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The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s

Updated October 7, 2020 28.1k votes 2.3k voters 130.0k 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. 

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  • 1
    Back to the Future is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    697
    119

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
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    171

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 3
    Ghostbusters is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    606
    120

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

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  • 4
    The Karate Kid is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    513
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    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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  • 5
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    561
    195

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 6
    The Princess Bride is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    530
    149

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • 7
    Gremlins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    450
    137

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

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  • 8
    Short Circuit is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    324
    60

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Badham

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  • 9
    Stand by Me is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    400
    54

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • 10
    Big is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    430
    143

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

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  • 11
    The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    575
    237

    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 12
    Willow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    256
    63

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 13
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    353
    135

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 14
    Flight of the Navigator is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    360
    142

    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens

    Released1986

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

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  • 15
    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    356
    49

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    Keri Russell, Allison Mack

    Released1989

    Directed byJoe Johnston

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  • 16
    The Last Starfighter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    284
    115

    The Last Starfighter

    Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

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  • 17
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders  is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    143
    8

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 18
    The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    354
    162

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

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  • 19
    The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    401
    133

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

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  • 20
    Harry and the Hendersons is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    300
    132

    Harry and the Hendersons

    John Lithgow, Don Ameche

    Released1987

    Directed byWilliam Dear

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  • 21
    An American Tail is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    311
    142

    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

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  • 22
    The Land Before Time is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    321
    147

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byDon Bluth

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  • 23
    The Fox and the Hound is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    315
    154

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

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  • 24
    Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    440
    239

    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

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  • 25
    Explorers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s
    256
    113

    Explorers

    Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix

    Released1985

    Directed byJoe Dante

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