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20 Movies for 10 to 12 Year Olds

Toy Story characters displayed in movie theater.

If you have a 10, 11, or 12-year-old, you know how difficult it is to keep them entertained. Kids yearn to show their maturity and go beyond their old princess flicks and cartoons half of the time. With that said, what are some of the best movies for your “tweeny” to enjoy for a movie night?

The best films for tweens are those that meet them where they are: They demonstrate that children are mature enough to take on a more critical role but will not scare or bother them excessively. The best ones are fun to watch and address difficulties that many children face daily.

Finding a film to watch with a tween, on the other hand, necessitates a delicate balancing act: If you choose anything too youthful, you’ll be accused of being out of touch. You risk boring kids to death or sending them running for their phones if you get too mature. With that said, what is popular amongst kids 10 – 12 years old?

The Best Movies for 10 to 12-Year-Olds

These are the cinematic building blocks for future film fans. I’ve compiled a list of definite successes for the tween set, ranging from ‘80s blockbusters and adolescent comedy to more mature Disney fare and even a few historical dramas, to assist you with your family movie-night choices.

Let’s jump right into the film recommendations for your tween.

1. The Muppets Movie – 1979

The Muppet Movie (1979)

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The Muppets is an excellent movie to begin a child’s pop-cultural education, and it’s critical to start with the original Jim Henson film before moving on to the two most recent sequels.

From the moment Kermit sings “The Rainbow Connection” from a log in his swamp—a song you’ll never tire of hearing your child sing—to the cross-country Hollywood adventure where he first meets his Muppet friends and eludes a ruthless fast-food schemer.

The Muppet Movie is a brilliant gateway treatment to all the beautiful things that movies can be. It’s hilarious, intelligent, charming, musical and full of love and camaraderie, and the only thing that will make you happier than your child seeing the Muppets for the first time is watching them laugh and grin at all the appropriate times.

When children are four years old, they will adore it, and when they are twelve, they will like it even more—or at least in a different, more profound way.

2. The Kid Who Would Be King – 2019

The Kid Who Would Be King (4K UHD)

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The story’s essential outlines are familiar to you: Boy discovers sword, pulls the sword from the stone, and transforms into an all-powerful hero. The hero must overcome an evil sorcerer with the assistance of his trusted knights.

Only this time, the youngster is Alex, and he lives in a modern-day London suburb, and he has to rally a bunch of his middle school pals to his cause. This movie inspires creativity and expands the imagination and the importance of responsibility and the freedom of choice.

Alex and the other students learn some vital life lessons along the way, including how to transform your adversaries into allies, the power of togetherness, the importance of following an honor code, and the importance of being pure of heart.

Such acts will almost certainly lead to a better society. In the film, over and over again, sincere themes are repeated.

3. Toy Story – 1995

Toy Story

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When your youngster views Pixar’s debut film for the first time, they may be surprised to discover that the television has been reading their thoughts. (Be prepared for many humorous efforts to “capture” toys that have come to life after the child has left the room.)

Toy Story also introduces kids to essential entertainment tropes like mismatched odd couples (Buzz and Woody, voiced to perfection by Allen and Hanks), wisecracking leading men.

They would also find cultural references (that will fly over their heads), catchphrases “To infinity, and beyond!”, and product placement while inspiring children’s imaginations.

Acceptance is one of the most crucial lessons in each of the Toy Story films. We are humbled to remember that each of our children, family members, and friends has its own set of abilities, strengths, and flaws. We must accept them despite our differences.

It’s also fast-paced and jam-packed enough to encourage repeat viewing, which is a good thing given how frequently they’ll want to see it. Randy Newman can never be outgrown, and there is never a wrong time to fall in love with him either.

4. Babe – 1995


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Babe has a tremendous moral lesson underneath the cute talking farm animals: stay true to yourself and stand up for those doing the same thing.

It educates children that families exist in various forms, sizes, and breeds and that the little guy—in this example, a runt pig who wants to herd sheep—doesn’t necessarily come in last.

Babe, however, isn’t simply important for its Kindergarten 101 life teachings; it’s also a watershed emotional viewing experience owing to the tearing apart of animal families, as well as a foundational film for pop-cultural allusions that will endure a lifetime.

“Christmas means slaughter!” is an anti-holiday rallying cry, but “That’ll do, pig” never fails to touch the hearts of young and old alike.

5. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse – 2018

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

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Before they hit the PG-13 universe of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let them dip a toe in the PG Spider-Verse. Miles Morales, the hero, is not just a teenager, but he also learns a valuable lesson about how heroism can come from any place.

Friendship, mentoring, perseverance, the value of power and responsibility, and working together for the common good are all strong messages. Characters must learn to trust themselves as well as other people. To achieve this, you must sometimes leap of faith.

This movie is a beautiful lesson for all kids to shine their brightest in any challenge they come across. Immediately after watching this movie, they may be throwing around a few Spider-Man moves out of inspiration, but the valuable lessons learned from this entertaining movie last a lifetime.

6. Beauty And The Beast – 1991

Beauty and the Beast (1991)(Theatrical Version)

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In chronological order, Belle comes after Ariel (from The Little Mermaid) and decades after the classic Disney princesses, such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. Start with Beauty and the Beast if you want your kid indoctrinated by the Disney princess marketing machine.

Parents can praise her princess as a role model because she’s fiercely independent and has a beautiful love of literature.

One of the most valuable themes from Beauty and the Beast is true beauty comes from inside; it is about being compassionate to others rather than thinking just of oneself. Belle’s insatiable need for information motivates us to learn something new every day. And every time Belle teaches Beast to read, our hearts melt.

7. Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) – 2016

Your Name.

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This romance animation features a body-swapping twist: Mitsuha, a girl from the countryside, and Taki, a lad from Tokyo, begin to have vivid dreams to experience one other’s lives.

They quickly discover they aren’t dreaming at all but rather spending time in each other’s bodies, and they begin to communicate by leaving notes for one another. This film received a flood of honors at animation festivals after its premiere.

This anime is a great way to learn and appreciate both perspectives from both tweeny girls and boys. It’s a very touching anime that significantly boosts attention to emotion and taps into a better sense of compassion, freedom of choice, and the importance of bondage.

Your kids may start to appreciate more anime from this anime alone as they reach out to anime that specifically meets their interests. Anime alone has so much to teach to kids growing up. Most anime know what strings to pull to fuel kids with passion and tap into their potential.

8. The Little Mermaid – 1989

The Little Mermaid

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Your child may not realize or care that this dazzling animated musical marked the start of Disney’s fabled Renaissance period, but its feisty heroine will enchant them.

Among its many favorites are Ariel, who inspired legions of girls to want red hair; Ursula, one of the most delightfully despicable villains in the Disney repertoire, and its iconic songs.

The Little Mermaid also has Disney’s most underappreciated scenes, “Les Poissons,” created to establish a lifelong passion for French silliness. Just make sure to explain afterward that 16 is too young to consider marriage, and everything will go more smoothly, swimmingly.

The Little Mermaid has taught us all extremely essential life lessons during the film. Ariel desired to be free and to explore the human world. The life lesson here is that if we quit through difficulties, we will never achieve our goals. Putting forth your best effort will increase your chances of success.

9. Coraline – 2009


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Most of Laika’s stop-motion animated films — ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, Missing Link, and Coraline — are appropriate for tweens.  The studio understands how to use stop-inherent motion’s creepiness to tell stories with sinister elements, making them slightly more mature than most cartoons.

Coraline is the best choice since it has a premise that tweens can find relatable. Coraline is enthralled by a hidden realm where an “other mother” promises her anything she desires while her parents are too busy to pay attention to her. But is the “other mother” what she claims to be?

Coraline eventually learns that flawed, untidy lifestyles aren’t consistently as horrible as they appear. Her parents recognize that they don’t spend enough time with their daughter, and she understands that her imperfect genuine parents are preferable to perfect-appearing false parents. Selfcontrol and thankfulness are among the themes.

10. Safety – 2020

Ray and Fahmarr McElrathbey are the protagonists of this inspirational film. Clemson University has offered Ray a football scholarship, but his brother isn’t cared for after his mother relapsed.

Ray resolves to look after Fahmarr, and he must learn to manage school, football, and NCAA rules while also looking after his brother in secret. It isn’t a frivolous film by any means, but it is pretty inspiring.

It emphasizes the value of biological and nonbiological families and how a community can make a difference in people’s lives.

