“Film entertains, educates and inspires. The ‘Must See Movies Before You Grow Up’ list of the 50 films every child should see before they reach the age of 11 has been selected by our panel to do all of those things.”
Paul Reeve, CEO of Into Film
Movie experts from film education charity Into Film have drawn up a list of 50 must-watch movies that will help make children more creative, and stretch their imagination. From old classics like Mary Poppins to modern favourites including Shrek and Toy Story, here’s the shortlist.
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1. Mary Poppins
Bring the movie to life by...getting out and about in a woods (the jungle of course) and act out your favourite scene as characters from the movie. Look out for Timon and Pumbaa.
6. Toy Story
“Nothing beats movie night in our family. I love watching my daughter Betsy become totally absorbed in a storyline. I'm certain that film's ability to take us to far-off places and other worlds helps children develop empathy and imagination."
Denise Van Outen, Ambassador for the campaign
11. The Iron Giant
12. Space Jam
13. The Never-Ending Story
14. The Secret Garden
15. The Witches
16. A Little Princess
17. The Lego Movie
Bring the movie to life by...building characters and scenes from the film - or even invent some new characters that could have starred in it.
18. Free Willy
19. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Bring the movie to life by...turning your garden into Neverland - or the climbing frame at your local park into a pirate ship. After all...who wants to grow up?
22. Hotel Transylvania
Bring the movie to life by...cooking up a storm together in the kitchen with this easy Italian Meatballs recipe.
27. How To Train Your Dragon
29. Fantastic Mr Fox
Bring the movie to life by...heading out into the countryside and looking for signs of wildlife habitats - you could find fox holes, badger setts and all kinds of tracks.
30. Wallace and Gromit; The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Bring the movie to life by...using The Force to make these fun Star Wars cupcakes.
38. Spirited Away
39. Swallows and Amazons
40. The BFG
41. The Gruffalo
Bring the movie to life by...setting off on a nature walk in your local woods or in a country park. What kinds of animals can your little ones find and draw as they go?
45. The Lorax
47. Kubo and the Two Strings
49. Nanny McPhee
50. The Adventures of TinTin
The judging panel for the final list was led by Into Film’s education and programming teams, who specialise in curating film content and developing teaching resources for schools. All of the films below have been found to help a child’s intellectual, emotional and educational development. For example, ‘Matilda’ instils a love of reading and curiosity, as well as the confidence to stand up for yourself, while ‘Beauty And The Beast’ promotes the idea that ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’.
Alongside the list of 50 ‘Must See Movies Before you Grow Up’ Into Film has developed a series of curriculum based educational resources to be used in primary schools, linked to five over-arching themes - ‘Thrills & Chills’, ‘Adventure’, ‘Heroes & Villains’, ‘Kids Rule!’ and ‘Classics’. Each of the 50 films sit within a theme, enabling the ideas and issues in the film to be fully explored and encouraging discussion around complex topics such as diversity, bullying, adjusting to change, tackling moral complexities, bereavement, friendship, embracing being different, growing up and facing adversity.