Parenting The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids  

Stan Holton
Originally by
14.5k votes 1.1k voters 132.7k views 75 items

List Rules Only children's films that feature live animals. No movies that are only animated.

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Ranker may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

What are the best animal movies for kids? This list of great live animal movies for children includes some of the most classic, iconic movies in cinema history. Many of them, not surprisingly, rank among the best children's movies and films of all time, and several are Disney live action movies, as well. Which ones are your favorites, and which ones do you believe are the most appropriate for youngsters? Time to vote! And, by all means, if you know of an outstanding (live action) animal movie that's great for the kiddos and isn't on the list right now, add it!

Many of the greatest animal movies ever made are geared, at least in part, towards children. From the loveable, wonderful, Academy Award-winning 'Babe' to the adventures of one of the cinema's greatest pooches, Benji, live action animal movies have entertained generations of children over the decades.

Obviously, any list of the best animal movies for children must include the animals (perhaps the greatest dog movies?) From 'Beethoven' to 'Air Bud' and Disney's 'The Shaggy Dog,' these pooches gave their all with their outstanding performances, all of our entertainment.

But it isn't just the dogs who should get all the credit: Several films on this list are among the best cat movies, including 'That Darn Cat!' and the campy classic 'The Cat From Outer Space.' Cats and dogs share the screen too, in excellent kids animal movies like 'Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey,' 'The Adventures of Milo & Otis' and the aptly titled 'Cats & Dogs.'
list ordered by

1
345 88
Ranker Video
1993 Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, which was based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Sheila Burnford. Directed ...more

2
289 80
Ranker Video
1995 Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the USA, ...more

3
276 75
Ranker Video
1996 101 Dalmatians is a 1996 family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Stephen Herek. It is the second adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One ...more

4
158 33
A Dog's Way Home is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
2019 A Dog's Way Home is a 2019 American family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith, based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron. A dog (Bryce Dallas Howard) embarks on a 400-mile journey home ...more

5
217 92
Ranker Video
1999 Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely based on the novel of the same name by E. B. White. It combines live action and computer animation. The ...more

6
211 76
Ranker Video
1986 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

7
154 61
Ranker Video
1996 Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco is the 1996 sequel to the 1993 film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. Directed by David R. Ellis, the film features the three animals from the ...more

8
198 85
Ranker Video
1992 Beethoven is a 1992 family comedy film, directed by Brian Levant and starring Charles Grodin as George Newton and Bonnie Hunt as Alice Newton. The film is the first in the Beethoven film series. ...more

9
162 65
Ranker Video
1957 Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire and Beverly Washburn. It is about a boy and a stray dog in Texas. It is based upon ...more

10
160 64
Ranker Video
2011 Dolphin Tale is a 2011 family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith from a screenplay by Karen Janszen and Noam Dromi and a book of the same name. It stars Nathan Gamble, Harry Connick, ...more

11
203 96
Ranker Video
2001 Cats & Dogs is a 2001 American-Australian action-comedy film, directed by Lawrence Guterman. The screenplay by John Requa and Glenn Ficarra centers on the relationships between cats and ...more

12
93 26
The Jungle Book is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
Tom Islava added The Jungle Book is a 2016 fantasy adventure film directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau. Based on Rudyard Kipling's eponymous collective works and inspired by Walt Disney's 1967 animated film ...more

13
156 72
Ranker Video
1994 Lassie is a 1994 adventure family film directed by Daniel Petrie and featuring the fictional collie Lassie.

14
114 42
Eight Below is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
Mbbk6214 added 2006 Eight Below is a 2006 American family drama adventure film directed by Frank Marshall and written by David DiGilio. It stars Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, and Jason Biggs. It was ...more

15
90 30
102 Dalmatians is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
celia-yahccs added 2000 102 Dalmatians is a 2000 family comedy film directed by Kevin Lima in his live action directorial debut and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the sequel to the 1996 film 101 Dalmatians and ...more

16
179 84
Ranker Video
1997 Air Bud is a 1997 American family comedy film that sparked the franchise centered on the real-life dog, Buddy, a Golden Retriever. The film was financially successful, grossing $4 million in its ...more

17
180 90
Ranker Video
1993 Free Willy is a 1993 American family drama film that was released by Warner Bros. under its Family Entertainment label. The film stars Jason James Richter as a delinquent boy who becomes ...more

18
84 26
Robin Hood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
but chickens double d added 1973 Robin Hood is a 1973 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions which was first released in the United States on November 8, 1973. The 21st animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more

19
140 69
Ranker Video
2004 Garfield: The Movie, or simply Garfield, is a 2004 American live-action comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt based on the Jim Davis comic strip of the same name. It stars Breckin Meyer as Jon ...more

20
137 57
Ranker Video
1959 The Shaggy Dog is a black-and-white 1959 Walt Disney film about Wilby Daniels, a teenage boy who by the power of an enchanted ring of the Borgias is transformed into the title character, a ...more

21
69 20
The Incredible Journey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
but chickens double d added 1963 The Incredible Journey is a 1963 live-action Walt Disney film based on the novel, The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford. Narrated by Rex Allen, the film follows the adventure of three pets, ...more

22
115 54
Ranker Video
2005 Because of Winn-Dixie is a 2005 American family comedy-drama film adapted from the book of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, written by Joan Singleton, produced by Trevor Albert and directed by ...more

23
84 36
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids
but chickens double d added 2001 Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure is a 2001 American animated direct-to-video sequel to the 1955 animated feature film Lady and the Tramp. The film centers on Lady and Tramp's only son, ...more

24
146 68
Ranker Video
1974 This tail-wagging tale begins as Benji visits his pals Cindy and Paul, whose father Paul Chapman, won't let them give the mutt a home. But the shaggy stray changes his mind by saving the day ...more

25
128 68
Ranker Video
1998 Babe: Pig in the City is a 1998 Australian-American comedy-drama film and the sequel to the 1995 film Babe. It is co-written, produced and directed by George Miller, who co-wrote and produced ...more