Undefended: Best Films For Children Age 5 to 8

This week, our writers made lists of the best films for children age 5 to 8. Here is what they turned up with:


Elizabeth Stinnette

1. Beauty and the Beast

2. Toy Story II

3. Mary Poppins

4. The Sound of Music

5. Chicken Run


Remy Wilkins

1. Jungle Book (1967)

2. Wall-E

3. Spirited Away

4. Rango


5. Big Fish


Timothy Lawrence

1. Finding Nemo

2. Beauty and the Beast

3. Toy Story

4. Up

5. The Prince of Egypt


James Banks

1. The Sword and the Stone

2. The Jungle Book


4. 101 Dalmations

5. Lady and the Tramp (Last Days of Disco’s objections notwithstanding)


Justin Spencer

1. The Black Stallion

2. Star Wars IV-VI

3. Sleeping Beauty

4. Robin Hood

5. The Iron Giant


Kanaan Trotter


1. The Iron Giant

2. Wall-E

3. The Lion King

4. Emperor’s New Groove (probably the greatest animated movie ever)

5. The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh


Joshua Gibbs


1. Tales from the Green Valley/Victorian Farm/Wartime Farm (BBC documentaries)

2. The Black Stallion

3. The Fantastic Mr Fox

4. Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (1986 Pacific Northwest Ballet)

5. The Chronicles of Narnia (guys in rubber suits BBC TV serial, 1988-1990)


Brian Murnion

1. Planet Earth (2006)


2. Panda! Go, Panda! (1972)

3. The Sound of Music (1965)

4. The Red Balloon (1956)

5. Paddle To The Sea (1966)


Sofia Murnion (Age 6)

1. Frozen

2. The Sound of Music

3. The Incredibles

4. Mary Poppins

5. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs teaches great books, collects records and jogs to work. He and his wife have two children, both of whom have seven names. He tweets at @joshgibbs and blogs for the CiRCE Institute.

7 Responses to Undefended: Best Films For Children Age 5 to 8

  1. I’m glad to see “The Red Balloon” on a list. It’s a great short film for young kids. I showed it to my child at around age 3, and again later on. When I was in elementary school, it was one of those films the teacher would show on a rainy day inside.

  2. C’mon guys. Some of these are not TRULY for the 5-8 set. They are great kids films, granted. But some are inappropriate to be showing to kids that age. You have to keep in mind the innuendo, the imitative behaviors, and the scary stuff (my 5-year old was shaking at the scene of Sid’s bedroom from Toy Story). Wall-e is boring for most of the film for this age group (not enough action). Chitty Chitty Bang Bang- the scene with the child kidnapper gave me nightmares when I was 6-7. Emperor’s New Groove, while great for teens is way too full of bad attitudes for young ones.

  3. Tough subject (so many different ideas, different kid maturities, parental aesthetics, etc) and well done, guys. In our family, ages 4-6 and 7-9 are different movie genres, but our recommendations for the former, in no particular order are:
    *Nanny McPhee (1 is awesome, 2 is good)
    *The Tale of Despereaux
    *Princes and Princesses
    *The Triplets of Belleville (minus the Josephine Baker part)
    *Legend of the Guardians
    *Despicable Me
    *Monster in Paris
    and yes, totally cheese-fest, but our kids laugh all the way through George of the Jungle!

  4. Whoever said ‘The Emperer’s New Grove’ is a genius! One of the best movies ever with a great moral to the story!

  5. Pingback: Here and There: A Little Bit of Everything | Mt Hope Chronicles

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