has sword fighting, brave risk-taking, and plenty of mushy parts.

Mary Poppins

Okay, I cheated on this one. Not only is it Disney, but it also combines live-action with animation. Before showing this to my kids, I incorrectly assumed that the story, character accents, and picture quality might make it seem old-fashioned. Au contraire! My kids were wrapped up in the whimsical excursions only Mary Poppins could create. My daughter enjoyed it so much that she dressed up as Mary Poppins for Halloween this year.