11. Night At The Museum – 2006

Night at the Museum (4K UHD)

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When the museum’s tourists have departed, the displays spring to life at night, leaving just a lone museum security guard to control the commotion. Children like the exhibits’ antics, while adults enjoy the appearances of comedians such as Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, and Steve Coogan.

A message about pursuing your aspirations is hidden behind the potty humor and fast-paced shenanigans. Larry attempts to urge his kid to pursue his dreams, and Larry gradually learns to work harder for what he wants as well.

Two sequels follow the original film. Family, loyalty, courage, divorced parents, friendship, overcoming prejudice, responsibility, working through adversity, not giving up, and assisting people who are weaker than you are all themes that are explored in this film.

12. Finding Nemo – 2003

Finding Nemo (4K UHD)

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If Finding Nemo isn’t the finest Pixar film, it’s undoubtedly the most visually stunning. The underwater world is a dizzyingly beautiful, gigantic cosmos all its own, teeming with species of all shapes and colors.

It follows the narrative of Marlin, an overprotective father and a clownfish who, together with Dory, a regal blue tang, seeks his lost kid Nemo. Along the journey, Marlin learns to take chances and accepts Nemo’s ability to care for himself.

Marlin navigates past sharks—one big grinned great white named Bruce — jellyfish, and laid-back turtles with the help of memory-challenged, ever-quotable Dory, while Nemo and some hardened “inmates” plot a great escape from a dentist’s office fish tank. Plus, your youngster will learn whale language.

Finding Nemo taught us that parents aren’t always right and that it’s alright for them to make errors as authoritative figures. After all, they’re only human, and most of the time, they’re still learning how to be parents.

Finding Nemo’s central theme is trust. Marlin needs to learn to put his confidence in his kid. His misguided belief in his son sparks the journey. Throughout his trip, Marlin learns to trust people, especially while he is in the belly of the whale with Dory.

13. Spy Kids – 2001

Spy Kids (MIRAMAX)

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In this film, Carmen and Juni find out that their parents are spies that have been kidnapped, and they must embark on an expedition to save them. However, thanks to a plethora of ridiculous technologies and exaggerated characters, the danger never becomes too frightening.

If this is a smash in your family, the whole Spy Kids franchise is presently available on Netflix, including an animated TV series. Spy Kids offers a moral viewpoint and various good themes.

It not only depicts the youngsters conquering evil, but it also depicts them retraining one of the villains to perform well rather than evil. The film also emphasizes the importance of families not keeping secrets from one another.

Spy Kids is the perfect blend of exhilarating fantasy, thrilling adventure, stunning, amazing effects, and clever humor for children aged 7 to 12.

14. The Princess Diaries – 2001

The Princess Diaries (4K UHD)

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In this Meg Cabot novel, an heir to Genovia’s throne finds out she is a young girl named Mia. She finds that the pleasures of royal life also come with obligations (and paparazzi), which she must learn to manage while remaining faithful to her friends back home.

Kids may learn a lot from this fascinating story which is captivating from beginning to end in many ways, humor, drama, and family love.

This movie helps to teach kids that:

  • It’s never too late to apologize.
  • What you want (or believe you won’t) isn’t always what’s best for you.
  • Managing oneself with grace will assist you, even in the most challenging situations.
  • A little humor goes a long way.
  • People don’t always say what they mean.

The Princess Diaries has a sequel that carries those values further in-depth.

15. Pinocchio – 2009

Pinocchio DVD, 2009 (2-Disc Set, 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition)

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Pinocchio is not only a fantastic vehicle for teaching a kid the necessity of speaking the truth, but it is also an excellent vehicle for breaking open the darker areas of their imaginations.

Disney’s adaptation of the Italian fairy tale combines unsettling imagery with imaginative highlights that have become Disney hallmarks, such as traveling inside a whale and turning into donkeys on an island of naughty boys.

Children will recognize Jiminy Cricket as the voice that will keep them out of mischief, and they will hear “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the song that started a billion-dollar enterprise when he sings it.

Some of the subjects explored in this cartoon are: Additional themes include humility, compassion, and honesty. Pinocchio learns the value of listening to his conscience and doing the right thing at all times. Jiminy Cricket does his utmost to educate Pinocchio the right from wrong and keep him safe.

16. Annie – 1982


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Critics weren’t crazy about this big-screen rendition of the hit Broadway show, but generations of youngsters have changed their minds.

