13 Best ’80s Kid’s Movies to Add in Your Watchlist

Indeed, something in the ’80s produced great discoveries, including the production of fantastic kid’s movies. Most of the films will make you feel nostalgic and happy. These films are legendary that will live on forever.

This article write-up selected excellent kid’s films released in the 80s. So, here are the 13 Best ’80s Kid’s movies without further ado.

1. The Goonies (1985)

English, Spanish, Cantonese, Italian, 1h 54m IMDb

The Goonies

Director: Richard Donner

Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen

Whether you’re looking for a funny film to watch with kids or you want to relive nostalgic childhood memories, The Goonies is something you should not miss. This film follows the story of Mikey and his buddies, who embark on an adventurous treasure hunt.

Threatened with the ongoing foreclosure of their community, they solved riddles and clues to find “One-Eyed Willy,” hoping to save their homes. However, there’s a villain, Mama Fratelli, and they must fight against all odds.

Released at the theater’s box office on June 7, 1985, The Goonies is an 80s classic film perfect for kids to watch.

2. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

English 1h 55m IMDb

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Henry ThomasDrew BarrymorePeter Coyote

Sometimes all we need is love from a true best friend. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a classic 80’s kid film featuring how a troubled child helps his alien friend, E.T., escape from Earth and return to his planet.

But things get challenging when the government discovers the identity of Elliot’s secret alien friend. This movie is a gem for kids with a blend of Sci-Fi, adventure, and a love of family. Wonderful and heartfelt, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a family classic too.

This movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, won four Oscars awards, with over fifty-two wins and thirty-six nominations.

3. The Never-Ending Story (1984)

English 1h 42m IMDb

The Never-Ending Stor

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Stars: Noah Hathaway, Barret Oliver, Tami Stronach

Here’s a young boy named Bastian living a hard life because of school bullies. He wants to escape the situation and discovers an ancient storybook leading him into Fantasia’s mysterious land.

Bastian soon becomes a hero from being bullied to save a magical land from ruin and destruction. Kids will genuinely love this movie because of the featured fantastic creatures and beautiful places.

If you want your kids to watch a beautiful and touching childhood film, never forget this movie released in the 80s.

4. Labyrinth (1986)

English 1h 41m IMDb


Director: Jim Henson

Stars: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud

Labyrinth tells the tale of unconditional love for a sibling. It follows the story of Sarah, who was forced to care for Toby, his baby stepbrother. Since Toby doesn’t stop crying, Sarah wants him to go away.

Soon enough, Toby stopped wailing, and he was gone out of the blue. Sarah finds out that the Goblin King Jareth took him. Sarah cried out her heart for forgiveness. She must do everything to rescue his stepbrother.

This 1986 film is perfect for kids because of its touching storyline. It also shares valuable lessons for kids always to love their siblings. So, if you like your kids to have a dose of adventure, family, and fantasy with a musical twist, add Labyrinth to your list.

5. Explorers (1985)

English, German 1h 49m IMDb


Director: Joe Dante

Stars: Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Jason Presson

Starring River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke, Explorers follow the story of two misfits best friends who share the same dream of space travel. After a recurring vivid dream, Ben decides to create a spacecraft in his homemade laboratory.

Later, he invited his best friend Wolfgang Muller, and they began their journey in space together. If you’re hype for movies showcasing children’s strong will, Explorers is an 80’s film perfect for you.

On top of everything, kids will like this film since it’s full of adventures with hints of family love and comedy. Directed by Joe Dante, Explorers showcases how kids can be adventurous and dreamers.

6. The Wizard (1989)

English 1h 40m IMDb

The Wizard

Released in 1989, The Wizard tells the story of Jimmy Wood, a young boy with a mental disorder. He has been mourning his twin sister’s death all his life—fate changes when Jimmy discovers one day that he has an innate talent for playing video games.

Soon enough, Jimmy, together with his two friends, runs away and travels to Los Angeles for the ultimate video game tournament.

Highlighting adventure, drama, and comedy, The Wizard is an 80’s film that kids will love and appreciate. This 80’s kid film is heartfelt, fun, and charming, featuring how a young kid dreams.

7. Flight of the Navigator (1986)

English 1h 30m IMDb

Flight of the Navigator

Director: Randal Kleiser

Stars: Joey Cramer, Paul Reubens(voice), Cliff De Young

Suppose you desire to introduce your kid to the movie’s fantasy world. Flight of the Navigator is an excellent all-around family film. Directed by Randal Kleiser, this film hit the box office on August 1, 1986.

It follows the tale of a boy who time travels eight years in the future. After his magical disappearance, David returns to Earth with hidden tricks and knowledge about the universe. Would David use his new navigational powers?

Because of its thrilling sci-fi adventure, special effects, and classic soundtracks, Flight of the Navigator is one of the best kid’s movies released in the 80s. So, if you want to watch an entertaining film with kids, you should not miss this 1986 American film.

