What could be a more American genre of film than the Western? If you're a cinephile, you probably want to sit down with your kids and introduce them to the Wild West in film, but where do you start? Given the films are often violent - and sometimes a little raunchy - it can be hard to find classic Western movies kids can watch. Do not fear, however! Here, you'll find a list of films from the genre made famous by John Wayne that are both appropriate and engaging for teens and tweens. These Western movies for beginners will ease your kids into the genre, introducing them to its tropes and conventions while keeping things in the G to PG-13 range.
If you want to get kids into Westerns, comedy is a great place to start. ¡Three Amigos!, starring Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Phil Hartman is a perfect choice. It uses more mature humor, without being inappropriate for kids. If you want your kids to understand all the "Shane, come back!" references in pop culture, why not show them Shane? The film is a bittersweet classic that's totally appropriate for a younger audience. There are plenty of other films listed below that feature the life in the Wild West that will help teach your kids to love Westerns!
What are the best Western movies for kids? Vote up your favorites below.