film The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite children films that were released in the 1980s

This list of the top ‘80s kids movies is chock-full of genre classics. Is the best ‘80s kids movie E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, the highest-grossing film of the 1980s? What about The Karate Kid, a classic that is constantly referenced, parodied, and quoted, its mark on popular culture indelible? Or how about The Princess Bride? The list goes on and on.


Let’s not forget about animated films, either.
The Little Mermaid is one of the most popular animated children’s movies ever. You can find plenty of Miyazaki on this list, as well, including My Neighbor Totoro, one of the legendary Japanese director’s finest efforts. Vote up the best '80s kid movies below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section. 

list ordered by

1
304 54
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Goonies Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin 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 ...more

2
259 39
Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added Back to the Future Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson 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, ...more

3
217 43
Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd Ghostbusters is a 1984 American sci-fi-fantasy comedy film, directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. The film stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as ...more

4
220 54
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

5
216 55
The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The NeverEnding Story Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical library book that tells a story of a young ...more

6
196 51
The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Karate Kid Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita 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 ...more

7
190 60
The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Princess Bride Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, André the Giant 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 ...more

8
135 61
A Christmas Story is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added A Christmas Story Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Zack Ward A Christmas Story is a 1983 American Christmas comedy film based on the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author and raconteur Jean Shepherd, based on his book In God We Trust: All ...more

9
153 54
Big is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added Big Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz, Elizabeth Perkins Big is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Penny Marshall, and stars Tom Hanks as Josh Baskin, a young boy who makes a wish "to be big" and is then aged to adulthood ...more

10
150 50
Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added Gremlins Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman, Phoebe Cates Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a mogwai as a pet, which then ...more

11
148 54
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Little Mermaid Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the Danish fairy tale by Hans ...more

12
130 55
The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Land Before Time Diana Ross, Frank Welker, Judith Barsi The Land Before Time is a 1988 American-Irish animated adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and ...more

The Scariest Movies of the 1980s

13
143 58
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Labyrinth Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

14
122 54
The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Fox and the Hound Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney, Corey Feldman The Fox and the Hound is a 1981 American animated drama film based on the Daniel P. Mannix novel of the same name, produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in the United States on July ...more

15
105 59
Flight of the Navigator is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Flight of the Navigator Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens, Veronica Cartwright Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Mark H. Baker and Michael Burton, about David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who is abducted by ...more

16
107 57
An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
An American Tail Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise An American Tail is a 1986 American animated musical adventure film directed by Don Bluth and produced by Sullivan Bluth Studios and Amblin Entertainment. The film tells the story of Fievel ...more

17
92 49
The Muppet Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Muppet Christmas Carol Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Louise Gold The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 American musical fantasy-comedy film and an adaptation of Charles Dickens's 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. It is the fourth in a series of live-action musical ...more

The Absolute Worst Actors-Turned-Musicians

18
97 46
Harry and the Hendersons is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Harry and the Hendersons John Lithgow, Don Ameche, David Suchet Harry and the Hendersons is a 1987 American fantasy comedy film directed and produced by William Dear, and starring John Lithgow, Melinda Dillon, Don Ameche, David Suchet, Margaret Langrick, ...more

19
94 34
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Tom Islava added Who Framed Roger Rabbit Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Bob Hoskins Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American live-action/animated fantasy-comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf's ...more

20
93 49
All Dogs Go to Heaven is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
All Dogs Go to Heaven Loni Anderson, Dom DeLuise, Vic Tayback All Dogs Go to Heaven is a 1989 American–Irish animated musical adventure comedy film directed and produced by Don Bluth and released by United Artists and Goldcrest Films. The film tells the ...more

21
100 63
Annie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Annie Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Greta Garbo Annie is a 1982 American musical comedy-drama film adapted from Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on Little Orphan ...more

22
81 55
The Adventures of Milo and Oti... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
HoserUSC added The Adventures of Milo and Otis Dudley Moore, Shigeru Tsuyugushi The Adventures of Milo and Otis is an Japanese adventure comedy-drama film about two animals, the titular characters, Milo and Otis. The original English version was released on June 27, 1986, ...more

The Best Black Movies of the 1980s

23
97 63
The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Dark Crystal Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Lisa Maxwell The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The plot revolves around Jen, an elflike 'Gelfling' on a quest to restore balance to his alien world ...more

24
81 65
The Secret of NIMH is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Secret of NIMH Shannen Doherty, Wil Wheaton, Derek Jacobi The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated fantasy adventure drama film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut. It is an adaptation of Robert C. O'Brien's 1971 children's novel Mrs. ...more

25
90 68
Pee-wee's Big Adventure is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Pee-wee's Big Adventure Phil Hartman, Morgan Fairchild, Tim Burton Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Tim Burton in his full-length film directing debut and starring Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman. Reubens also co-wrote ...more

26
75 59
The Karate Kid, Part II is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Karate Kid, Part II Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Tamlyn Tomita The Karate Kid, Part II is a 1986 American martial arts film. A sequel to 1984's The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita reprise their respective roles as young karate student Daniel ...more

27
70 46
The Great Muppet Caper is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Great Muppet Caper John Cleese, Diana Rigg, Jim Henson The Great Muppet Caper is a 1981 mystery musical comedy film directed by Jim Henson. It is the second of a series of live-action musical feature films, starring Jim Henson's Muppets. This film ...more

Stars Who Passed on Iconic Hollywood Roles

28
71 57
The Brave Little Toaster is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Brave Little Toaster Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Joe Ranft The Brave Little Toaster is a 1987 American animated musical comedy-adventure film adapted from the 1980 novel, The Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story For Small Appliances by Thomas Disch. It ...more

