Culture The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies  

Ranker Film
3.4k votes 337 voters 8.5k views 27 items

There's something especially magical about fantasy movies for kids. They spark young viewers' imaginations and encourage them to follow their hearts. The best kids live action movies feature young actors and actresses heading out into a world of adventure. This is a list of the greatest children's live action fantasy movies including everything from The Chronicles of Narnia to The NeverEnding Story to Hook.

What films will you find on this list of the best kids fantasy movies? In the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Gene Wilder steals every scene he's in as the whimsical candy-maker. Johnny Depp put his own spin on the classic Roald Dahl story in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Goonies features a misfit gang of kids going up against some villainous characters. Other great films featured here include Flight of the Navigator, Where the Wild Things Are, and Casper.

It's up to you to decide which movie deserves the top spot on the list. Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good live action fantasy movies for kids that are missing.

list ordered by

1
135 28
Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams, Patricia Clarkson Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Johnston. It is an adaptation of the 1981 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The film was directed by Joe ...more

2
138 33
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Fa... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Tim Brooke-Taylor Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film, a film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and ...more

3
137 33
The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The screenplay was written by Chris Columbus from a story by executive producer Steven Spielberg. The film's ...more

4
132 33
Hook is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo. It stars Robin Williams as Peter Pan/Peter Banning, Dustin ...more

5
133 36
The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical library book that tells a story of a young ...more

6
134 37
Hocus Pocus is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Thora Birch Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American comedy fantasy film directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as a trio of witches, the Sanderson Sisters, who are ...more

7
131 36
Harry Potter and the Philosoph... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Hough Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. ...more

8
126 36
Matilda is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson, Paul Reubens Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy children's film directed and narrated by Danny DeVito. The screenplay by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord is based on Roald Dahl's novel of the same ...more

9
133 44
Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, Frank Oz Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, executive produced by George Lucas and based upon conceptual designs by Brian Froud. The film stars ...more

10
126 40
The Indian in the Cupboard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Steve Coogan, Richard Jenkins, Vincent Kartheiser The Indian in the Cupboard is a 1995 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Frank Oz. It was based on the children's book of the same name by Lynne Reid Banks. The story is about a boy who ...more

11
117 35
Casper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Christina Ricci Casper is a 1995 American family comedy fantasy film starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Amy Brenneman, based on the Casper the Friendly Ghost comic books and ...more

12
120 41
The Chronicles of Narnia: The ... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published ...more

13
106 40
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak, Debra Winger E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo ...more

14
78 44
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Dakota Fanning Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action/computer-animated feature film based on the popular book of the same name by E. B. White. It is directed by Gary Winick and produced by Paramount ...more

15
69 45
Flight of the Navigator is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens, Veronica Cartwright Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Mark H. Baker and Michael Burton, about David Freeman, a 12-year-old boy who is taken by an ...more

16
65 50
Bridge to Terabithia is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm, AnnaSophia Robb Bridge to Terabithia is a 2007 American-New Zealand fantasy adventure family drama film directed by Gábor Csupó and adapted for film by David L. Paterson and Jeff Stockwell. The ...more

17
60 47
The Spiderwick Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker The Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film. It is the film adaptation of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's bestselling series of the same name. Set in the Spiderwick ...more

18
62 50
Lemony Snicket's A Series of U... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Jude Law Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 2004 American fantasy dark comedy film directed by Brad Silberling. It is an adaptation of the first three novels of A Series of Unfortunate ...more

19
67 55
Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Hayley Atwell Cinderella is a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a screenplay written by Chris Weitz. Produced by David Barron, Simon Kinberg and Allison Shearmur for Walt ...more

20
73 63
Charlie and the Chocolate Fact... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It is the second film adaptation of the 1964 British book of the same name by Roald Dahl and stars ...more

21
6 2
The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
MichaelJLambie added Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Lisa Maxwell The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The plot revolves around Jen, an elflike 'Gelfling' on a quest to restore balance to his alien world ...more

22
3 4
Short Circuit is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
MichaelJLambie added Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, Austin Pendleton Short Circuit is a 1986 American comic science fiction film directed by John Badham, and written by S. S. Wilson and Brent Maddock. The film's plot centers upon an experimental military robot ...more

23
53 61
Where the Wild Things Are is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Mark Ruffalo, Forest Whitaker, James Gandolfini Where the Wild Things Are is a 2009 fantasy drama film directed by Spike Jonze. Written by Jonze and Dave Eggers, it is adapted from Maurice Sendak's 1963 children's book of the same name. It ...more

24
45 60
Zathura is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Kristen Stewart, Josh Hutchersonm, Tim Robbins Zathura: A Space Adventure is a 2005 American science fiction fantasy adventure film directed by Jon Favreau, and is loosely based on the illustrated book Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg, author ...more

25
44 65
The Golden Compass is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Ian McKellen The Golden Compass is a 2007 2007 fantasy-adventure film written by Chris Weitz and directed by Chris Weitz.

26
34 66
Hugo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of ...more

27
14 71
Beasts of the Southern Wild is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
Quvenzhané Wallis, Jay Oliver, Henry D. Coleman Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. After playing at ...more