Annie provides an opportunity to view dire—if glossed over—economic situations through the eyes of children who, while being hungry and unloved, have the energy to sing charming lyrics like “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.”

Carol Burnett’s portrayal of the crumbling orphanage’s alcoholic, lonely den mother, maybe a child’s first encounter with a likable villain.

Although the film aims to entertain rather than teach, children may learn something about the Great Depression and New York City in the 1930s. In addition to family ties, families can be formed by other factors as well. Loyalty and friendship, as well as courage and thanks, are prominent themes.

17. WALL-E – 2008


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Do you want your youngster to one day to understand Stanley Kubrick’s vision in 2001 and Buster Keaton’s supreme enchantment in silent films?

Look no farther than Pixar’s creators, who, with their sincere, Hello, Dolly-loving trash-collecting robot, managed to craft a straightforward, lovely narrative of love and optimism inside a dismal future.

With many current animated films’ frenzied punchline-a-minute tendencies, WALL-E’s practically quiet opening 30 minutes may appear intimidating. Still, most youngsters are hooked from the start, exercising movie-watching muscles they’ve never flexed before.

The film is a parable about wastefulness and endurance, with a powerful message at its core. Children will learn the significance of environmental protection, as well as a variety of other social lessons.

Overconsumption and excessive waste are portrayed as a garbage-strewn wasteland (and humans as lumps who can barely walk in hoverchairs).

18. The Iron Giant – 1999

The Iron Giant (Signature Edition)

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Warner Bros. attempted to break into the sector with The Iron Giant. This hand-drawn box-office disappointment yet left an indelible impression when animation was synonymous with Disney and Pixar was altering the appearance of the genre.

The Iron Giant is a film directed by Brad Bird, who subsequently directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille. It depicts the story of a lonely youngster in search of a father figure and the gentle metal giant the US government is hunting.

Despite the film’s intention to entertain rather than teach, children will learn about the 1950s and lessons about friendship, responsibility, and gun violence—positive messages concerning critical concerns, such as to conduct and life values.

19. How To Train Your Dragon – 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

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Hiccup isn’t a fighter, and he’s tiny, snarky, and perhaps a touch too sharp compared to the rest of his Viking tribe. On the other hand, Hiccup transforms the lives of everyone he knows forever when he befriends a wounded dragon named Toothless instead of murdering it.

Keeping a dragon as a pet isn’t without its risks. This hero isn’t indestructible, unlike most animated films, and even brave dangers have significant repercussions. It is a children’s film with one prosthetic foot firmly planted in the adult world.

The narrative follows the classic misfit who, unable to live up to his father’s expectations, finds a new method to gain popularity, a new way to allow his people to live with dragons, and a new way to win his sweetheart. Amid those adolescent years, it’s a narrative about ethics.

The film’s main message to parents is that, no matter how much we want to, we can’t keep our children forever if we want them to grow up to be independent and successful individuals. Their lives must be free to be lived as they choose.

20. The Incredibles – 2004

The Incredibles

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The Incredibles is one of Pixar’s finest films because of how well it satirizes some of cinema’s most renowned genres.

Almost no minute of screen time goes by without a subtle reference to superheroes or espionage movie cliches, which seem to multiply with each consecutive watching (mainly if the other movies on this list get consumed in the interim).

However, the film’s undertone of Tom Perrotta-Esque middle-class, middle-aged anguish distinguishes it from pure parody and roots it as a fascinating tale in its own right. It’s a fanciful mash-up of genre blockbusters with a soul.

Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl teach their children that family unity is the essential thing in the world. The Incredibles join together to save each otherand their city — despite their differences of opinion. Characters show bravery and cooperation.


The pleasant thing about these films is that they never go out of style or genuinely get old. Kids aged 10 to 12 would love it because more than one movie on this list is targeted to their interests and will keep their eyes riveted to the TV.

While being entertained by these magnificent movies, they will be learning crucial life skills.


Good Housekeeping: 30 Great Movies for Tweens Who Are Tired of “Kiddie” Stuff

Time Out: 33 great tween-friendly movies to add to your watch list

Common Sense Media: 50 Movies All Kids Should Watch Before They’re 12

Ranker: The Best Movies for 10-Year-Old Kids

Trend Max: TOP 10 Best MOVIES FOR KIDS Of All Time ????????????

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