Walt Disney Pictures along with its Pixar Movies make watching fun cartoons a good choice for the whole family. Choosing the right Disney movies for kids is not a simple task, especially with younger kids. I’m a Dad with a son, so I’m limited to ‘boy’ cartoons… It’s cool with me! If I try to put on anything that resembles “The Little Mermaid,” “Snow White,” or “Frozen” my son will let me know the obvious: “Those are for little young girls!”
Disney movies have always been an awesome part of my childhood, captivating everyone young and old with their catchy songs, bright colors, memorable characters, and simple storylines. When it comes to finding the perfect movies for your little ones, Disney and Disney Plus offer a wide selection that is sure to delight and entertain.
From beloved classics to modern favorites, here is a selection of the best Disney movies for babies and toddlers(both boys and girls)…and Dads too.
Great Toddler Movies
1. The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub who embarks on a journey to reclaim his kingdom from his treacherous uncle Scar. With its iconic songs like “Hakuna Matata” and “Circle of Life,” vibrant animation, and heartwarming message of courage and responsibility, The Lion King is a must-watch for young children.
2. The Little Mermaid (1989)
Follow the underwater adventure of Ariel, a young mermaid who dreams of exploring the human world. With its enchanting music and captivating story of love and self-discovery, The Little Mermaid is a beloved Disney classic that will capture the imagination of young viewers.
3. The Jungle Book (1967)
Join Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves, as he embarks on a journey through the jungle, encountering memorable characters like Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. The Jungle Book is a delightful tale of friendship, adventure, and finding one’s place in the world.
4. Finding Nemo (2003)
Dive into the ocean with Nemo, a young clownfish who gets separated from his father and embarks on a daring adventure to find his way back home. With its stunning animation, lovable characters, and heartwarming story of family and friendship, Finding Nemo is a must-see for young children.
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Experience the enchanting tale of Snow White, a young princess who befriends seven lovable dwarfs while trying to escape the evil queen’s clutches. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a timeless Disney classic that will captivate young viewers with its magical story and unforgettable characters.
6. Peter Pan (1953)
Fly away to Neverland with Peter Pan, a young boy who never grows up, and his friends Wendy, John, and Michael. Together, they embark on exciting adventures, battling Captain Hook and his crew. Peter Pan is a delightful Disney film that will ignite the imaginations of young children.
7. Toy Story (1995)
Enter a world where toys come to life when humans aren’t around. Toy Story follows the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their toy friends as they navigate the challenges of friendship and loyalty. With its heartwarming story and lovable characters, Toy Story is a must-watch for young children.
8. Mary Poppins (1964)
Step into the magical world of Mary Poppins, a nanny with extraordinary powers who brings joy and wonder to the lives of the Banks children. With its blend of live-action and animation, memorable songs, and enchanting story, Mary Poppins is a timeless Disney film that will delight young viewers.
9. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Experience the tale as old as time with Beauty and the Beast. Follow the journey of Belle, a young woman who falls in love with a prince cursed to live as a beast. With its beautiful animation, memorable songs, and powerful message of love and acceptance, Beauty and the Beast is a Disney masterpiece.
More Disney Movies for Kids
10. Cars (2006)
Join Lightning McQueen, a race car on a journey of self-discovery, as he learns the importance of friendship and humility. Cars is a delightful Pixar film that combines vibrant animation, catchy songs, and a heartwarming story that will captivate young children. Although you can find Cars 1,2 and 3 in its series, as a Dad I really enjoyed the first one, as did my son.
11. Finding Dory (2016)
Dive back into the ocean with Dory, a forgetful but lovable blue tang fish, as she embarks on a quest to find her long-lost parents. Finding Dory is a heartwarming and humorous Disney-Pixar film that teaches important lessons about perseverance, friendship, and family.
12. Moana (2016)
Set sail on an epic adventure with Moana, a brave young girl who sets out to save her island and discover her own identity. With its breathtaking animation, catchy songs, and empowering message, Moana is a Disney film that will inspire and entertain young viewers.
