Best Short Movies For Kids! Fantastic For All!

Short movies for kids - feature

I’ve always enjoyed going to the movies. My husband and I would go with our friends on Friday nights to see the latest releases before we were ever married. We loved it. Our movie nights have changed; they are not night-outs but night-ins after the children have fallen asleep. But when our daughter was 2 and a half, we felt we wanted to have a version of movie night with her – we did movie afternoons “movie-noons” while eating pizza or popcorn. So we started searching for short movies for kids that we could all enjoy, and we found some that were great.

We didn’t feel she could engage with a long movie, so we searched for animated shorts and animated short films. A short film is any motion picture that is short enough in running time not to be considered a feature film – so basically, it must have a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.

I’ve put together a list of animated shorts and short movies that we have really enjoyed as a family (and a couple that is on my list waiting for them to grow up a tiny bit). I would suggest you watch the movies first before showing them to your child. I believe movies can be entertaining and also great conversation starters. Little ones will also probably ask questions, and you should know beforehand if you are all ready to discuss certain subjects and themes with them. Just a heads up 😉

I’ve grouped them according to their length:

How do we decide what movies to to let them watch?

short movies for kids - how we decide

I am a big believer in watching the movie first to make a decision based on what I’ve seen. Unfortunately, we cannot see EVERY film and TV show there is, so before I choose what to see, there are a couple of websites I always look at:

  1. imdb.com – My favorite website to get an idea of how the film will be like. Not only for children’s movies but for our movies – I trust their ratings a lot. Generally, a film above a 7/10 is usually a good movie. A film above 8 is a very, very good movie. The best movie ever rated there – The Shawshank Redemption – has a 9.2/10. Next to the film’s title, I will also be putting IMDb’s rating as an orientation.
  2. CommonSenseMedia.org – Now, this website is something. If you are a parent, this is a magic website you must know. At Common Sense Media, they rate movies, TV shows, books, and more so parents can feel good about the entertainment choices they make for their kids. We can’t watch everything, but they try. They say they offer the most extensive, most trusted library of independent age-based ratings and reviews. For every movie or book, they help you decide:
  • Is it age-appropriate?
  • Is it any good? With a star system
  • Five stars … The best!
  • Four stars … Really good
  • Three stars … Just fine; solid
  • Two stars … Disappointing
  • One star … Don’t bother
  • What parents need to know
  • What’s the story?/What’s it about?
  • Families can talk about – conversation starter ideas.
  • Educational value
  • Subjects and skills

They also have a special badge, “Common Sense Selection,” that they give to the movies they like best. If the film has it, it is a good indicator, and as a parent, I must admit it makes me feel good.

Now, I’ve found that they haven’t rated some of my favorite short movies – like The Snail and the Whale (and I’m optimistic this one would be 5 stars or very close) – or any of the Pixar shorts. They are missing many, many short films and can’t be found in their database. I believe they have a more comprehensive selection of American movies and full-length feature films (over 40 minutes). So if it has a good IMDb review and doesn’t appear in CommonSenseMedia.org, I will be watching it for sure.

Warning: Spoilers!

Sorry if there are some Spoilers in the descriptions. Since I believe you will be watching it with your children, you should be warned of some things that might surprise or scare them. When they are so tiny, they are more impressionable, and seeing things that they are not ready to see might scare them and become the seed of nightmares. For this reason, I wanted to let you know beforehand to help you make a choice.

Our favourite short movies for Kids!

I highly recommend you watch the movies first, especially if your little ones are toddlers. You know your child better than anyone, and you know what you wish to expose them to. But here is our favorite list. Of course, what might be ok for us might not be ok for you or the other way around 😅… so please do your research, read reviews and watch it yourself so you can make the best decision for your family.

Next to each title, I’ll share:

  • the length of the movie
  • where you can watch it
  • the age that is suggested
  • IMDb rating
  • & in case it is rated in CommonSenseMedia.com, I’ll also add their stars rating if it is in their special selection and age recommendation

Let’s get started!

Shorts 0-10 minutes

Short Movies For Kids - Piper

1. Piper (6m) – Disney+ (0+) – 8.4/10

This is a beautiful story about a baby sandpiper learning how to eat clams from the shore. She is a bit scared of the waves but learns to find the biggest treasures on the seashore by overcoming her fear.

Short Movies For Kids - Auntie Edna

2. Auntie Edna (7m) – Disney+ (0+) – 7.2/10

Edna Mode, the famous fashionista from the Incredibles, helps out Mr. Incredible by babysitting Jack-Jack and creating a super-suit that will adapt to his incredible powers. Funny and entertaining. My 2 year old found it hilarious.

Short Movies For Kids - For The Birds

3. For the Birds (3m)Disney+ (0+) – 8/10

A group of small birds makes fun of a big bird who wants to sit on the same telephone wire. By being unkind, they end up regretting their actions.

Short Movies For Kids - La Luna

4. La Luna (6m) – Disney+ (0+) – 8/10

A unique story about a young boy coming of age. His father and grandfather take him to work for the first time. It’s a lovely story where you see that each generation has their own style of doing the same thing, but they can all work in harmony and together do great things.

Short Movies For Kids - Presto

5. Presto (5m) – Disney+ (0+) – 8.3/10

A magician’s rabbit is about to go on stage for the show but is feeling hungry. His owner, the magician, shows him a carrot but doesn’t feed it to him. So, the rabbit gets into an onstage dispute with the magician through its two magic hats. Funny and entertaining.

