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The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies

Updated November 26, 2019 8.7k votes 659 voters 15.1k 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.

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  • 1
    The Dark Crystal is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
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    The Dark Crystal

    Jim Henson, Frank Oz

    Released1982

    Directed byFrank Oz, Jim Henson

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

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  • 2
    Charlie and the Chocolate Fact is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    346
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    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2005

    Directed byTim Burton

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 musical adventure film directed by Tim Burton. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Goonies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
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    The Goonies

    Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin

    Released1985

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Goonies is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Where the Wild Things Are is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    285
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    Where the Wild Things Are

    Mark Ruffalo, Forest Whitaker

    Released2009

    Directed bySpike Jonze

    Where the Wild Things Are is a 2009 fantasy drama film directed by Spike Jonze. Written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    Matilda is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
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    Matilda

    Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson

    Released1996

    Directed byDanny DeVito

    Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy children's film directed and narrated by Danny... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Chronicles of Narnia: The  is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies

    Released2005

    Directed byAndrew Adamson

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    181
    55

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    Drew Barrymore, Erika Eleniak

    Released1982

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Casper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    178
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    Casper

    Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman

    Released1995

    Directed byBrad Silberling, Phil Nibbelink

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

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  • 9
    Short Circuit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    111
    18

    Short Circuit

    Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy

    Released1986

    Directed byJohn Badham

    Short Circuit is a 1986 American comic science fiction film directed by John Badham, and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Flight of the Navigator is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
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    Flight of the Navigator

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Paul Reubens

    Released1986

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    Flight of the Navigator is a 1986 comic science fiction film directed by Randal Kleiser and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Beasts of the Southern Wild is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    161
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    Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Quvenzhané Wallis, Jay Oliver

    Released2012

    Directed byBenh Zeitlin

    Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Dumbo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    75
    22

    Dumbo

    Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton

    Released2019

    Directed byTim Burton

    Dumbo is a 2019 American fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, based on the story by... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Cinderella is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    108
    76

    Cinderella

    Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter

    Released2015

    Directed byKenneth Branagh

    Cinderella is a 2015 American romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    189
    272

    Jumanji

    Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams

    Released1995

    Directed byJoe Johnston

    Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Johnston. It is an... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Hugo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    69
    101

    Hugo

    Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz

    Released2011

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    183
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    The NeverEnding Story

    Gerald McRaney, Limahl

    Released1984

    Directed byWolfgang Petersen

    The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Fa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    187
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    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

    Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson

    Released1971

    Directed byMel Stuart

    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Mel Stuart, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    The Indian in the Cupboard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    154
    244

    The Indian in the Cupboard

    Steve Coogan, Richard Jenkins

    Released1995

    Directed byFrank Oz

    The Indian in the Cupboard is a 1995 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Frank Oz. It... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Harry Potter and the Deathly H is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    176
    292

    Released2011

    Directed byDavid Yates

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

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  • 20
    Hook is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    173
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    Hook

    Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman

    Released1991

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Hook is a 1991 American fantasy adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Hocus Pocus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    176
    295

    Hocus Pocus

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler

    Released1993

    Directed byKenny Ortega

    Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American comedy fantasy film directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Bette... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    Bridge to Terabithia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    115
    201

    Bridge to Terabithia

    Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm

    Released2007

    Directed byGábor Csupó

    Bridge to Terabithia is a 2007 American-New Zealand fantasy adventure family drama film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Spiderwick Chronicles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    97
    172

    The Spiderwick Chronicles

    Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen

    Released2008

    Directed byMark Waters

    The Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film. It is the film adaptation... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Labyrinth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    167
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    Labyrinth

    Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie

    Released1986

    Directed byJim Henson

    Labyrinth is a 1986 British-American musical adventure fantasy film directed by Jim Henson,... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Live Action Kids Fantasy Movies
    107
    204

    Charlotte's Web

    Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey

    Released2006

    Directed byGary Winick

    Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action/computer-animated feature film based on the... more on Wikipedia

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