Entertainment The Best '40s Kids Movies  

Ranker Film
1.2k votes 244 voters 6.2k views 36 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite children films that were released in the 1940s

The best 1940s kids movies are iconic, and definitely family friendly. Classic characters, such as Bambi, Dumbo, and Pinocchio, were introduced in the ‘40s, cementing their place in pop culture history. All produced by Disney, these pictures represented a golden age of Disney animation, one that wouldn’t reoccur again until the end of the 20th century.


Also on this list of the greatest 1940s kids movies, you'll find
Fantasia, the most legendary Disney animated film. Featuring numerous short sketches set to classical music, Fantasia brought Mickey Mouse, who had declined in popularity, back into the public eye. The movie won numerous awards and is regarded as one of the greatest animated films ever made.


In addition, the 1940s saw the rise of the family-friendly dog movie. Movies like
My Pal Wolf and A Boy and His Dog were immensely popular in the ‘40s. Familiar canine pals such as Lassie also had major movie careers in the ‘40s. Paired up with big stars of the day, like Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowell, Lassie appeared in numerous popular children’s films in the decade.     

Vote up the best '40s kids movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.
list ordered by
1
54 7
Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Walt Disney, Corey Burton, Leopold Stokowski
Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben ...more
2
53 8
Bambi is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Sterling Holloway, Sam Edwards, Cammie King
Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand, produced by Walt Disney and based on the book Bambi, A Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The film was ...more
3
47 7
Pinocchio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards, Frankie Darro
Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based on the Italian children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. It was the ...more
4
36 12
Peter and the Wolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Sterling Holloway
Peter and the Wolf is an 1946 animated short based on the 1936 musical composition/fairy tale by Sergei Prokofiev, produced by Walt Disney and narrated by Sterling Holloway. It was originally ...more
5
37 13
Melody Time is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Mel Blanc, Roy Rogers, Bobby Driscoll
Melody Time, a 1948 film, is the 10th theatrically released animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released to theatres by RKO Radio Pictures on May 27, 1948. Made up of several sequences ...more
6
36 13
Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara, Thelma Ritter
Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies. It stars Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund ...more
7
37 14
Disney Learning Adventures: Mi... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Walt Disney, Billy Gilbert, Sterling Holloway
Disney Learning Adventures: Mickey and the Beanstalk is a segment of 1947 animated feature Fun and Fancy Free, written by Joe Rinaldi, Bill Peet and Homer Brightman, and directed by Hamilton ...more
8
30 12
Fun and Fancy Free is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Walt Disney, Dinah Shore, Dennis Day
Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures on September 27, 1947. It was one of the "package films" the studio produced in ...more
9
28 12
Make Mine Music is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman, Nelson Eddy
Make Mine Music is an 1946 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney and released to theatres on April 20, 1946. It is the 8th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated ...more
10
24 9
The Secret Garden is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Dean Stockwell, Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall
The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film. It is the second screen adaptation of the classic 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The screenplay by Robert Ardrey was directed by Fred M. ...more
11
31 17
The Adventures of Ichabod and ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, J. Pat O'Malley
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 animated package film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film consists of two segments – the first is ...more
12
26 13
Lassie Come Home is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Elizabeth Taylor, Roddy McDowall, Elsa Lanchester
Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy McDowall and canine actor, Pal, in a story about the profound bond between Yorkshire boy Joe Carraclough ...more
13
22 12
Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
John Qualen, Sabu Dastagir, Rosemary DeCamp
Jungle Book is a 1942 independent Indian/American Technicolor action-adventure film by the Hungarian Korda brothers, based on a screenplay adaptation by Laurence Stallings of the Rudyard Kipling ...more
14
23 13
Courage of Lassie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan, Carl Switzer
Courage of Lassie is a 1946 Technicolor MGM feature film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan, and dog actor Pal in a story about a collie named Bill and his young companion, Kathie Merrick. ...more
15
18 11
The Red Pony is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Robert Mitchum, Myrna Loy, Beau Bridges
The Red Pony is a 1949 Western drama film based on one of John Steinbeck's short stories published in the 1930s under the title The Red Pony. Steinbeck also wrote the screenplay for this film.
16
19 12
Son of Lassie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Peter Lawford, June Lockhart, Nils Asther
Son of Lassie is a 1945 Technicolor feature film produced by MGM based on characters created by Eric Knight, and starring Peter Lawford, Donald Crisp, June Lockhart and Pal. A sequel to Lassie ...more
17
18 13
The Invisible Mouse is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Tom is chasing Jerry as usual, when Jerry dives into a bottle of ink to hide. Not noticing, Tom dashes off in which he thinks is the direction the mouse went. When Jerry emerges from the bottle, ...more
18
42 40
Dumbo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards, Verna Felton
Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on October 23, 1941, by RKO Radio Pictures. Sound was recorded conventionally using the RCA System. One voice ...more
19
16 13
Hills of Home is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Janet Leigh, Edmund Gwenn, Donald Crisp
Hills of Home is a 1948 Technicolor drama film, the fourth in a series of seven MGM Lassie films. It starred Edmund Gwenn, Donald Crisp, and Tom Drake.
20
13 12
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Roddy McDowall, James Bell, Preston Foster
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is a 1945 Technicolor family film directed by Louis King. It was adapted to screen by Dwight Cummins and Dorothy Yost from the novel by Mary O'Hara, and is based on ...more
21
13 13
My Pal Wolf is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
George Cleveland, Una O'Connor, Joan Barclay
My Pal Wolf is a 1944 family film based on the story by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, written by Lillie Hayward, John Paxton and Leonard Praskins and directed by Alfred L. Weker.
22
14 16
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
23
9 13
My Dog Rusty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
My Dog Rusty Dwayne Hickman, John Litel, Ann Doran
My Dog Rusty is a 1948 drama and family film written by Brenda Weisberg, William Sackheim, and Al Martin and directed by Lew Landers.
24
7 11
Family Honeymoon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Claudette Colbert, Hattie McDaniel, Fred MacMurray
Family Honeymoon is a 1949 domestic comedy film made by Universal International, directed by Claude Binyon, and written by Dane Lussier, based on novel by Homer Croy. It was shot in Grand Canyon ...more
25
8 13
Benjamin Franklin, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '40s Kids Movies
Benjamin Franklin, Jr.
Benjamin Franklin Jr. is a 1943 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Herbert Glazer. It was the 211th Our Gang short that was released.