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The Greatest Kids Movies Of The 1980s

Updated October 7, 2020 29.3k votes 2.4k voters 132.6k 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
    716
    127

    Back to the Future

    Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1985

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 2
    The Goonies
    878
    173

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 3
    Ghostbusters
    623
    124

    Ghostbusters

    Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver

    Released1984

    Directed byIvan Reitman

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  • 4
    The Karate Kid
    534
    141

    The Karate Kid

    Elisabeth Shue, Ralph Macchio

    Released1984

    Directed byJohn G. Avildsen

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  • 5
    The Princess Bride
    550
    152

    The Princess Bride

    Billy Crystal, Robin Wright

    Released1987

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • 6
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
    576
    199

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 7
    Gremlins
    467
    145

    Gremlins

    Steven Spielberg, Corey Feldman

    Released1984

    Directed byJoe Dante

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  • 8
    Short Circuit
    337
    63

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Badham

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  • 9
    Stand by Me
    416
    55

    Stand by Me

    Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman

    Released1986

    Directed byRob Reiner

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  • 10
    Big
    447
    144

    Big

    Tom Hanks, Jon Lovitz

    Released1988

    Directed byPenny Marshall

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  • 11
    The NeverEnding Story
    596
    239

    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

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  • 12
    Willow
    268
    67

    Willow

    Val Kilmer, Kevin Pollak

    Released1988

    Directed byRon Howard

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  • 13
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    370
    135

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd

    Released1988

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

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  • 14
    Flight of the Navigator
    370
    145

    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens

    Released1986

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

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  • 15
    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
    375
    50

    Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

    Keri Russell, Allison Mack

    Released1989

    Directed byJoe Johnston

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  • 16
    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
    160
    11

    Released1981

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

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  • 17
    The Little Mermaid
    414
    137

    The Little Mermaid

    Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes

    Released1989

    Directed byRon Clements, John Musker

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  • 18
    The Dark Crystal
    370
    165

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

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  • 19
    The Last Starfighter
    288
    120

    The Last Starfighter

    Wil Wheaton, Robert Preston

    Released1984

    Directed byNick Castle

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  • 20
    Harry and the Hendersons
    312
    135

    Harry and the Hendersons

    John Lithgow, Don Ameche

    Released1987

    Directed byWilliam Dear

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  • 21
    Labyrinth
    459
    239

    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

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  • 22
    An American Tail
    317
    149

    An American Tail

    Christopher Plummer, Madeline Kahn

    Released1986

    Directed byDon Bluth

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  • 23
    The Land Before Time
    334
    152

    The Land Before Time

    Diana Ross, Frank Welker

    Released1988

    Directed byDon Bluth

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  • 24
    The Fox and the Hound
    328
    158

    The Fox and the Hound

    Kurt Russell, Mickey Rooney

    Released1981

    Directed byRichard Rich, Art Stevens, Ted Berman

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  • 25
    Explorers
    263
    117

    Explorers

    Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix

    Released1985

    Directed byJoe Dante

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