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The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s

Updated July 8, 2019 1.8k votes 286 voters 8.4k views36 items

List RulesVote 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.
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  • 1
    Fun and Fancy Free is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    79
    18

    Fun and Fancy Free

    Walt Disney, Dinah Shore

    Released1947

    Directed byBill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, William Morgan, Jack Kinney

    Fun and Fancy Free is a 1947 animated feature produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Make Mine Music is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    77
    17

    Make Mine Music

    Dinah Shore, Benny Goodman

    Released1946

    Directed byRobert Cormack, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Joshua Meador, Jack Kinney

    Make Mine Music is an 1946 American animated anthology film produced by Walt Disney and... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Bambi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    69
    12

    Bambi

    Sterling Holloway, Sam Edwards

    Released1942

    Directed byJames Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Paul Satterfield, Bill Roberts, Norman Wright

    Bambi is a 1942 American animated drama film directed by David Hand, produced by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Fantasia is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    73
    16

    Fantasia

    Walt Disney, Corey Burton

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, T. Hee, Ford Beebe

    Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Pinocchio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    62
    14

    Pinocchio

    Mel Blanc, Cliff Edwards

    Released1940

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, T. Hee, Bill Roberts, Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen

    Pinocchio is a 1940 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Productions... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Miracle on 34th Street is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    51
    16

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Natalie Wood, Maureen O'Hara

    Released1947

    Directed byGeorge Seaton

    Miracle on 34th Street is a 1947 Christmas film written and directed by George Seaton and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    The Invisible Mouse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    Tom is chasing Jerry as usual, when Jerry dives into a bottle of ink to hide. Not noticing,... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 8
    Disney Learning Adventures: Mi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s

    Released1947

    Directed byBill Roberts, Hamilton Luske

    Disney Learning Adventures: Mickey and the Beanstalk is a segment of 1947 animated feature Fun...amazon_watch buy button
  • 9
    Peter and the Wolf is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    49
    18

    Peter and the Wolf

    Sterling Holloway

    Released1946

    Directed byClyde Geronimi

    Peter and the Wolf is an 1946 animated short based on the 1936 musical composition/fairy tale... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Melody Time is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    45
    18

    Melody Time

    Mel Blanc, Roy Rogers

    Released1948

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

    Melody Time, a 1948 film, is the 10th theatrically released animated feature produced by Walt... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Secret Garden is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    38
    11

    The Secret Garden

    Dean Stockwell, Margaret O'Brien

    Released1949

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film. It is the second screen adaptation of the classic... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 12
    The Adventures of Ichabod and  is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    43
    20

    The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

    Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone

    Released1949

    Directed byJames Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney

    The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a 1949 animated package film produced by Walt Disney... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Lassie Come Home is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    38
    17

    Lassie Come Home

    Elizabeth Taylor, Roddy McDowall

    Released1943

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button

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  • 14
    Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    34
    17

    Jungle Book

    John Qualen, Sabu Dastagir

    Released1942

    Directed byZoltan Korda

    Jungle Book is a 1942 independent Indian/American Technicolor action-adventure film by the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Courage of Lassie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    30
    16

    Courage of Lassie

    Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan

    Released1946

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    Courage of Lassie is a 1946 Technicolor MGM feature film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Frank... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 16
    The Red Pony is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    25
    14

    The Red Pony

    Robert Mitchum, Myrna Loy

    Released1949

    Directed byLewis Milestone

    The Red Pony is a 1949 Western drama film based on one of John Steinbeck's short stories... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 17
    Dumbo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    54
    52

    Dumbo

    Sterling Holloway, Cliff Edwards

    Released1941

    Directed byWilfred Jackson, Samuel Armstrong, Bill Roberts, Ben Sharpsteen, Norm Ferguson

    Dumbo is an American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions and premiered on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Son of Lassie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    25
    16

    Son of Lassie

    Peter Lawford, June Lockhart

    Released1945

    Directed byS. Sylvan Simon

    Son of Lassie is a 1945 Technicolor feature film produced by MGM based on characters created... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 19
    My Dog Rusty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    24
    17

    My Dog Rusty

    Dwayne Hickman, John Litel

    Released1948

    Directed byLew Landers

    My Dog Rusty is a 1948 drama and family film written by Brenda Weisberg, William Sackheim, and...amazon_watch buy button
  • 20
    A Boy and His Dog is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    21
    15

    A Boy and His Dog

    Harry Davenport

    Released1946

    Directed byLeRoy Prinz

    A Boy and His Dog is a 1946 American short drama film directed by LeRoy Prinz. It won an... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    20
    16

    Thunderhead, Son of Flicka

    Roddy McDowall, James Bell

    Released1945

    Directed byLouis Eugene King, Louis King

    Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is a 1945 Technicolor family film directed by Louis King. It was... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 22
    Benjamin Franklin, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    21
    17

    Benjamin Franklin, Jr.

    Benjamin Franklin Jr. is a 1943 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Herbert Glazer. It was... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 23
    Family Honeymoon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    19
    15

    Family Honeymoon

    Claudette Colbert, Hattie McDaniel

    Released1949

    Directed byClaude Binyon

    Family Honeymoon is a 1949 domestic comedy film made by Universal International, directed by... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 24
    Hills of Home is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    20
    17

    Hills of Home

    Janet Leigh, Edmund Gwenn

    Released1948

    Directed byFred M. Wilcox

    Hills of Home is a 1948 Technicolor drama film, the fourth in a series of seven MGM Lassie... more on Wikipediaamazon_watch buy button
  • 25
    Bill and Coo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1940s
    17
    14

    Bill and Coo

    Pinto Colvig, Ken Murray

    Released1948

    Directed byDean Riesner

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