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The 30 Best (and Not Scary) Movies for Toddlers

Real talk: If you watch one more episode of Paw Patrol, you’re going to go postal on those cartoon canines. You need a good selection of movies for toddlers that your kid and you will love. And you need it NOW. Keep reading for 30 great flicks that are all appropriate for the under-five set.

The 30 Best Family Movies of All Time


Films Montsouris

1. The Red Balloon (1956)

  • Scary moments: A little bit of bullying where a group of kids chases the boy to try and steal his balloon.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 34 minutes

This Oscar-winning short about a red balloon following a young French boy named Pascal around Paris is pure magic. With little dialogue and beautiful scenery, this film will captivate little kids (and grown-ups, too).

Twentieth Century Fox/ Peanuts Worldwide LLC

2. The Peanuts Movie (2015)

  • Scary moments: No scary moments although Lucy is her usual rude self, so you might want to make sure your kid doesn’t pick up any of her sass.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 93 minutes

The popular comic strip comes to life in this family-friendly flick starring the whole Peanuts gang. While Charlie Brown tries to win over the love of his life, Snoopy is determined to defeat the Red Baron.

Magic Light Pictures/ Studio Soi    

3. The Gruffalo (2010)

  • Scary moments: There are a few imaginary scenes where the mouse is being eaten by other animals, but the little creature triumphs in the end.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 40 minutes

This TV short is based on the classic children’s book about a mouse walking through the forest and outwitting predators along the way. A cute animation that will let your mini know that smarts are more important than size.

Studio Ghibli

4. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

  • Scary moments: The girls’ mother is sick in the hospital, but these scenes aren’t sad or distressing.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 86 minutes

Two sisters move into a new house, where they encounter plenty of weird and wonderful creatures (the soot spirits at the start of the film may be a little frightening for some, but they’re not around for long).

Walt Disney Pictures

5. Cars (2006)

  • Scary moments: There's some mean behavior and the use of words like "idiot," "fool" and "moron," so copycat toddlers may need some supervision while watching.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 116 minutes

When Lightning McQueen, a famous race car, gets stranded in Radiator Springs, he makes some new friends and discovers that there's a lot more to life than being famous.

Walt Disney Productions

6. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

  • Scary moments: Rabbit gets lost in the woods by himself, which may upset some sensitive kids.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 74 minutes

Based on the classic tales from A. A. Milne, this movie follows Pooh Bear and his pals on a series of fun-filled shenanigans around the Hundred Acre Wood. There’s some mild danger here (think: Pooh getting chased by a swarm of bees) but no scary monsters or ghouls to speak of.

HiT Entertainment/ Arc Productions

7. Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins (2015)

  • Scary moments: There’s nothing scary here, although the bickering amongst the engines may cause adult viewers to require extra vino.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 45 minutes

All aboard this train-filled adventure that follows a fearless young tank engine getting to know his new home, the Island of Sodor. Features lots of great themes about friendship, hard work and cooperation.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/ TVC London

8. The Snowman (2014)

  • Scary moments: None. (The snowman does melt at the end but the child isn’t upset about it.)
  • Recommended age: 2+
  • Run time: 26 minutes

There’s no dialogue in this animated adaptation of the classic children’s book—just beautiful music, a sweet storyline and short run time for more distractible viewers.

Columbia Pictures/Jim Henson Pictures

9. The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

  • Scary moments: There’s a bad guy who wants the blanket for himself…but that’s about it.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 73 minutes

When Elmo’s blue blanket accidentally gets thrown away, he embarks on a journey to Grouchland to get it back. Kids will love the catchy songs and parents will love the valuable lessons about sharing and working together.

Universal Feature Animation    

10. Curious George (2006)

  • Scary moments: There’s nothing scary about this funny tale although impressionable kids may need reminding that some of George’s whacky antics are for monkeys only.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 87 minutes

The man with the yellow hat (voiced by Will Ferrell) travels to Africa in search of a rare artifact but returns with a stowaway. Now back in New York, he must look after his pet monkey while halting plans to demolish the museum where he works.