29
63 43
Oliver & Company is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Oliver & Company Billy Joel, Bette Midler, Cheech Marin Oliver & Company is a 1988 American animated musical buddy comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released on November 18, 1988 by Walt Disney Pictures. The 27th ...more

30
66 48
The Muppets Take Manhattan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Muppets Take Manhattan Joan Rivers, Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets with ...more

31
64 53
The Last Starfighter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
EricWeatherford added The Last Starfighter Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart The Last Starfighter is a 1984 American space opera film directed by Nick Castle. The film tells the story of Alex Rogan, an average teenage boy recruited by an alien defense force to fight in ...more

32
59 49
Explorers is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Explorers Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, James Cromwell Explorers is a 1985 family-oriented science-fiction fantasy film written by Eric Luke and directed by Joe Dante. The film stars Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix as teenage schoolboys who build a ...more

The Greatest Movies of the 1980s, Ranked

33
73 59
Little Monsters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Little Monsters Fred Savage, Howie Mandel, Ben Savage Little Monsters is a 1989 fantasy comedy film starring Fred Savage as Brian Stevenson, a sixth-grader who has recently moved to a new town, and Howie Mandel as Maurice, the monster under the ...more

34
58 55
The Great Mouse Detective is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Great Mouse Detective Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone, Frank Welker The Great Mouse Detective is a 1986 American animated mystery film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation, originally released to movie theaters on July 2, 1986 by Walt Disney Pictures. The ...more

35
60 67
Return to Oz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Return to Oz Fairuza Balk, Piper Laurie, Nicol Williamson Return to Oz is a 1985 fantasy adventure film based on L. Frank Baum's Oz books, mainly The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz. The plot begins with Dorothy's return to the Land of Oz, and her ...more

36
38 26
The Boy Who Could Fly is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
swirlyt added The Boy Who Could Fly Fred Savage, Jason Priestley, John Carpenter The Boy Who Could Fly is a 1986 film written and directed by Nick Castle. It was produced by Lorimar Productions for 20th Century Fox, and released theatrically on August 14, 1986. The film ...more

37
36 27
The Wizard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
swirlyt added The Wizard Tobey Maguire, Christian Slater, Fred Savage The Wizard is a 1989 adventure comedy-drama film starring Fred Savage, Christian Slater, Jenny Lewis and Luke Edwards. It was also Tobey Maguire's film debut. The film follows three children as ...more

Inexcusable Dating Dealbreakers (from a Woman's Viewpoint)

38
60 63
My Neighbor Totoro is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
My Neighbor Totoro Noriko Hidaka, Ikue Ōtani, Sumi Shimamoto My Neighbor Totoro is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film – which stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika ...more

39
56 63
The Karate Kid, Part III is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Karate Kid, Part III Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively The Karate Kid, Part III is a 1989 martial arts film, and the second sequel to the hit motion picture The Karate Kid. The film stars Ralph Macchio, Noriyuki "Pat" Morita and Robyn ...more

40
22 5
Willow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
NicholasAlt added Willow Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak, Warwick Davis Willow is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Ron Howard, produced and with a story by George Lucas, and starring Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, and Billy Barty. ...more

41
46 52
Master Of The Universe is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
andy-lautenschleger added Master Of The Universe Master Of The Universe is a 2013 documentary film written and directed by Marc Bauder.

42
20 4
Short Circuit is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
NicholasAlt added Short Circuit Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, Austin Pendleton Short Circuit is a 1986 American comic science fiction film directed by John Badham, and written by S. S. Wilson and Brent Maddock. The film's plot centers upon an experimental military robot ...more

Kids of Horror Movies: Where Are They Now?

43
46 54
The Black Cauldron is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Black Cauldron John Hurt, John Huston, Nigel Hawthorne The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated dark fantasy adventure film released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it is loosely based on the first ...more

44
32 32
Troop Beverly Hills is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
swirlyt added Troop Beverly Hills Carla Gugino, Tori Spelling, Jenny Lewis Troop Beverly Hills is a 1989 adventure comedy film. Produced by Weintraub Entertainment Group and directed by Jeff Kanew, it starred Shelley Long, Craig T. Nelson, Betty Thomas, Mary Gross, ...more

45
45 48
Popeye is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Popeye Robin Williams, Linda Hunt, Dennis Franz Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Popeye is a 1980 American musical comedy film, directed by Robert Altman and is a live-action film adaptation of E. C. Segar's Thimble Theatre aka Popeye comic strip. It stars Robin Williams as ...more

46
48 61
The Last Unicorn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
The Last Unicorn Jeff Bridges, Christopher Lee, Angela Lansbury Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Last Unicorn is a 1982 American animated fantasy film directed and produced by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. It was produced by Rankin/Bass for ITC Entertainment, and animated by ...more

47
35 53
Cloak & Dagger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Cloak & Dagger Dabney Coleman, Louie Anderson, William Forsythe Cloak & Dagger is a 1984 spy adventure film directed by Richard Franklin starring Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman and Michael Murphy. It is a remake of the 1949 film The Window. It was ...more

48
39 61
G.I. Joe: The Movie is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
G.I. Joe: The Movie Don Johnson, Burgess Meredith, Sgt. Slaughter G.I. Joe: The Movie is a 1987 animated film spin-off from the animated series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, based on the original Hasbro toyline. It was produced by Sunbow Productions and ...more

49
37 50
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) Scott Beach Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!) is a 1980 animated comedy-drama film produced by United Feature Syndicate and distributed by Paramount Pictures, directed by Bill ...more

50
48 59
Kiki's Delivery Service is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies of the 1980s
Kiki's Delivery Service Kikuko Inoue, Kappei Yamaguchi, Akio Ōtsuka Kiki's Delivery Service is a 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film produced by Studio Ghibli. It was written, produced and directed by Hayao Miyazaki as an adaptation of the 1985 novel of the same ...more