Disney movies combine entertainment with life lessons about friendship, love, loss, good, evil and the importance of family. We made a list of animated Disney movies for toddlers that adults and kids can watch together, check it out.
Even with a million Disney movies out there, it’s a constant struggle to find movies that are appropriate and engaging enough for 1-3-year-olds. My list consists entirely of animated Disney movies because I truly believe every single one of them is a quality watch and effectively tells a moral story. In a world where we as parents choose to show our toddlers movies that aim to be more educational, inclusive and empowering, we really hope you will enjoy the movies that I chose in the list below.
List of Disney Movies for Toddlers
- Toy Story
- The Lion King
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- The Incredibles
- Finding Nemo
1. Toy Story (1995)
IMDB ratings: 8.3/10
Cast: Tom Hanks, Laurie Metcalf and Nathan Lane
Director: John Lasseter
Toy Story is an animated movie set in a world where toys come alive. The story of this Disney movie focuses on the toys of a boy called Andy Davis and centres on his favourite toy Woody, a pull-string cowboy. Andy takes Woody everywhere he goes. With a new toy Buzz Lightyear, Woody worries he will be replaced by Andy as his favourite toy.
Toy Story is hands down one of my favourite childhood movies, it’s humorously entertaining and heartwarming. The first Toy Story was so successful that 3 more sequels were made, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3 and Toy Story 4. The animation of the first movie may seem a bit dated but there are very few movies that can translate the importance of friendship the way Toy Story does. I still get emotional listening to the heartwarming song ‘You’ve got a friend in me’. Toy Story movies are a great option if you are looking for Disney movies for toddlers.
2. The Lion King (1994)
IMDB Ratings: 8.5/10
Cast: Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons
Director: Rob Minkoff, Roger Aller
The animated movie The Lion King is an epic story of a Lion called Simba. Lions are known as the kings of the jungle for their strong ability to dominate the habitat. The story establishes the jungle as a kingdom where all the other animals respect and follow king Mufasa (Simba’s father) and the young Simba is his shining heir.
Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar plots to steal the throne by killing both Mufasa and Simba. Only the young and vulnerable Simba survives. The movie teaches very important life lessons like Hakuna Matata which means “no worries,” it reminds kids and parents alike to not sweat the small stuff and live life to its fullest. Simba learns to forgive himself, be courageous and face his fears. The Lion King is thrilling and filled with lovable musical moments. You should give The Lion King a try if you are in search of great musical Disney movies for toddlers.
3. Cars (2006)
IMDB Ratings: 7.2/10
Cast: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman and Larry the Cable Guy.
Director: John Lasseter
The Cars movie is exactly about what you would think, cars and racing. But hold on, it is so much more than that, the story follows a world where humans are reimagined as cars, and the main character of the movie, Lightning McQueen is an overconfident and selfish race car. McQueen is on his way to a race to compete and win the prestigious Piston Cup.
McQueen takes a detour and enters a once famous, now long-forgotten town (based on the real-life Route 66, US), where he meets cars that challenge his ego and humble him. The story is very simple and easy to understand. Macqueen is arrogant at first but learns to be more caring and loving. In my opinion, the characters are hilarious and very unforgettable. Cars is definitely a fantastic movie that everyone in your family will enjoy. Suppose you’re searching for Disney movies for toddlers, then be sure to watch this one.
4. Frozen (2013)
IMDB Ratings: 7.4/10
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
There are many princess fairy tale movies out there, but Frozen is among the highest-grossing of them all. The song ‘Let it Go’ was so popular that children and adults alike were obsessed with it and it also won the Academy Award for Best Original song. The movie is funny, entertaining, thrilling and importantly one that chooses to not centre romantic love between a boy and a girl but on the bond of two sisters. This movie appeals to all ages and the characters of Elsa and Anna are very empowering.
Elsa is the elder sister with magical powers who keeps herself isolated in fear of hurting anyone after she accidentally freezes her sister’s mind. Anna is saved by trolls and she now has no idea of Elsa’s powers. Frozen has a sequel and a few shorts, one centring the beloved character Olaf (Anna and Elsa’s snowman). If you are in search of Disney movies for toddlers then Frozen should surely be on your list.