Nick Jr.

11. Blue's Big Musical Movie (2000)

  • Scary moments: While each character does face a specific challenge, there’s nothing scary or concerning in the movie.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 78 minutes

Steve and his four-legged friend, Blue, are stepping away from their classic red chair to throw a big musical in their backyard. The movie includes useful lessons about empathy and perseverance while musical segments will teach children about tempo and rhythm.

Contender Entertainment Group

12. Lost and Found (2008)

  • Scary moments: There are two to keep an eye out for. One is a giant, scary storm that happens out at sea, while the other involves a giant octopus that rises out of the ocean to speak with the boy and the penguin.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 54 minutes

In this adaptation of Oliver Jeffers' picture book of the same name, a little boy embarks on an exciting new adventure with a penguin that he finds on his doorstep. The importance of love and having compassion towards others are some takeaways you can expect from the film.

Tundra Productions

13. Stellaluna (2003)

  • Scary moments: An owl appears and chases the bats away, causing Stellaluna to fall and lose contact with her mother.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 41 minutes

The movie follows a lost baby bat who’s determined to find and reunite with her family. The movie not only teaches kids about different types of animals, but it also encourages children to be kind and accepting of other people’s differences.

Big Idea Entertainment

14. VeggieTales: Lord of the Beans (2020)

  • Scary moments: There's some spooky music (that clearly pokes fun at Lord of the Rings) and a few villainous forks (yes, forks) with glowing eyes.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 52 minutes

When a young Flobbit, Toto, inherits a magical bean with great powers, he goes on a quest to discover what his amazing new gift should be used for.

9 Story Media Group

15. Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip (2017)

  • Scary moments: No scary scenes here, but you'll probably identify with Daniel's parents as they deal with some challenges of traveling with kids along the way.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 51 minutes

Get ready to join Daniel and his family as they go on a journey to visit Grandpere. The movie is as educational as it is entertaining, since it teaches kids important skills like how to ask for help, how to deal with certain social situations, and how to manage their feelings.

Rija Films

16. Lotte From Gadgetville (2006)

  • Scary moments: Expect a bit of suspense when Lotte's father goes missing for a little while, but aside from that, nothing seriously scary occurs.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 78 minutes

In this delightful movie, we get to see Lotte's hometown of Gadgetville, a place that's filled with inventors and their exciting new creations. The movie addresses friendship, family and the importance of working hard.

Studio 100 Film

17. Maya The Bee Movie (2015)

  • Scary moments: The hornets might appear intimidating, and there are moments when it seems like a character is hurt. But these scary moments are pretty mild and they're resolved quickly.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 79 minutes

Maya, a freshly hatched bee, must prove her innocence when she’s accused of stealing the Royal Jelly. A sweet flick that helps kids learn the importance of friendship, trust, and teamwork.

Imagine Entertainment

18. Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019)

  • Scary moments: None—but there are a few moments of mild awkwardness and tension.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 86 minutes

Chaos ensues when George accidentally switches places with Phillippe, the Kingdom of Simiana's royal monkey. The movie offers a fun take on how people can understand new perspectives while they're in another person's shoes.

Disney

19. Meet the Small Potatoes (2013)

  • Scary moments: No scary moments, although a few of the characters do have a snarky attitude.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 115 minutes

Though it's mostly silly and humorous, kids will love learning about music, interpersonal relationships and how fame can change someone's life.

PBS Kids

20. Splash and Bubbles: One Big Ocean (2016)

  • Scary moments: None at all, but expect an awkward, funny moment or two.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 52 minutes

It's never too early to start teaching your tot about preserving the environment. As Splash and his pals journey across the vast ocean to help a young turtle, they learn about different sea creatures and how they're all connected.