13. Zootopia (2016)
Enter the bustling city of Zootopia, where a determined bunny named Judy Hopps teams up with a sly fox named Nick Wilde to solve a mysterious case. Zootopia is a fun and engaging Disney film that teaches important lessons about friendship, acceptance, and overcoming prejudice.
14. Coco (2017)
Embark on a musical journey to the Land of the Dead with Miguel, a young boy who dreams of becoming a musician. Coco is a visually stunning Disney-Pixar film that celebrates Mexican culture and the power of family, with its heartfelt story and beautiful music.
15. Tangled (2010)
Join Rapunzel, a spirited young princess with long magical hair, as she sets off on an adventure with the charming thief Flynn Rider. Tangled is a Disney film filled with humor, adventure, and memorable songs that will captivate young viewers.
16. Aladdin (1992)
Discover a whole new world with Aladdin, a street urchin who finds a magical lamp containing a genie who grants him three wishes. Aladdin is a Disney classic filled with colorful animation, catchy songs, and a heartwarming story of love and self-discovery.
17. Frozen (2013)
Enter the icy kingdom of Arendelle with Elsa and Anna, two sisters who embark on a journey of self-discovery and sisterly love. Frozen is a Disney phenomenon that captivated audiences worldwide with its stunning animation, unforgettable songs, and empowering message.
18. Brave (2012)
Follow the courageous journey of Merida, a young Scottish princess who defies tradition and challenges her fate. Brave is a Disney-Pixar film that celebrates independence, bravery, and the importance of family.
19. The Incredibles (2004)
Join the Parr family, a group of superheroes trying to live a normal life, as they face a new threat that forces them to unleash their powers. The Incredibles is a thrilling Disney-Pixar film that combines action, humor, and heartwarming family dynamics.
20. Ratatouille (2007)
Follow the culinary adventures of Remy, a rat with a passion for cooking, as he teams up with a young chef to pursue his dreams. Ratatouille is an awesome Disney-Pixar film with plenty of valuable lessons about following your passion and not judging others based on appearances. This is an ideal choice for everyone. We’ve watched this a Gazillion times…
21. Inside Out (2015)
Step inside the mind of Riley, a young girl whose emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust – come to life. Inside Out is a Disney-Pixar film that explores the complexities of emotions and the importance of embracing all of them.
22. Toy Story Franchise (1995-2019)
Experience the entire Toy Story franchise, which follows the adventures of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and their toy friends. The Toy Story films are beloved Disney-Pixar classics that teach important lessons about friendship, loyalty, and the power of imagination.
23. Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
Join Ralph and Vanellope as they venture into the world of the internet in search of a replacement part for Vanellope’s game. Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun and entertaining Disney film that explores themes of friendship, self-discovery, and the impact of technology.
24. Frozen II (2019)
Continue the magical journey with Elsa, Anna, and their friends as they uncover the secrets of Elsa’s powers and embark on a dangerous adventure. Frozen II is a visually stunning Disney film that expands on the beloved characters and themes of the original Frozen.
25. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Follow the enchanting story of Tiana, a hardworking waitress who dreams of opening her own restaurant, as she is transformed into a frog after a kiss from a prince. The Princess and the Frog is a Disney film that celebrates dreams, love, and the power of determination.
26. A Bug’s Life (1998)
In “A Bug’s Life,” a misfit ant named Flik recruits a group of circus bugs to help save his colony from greedy grasshoppers. With themes of friendship, bravery, and teamwork, this animated adventure is filled with humor and heart, making it a delightful choice for babies and toddlers.
27. Big Hero 6 (2014)
“Big Hero 6” follows the story of a young robotics prodigy named Hiro Hamada and his inflatable robot companion, Baymax, as they team up with a group of friends to save their city from a masked villain. With its lovable characters, thrilling action sequences, and messages of resilience and friendship, this film offers an entertaining and engaging experience for young viewers.
