So when it comes to the kids' movies most entertaining to adults, what's out there? Plenty. We've gathered a simple list of nine movies, past and present, that will entertain grown-ups without kids as much as the little ones. And, in some cases, maybe more.
Gallery | Kids' Movies That Adults Love Too
- 'The Lego Movie' (2014)
If you haven’t been clever enough to think up a reason or invent an occasion to see this movie, you’re really missing out. It’s wickedly satirical, socially relevant, and full of humor that flies over the heads of anyone less than five feet tall. Like any Pixar movie, “The Lego Movie” is built to be enjoyed by kids and grown-ups. Plus, it’s made of Lego! So, if you haven’t seen it, rent or buy it when it becomes available so you can enjoy it while sipping wine and sampling a plate of fragrant cheeses.
- ‘Frozen’ (2013)
Oh, come on. Hasn’t everyone seen this?! If you haven’t yet, you’re clearly dead inside because the joy you felt as a child left you the minute you stepped inside a cubicle and your new boss asked you to “business jargon” something. Seriously, the person sitting next to me right now went to the theater, alone, to see this movie. She is one of the bravest people I know, and she ended up being the only childless adult in the theater. Now, she struts around the office, wearing her “Frozen” viewing experience like a badge of honor.
- ‘Spirited Away’ (2001) – or Any Other Hayao Miyazaki Movie
A lot of people don’t know who Hayao Miyakazi is, which is a shame. His movies will fill you with wonder, awe, and a child-like appreciation for giant huggable cat things (just watch “My Neighbor Totoro”). If you need a movie to introduce you to his work, I recommend the Oscar-winning “Spirited Away.” It’s magical and kind of trippy, and it will make you question the power of your imagination. Also, it’s very high on the list of Miyazaki’s most jaw-droppingly gorgeous movies. If you want to watch something with some truly arresting visuals, make it a double feature and watch his 1997 man vs. nature allegory “Princess Mononoke.” It’s rated PG-13, so you can’t possibly feel weird about watching that one.
- ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ (2010)
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll wish you owned a dragon. “How to Train Your Dragon” is a lot of fun -- dragons are so hot right now, what with “Game of Thrones” and all -- so listening to Jay Baruchel’s somewhat-whiny inflection for 98 minutes is totally worthwhile. In all seriousness, the movie has plenty of action, fantastic visuals, and features some of the most cleverly designed dragons ever to hit the big screen.
- ‘Despicable Me’ 1 & 2 (2010, 2013)
Who doesn’t love a good fart joke? OK, they’re not for everyone, but for those who love a little lowbrow funny, these movies are for you. With the voice talents of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Russell Brand, Steve Coogan, and Nasim Pedrad, it’s very clear that the producers of these movies wanted to make them as much for parents as for kids -- or, in your case, for childless adults who want to laugh at jokes about flatulence delivered by some of the biggest names in comedy.
WATCH NOW (1)
WATCH NOW (2)
- Any Movie Pixar Has Ever Made – Except for ‘Cars’ (1995 – Today)
Do I really have to explain this? Watch “Up” first, and then watch “Wall-E.” After that, you’ll be hooked, so watch all of the “Toy Story” movies in order. Pixar has a knack for making gorgeous, thought-provoking, tear-inducing instant classics that appeal to kids and grown-ups. Except for “Cars.” I don’t get the appeal of that one. I guess it’s more for kids because my nephews are obsessed with it.
WATCH NOW ("Up")
- Disney's Old-School and Contemporary Classics
Again, do I really need to explain this one? Basically, any traditionally hand-drawn animated yarn that Disney releases should be seen, at the very least as a history lesson. (Knowledge is power!) The talented folks at Disney are truly masters of storytelling, crafting feature-length art from some of the world’s most beloved tales. There’s a reason their movies are the gold standard by which everyone everywhere judges animation. From “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “The Princess and the Frog,” every one of their movies is worth seeing – with or without kids.
WATCH NOW ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs")
- ‘The Iron Giant’ (1999)
Vin Diesel! Jennifer Aniston! Giant robots! A super-serious anti-gun message that transcends the time period in which the movie is set! All this and more await you when you watch director Brad Bird’s 1999 masterpiece. Set in 1950s Maine, “Iron Giant” features top-notch art direction, some amazing animated sequences, and a heartbreaking story of a boy and his trusty, larger-than-life, Diesel-voiced automaton, who just so happens to have the capability of destroying the planet. The nostalgic setting and heavier themes of the movie make it (nearly) better suited for adult viewers.
- ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)
Adults have all but appropriated this kids’ movie, mostly due to its darker themes and Tim Burton pedigree. But still, it’s a musical stop-motion masterpiece that Disney proudly trots out every Halloween for a very good reason: It’s awesome. I’m not going to sell it any more than that because the movie sells itself. Here!