80s Great '80s Movies Your Kids Will Love  

Ranker Film
642 votes 86 voters 1.3k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the classic films appropriate for kids and teens that will teach them to love and respect '80s movies.

It can be difficult to get your children to watch a movie that was released before they were born. It's natural to want to show your children the movies you remember fondly, but kids might bulk at the idea of watching something Mom or Dad think is cool. If you want your kids to love '80s movies, you have to pick out some kid-friendly masterpieces of the era that will wipe away preconceived notions. Choosing the best of the best during a decade which provided hits like The Empire Strikes BackBeetlejuice, and Ghostbusters can be difficult, but this list is here to help!

Remember, you want to pick classic '80s movies appropriate for kids. This means nothing too raunchy or violent, but also be aware anything too kid friendly or corny may elicit an eye roll from teens or tweens. The films listed here are perfect to get kids into '80s movies. They have a certain timelessness that extends across generations. There may be some confusion. Kids may wonder, for example, why none of the kids in The Goonies are carrying cellphones. But once they got lost in the surreal tale of scouring the sewers, they'll forget all about the absence of iPhones and tablets. While Back to the Future may give off a campy vibe that seems odd outside of the '80s, kids will still love the story. 

Read this list of '80s movies for beginners below. Then, vote up your favorites. 

1 49 VOTES

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The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's premise features a band of pre-teens who live in the "Goon Docks" neighborhood of Astoria, Oregon attempting to save their homes from demolition, and in doing so, discover an old Spanish map that leads them on an adventure to unearth the long-lost fortune of One-Eyed Willie, a legendary 17th-century pirate. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin, Joe Pantoliano, Martha Plimpton, + more

Initial Release: 1985

Directed by: Richard Donner

Also Ranked

#5 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#18 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#22 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#13 on The Best Halloween Movies for Kids

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2 41 VOTES

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Back to the Future is a 1985 American comic science fiction film. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis, written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale, produced by Steven Spielberg, and stars Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. Fox plays Marty McFly, a teenager who is sent back in time to 1955. He meets his future parents in high school and accidentally becomes his mother's romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love, and with the help of scientist Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown, he must find a way to return to 1985. Zemeckis and Gale wrote the script after Gale mused upon whether he would have befriended ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, Billy Zane, + more

Initial Release: 1985

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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#16 on The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time

#1 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#1 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#1 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

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3 40 VOTES

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The Princess Bride is a 1987 American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was adapted by William Goldman from his 1973 novel of the same name. The story is presented in the film as a book being read by a grandfather to his sick grandson, thus effectively preserving the novel's narrative style. This film is number 50 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies", number 88 on The American Film Institute's "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions" list of the 100 greatest film love stories, and 46 in Channel 4's 50 Greatest Comedy Films list. In the United Kingdom as well as the United States, The Princess Bride has developed into a cult film. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant, Fred Savage, Mark Knopfler, + more

Initial Release: 1987

Directed by: Rob Reiner

Also Ranked

#18 on The Best Movies Based on Books

#13 on 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

#5 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#17 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

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4 33 VOTES

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The Karate Kid is a 1984 American martial arts romantic drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Robert Mark Kamen, starring Ralph Macchio, who was 22 years old during principal photography, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita and Elisabeth Shue. It is an underdog story in the mold of a previous success, Avildsen's 1976 film Rocky. It was a commercial success upon release, and garnered favorable critical acclaim, earning Morita an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. ...more on Wikipedia

Actors: Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Andrew Shue, Frances Bay, + more

Initial Release: 1984

Directed by: John G. Avildsen

Also Ranked

#25 on The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

#63 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

#33 on The Best Sports Movies Ever Made

#87 on The Greatest Movies for Guys

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