Sponsored
2.5k voters

The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s

Updated October 7, 2020 29.4k votes 2.5k voters 138.7k views139 items

List RulesVote up your favorite children's movies that were released in the 1980s.

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

Let’s not forget about great '80s animated films, either. The Little Mermaid is one of the most popular Disney 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 check back to see where your favorite '80s children movies end up on the list. 

Photo:
...more
  • The Goonies1
    874
    175

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    Amazon buy button

    More The Goonies 

    Interesting Details From 'The Goonies' That Make Us Want To Rewatch#156 of 480 The Greatest Movies For Guys

  • Back to the Future2
    712
    132

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Amazon buy button

    More Back to the Future 

    Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Back to the Future#1 of 151 The Most Rewatchable Comedy Movies

  • Ghostbusters3
    614
    128

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Amazon buy button

    More Ghostbusters 

    Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'Ghostbusters' Most People Have Never Heard#2 of 126 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members

  • The Karate Kid4
    536
    139

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

    Amazon buy button

    More The Karate Kid 

    #31 of 204 The Best Sports Movies Ever Made#20 of 150 The Most Inspirational Sports Movies

  • Stand by Me5
    429
    61

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Amazon buy button

    More Stand by Me 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Stand By Me' That Prove The Film Shaped The Child Actors#19 of 261 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • The Princess Bride6
    554
    149

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

    Amazon buy button

    More The Princess Bride 

    20 ‘Princess Bride’ Tales We Just Learned That Made Us Say “Inconceivable!”No Matter How Many Times You've Watched 'The Princess Bride,' You Don't Know Everything About It

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial7
    562
    198

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amazon buy button

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'#97 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • Gremlins8
    471
    147

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

    Amazon buy button

    More Gremlins 

    'Gremlins' Was So Intense That It Led To The Invention Of The PG-13 Rating#58 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • Short Circuit9
    347
    67

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Badham

    Amazon buy button

    More Short Circuit 

    #300 of 782 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made#268 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • Big10
    442
    144

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

    Amazon buy button

    More Big 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Big,' Tom Hanks's First Blockbuster Hit#68 of 125 The Greatest Date Movies of All Time

  • The NeverEnding Story11
    592
    237

    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
    Amazon buy button

    More The NeverEnding Story 

    #64 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#7 of 96 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels

  • Willow12
    273
    69

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

    Amazon buy button

    More Willow 

    'Willow' Is A Watered-Down Version Of 'The Lord Of The Rings'#363 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit13
    372
    136

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Amazon buy button

    More Who Framed Roger Rabbit 

    18 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' Easter Eggs That Prove It's A Perfect Movie#17 of 115 The Best Movies to Watch on Mushrooms

  • Flight of the Navigator14
    378
    141

    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens

    Released1986

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    Amazon buy button

    More Flight of the Navigator 

    #44 of 97 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#132 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids15
    381
    51

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    Keri Russell, Allison Mack

    Released1989

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    Amazon buy button

    More Honey, I Shrunk the Kids 

    The Worst Parenting Decisions In The 'Honey, I Shrunk The Kids' Series#89 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark16
    181
    16

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Amazon buy button

    More Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 

    12 Stories That Prove The Making Of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Was An Adventure Behind The Scenes Too#2 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies

  • The Last Starfighter17
    297
    119

    The Last Starfighter

    Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

    Amazon buy button

    More The Last Starfighter 

    #41 of 167 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies#49 of 93 The 35+ Greatest Dystopian Action Movies

  • The Little Mermaid18
    411
    135

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

    Amazon buy button

    More The Little Mermaid 

    #3 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#59 of 80 Animated Movies That Make You Cry The Most

  • The Dark Crystal19
    366
    161

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

    Amazon buy button

    More The Dark Crystal 

    Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal' Is Even Darker Than You Remember#74 of 382 The Greatest Movie Themes

  • Labyrinth20
    458
    235

    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

    Amazon buy button

    More Labyrinth 

    Every Hidden Character Spotted In The Twists And Turns Of The Movie 'Labyrinth'#108 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • Harry and the Hendersons21
    311
    135

    Harry and the Hendersons

    John Lithgow, Don Ameche

    Released1987

    Directed byWilliam Dear

    Amazon buy button

    More Harry and the Hendersons 

    #74 of 79 The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids#3 of 33 The Best Bigfoot Movies

  • Explorers22
    268
    113

    Explorers

    Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix

    Released1985

    Directed byJoe Dante

    Amazon buy button

    More Explorers 

    #138 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#38 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies

  • The Land Before Time23
    325
    148

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byDon Bluth

    Amazon buy button

    More The Land Before Time 

    #111 of 190 The Greatest Animal Movies Ever Made#3 of 15 Silly Movies That Would Be Better If Werner Herzog Narrated Them

  • An American Tail24
    310
    146

    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

    Amazon buy button

    More An American Tail 

    #16 of 575 The Best Animated Films Ever#96 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • The Fox and the Hound25
    319
    155

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

    Amazon buy button

    More The Fox and the Hound 

    #26 of 297 The Best Duos of All Time#42 of 111 The Best Disney Animated Movies of All Time