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Best Disney Movies To Watch: Listed By Age Group

5 min read

Best Disney Movies To Watch: Listed By Age Group


Thinking of what movie to watch with your kids? There seem to be a lot of kid-friendly movies to choose from, but the first thing that will surely come to your mind is Disney. Disney can be a part of every kid's childhood. Those of us who grew up watching Disney films, remember them with a sense of nostalgia of fun childhood memories. We want our kids to experience the same. And the great thing is that many of the films promote positive themes.

School of Family Life's Researchers from Brigham Young University had headed a study about the positive effects of watching Disney films. They watched 61 films that include well-known animated Disney movies. They analyzed 5000 minutes of those movies, and 5,530 were found to be pro-social acts. Researchers found that there was one positive social interchange for every minute of a Disney movie watched. It was concluded that watching these films at a young age promotes positive actions. It's cool to know that our kids are positively influenced by every Disney character that becomes their favorite. Without further ado, here is an age-appropriate list of animated and non-animated Disney films that you can watch with your kids!


 family watching with a toddler

Disney Films for Toddlers (ages 1-3)

Toddlers have short attention spans when watching kiddie shows or movies. They are often attracted to singing and dancing characters that are strikingly colorful and lively. We should select films that have a simple concept, which they can easily understand, and of course, something musical and appealing for their age. However, you still need to watch out for villains that can look scary for them. Here's what's on our list:

  • Bambi (1942)
  • Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • The Jungle Book (1967)
  • The Aristocats (1970)
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh (1977)
  • Finding Nemo (2003)
  • Cars (2006)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Wall-E (2008)
  • Tangled (2010)
  • Frozen (2013)
  • Moana (2016)
  • Finding Dory (2016)


Disney films for preschoolers

Disney Films for Preschoolers (ages 4-6)

Watching preschool appropriate films can help encourage creative play and enhance learning. However, you need to guide them and explain certain scenarios as preschoolers love to copy actions from what they watch. They may also not be able to differentiate fantasy and reality. Here are examples of Disney films that you can watch with your preschooler:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • Dumbo (1941)
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
  • Alice In Wonderland (1951)
  • Peter Pan (1953)
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • The Sword in the Stone (1963)
  • Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Robin Hood (1973)
  • The Muppet movie (1979)
  • The Fox and the Hound (1981)
  • The Little Mermaid (1989)
  • Aladdin (1992)
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
  • The Lion King (1994)
  • Pocahontas (1995)
  • Toy Story (1995)
  • 101 Dalmatians (1996)
  • Airbud (1997)
  • A Bug's Life (1998)
  • Mulan (1998)
  • Toy Story 2 (1999)
  • Monsters, Inc. (2001)
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004)
  • The Shaggy Dog (2006)
  • Bolt (2008)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Up (2009)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010)
  • Monsters University (2013)
  • Planes (2013)
  • Coco (2017)
  • Frozen II (2019)
  • Toy Story 4 (2019)


Disney Films for School-Aged Kids

Disney Films for School-Aged Kids (ages 7-10)

School-aged kids can follow a simple plot and be able to link different scenes. Take time to watch movies with your kids to connect with them. This age group still needs guidance especially when watching non-animated films that contain bullying, violence and scary parts. Here are some Disney films to watch for this age group:

  • Pinocchio (1940)
  • The Rescuers (1977)
  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
  • Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  • Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  • Angels in the Outfield (1994)
  • Flubber (1994)
  • A Goofy Movie (1995)
  • James and the Giant Peach (1996)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
  • Hercules (1997)
  • Tarzan (1999)
  • The Parent Trap (1999)
  • The Kid (2000)
  • 102 Dalmatians (2000)
  • Dinosaur (2000)
  • The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
  • Fantasia 2000 (2000)
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
  • Treasure Planet (2002)
  • Lilo & Stitch (2003)
  • Brother Bear (2003)
  • The Incredibles (2004)
  • Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)
  • Ice Princess (2005)
  • Eight Below (2006)
  • High School Musical (2006)
  • Meet the Robinsons (2007)
  • Enchanted (2007)
  • The Game Plan (2007)
  • Underdog (2007)
  • High School Musical 2 (2007)
  • High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)
  • Bedtime Stories (2008)
  • Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
  • Tooth Fairy (2010)
  • Wreck It Ralph (2012)
  • Brave (2012)
  • Big Hero 6 (2014)
  • Maleficent (2014)
  • The Good Dinosaur (2015)
  • Inside Out (2015)
  • Cinderella (2015)
  • The Jungle Book (2016)
  • The BFG (2016)
  • Zootopia (2016)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
  • The Incredibles 2 (2018)
  • The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
  • Lady and the Tramp (2019)
  • The Lion King (2019)
  • Aladdin (2019)
  • Dumbo (2019)
  • Soul (2020)
  • Onward (2020)


Disney Films for Pre Teens

Disney Films for Pre-Teens (ages 10+)

Pre-teens might now be more interested in non-animated movies. Films that are more about adventure, fantasy, and somehow relatable to their age. Have a great time and connect with them while watching these fun Disney films:

  • The Mighty Ducks (1992)
  • D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)
  • The Santa Clause (1994)
  • D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996)
  • Inspector Gadget (1999)
  • The Rookie (2002)
  • Peter Pan (2003)
  • Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  • The Pacifier (2005)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
  • Race to Witch Mountain (2009)
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
  • Alice In Wonderland (2010)
  • Frankenweenie (2012)
  • Into the Woods (2014)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)
  • Mulan (2020)


Disney Films for Teens (ages 13+)

Teens might be more interested in movies they can relate to, same-age protagonists or simply movies that stars a teen. They can also be into adventures and comedy. Watch with your teen as there may be topics or scenes they want to discuss with you. We have found these fun movies that you and your teen will surely enjoy!

  • Princess Diaries (2001)
  • Freaky Friday (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
  • National Treasure (2004)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)


Final Thoughts

You've got a long list of Disney films here, so your kids will never run out of movies to watch (not at least soon!). Besides the positivity and enjoyment that your children can get from these flicks, it is the perfect opportunity to bond with your family. Quality time spent with family promotes camaraderie and emotional bonding. Based on studies, kids who spend time with their parents do better in school compared with other children. Also, watching with your kids can let you explain certain scenarios that they do not understand, and doing so will teach them proper values to become a better person.

If you know other Disney films that are not on the list, let us know so we can check their age rating and add them for you. Enjoy your movies!

 And They Lived Happily Ever After


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