Hollywood has been producing films comprising an array of different genres that are targeted toward every kind of audience in the world. Whether it’s action-packed adventure movies or soft-hearted, romantic movies, Hollywood has been entertaining all of us with beautiful and sometimes not-so-beautiful yet great cinema.
One such genre that Hollywood filmmakers have mastered is Movies featuring kids as the lead characters. However the trend has taken off late since the beginning of cinema in Hollywood, the trend is evergreen even today with a good amount of movies focusing on Children produced year after year.
With so many great movies about children out there, it was tough to decide and form the top Hollywood movie list featuring kids in the lead roles. Nevertheless, I did my best to include all the best and also my favorite children’s movies as below:
Movies Featuring Children in the Lead Roles
Baby’s Day Out
If there’s one movie that would want you to get back to you toddling days, then it’s definitely Baby’s Day Out. Although it failed at Box Office, the movie entertained audiences of all ages with the charm of the baby who makes a fool out of 3 notorious kidnappers while roaming all over the city, including a construction site, a zoo, a departmental store and a bus ride being the highlights. Filled with a lot of humor and fun, the movie will keep you engaged all the way.
Now, as the title suggests, the movie is about being alone at home. However, that’s normal so what’s the catch here. It becomes interesting when it’s a kid left alone at home on Christmas Eve, and a pair of burglars tries to break in. Although it seems like a scary plot, the movie is full of comedy as Kevin, the kid manages to outrun the burglars with his quick wit and mischievous booby traps. Owing to its success, the movie became a franchise with 2 more sequels, Home Alone 2 and Home Alone 3.
Also Read : Movies Based on Fairy Tales
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
An interesting Sci-Fi comedy film, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids will take you to a whole new universe. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s nowhere close to a space movie. The movie is about an incident in which an inventor accidentally shrinks his and his neighbor’s kids to ¼ of an inch and throws them into the trash. The movie then movies into a new dimension from the point of view of the shrunk kids while they save themselves from insects and other hurdles and try to get back into normal self. If they are successful or not forms the rest of the story.
Featured in a group of neighborhood kids, The Little Rascals is a film adaptation of popular short series Our Gang by Hal Roach that successfully ran during the 20s, 30s, and 40s. The plot is centered on a group of kids who form a club called He-Man Womun Haters Club, who are aiming to win the annual Soap Box Derby style race. The film is special because of its innocence and bonding within the group.
Dennis The Menace
Dennis The Menace is a 1993 live-action American family comedy based on one of the most popular comic strips by Hank Ketcham of the same title. The movie is centered upon a highly active and mischievous kid named Dennis and his middle-aged next-door neighbor Uncle George. The movie is about childhood and talks about bonding with neighbors, irrespective of the odds and change of opinions. The film will keep you entertained with the menace caused by Dennis, whose pranks accidentally fall upon Uncle George, annoying him all the time.
Journey To The Center Of The Earth
Have you wondered what’s at the center of the Earth? Is there a life or a world that we don’t know about at the center of the Earth? If such questions have raised in your minds too, then you must watch Journey To The Center Of The Earth, a 2008 fantasy adventure film. Directed by Eric Brevig, the film is about a young boy and his uncle who set off on a journey to an amazing world of mysteries, adventures, fantastic creatures and dangers beneath us while moving down towards the center of the earth.
Spy Kids is an American Sci-Fi family adventure film featuring two kids as spies. Born to former spies, Carmen and Juni are not aware of their parents previous jobs. They learn the truth when their parents are captured by the notorious criminal, Fegan Floop and his army of Thumb-Thumbs robots. The kids now need to act as spies in order to rescue their parents as well as the world from Floop’s evil plan. If the kids are successful in the rescue mission or not forms the rest of the story.
Jumanji is a fantasy comedy film based on an adventurous board game that comes to life in the most drastic way. Every step opens a cryptic message in the crystal ball at the center of the board describing the outcome of the roll. However, unlike a normal board game, the outcome of the roll in the form of a cryptic message becomes a reality, which causes a lot of destruction and new fantasy creatures entering the real world. The only way to reverse all the destruction caused by the Jumanji, the players must finish the game. Starring Robin Williams in the lead role, the film is full of surprises, fun, and comedy.
