Entertainment

The Best '50s Kids Movies  

Ranker Film
1.2k votes 203 voters 9.7k views 34 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite children films that were released in the 1950s

The top ‘50s kids movies are a diverse group of genre classics that have been delighting audiences for decades. Many of the characters and stories modern audiences associate with the genre of children’s films can be traced back to the 1950s.


One of the greatest ‘50s kids movies is
Alice in Wonderland, adapted from the beloved Lewis Carroll novel. Walt Disney unsuccessfully tried to adapt this title throughout the 1930s, but it wasn’t until 1951 that his dream was realized. The film was derided by critics upon its release, but in later years it went on to achieve cult-classic status and came to be regarded as one of the best Disney animated films of all time. The actress who voiced Alice, Kathryn Beaumont, also went on to appear in another good ‘50s kids movie classic, Peter Pan.


Also on this list of the best ‘50s kids movies, you will find
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, and Peter Lorre. The film was the only sci-fi picture to be personally produced by Walt Disney, and it stands as one of the earliest American examples of the steampunk sub-genre. Vote up the best '50s kids movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.
list ordered by
1
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
June Foray, Mike Douglas, Verna Felton
Cinderella is a 1950 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. Based on the fairy tale "Cendrillon" by Charles Perrault, it is ...more

More Cinderella

#40 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #39 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #206 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

2
Lady and the Tramp is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg, Dallas McKennon
Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske. The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog ...more

More Lady and the Tramp

#28 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #37 of 505 The Best Duos of All Time #42 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

3
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
June Foray, Bobby Driscoll, Heather Angel
Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the 14th film in the ...more

More Peter Pan

#42 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #63 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #76 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

4
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Ed Wynn, Heather Angel, Sterling Holloway
Alice in Wonderland is a 1951 American animated musical fantasy comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and based primarily on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ...more

More Alice in Wonderland

#39 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #60 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #84 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

5
Sleeping Beauty is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Marvin Miller, Mary Costa, Verna Felton
Sleeping Beauty is a 1959 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney based on The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault and Little Briar Rose by The Brothers Grimm. The 16th ...more

More Sleeping Beauty

#50 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #35 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #84 of 118 The Very Best Movie Franchises

6
Old Yeller is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Chuck Connors, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire
Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire and Beverly Washburn. It is about a boy and a stray dog in Texas. It is based upon ...more

More Old Yeller

#51 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels #6 of 291 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry #78 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

7
Davy Crockett: The River... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen, Mike Mazurki
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates is a 1956 live-action Walt Disney adventure film starring Fess Parker as Davy Crockett. It was shot in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. This film acts as a prequel to ...more

More Davy Crockett: The River Pirates

#124 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #73 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

8
20,000 Leagues Under the... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a 1954 American Technicolor adventure film starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre. It was the first CinemaScope science fiction film and ...more

More 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

#67 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels #96 of 155 The Best Science Fiction Action Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Darby O'Gill and the Lit... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Sean Connery, Janet Munro, Estelle Winwood
Darby O'Gill and the Little People is a 1959 Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery and Jimmy O'Dea, in a tale about a wily Irishman and his ...more

More Darby O'Gill and the Little People

#124 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #71 of 141 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies #113 of 198 The Very Best Children's Movies

10
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Patrick Troughton, Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Treasure Island is a 1950 live action adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions, adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel Treasure Island. It stars Bobby Driscoll as Jim ...more

More Treasure Island

#69 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels #166 of 347 The Best Movies Based On Books #12 of 30 Movies Based On Books You Should Have Read In 6th Grade

11
The Story of Robin Hood ... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Richard Todd, Peter Finch, Michael Hordern
The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men is a 1952 live action Disney version of the Robin Hood legend made in Technicolor and filmed in Buckinghamshire, England. It was written by Lawrence ...more
12
Snow White and the Seven... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Doris Weikow, Marianne Christina Schilling
Schneewittchen und die sieben Zwerge is an East German film. It was released in 1962. The picture sold 7,597,495 tickets.
13
Long John Silver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Rod Taylor, Robert Newton, Connie Gilchrist
Long John Silver, also known as Long John Silver's Return to Treasure Island, is a 1954 United States film production made in Australia about the eponymous pirate from Treasure Island, starring ...more
14
Tom Thumb is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Peter Sellers, Stan Freberg, Alan Young
Tom Thumb is a 1958 fantasy-musical film directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale of the same name, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves ...more
15
The African Lion is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Winston Hibler
The African Lion is a 1955 feature-length documentary that was released by Walt Disney Productions as part of its True-Life Adventures series. The film, which was shot over a three-year period ...more
16
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Kerwin Mathews, Torin Thatcher, Kathryn Crosby
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a 1958 Technicolor fantasy film from Columbia Pictures, produced by Charles H. Schneer and directed by Nathan H. Juran. This was the first of three Sinbad feature ...more

More The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

#77 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #147 of 207 The Best Adventure Movies #234 of 587 The Best Fantasy Movies

17
Superman and the Mole Me... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
George Reeves, Jeff Corey, Stanley Andrews
Superman and the Mole Men is a 1951 superhero film starring George Reeves as Superman and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane. The motion picture is the first theatrical feature film based on the DC ...more
18
The Red Balloon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Renaud Séchan, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov
The Red Balloon is a 1956 fantasy featurette directed by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse. The thirty-four minute short, which follows the adventures of a young boy who one day finds a ...more

More The Red Balloon

#11 of 18 Great Movies That Have Almost No Dialogue #59 of 76 The Best Oscar-Winning Screenplayslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

19
The Great Locomotive Cha... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Fess Parker, Slim Pickens, Harry Carey
The Great Locomotive Chase is a 1956 Walt Disney Productions CinemaScope adventure film based on the real Great Locomotive Chase that occurred in 1862 during the American Civil War. The film ...more
20
Westward Ho the Wagons! ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Fess Parker, George Reeves, Iron Eyes Cody
Westward Ho, The Wagons! is a 1956 live-action Disney western film, aimed at family audiences. Based on Mary Jane Carr's novel Children of the Covered Wagon, the film was produced by Bill Walsh, ...more
21
Kim is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Errol Flynn, Dean Stockwell, Paul Lukas
Kim is a 1950 adventure film made in Technicolor by MGM. It was directed by Victor Saville and produced by Leon Gordon from a screenplay by Helen Deutsch, Leon Gordon and Richard Schayer, based ...more
22
Francis in the Navy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Clint Eastwood, Donald O'Connor, Martha Hyer
Francis in the Navy is a 1955 American black-and-white comedy film from Universal-International, produced by Stanley Rubin and directed by Arthur Lubin. The film stars Donald O'Connor, Martha ...more
23
Third Man on the Mountai... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Helen Hayes, Herbert Lom, Michael Rennie
Third Man on the Mountain is a 1959 American Walt Disney Productions film set during the golden age of alpinism about a young Swiss man who conquers the mountain that killed his father. It is ...more
24
Tonka is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
Sal Mineo, Slim Pickens, Joy Page
Tonka is a 1958 Walt Disney Western adventure film about the US cavalry horse that survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn; it stars Sal Mineo as a Sioux who fought there. It was filmed in ...more
25
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr.... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best '50s Kids Movies
George Chakiris, Hans Conried, Tony Butala
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. is a musical fantasy film, the only feature film written by Theodor Seuss Geisel, who was responsible for the story, screenplay and lyrics. It was directed by Roy ...more