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The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids

Updated August 28, 2020 12.6k votes 1.3k voters 153.4k views84 items

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

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 and cat movies for kids, 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.' You might also like our list of dog movies for kids and Disney animal movies.

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  • 1
    Babe
    280
    79

    Babe

    1995

    ActorsHugo Weaving, James Cromwell, Miriam Margolyes, Roscoe Lee Browne, Magda Szubanski

    Directed byChris Noonan

    Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    101 Dalmatians

    ActorsHugh Laurie, Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Frank Welker

    101 Dalmatians is a 1996 family comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 3
    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey

    ActorsSally Field, Michael J. Fox, Frank Welker, Don Ameche, Jean Smart

    Directed byDuwayne Dunham

    Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a 1993 American remake of the 1963 film The... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 4
    Free Willy
    185
    78

    ActorsDanielle Harris, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside, Mykelti Williamson, Richard Riehle

    Directed bySimon Wincer

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  • 5
    102 Dalmatians

    ActorsGlenn Close, Ioan Gruffudd, Gérard Depardieu, Eric Idle, Ian Richardson

    Directed byKevin Lima

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  • 6
    The Jungle Book
    139
    37

    The Jungle Book

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  • 7
    Stuart Little
    202
    92

    ActorsHugh Laurie, Geena Davis, Michael J. Fox, Jennifer Tilly, Jeffrey Jones

    Directed byRob Minkoff

    Stuart Little is a 1999 American family comedy film directed by Rob Minkoff. It is loosely... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 8
    Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco

    ActorsSally Field, Michael J. Fox, Carla Gugino, Tommy Lasorda, Sinbad

    Directed byDavid R. Ellis

    Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco is the 1996 sequel to the 1993 film Homeward Bound:... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    Dolphin Tale
    170
    69

    ActorsMorgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick, Jr.

    Directed byCharles Martin Smith

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  • 10
    Air Bud
    154
    79

    ActorsMark Jackson, Kevin Zegers, Michael Jeter, Wendy Makkena, Bill Cobbs

    Directed byCharles Martin Smith

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  • 11
    My Dog Skip
    147
    68

    ActorsDiane Lane, Kevin Bacon, Frankie Muniz, Harry Connick, Jr.

    Directed byJay Russell

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  • 12
    Old Yeller
    160
    65

    ActorsChuck Connors, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 13
    Garfield: The Movie

    ActorsJennifer Love Hewitt, Bill Murray, Debra Messing, Nick Cannon, Jimmy Kimmel

    Directed byPeter Hewitt

    Garfield: The Movie, or simply Garfield, is a 2004 American live-action comedy film directed... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Babe: Pig in the City

    ActorsNaomi Watts, Mickey Rooney, Hugo Weaving, James Cromwell, Steven Wright

    Directed byGeorge Miller

    Babe: Pig in the City is a 1998 Australian-American comedy-drama film and the sequel to the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • 15
    Cats & Dogs
    184
    107

    ActorsAlec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum, Charlton Heston, Tobey Maguire

    Directed byLawrence Guterman

    Cats & Dogs is a 2001 American-Australian action-comedy film, directed by Lawrence Guterman.... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    Because of Winn-Dixie

    ActorsElle Fanning, AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels, Dave Matthews, Eva Marie Saint

    Directed byWayne Wang

    Because of Winn-Dixie is a 2005 American family comedy-drama film adapted from the book of the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Black Beauty
    117
    63

    ActorsSean Bean, Alan Cumming, Peter Cook, David Thewlis, Peter Davison

    Directed byCaroline Thompson

    Black Beauty is a 1994 film adaptation of Anna Sewell's novel by the same name directed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    A Dog's Way Home

    ActorsAshley Judd, Edward James Olmos, Alexandra Shipp, Wes Studi, Chris Bauer

    Directed byCharles Martin Smith

    A Dog's Way Home is a 2019 American family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith, based... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Lassie
    82
    46

    Lassie

    2005

    ActorsPeter O'Toole, Peter Dinklage, Samantha Morton, Kelly Macdonald, Edward Fox

    Directed byCharles Sturridge

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  • 20
    Beethoven
    184
    79

    ActorsJoseph Gordon-Levitt, David Duchovny, Patricia Heaton, Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt

    Directed byBrian Levant

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  • 21
    The Adventures of Milo and Otis

    ActorsDudley Moore, Shigeru Tsuyugushi

    Directed byMasanori Hata

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  • 22
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    ActorsLiam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Ray Winstone, Anna Popplewell

    Directed byAndrew Adamson

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  • 23
    Air Buddies
    87
    59

    ActorsAbigail Breslin, Michael Clarke Duncan, Molly Shannon, Don Knotts, Wallace Shawn

    Directed byRobert Vince

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  • 24
    Stuart Little 2

    ActorsHugh Laurie, Geena Davis, Michael J. Fox, James Woods, Melanie Griffith

    Directed byRob Minkoff

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  • 25
    Dr. Dolittle
    117
    85

    ActorsEddie Murphy, Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Paul Giamatti, Raven-Symoné

    Directed byBetty Thomas

    Dr. Dolittle is a 1998 American family comedy film starring Eddie Murphy as a doctor who... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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