TOP 50 Films every child should see before they grow up

  • UK-wide cultural education charity Into Film compiles a list of the 50 movies every child should see before the age of 11
  • Over 250 family films considered by industry experts and film education specialists
  • Films supported by curriculum-linked teaching resources
  • From classics through to modern-day animation, films such as E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and Toy Story feature in the top 50
  • Films selected against a series of criteria including ‘timeless factor’, creativity, diversity, and the ability to tackle moral complexities and teach life lessons
  • The ‘Must See Movies Before You Grow Up’ campaign, led by the UK video industry, will see all 50 films distributed by retailers this summer 

Must see movies


The BFG, The Lion King and Up! have been named as three of the films all children should watch before the age of 11, according to a new list compiled by leading film industry experts.

The guide to the 50 films every child should see before they grow up has been created by film education charity Into Film, in partnership with the UK video industry to launch the Must See Movies Before You Grow Up campaign, which will see all 50 films distributed by retailers this summer –

Each film was measured against a series of metrics, from the impact of the movie on a child’s intellectual, educational and emotional development, through to suitability for family viewing plus overall entertainment and nostalgia factor.

The judging panel, led by Into Film’s education and programming teams who specialise in curating film content and developing teaching resources for schools across the UK, narrowed down the selection of films to a shortlist of 250 from a catalogue of over 3,000 family movies.

The shortlist then lead to the final 50 films in the selection, which feature a range of past and current films that have been deemed to benefit child development and creativity.

The list of 50 Must See Movies Before You Grow Up are revealed (in alphabetical order) as:

101 Dalmatians Jumanji The Gruffalo
A Little Princess Kubo and the Two Strings The Iron Giant
Annie Mary Poppins The Jungle Book
Babe: The Gallant Pig Matilda The LEGO Movie
Beauty and the Beast Nanny McPhee The Lion King
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Night at the Museum The Lorax
Coraline Oliver! The Never-Ending Story
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Paddington The Princess Bride
Dumbo Secret Life of Pets The Secret Garden
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Shaun The Sheep Movie The Witches
Fantastic Mr Fox Shrek Toy Story
Free Willy Space Jam Trolls
Frozen Spirited Away Up!
Home Star Wars: A New Hope Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Hook Swallows and Amazons Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
Hotel Transylvania The Adventures of TinTin Zootropolis
How To Train Your Dragon The BFG

From next-generation CGI and animation, to historically innovative breakthrough storylines and concepts, the 50 films were selected for their timeless appeal with their narrative, themes and characters continuing to resonate with audiences. The selection criteria also measured a film’s effect on a child’s emotional and rational understanding of social interaction, creative development and knowledge growth.

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 sits 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.

For more information on the ‘Must See Movies Before You Grow Up’ campaign visit –


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