28. Chicken Little (2005)
In “Chicken Little,” the main character, a small chicken with big dreams, sets out to save his town when he mistakenly believes that the sky is falling. With its charming characters, catchy music, and themes of courage and redemption, this animated comedy is sure to captivate the imaginations of babies and toddlers while delivering valuable life lessons.
29. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Based on the popular book series, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” follows the humorous misadventures of middle schooler Greg Heffley as he navigates the ups and downs of adolescence. With its relatable characters and lighthearted humor, this film offers a fun and entertaining experience for the youngins.
30. Ice Age Series
The “Ice Age” series is awesome…Period. With its colorful characters, slapstick humor, and themes of friendship and survival, these films provide endless entertainment for young kids…and Sid! I mean Sid! and that funky squirrel too… classic
31. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
“Lilo & Stitch,” tells the story of a young Hawaiian girl named Lilo who adopts an unusual pet named Stitch, who happens to be a genetic experiment from outer space. Filled with heart, humor, and memorable characters, this heartwarming tale celebrates the importance of family and acceptance, making it a favorite among young audiences.
32. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
“Meet the Robinsons” follows the adventures of a young orphan named Lewis as he travels to the future and meets the eccentric Robinson family. With its imaginative storytelling, quirky characters, and messages of perseverance and innovation, this animated film offers an inspiring and uplifting experience for babies and toddlers.
33. Rio (2011)
In “Rio,” a domesticated macaw named Blu embarks on a journey to Rio de Janeiro to meet the last surviving female of his species, Jewel. With its vibrant animation, catchy music, and exciting adventure, this film takes viewers on a colorful and exhilarating ride through the streets of Brazil, making it a perfect choice for little kids.
34. Planes (2013)
“Planes,” a spin-off of the “Cars” series, follows the high-flying adventures of Dusty Crophopper, a small-town crop-dusting plane with big dreams of competing in a prestigious air race. With its thrilling aerial sequences, lovable characters, and themes of determination and friendship, this film soars to new heights of excitement and entertainment.
35. Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021)
GREAT movie… You must watch this one. The older kids will enjoy this one too due to its uber-modern jargon and tech references. In “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” a socially awkward middle schooler named Barney befriends a malfunctioning robot named Ron, leading to a series of comedic and heartwarming adventures.
With its timely themes of friendship, technology, and the importance of being true to oneself, this film offers a delightful and thought-provoking experience for babies and toddlers.
36. Bolt (2008)
“Bolt” is the story of a Hollywood dog who believes he possesses superpowers, thanks to his role in a television show, and embarks on a cross-country journey to reunite with his beloved owner. With its action-packed adventure, lovable characters, and heartfelt moments, this animated film is sure to capture the hearts of young viewers and their families.
37. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
“Monsters, Inc.” takes viewers into the world of Monstropolis, where monsters generate power by scaring children. The film follows the lovable monsters Sulley and Mike as they embark on an adventure with a little girl named Boo. With its imaginative concept, endearing characters, and themes of friendship and overcoming fears, this Pixar classic is sure to delight kids and adults alike.
38. Up (2009)
“Up” follows the unlikely friendship between Carl, a widower, and Russell, a young Wilderness Explorer, as they embark on a grand adventure to South America with a house lifted by balloons. Filled with heart, humor, and poignant moments, this Pixar film celebrates the power of friendship and the importance of embracing life’s adventures.
39. Pocahontas (1995)
“Pocahontas” is about a legendary Native American princess as she navigates the complexities of love and friendship amidst the arrival of European settlers in 17th-century Virginia. With its breathtaking animation, stirring music, and themes of tolerance, respect, and environmental stewardship, this Disney film is a timeless tale of love and reconciliation.
++Daddy Tip! Watch the movie with your kids. No phones… No nothing. Simply enjoy the time with them and have fun all while sitting beside them. Pop some corn, select some new snacks, and lounge back to enjoy some great family time.