The Parent Trap
The Parent Trap is a 1998 romantic comedy film centered upon two twin sisters separated at birth owing to their parent’s divorce. However, the things start getting interesting when the sisters, who are identical to each other, are reunited at a summer camp. Initially rivals, the two sisters realize their true relation and bond together to reunite their parents, so they could live together in one family.
Starring Vin Diesel for one of the lead roles, The Pacifier is a 2005 action comedy that tells the story about a family with five children, who are under threat and need protection as their father is dead while the mother is away for an important task. At this time, Shane Wolfe, played by Vin Diesel, is assigned to take care of the children while on a mission to retrieve an important classified secret project called GHOST, somewhere hidden in the house. Highly famous for his action hero persona, it is quite funny and humorous to see Vin Diesel donning the role of a nanny to these five children and slowly bonding with them after showing some reluctance in the beginning.
The Pagemaster is an amazing children’s film based on a mystical plot. The movie tells us a story about a young boy, who lives his life based on risk calculations which worry his parents about his future. However, the things get really interesting after the boy’s accidental visit to a library, that takes him on an amazing journey into the books as illustrations. While experiencing a new world, encountering new fictional characters, and as per the instructions of the page master, the boy must find a way to the library’s exit in order to get out of this fantasy world. If he is successful or not forms the rest of the story.
Matilda is an American fantasy comedy film about a young girl, who harnesses telekinesis powers as she grows up. Although uncontrollably at the beginning, she slowly learns to control her special yet unexpected power of telekinesis to help her beloved teacher to get justice. The film is actually based on Roald Dahl’s novel of the same title and is directed by Danny DeVito, who also plays the character of Matilda’s father in the film as well as serves as the narrator.
The Goonies is an adventure comedy film about the quest of a group of kids, who call themselves as “The Goonies” to hunt for treasure using a recently acquired map that leads to a long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willy, a legendary 17th Century pirate. During the treasure hunt, they face a lot of hurdles in the form of difficult clues, deadly booby traps and, of course, a family of criminals, who demand the treasure for themselves. The rest of the movie is about how they find the treasure of the pirate and save their homes in the “Goon Docks” neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon from foreclosure.
Based on J.M. Barrie’s famous play and developed as one of the famous folklore, Peter Pan is a 2003 American fantasy film that narrates the play as a full-length live action movie. Same as the play, the movie is centered upon the titular character of Peter Pan, a mischievous boy, who can fly and his friends that include Wendy Darling and her brothers, Tinker Bell, and the lost Boys. Most of the adventures in the movie are set on the mystical island of Neverland and while fending off the evil pirate, the main antagonist of the tale, Captain Hook.
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone
The first installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter, And The Sorcerer’s Stone is the first chapter of a long journey to an amazing world of Wizards and Witches. Highly focused on three kids, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, characters who have engraved into our life so deeply that we could connect to them even today, the film takes you to a secret world of magic, where students are taught magic at one of the best schools for Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Hogwarts. Filled with so many adventures, mischief, drama, emotions and, of course, duels, the film makes us believe of a hidden world, where one can learn magic and be a wizard.
Richie Rich is a screen adaptation of the Harvey Comics character of the same name. The film features a rich boy with a huge mansion and a lot of wealth, but without any real friends except a loyal butler Herbert Cadbury as his only companion. However, things start changing for Richie when he befriends a group of sandlot boys and learns the true worth of friendship in life. While bonding with his new friends, he also faces an evil villain among his own corporation, who plots to kill his parents to take over complete leadership of the Rich Corporation. The rest of the story is about who Richie with the help of his new friends decoys the evil plans of Van Dough and make everything right at the end.
Based on a novel Alias Madame Doubtfire, Mr.s Doubtfire is a comedy drama that is centered on a broken family, where the wife is granted the custody of the three children as the husband has no job or residence. However, the husband hasn’t given up on his children yet and he does something unimaginable. He transforms himself into Mrs. Doubtfire, a newly appointed nanny for the children in order to stay closer to his kids without the knowledge of his wife. Starring Robin Williams in the titular role, the film has lots of emotion and fun moments qualifying the movie as a complete family movie.
