676 voters

The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies

Updated November 26, 2019 8.7k votes 676 voters 15.8k views28 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.

  • 1

    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz
    The Dark Crystal is a 1982 American–British fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz....  more

    More The Dark Crystal 

    Behind The Scenes Stories Of ‘The Dark Crystal’#176 of 264 Movies That Should Be Made Into Broadway Musicals

  • 2

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It...  more

    More Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

    #189 of 298 The Best Duos of All Time#36 of 90 The Funniest Movies About Family

  • 3

    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin
    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The...  more

    More The Goonies 

    Things You Have To Ignore In Order To Enjoy Watching 'The Goonies'#10 of 63 Movies You Wish You Could Still Watch for the First Time

  • 4


    Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson
    Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy children's film directed and narrated by Danny...  more

    More Matilda 

    Willy Wonka Fan Theories That Are Pure Imagination#89 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies

  • 5

    Where the Wild Things Are

    Mark Ruffalo, Forest Whitaker
    Where the Wild Things Are is a 2009 fantasy drama film directed by Spike Jonze. Written by...  more

    More Where the Wild Things Are 

    #167 of 370 The Best Movies Based On Books#80 of 105 The Best Halloween Movies for Kids

  • 6

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and...  more

    More E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

    The Dark Story Behind The Canceled Sequel To 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'#97 of 1,184 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

  • 7
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure...  more

    More The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 

    The Best Characters in the Chronicles of Narnia, Ranked#7 of 93 The Best Movies With Christian Themes

  • 8


    Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman
    Casper is a 1995 American family comedy fantasy film starring Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman,...  more

    More Casper 

    The Movie ‘Casper’ Is Deeply Bizarre In More Ways Than We Can Count#823 of 1,506 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • 9

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy
    Short Circuit is a 1986 American comic science fiction film directed by John Badham, and...  more

    More Short Circuit 

    #50 of 305 The Funniest '80s Movies#270 of 1,139 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • 10

    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens
    Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and...  more

    More Flight of the Navigator 

    #98 of 186 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made#184 of 375 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime

  • 11


    Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton
    Dumbo is a 2019 American fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, based on the story by...  more
  • 12

    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Quvenzhané Wallis, Jay Oliver
    Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and...  more
  • 13


    Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter
    Cinderella is a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a...  more

    More Cinderella 

    #309 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time#36 of 109 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies

  • 14


    Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams
    Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Johnston. It is an...  more

    More Jumanji 

    #36 of 73 The Greatest Movies To Watch Outside#6 of 43 The Best Adventure Movies That Take Place in the Jungle

  • 15


    Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz
    Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin...  more

    More Hugo 

    #33 of 65 The Best Adventure Movies for Kids#237 of 306 The Best Ensemble Movies

  • 16

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and...  more

    More Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 

    Everything You Need To Know About That Terrifying 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' Tunnel Scene#127 of 922 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • 17

    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl
    The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same...  more

    More The NeverEnding Story 

    #14 of 18 18 Movies With 'Happy Endings' That Were Actually Unspeakably Tragic#8 of 25 People Are Sharing The Movies That Traumatized Them As Kids And We Are Shook

  • 18

    The Indian in the Cupboard

    Steve Coogan, Richard Jenkins
    The Indian in the Cupboard is a 1995 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Frank Oz. It...  more

    More The Indian in the Cupboard 

    #54 of 111 The Best Native American Movies#124 of 244 The Best Movies For Kids

  • 19


    Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman
    Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter...  more

    More Hook 

    What Happened To All The Kids From 'Hook'?#42 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies

  • 20

    Hocus Pocus

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler
    Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American comedy fantasy film directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Bette...  more

    More Hocus Pocus 

    14 'Hocus Pocus' Lines That Magically Became Funnier As An Adult#20 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels

  • 21
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 fantasy film directed by David Yates,...  more

    More Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 

    #157 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#145 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

  • 22

    The Spiderwick Chronicles

    Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen
    The Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film. It is the film adaptation...  more

    More The Spiderwick Chronicles 

    All the Spiderwick Chronicles Books, Ranked Best to Worst#17 of 40 The Best Children's and Kids' Movies on Netflix

  • 23

    Bridge to Terabithia

    Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm
    Bridge to Terabithia is a 2007 American-New Zealand fantasy adventure family drama film...  more

    More Bridge to Terabithia 

    'Bridge To Terabithia' Is Based On A True Story, And It's Even Sadder Than The Book#21 of 95 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels

  • 24


    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie
    Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson,...  more

    More Labyrinth 

    Every Hidden Character Spotted In The Twists And Turns Of The Movie 'Labyrinth'#145 of 206 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

  • 25

    Charlotte's Web

    Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey
    Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action/computer-animated feature film based on the...  more

    More Charlotte's Web 

    Every Song in Charlotte's Web, Ranked by Singability#62 of 79 The Best Live Action Animal Movies for Kids