Entertainment

The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s 

Ranker Film
Updated December 30, 2019 3.3k votes 527 voters 41.8k views 60 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite children films that were released in the 1970s

To begin any discussion of the greatest ‘70s kids movies, we have to start with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The imagery, story, and legendary performance of Gene Wilder as Wonka have cemented this film as an all-time classic. Released in 1971, it earned Wilder a Golden Globe nomination as well as a nomination for Best Original Score, however, both awards went to Fiddler on the Roof.

This list of the best ‘70s kids movies contains numerous other classics, as well. You will find The Muppet Movie, the first live-action movie featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets. Noted for its metatheatrical nature, frequent celebrity cameos, and intelligent humor, the film remains popular and helped catapult the Muppets to a decades-long run of cultural significance. Animated movies also featured prominently on this list of the top ‘70s kids movies include The Aristocats and The Rescuers.

Other fixtures in the American pop culture canon can also be found here, including Superman, Charlie Brown, and Robin Hood. Vote up the best '70s kids movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

list ordered by
1
Willy Wonka & the Ch... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor

Released: 1971

Directed by: Mel Stuart

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

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2
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Tom Islava added Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

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3
The Rescuers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor, Geraldine Page

Released: 1977

Directed by: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, Art Stevens

The Rescuers is a 1977 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions and first released on June 22, 1977 by Buena Vista Distribution. The 23rd film in the Walt Disney ...more

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4
Bedknobs and Broomsticks... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall, Bruce Forsyth

Released: 1971

Directed by: Robert Stevenson

This film is a 1971 American musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company in North America on December 13, 1971. It is based upon the books ...more

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5
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson

Released: 1973

Directed by: Charles August Nichols, Iwao Takamoto

Charlotte's Web is a 1973 American animated musical film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Sagittarius Productions and based upon the 1952 children's book of the same name by E. B. ...more

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6
The Muppet Movie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor

Released: 1979

Directed by: James Frawley

The Muppet Movie is a 1979 American-British musical road comedy film and the first of a series of live-action feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets. Directed by James Frawley, the film's ...more

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7
A Charlie Brown Thanksgi... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Bill Melendez

Released: 1973

Directed by: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on November ...more
8
The Aristocats is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Eva Gabor, Ruth Buzzi, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1970

Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman

The Aristocats is a 1970 American animated feature film produced and released by Walt Disney Productions and features the voices of Eva Gabor, Hermione Baddeley, Phil Harris, Dean Clark, ...more

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9
Escape to Witch Mountain... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland

Released: 1975

Directed by: John Hough

Escape to Witch Mountain is a 1975 film based on the novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by Buena Vista Distribution Company and ...more

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10
Pete's Dragon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Mickey Rooney, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons

Released: 1977

Directed by: Don Chaffey

Pete's Dragon is a 1977 live-action/animated musical film from Walt Disney Productions. It is a live-action film but one of its title characters, a dragon named Elliott, is animated. The story ...more

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11
Snoopy, Come Home is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Bill Melendez, Christopher DeFaria, Linda Ercoli

Released: 1972

Directed by: Bill Melendez

Snoopy, Come Home! is a 1972 animated musical film, released by National General Pictures, produced by Cinema Center Films and Lee Mendelson Films, directed by Bill Meléndez, and based on ...more

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12
Superman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve

Released: 1978

Directed by: Richard Donner

Superman is a 1978 superhero film directed by Richard Donner. It is based on the DC Comics character of the same name and stars Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, ...more

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13
Benji is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Edgar Buchanan, Frances Bavier, Peter Breck

Released: 1974

Directed by: Joe Camp

This tail-wagging tale begins as Benji visits his pals Cindy and Paul, whose father Paul Chapman, won't let them give the mutt a home. But the shaggy stray changes his mind by saving the day ...more

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14
Ranker Video
Ringo Starr, Peter Ustinov, Graham Chapman

Released: 1973

Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman

Robin Hood is a 1973 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions which was first released in the United States on November 8, 1973. The 21st animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

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15
The Year Without a Santa... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Booth, Dick Shawn

Released: 1974

Directed by: Arthur Rankin, Jr., Jules Bass

Mrs. Claus shares the story about the year Santa decided to take a vacation when he becomes convinced that there is no more Christmas spirit and people no longer care. Mrs. Claus sends Jingle ...more

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16
The Cat in the Hat is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Daws Butler, Pamelyn Ferdin, Allan Sherman

Released: 1971

Directed by: Hawley Pratt

The Cat in the Hat is an animated musical television special first aired on CBS on March 10, 1971, based on the 1957 Dr. Seuss children's book of the same name, and produced by DePatie-Freleng ...more

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17
Winnie the Pooh and Tigg... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Clint Howard, Howard Morris, Sterling Holloway

Released: 1974

Directed by: John Lounsbery

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too is a 1974 animated feature from Disney released as a double feature with The Island at the Top of the World. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best ...more
18
Be My Valentine, Charlie... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Bill Melendez

Released: 1975

Directed by: Phil Roman

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown is the 13th prime-time animated TV special based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It originally aired on the CBS network on January 28, ...more
19
You're a Good Sport, Cha... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Gail Davis, Liam Martin, Melanie Kohn

Released: 1975

Directed by: Phil Roman

You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown is the 14th prime-time animated TV specials based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was originally aired on the CBS network on ...more
20
The Apple Dumpling Gang ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bill Bixby

Released: 1975

Directed by: Norman Tokar

The Apple Dumpling Gang is a 1975 Disney film about a slick gambler named Russell Donovan who is duped into taking care of a group of orphans who eventually strike gold during the California ...more

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21
Return from Witch Mounta... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Christopher Lee, Bette Davis, Kim Richards

Released: 1978

Directed by: John Hough

Return from Witch Mountain is the 1978 sequel to Walt Disney Productions' 1975 film, Escape to Witch Mountain. It was written by Malcolm Marmorstein and is based on the novel by Alexander Key. ...more

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22
The Lorax is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Danny DeVito

Released: 1972

Directed by: Hawley Pratt

The Lorax is a 1972 animated musical television special produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. It first aired on CBS on February 14, 1972 based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss. It ...more

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23
Rudolph's Shiny New Year... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Red Skelton

Released: 1976

In this television special, Rudolph has just come back from delivering Christmas presents with Santa Claus when he is asked by Father Time to find the next Baby New Year before midnight on New ...more

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24
Close Encounters of the ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Siersha 2 added Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Carl Weathers

Released: 1977

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science fiction film, written and directed by Steven Spielberg and featuring Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, ...more

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25
Race for Your Life, Char... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Kids Movies of the 1970s
Bill Melendez, Gail Davis, Jackson Beck

Released: 1977

Directed by: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman

Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is a 1977 animated film produced by United Feature Syndicate for Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill Meléndez, and the third in a series of films based ...more

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