A Good Idea To Consider These Factors…
What to Include
- Age-Appropriateness: Choose cartoons that are suitable for your child’s age and developmental stage. Look for content that is specifically designed for young children and addresses their cognitive and emotional needs.
- Positive Messages: Seek out cartoons that promote positive values such as kindness, empathy, honesty, cooperation, and respect for others. Look for characters who demonstrate good behavior and problem-solving skills.
- Diversity and Representation: Choose cartoons that feature diverse characters from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Exposing children to a variety of perspectives fosters inclusivity, empathy, and cultural awareness.
- Engaging Storylines: Look for cartoons with engaging storylines, interesting characters, and imaginative settings that capture your child’s attention.
- Quality Animation: Select cartoons with high-quality animation, vibrant colors, and appealing character designs that are visually stimulating and aesthetically pleasing.
- Interactive Elements: Consider cartoons that incorporate interactive elements such as songs, games, and activities. This will encourage children to sing along, dance, and participate in the storytelling process.
- Parental Guidance: Be involved in your child’s media consumption by watching cartoons together and discussing the content. Use cartoons as opportunities to teach valuable lessons and reinforce positive behaviors.
What to Avoid
- Violence and Aggression: Avoid cartoons that contain excessive violence, aggression, or graphic content that may be frightening or disturbing for young children. Choose shows with age-appropriate conflict resolution and positive conflict resolution strategies.
- Inappropriate Language: Avoid cartoons that contain inappropriate language, humor, or themes that are not suitable for young audiences. Look for shows with positive and respectful communication.
- Stereotypes and Bias: Steer clear of cartoons that perpetuate stereotypes, gender roles, or cultural biases. Choose shows that challenge stereotypes and promote diversity, inclusivity, and representation.
- Overstimulation: Avoid cartoons that are overly stimulating or fast-paced. They may overwhelm young children and hinder their ability to focus and process information. Choose shows with a balanced pace and appropriate sensory input.
- Negative Role Models: Avoid cartoons with characters who exhibit negative behaviors such as lying, cheating, bullying, or disrespecting others. Choose shows with positive role models and characters who demonstrate empathy, resilience, and integrity.
About Pixar and Disney
A little FYI fellow dads! Let’s talk about these two household names…
Picture this: Pixar is like the cool kid on the block. It’s known for its mind-blowing animation and characters that feel like old pals. Then, there’s Disney, the OG (that’s “Original Gangster” for the uninitiated) of animated storytelling, with classics that have stood the test of time.
Pixar kicked off its journey back in 1986, and boy, did they hit the ground running! From talking toys to adventurous fish, they’ve kept us hooked with their imaginative tales. Then, in 2006, Disney decided, “Hey, these Pixar folks are onto something!” and swooped in to make them part of the family. And let’s just say, it’s been a match made in animation heaven ever since.
Together, Pixar and Disney have given us stories that tug at our heartstrings, tickle our funny bones, and sometimes, make us wish we had a fast-forward button for those tear-jerker moments. Because when it comes to animated adventures, there’s no age limit on having a blast! Cool stuff eh?
An Excellent Choice
The reason why I thought about posting something about Disney is that I just recently got hooked on Disney +. It’s a great place for kids and adults to find suitable entertainment for ‘that’ right time.
We are not big on watching TV at home. But, twice a week I’ll jump on Disney+ and look for a cool cartoon that I can watch with my boy. He’s 7 btw. He loves loud and colorful films with a little adventure. I’ve also written an article about fun Ninja Movies that might interest some of you out there.
These Disney films are not only for the little guys at home, they are for everyone. The listed movies above are just a glimpse of the magical world that Disney has to offer. From beloved classics to modern favorites, these films will entertain, inspire, and create lasting memories for both children and you. So, I hope you gathered your little ones, grabbed some popcorn, and enjoyed the incredible world of Disney together.
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