Also Read: Movies like Super 8
5. Bambi (1942)
IMDB Ratings: 7.3/10
Cast: Donnie Danugan, Sterling Holloway and Peter Behn
Director: David Hand
Bambi is a certified Disney classic that chronicles the adventures of a young deer called Bambi. In the film, Bambi’s father is revered as the Great Prince of the forest and he is guided through his life by his mother and his diverse group of friends including a rabbit called Thumper. The movie is based on the book ‘Bambi: A Walk in the Woods’ by Felix Salten.
This movie is very sweet and poetic, kids love to watch the gorgeous animated scenes. The story also deals beautifully with the difficult emotions of losing one’s mother. Bambi’s songs like ‘Little April Shower’ are fantastic. This movie is not just appropriate and entertaining for toddlers but also a fun and heartwarming watch for the rest of the family. Bambi is a great choice if you are searching for Disney movies for toddlers.
6. Up (2009)
IMDB ratings: 8.4/10
Cast: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai and Christopher Plummer
Director: Pete Docter
The movie Up centres around the character Carl Fredricksen who wants to fulfil his and his late wife’s dream of an adventure to go to Paradise Falls. He lives in a small humble home which is threatened to be demolished when the area is filled with modern tall buildings. Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away in search of Paradise Falls when he discovers a boy scout kid named Russell on the front porch of his house.
Up is stunning, funny and emotional to watch. It teaches one that no one is ever too old to live an adventure. The loss that Carl faces is enough to make a grown-up cry and it brings out such beautiful deep emotions of love. If you are in search of Disney movies for children, Up is one of the best options for you.
7. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
IMDB ratings: 7.5/10
Cast: Sterling Holloway, John Fielder and Sebastian Cabot
Director: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman and Ben Sharpsteen
Pooh is a good-natured, yellow-furred, honey-loving teddy bear who often embarks on eccentric journeys. His companions include Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Tigger, Rabbit and more. The Pooh family embark on happy and fun-loving journeys and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a wonderful movie for toddlers to watch.
The movie was created from previously made shorts of Winnie the Pooh. These charming stories are filled with timeless happiness in the Hundred-Acre Wood. Pooh’s silliness and ability to say the most heartful words make this one of the sweetest movies out there. If you are looking for Disney movies for kids, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh should be on your watchlist.
8. The Incredibles (2004)
IMDB ratings: 8/10
Cast: Bob Parr, Holly Hunter and Sarah Vowell
Director: Brad Bird
The Incredibles is probably the best children’s action movie to be released in the early 2000s. In this animated movie, Mr Incredible and his wife Elastigril are forced to live normal lives as Bob and Helen Parr after the government bans all superhero activity. They have 3 kids out of which two also show signs of superhero powers. Bob misses his old days of action.
Kids love superheroes because they always seem so cool, but The Incredibles being a kid’s movie doesn’t blindly romanticise heroes (to an extent). The characters are extremely well-written and the movie is extremely entertaining to watch. Though rated PG for all the action, this movie celebrates family and shows how double lives and hateful revenge are not the right way. Check out the classic The Incredibles and its sequel The Incredibles 2 if you are looking for Disney films for Toddlers.
9. Finding Nemo (2003)
IMDB ratings: 8.2/10
Cast: Alexander Gould, Ellen DeGeneres and Andrew Stanton
Director: Andrew Stanton
Finding Nemo is about a Clownfish Marlin and his Son Nemo, who live secluded in a safe place in the warm tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Marlin is fearful of all the dangerous possibilities of the ocean and tries everything in his power to protect his son.
When Nemo is unexpectedly taken and thrust into a dentist’s fish tank, Marlin with the help of the optimistic and ditsy Dory tries everything in his power to save his son. Now I’ll admit the movie may be a bit scary for the kids (the few scenes of the sharks) but if your toddler is daring then it’s a great film for children and parents to understand each other better. You should consider Finding Nemo if you are looking for Disney films for toddlers.
Here are a few Disney movies for toddlers that didn’t make the list, but you can also check them out:
- Kung Fu Panda
- Ice Age