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The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s

Updated October 7, 2020 30.1k votes 2.4k voters 135.1k 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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  • The Goonies1
    897
    178

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • Back to the Future2
    735
    133

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • Ghostbusters3
    634
    132

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

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  • The Karate Kid4
    550
    146

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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  • Stand by Me5
    431
    59

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • The Princess Bride6
    569
    156

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial7
    588
    206

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • Gremlins8
    481
    151

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

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  • Short Circuit9
    345
    69

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Badham

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  • Big10
    453
    149

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

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  • The NeverEnding Story11
    609
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    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • Willow12
    276
    70

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit13
    377
    140

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • Flight of the Navigator14
    380
    148

    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens

    Released1986

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

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  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids15
    382
    53

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    Keri Russell, Allison Mack

    Released1989

    Directed byJoe Johnston

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  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark16
    170
    12

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • The Last Starfighter17
    295
    123

    The Last Starfighter

    Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

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  • The Little Mermaid18
    419
    140

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

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  • The Dark Crystal19
    373
    169

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

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  • Labyrinth20
    467
    243

    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

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  • Harry and the Hendersons21
    313
    141

    Harry and the Hendersons

    John Lithgow, Don Ameche

    Released1987

    Directed byWilliam Dear

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  • The Land Before Time22
    336
    156

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byDon Bluth

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  • Explorers23
    270
    118

    Explorers

    Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix

    Released1985

    Directed byJoe Dante

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  • The Fox and the Hound24
    331
    162

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

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  • An American Tail25
    318
    154

    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

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