Nelvana Limited

21. The Little Bear Movie (2001)

  • Scary moments: A mountain lion tries to pursue and eat the animals, and there's one dangerous storm.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 75 minutes

While Little Bear and Father Bear are out on a camping trip, Little Bear makes a new friend named Cub. After learning that he's been separated from his parents, Little Bear and his friends make it their mission to help.

DisneyToon Studios

22. Pixie Hollow Games (2012)

  • Scary moments: Just the introduction of the storm fairies who resemble a big, dark cloud with lots of lightning and thunder.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 23 minutes

Here's your opportunity to teach your kid about the power of teamwork. In Pixie Hollow Games, Tinker Bell teams up with her friends to compete in a major gaming event.

TVC London

23. The Animal Train (2014)

  • Scary moments: None, but worth noting that there are animals and humans in danger, which could upset sensitive kids.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 29 minutes

After staying up late to watch a documentary, Ben falls asleep and dreams about boarding a special train for several endangered animals. Despite the serious topic, each animal's journey is explained in a gentle, age-appropriate way.

Sesame Workshop

24. Sesame Street: The Magical Wand Chase (2017)

  • Scary moments: There's a brief moment of panic when Abby suddenly drops her wand, but no super scary scenes here.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 43 minutes

When a mysterious bird grabs Abby's magic wand during a hot-air balloon ride, she and her pals embark on an adventure to retrieve it, making new friends along the way.

Walt Disney Studios

25. The Jungle Book (1967)

  • Scary moments: The plot involves an evil tiger named Shere Khan, so there are a few—including an intense final battle between Shere and the bear, Baloo.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 80 minutes

This musical classic follows Mowgli, an abandoned boy who's raised in the Indian jungle by wolves. His animal friends advise him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger comes—but Mowgli isn't quite ready to part ways.

Nickelodeon Movies

26. Blue's Big-City Adventure (2022)

  • Scary moments: None, but Josh does experience a bit of nervousness and anxiety as he tries to make his audition.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 74 minutes

When Josh lands an audition for a big Broadway musical, he loses his handy notebook, which leaves him confused about where to go. Fortunately, he enlists the help of a few friends to make it to the audition in time.

Walt Disney Productions

27. Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

  • Scary moments: There are musical sequences that say bears show love "with a slap," scary thunderstorms and a towering giant, so you might want to monitor as the kids watch.
  • Recommended age: 4+
  • Run time: 74 minutes

This charming classic features two short stories, including Bongo, which follows the adventures of a circus bear, and Mickey and the Beanstalk, Disney's version of the famous fairy tale.

CJ Entertainment

28. Pinkfong & Baby Shark's Space Adventure (2019)

  • Scary moments: The main characters encounter zombies and ghosts, but these "scary" creatures are soon revealed to be kind.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 65 minutes

If your toddler is already obsessed with the Baby Shark song, you can treat them to this special, which includes plenty of catchy tunes. In the movie, Pinkfong and Baby Shark travel through outer space in search of a missing star.

Holiday Hill Farm

29. Spookley the Square Pumpkin (2004)

  • Scary moments: The square pumpkin is initially teased and bullied by the round pumpkins, and there's one major storm.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 47 minutes

It may be Halloween-themed, but this is a charming tale with a positive message about accepting yourself. Spookley, a little square pumpkin, feels like he doesn't fit in. But with the help of his friends, he starts to embrace what makes him different.

KRO

30. Miffy The Movie (2013)

  • Scary moments: There are no scary moments here, only minor setbacks that the characters learn to overcome during their journey.
  • Recommended age: 3+
  • Run time: 68 minutes

In this movie (which features an inclusive group of bunnies), Miffy and her pals go on a fun treasure hunt, using riddles about movement, color, shapes, numbers and sounds to help them find the mysterious prize.

35 BOOKS EVERY KID SHOULD READ


Alexia Dellner

Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...
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Nakeisha Campbell

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...
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