Animated 80’s Kids Movies

Now that we’ve gone through the half part of our list of best 80’s kid’s movies let’s take a deeper look at animated films kids will genuinely enjoy. Since cartoons are stuff kids love, we’ve dedicated this portion to collecting the best-animated films from the 80s perfect for kids.

8. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Japanese 1h 26m IMDb

My Neighbor Totoro

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Stars: Hitoshi Takagi(voice), Noriko Hidaka(voice), Chika Sakamoto(voice)

Securing the top place on our list of animated movies, My Neighbor Totoro is a Japanese film that navigates the story of two young girls, Satsuki and Mei. Together, they move into a new home in the country to be with their hospitalized mother.

Eventually, the two sisters discover a forest inhabited by magical creatures called Totoro. They make friends with these Totoros and embark on a mystical journey. Written by Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro is a fantastic film for all ages. Overall, this 80s kid’s move garnered five wins and two nominations.

9. The Fox and the Hound (1981)

English 1h 23m IMDb

The Fox and the Hound

Directors: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens

Stars: Mickey Rooney(voice), Kurt Russell(voice, )Pearl Bailey(voice)

Here’s an animated movie that will surely capture and melt kids’ hearts. Released in 1981, The Fox and the Hound are about two best friends, Tod and Copper. Growing up, Tod, an adopted fox, and Copper, a hunting hound, became inseparable.

As time progresses, their bond and friendship become tighter and more vital. But as they mature, they slowly grow apart from each other; the two comrades’ relationship is put to the test. Overall, this animal tale tells kids in their early years the importance of loyalty and friendship.

Are you looking for a beautiful family movie filled with thrill and adventures? You should not miss The Fox and the Hound.

10. An American Tail (1986)

English 1h 20m IMDb

An American Tail (1986)

Director: Don Bluth

Stars: Dom DeLuise(voice), Christopher Plummer(voice), Erica Yohn(voice)

Next on our list is a film that will live and remain in kids’ hearts forever. Fievel is a young and cute Russian mouse. He got separated from his parents when they were returning to America.

When he arrives alone in a new country and unique environment, this Russian mouse must make new friends, search for his family, and escape from cats.

On top of everything, An American Tail is not only a kid-entertaining film, but it also gives a positive message. From this animal tale, children will learn that they can survive setbacks with strength, faith, and courage.

A film produced by Universal Studies, An American Tail is an 80s kid’s movie full of hope.

11. The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

English, French, German, Italian 1h 14m IMDb

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Directors: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener

Stars: Vincent Price(voice), Barrie Ingham(voice), Val Bettin(voice)

The Great Mouse Detective takes us into London, England, where a mouse girl’s father is kidnapped. The peg-legged bat abducted her father. To resolve the situation, this young girl mouse seeks the help of Basil of Baker Street, the Sherlock Homes in the world of mice and rodents.

Will Basil, the great mouse detective, solve the mystery and champion justice? Come along and see a heroic movie that kids will appreciate, enjoy, and love! Directed by Ron Clements, The Great Mouse Detective is considered one of the greatest classical masterpieces of Disney.

12. The Land Before Time  (1988)

English 1h 9m IMDb

The Land Before Time  (1988)

Little foot, a young brontosaurus, starts a journey to search the land of lush and healthy vegetation called Great Valley. For dinosaurs, this land was promising, where they could live and survive in peace.

With the help of one another, Little foot and four other dinosaurs face and fight several obstacles along the way. Together, they must encounter hungry predators and challenges.

Featuring lessons about the importance of cooperation and teamwork, The Land Before Time is a must-watch film for children!

13. The Secret of NIMH (1982)

English 1h 22m IMDb

The Secret of NIMH

Director: Don Bluth

Stars: Elizabeth Hartman(voice), Derek Jacobi(voice), Dom DeLuise(voice)

Here’s another Don Bluth film perfect for all ages, especially beloved kids. Released on July 16, 1982, The Secret of NIMH follows the story of a fieldmouse, Mrs. Brisby, who must do everything to save her family from dangerous farmers.

But with the help of The Owl, Nicodemus the wise rat, and Jeremy the Crow, Mr. Brisby must brace herself. Will she survive the coming storm? Based and adapted on the award-winning book by Robert C. O’Brien’ Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH”, this beautiful 80s cartoon is undoubtedly a must-watch for kids!

Wrapping Up the Best 80s Kid’s Movies

And that’s our list of 13 Best 80s Kid’s Movies. All of these films will capture and melt the heart of kids. Whether they like a touching, heartfelt storyline, fantastic magical adventure, or a funny movie, you can rely on this list! So, for the next holiday season or summer break, relive nostalgic childhood memories and watch these 13 Best 80s Kid’s Movies.


'80s Kid's Movies

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