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Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls 

Ranker Film
Updated March 18, 2020 1.2k votes 170 voters 5.4k views 27 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite films that feature young girls or young women who use their wits to solve problems life throws at them.

Solving crimes, acing tests, and bringing parents back together - smart girls can do it all. The top movies about smart girls feature precocious young women taking their lives into their own hands. This is a list of the greatest movies about little girls, including everything from Little Miss Sunshine to Little Women to The Secret Garden.

What films will you find on this list of great movies for smart girls? The inspiring film Akeelah and the Bee follows 11-year-old Akeelah Anderson as she competes in a string of spelling bees. Keke Palmer stars as the title character in this 2006 movie, alongside fellow cast members Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. Matilda is another great movie for smart young women. Nancy Drew uses her intellect to solve mysteries in the film of the same name. Other good movies featured on this list include Soul Surfer, The Miracle Worker, and Harriet the Spy.

Do you have a favorite film for smart young girls? Take a look at this list and give the best movies a thumbs up to make sure they land in the top spots.

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1
Moana is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2016

Actors: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House

Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker

Moana is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy-adventure film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. With the help of a demigod (Dwayne Johnson), Moana (Auli'i Cravalho), the ...more

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2
Matilda is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1996

Actors: Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson, Paul Reubens, Jon Lovitz, Rhea Perlman, + more

Directed by: Danny DeVito

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

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3
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1973

Actors: Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson, Paul Lynde, Agnes Moorehead, + more

Directed by: Charles August Nichols, Iwao Takamoto

Charlotte's Web is a 1973 American animated musical film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Sagittarius Productions and based upon the 1952 children's book of the same name by E. B. ...more

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4
Brave is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2012

Actors: Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Billy Connolly, Kevin McKidd, Julie Walters, + more

Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and ...more

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5
Spirited Away is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2001

Actors: Miyu Irino, Bunta Sugawara, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yo Oizumi, Mari Natsuki, + more

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, ...more

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6
Lilo & Stitch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2002

Actors: Tia Carrere, Ving Rhames, Kevin Michael Richardson, Daveigh Chase, David Ogden Stiers, + more

Directed by: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Lilo & Stitch is a 2002 American animated action-adventure comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 21, 2002. The 42nd ...more

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7
The Secret Garden is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1993

Actors: Maggie Smith, Irène Jacob, Kate Maberly, John Lynch, Andrew Knott, + more

Directed by: Agnieszka Holland

The Secret Garden is a 1993 British drama fantasy film directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, John Lynch and Maggie Smith. It was written by ...more

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8
A Little Princess is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1995

Actors: Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli, Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Chris Ellis, + more

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

A Little Princess is a 1995 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, and Vanessa Lee Chester. Set during WWI, it focuses on a young ...more

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9
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1998

Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid, Kat Graham, Dina Lohan, Natasha Richardson, + more

Directed by: Nancy Meyers

The Parent Trap is a 1998 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is the second adaptation of Erich Kästner's German ...more

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10
Annie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1982

Actors: Tim Curry, Bernadette Peters, Greta Garbo, Carol Burnett, Shawnee Smith, + more

Directed by: John Huston

Annie is a 1982 American musical comedy-drama film adapted from Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on Little Orphan ...more

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11
Akeelah and the Bee is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2006

Actors: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Keke Palmer, Lee Thompson Young, Lauren Sánchez, + more

Directed by: Doug Atchison

Akeelah and the Bee is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Doug Atchison. It tells the story of Akeelah Anderson, an 11-year-old girl who participates in the Scripps National ...more

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12
The Secret World Of Arri... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
The Secret World Of Arrietty 2010

Actors: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett

Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

13
Little Miss Sunshine is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2006

Actors: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin, + more

Directed by: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

Little Miss Sunshine is a 2006 American comedy-drama road film and the directorial film debut of the husband-wife team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. The screenplay was written by ...more

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14
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
Jody added 1961

Actors: Maureen O'Hara, John Mills, Hayley Mills, Brian Keith, Leo G. Carroll, + more

Directed by: David Swift

The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins on a quest to reunite their divorced parents. The screenplay by ...more

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15
Hoodwinked! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
Jody added 2004

Actors: Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Andy Dick, Jim Belushi, Xzibit, + more

Directed by: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech

Hoodwinked! is a 2005 American computer-animated family comedy film. It retells the folktale Little Red Riding Hood as a police investigation, using flashbacks to show multiple characters' ...more

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16
Mulan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
Jody added 1998

Actors: Eddie Murphy, Ming-Na Wen, George Takei, Donny Osmond, Pat Morita, + more

Directed by: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Mulan is a 1998 American animated musical action-comedy-drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. The 36th animated feature in the Walt ...more

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17
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1994

Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes, Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, + more

Directed by: Gillian Armstrong

Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film ...more

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18
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs.... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
Jody added 2011

Actors: Hayden Panettiere, Heidi Klum, Amy Poehler, Glenn Close, Andy Dick, + more

Directed by: Mike Disa

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is a 2010 animated film written by Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech and directed by Michael D'Isa-Hogan.

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19
Harriet the Spy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1996

Actors: Rosie O'Donnell, Michelle Trachtenberg, Danny Glover, Eartha Kitt, Charlotte Sullivan, + more

Directed by: Bronwen Hughes

Harriet the Spy is a 1996 film adaptation of the 1964 novel of the same name by Louise Fitzhugh, and starring Michelle Trachtenberg as the title character. This film was directed by Bronwen ...more

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20
National Velvet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1944

Actors: Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Angela Lansbury, Anne Revere, Donald Crisp, + more

Directed by: Clarence Brown

National Velvet is a 1944 Technicolor sports film based on the novel by Enid Bagnold, published in 1935. It stars Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp and a young Elizabeth Taylor. In 2003, National ...more

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21
Frozen 2 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
Jody added 2019

Actors: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Frozen 2 is a 2019 American 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee.

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22
The Miracle Worker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1962

Actors: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Beah Richards, Victor Jory, Andrew Prine, + more

Directed by: Arthur Penn

The Miracle Worker is a 1962 American biographical film directed by Arthur Penn. The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 play of the same title, which originated as a 1957 ...more

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23
Soul Surfer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2011

Actors: Carrie Underwood, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Craig T. Nelson, + more

Directed by: Sean McNamara

Soul Surfer is a 2011 American biopic drama film directed by Sean McNamara. It is a film adaptation of the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back ...more

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24
Nancy Drew is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
2007

Actors: Bruce Willis, Emma Roberts, Rachael Leigh Cook, Laura Harring, Chris Kattan, + more

Directed by: Andrew Fleming

Nancy Drew is a 2007 American mystery comedy film loosely based on the popular series of mystery novels about the titular teen detective. It stars Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew, with Josh Flitter ...more

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25
Fly Away Home is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Very Smart Young Girls
1996

Actors: Anna Paquin, Dana Delany, Jeff Daniels, Joe Pantoliano, Wendy Walsh, + more

Directed by: Carroll Ballard

Fly Away Home is a 1996 family drama film directed by Carroll Ballard. The film stars Anna Paquin, Jeff Daniels and Dana Delany. The film was released on September 13, 1996 by Columbia Pictures. ...more

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