Also Read : Best Hollywood Romantic Films
Into The West
Into the West is an Irish mystical film about two boys born, who set off on a journey to the West in search of their beloved white horse called Tír Na nÓg (meaning Land of Eternal Youth in Irish). The search for the horse and to keep it safe with them lets them encounter a number of adventures and escapades that one could have never imagined. While on this journey, they also fulfill their dream of becoming cowboys.
Considered as a sequel to Jumanji, Zathura is also based on a space themed board game without any plot connections to any characters or storylines of the previous film. Zathura is a American Kids Adventure film, Similar to Jumanji, Zathura also brings the message on the card into reality, that causes their house float into the outer space, where a lot of adventures are waiting for them. The only way to get back to the Earth and into their normal lives is to finish the game. If you loved Jumanji, you will surely love Zathura as it offers a similar experience just this time in the outer space.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Considered as one of the best movies of Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 Sci-Fi film about the bonding between a young boy named Elliot and an extraterrestrial alien stranded on the Earth. While the government is hunting for the alien, Elliot and his siblings do everything possible to keep the alien hidden while attempting to help it return home to its own planet. The concept of the film was inspired by Spielberg’s own childhood memory of an imaginary friend created by his parents’ divorce.
Also Read : Best Hollywood Movies about Aliens
Dunston Checks In
Have you ever wondered what would happen if an Orangutan is set free on the premises of a 5-star hotel? If not, then try watching the 1996 American comedy film Dunston Checks In, as the movie is centered upon an Orangutan named Dunston, who, along with the kids of the hotel manager creates chaos and troubles for the residents, hotel manager, and the owner, while providing the viewers a blend of fun, humor, and laughter.
Based on Harvey Comics and a cartoon character, Casper is 1995 American family comedy film that tells the story of a friendly ghost, Casper and the young girl named Kat. Although the movie has ghosts, the film is quite funny and with lots of humor content in addition to some evil plots and conspiracies that Casper wards off easily with the help of Kat and his obnoxious prankster uncles, the Ghostly Trio. This is one of that horror themed movie that won’t scare you but make you laugh out loud.
Letters To God
Letters to God is an emotional drama Film about a young 8-year old boy suffering from cancer, who has developed a habit of writing letters to God. The film is based on a real story written by Patrick Doughtie about his son, Tyler with few fictionalized versions such as the character of the mailman who receives the letters to God and gets connected with the boy. Although a sad ending, the film talks about hope, relationships and human bonding.
Based on Nurse Matilda, Nanny McPhee is a 2005 family comedy film that is centered upon Nanny McPhee, a fairy nanny who visits the family with troubled children and takes charge as a caretaker to teach them discipline as well as mend the problems of the family with a little magic in the process. The movie is special because of its fairy tale theme that made us wish that there’s a Nanny McPhee in all families.
Based on the similar lines as Nanny McPhee, Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical fantasy film, which is loosely based on P.L. Travers’ book series of the same name. Featuring Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, the film is centered on a dysfunctional family in London, which is amended by a fairly young nanny with an umbrella. The film has some cute moments with singing and dancing along with some great lessons about discipline, caring, and responsibility.
The Karate Kid
Although a fifth installment of The Karate Kid series, this 2010 Chinese-American martial arts film serves as a reboot to the franchise starring Jaden Smith as the new Karate Kid, while Jackie Chan as the Kung Fu teacher. The film is beautifully crafted showcasing the antics of a young boy, who has the determination, but lacks the discipline, which is later taught by the master himself. Personally speaking, it was a lot better than the previous Karate Kid movies.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The first installment of the Narnia film series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe start with a story of four siblings and their accidental discovery of an entrance to a whole new world of Narnia through a wardrobe in the professor’s house, where they were staying to be safe during the second world war. While experiencing their journey to the new world, they realize that now they are part of a prophecy and must help the Lion Aslan to gain control of Narnia from the evil Witch destroying it.
Your Turn !
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