Short Movies For Kids - Partysaurus Rex

6. Toy Story Toons: Partysaurus Rex (7m) – Disney+ – 7.5/10

When Rex is left behind in the bathroom, he sees it as a chance to present himself to a new bunch of friends as the complete opposite of what he is and be the life of the party. But things get a bit out of hand… that can happen when you are not true to yourself. Really fun and entertaining.nd entertaining.

Toy Story Toons Hawaian Vacation

7. Toy Story Toons: Hawaian Vacation (6m) – Disney+ – 7.3/10

Ken expected to take Barbie to Hawaii by stowing away in Bonnie’s school backpack but ended up in Bonnie’s room. The toys will do their best to throw Barbie and Ken a Hawaiian vacation they’ll never forget. It is sweet, funny, and lovely to see how they all pitch in to help their friend’s dreams come true.

Short Movies For Kids - Burrow

8. Burrow – Sparkshorts (6m) – Disney+ (6+) – 7.4/10

Such an incredibly heartfelt story about a little bunny that wants to create a lovely simple burrow. Just then, 2 neighbors pop up offering to help, but what he has in mind is much simpler than what her neighbors have created for their families. The bunny is embarrassed and hides her sketch and tries to hide, digging deeper and deeper, not wanting to share her simple dream and accepting their help. But when she learns to accept that her vision is perfect, she shares it, and together they build the burrow of her dreams (with some technical improvements).

Short Movies For Kids - Sanjay's Super Team

9. Sanjay’s Super Team (7m) – Disney+ (6+) – 6.9/10

A young child is conflicted between the modern world and the Hindu traditions of his family – and ends up daydreaming the Hindu gods are superheroes. I like the invitation to see other cultures’ traditions and the bond between father and son.

Short Movies For Kids - Us Again

10. Us Again (7 min) – Disney+ (0+) – 7.9/10

There was once a couple that loved to dance in their youth. They are now old, and the woman still feels like dancing and asks his partner to go dance. But the man refuses and stays home bitter and feeling sorry for himself. But then, it starts to rain, and under the rain, he feels young again and goes in search of his dance partner, and they happily dance together, realizing that you can still feel young even if you look old.

Short Movies For Kids - Frozen Fever

11. Frozen Fever (8m) – Disney+ (0+) – 6.9/10

It’s Anna’s birthday, and Elsa has many surprises planned for her sister’s special day. Even though Elsa is clearly under the weather, she insists on going and going until she finally admits she has a cold. When Anna shares what her favorite gift of all the gifts was, Elsa is surprised because it is nothing that could be bought at a store. A lovely musical story about family, love, and birthdays.

Short Movies For Kids - Jack Jack Attack

12. Jack-Jack Attack (5m) – Disney+ (9+) – 7.6/10

During The Incredibles movie, Jack-Jack, the Parr’s baby, is left with a babysitter. They all thought he was regular with no superpowers, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. Another funny and entertaining short from Pixar.

Short Movies For Kids - Burn-e

13. Burn-E (8m) – Disney+ – 7.6/10

This is a story that goes in parallel to the events that happen in Wall-E. BURN-E, a mending robot from the Axiom spacecraft, is locked outside the craft, trying to fix a light.

Short Movies For Kids - Tangled Ever After

14. Tangled Ever After (6m) – Disney+ (0+) – 7.6/10

During Eugene and Rapunzel’s wedding, Maximus and Pascal accidentally lose the rings and go through a lot of trouble to get them back. It’s a funny and entertaining short story.ory.

Short Movies For Kids - Float

15. Float – Sparkshorts (6m) Disney+ (0+) – 7.3/10

A beautiful story about an unusual baby and how his father hides him for some time because he feels embarrassed. In the end, learns to accept his uniqueness. The short is dedicated with love and understanding to all families with children deemed different. It is a beautiful conversation starter for older children.

Source of images in this section: imdb.com. All of the above images are property of Disney.

Short movies for kids – 20-30 minutes

The Snail and the Whale DVD

16. The Snail and the Whale (27m) – Amazon Prime – 7.4/10

This is a tale about friendship, dreaming big even if you are small, and a tale about helping one another. It is a fantastic book with beautiful illustrations. Friends come in all shapes and sizes; ask the Snail and the Whale 😉

Room on the Broom DVD

17. Room on the Broom – Amazon Prime – 7.6/10

We love this brilliant story where kindness and friendship are at its heart. The witch and her cat fly on a broom high across the sky, but the wind blows away her hat, bow, and wand. Lucky for her, three animals help her find her lost items, and they ask to tag along, to which she always says “Yes!”. Unfortunately, their broom breaks as they encounter a Dragon who wants to eat the witch for tea. They all join forces to help her kind friend who is in need! Iggity ziggity zaggity zoom!

Short Movies For Kids - The Gruffalo

18. The Gruffalo – Amazon Prime – 7.5/10 | **** 3+

This tale is a modern classic and is based on one of our favorite books at home. If you haven’t heard the story, it is a brilliant one about a mouse who outsmarts every predator he finds in his way, even the big and scary Gruffalo. It all starts with a stroll in the woods, and it is simply outstanding. WARNING: In reviews, I’ve read from parents of 2 and 3-year-olds that their children were scared; it wasn’t our case, but please watch it before showing it to your little ones. 

Short Movies For Kids - Zog

19. Zog (26m) – Amazon Prime – 7.4/10

Zog is a friendly dragon that goes to dragon school. Each year he learns a skill that all grown dragons need to know. Zog must fly, roar, breathe fire, capture princesses, and fight knights. But what he wants above all is to win a golden star. He tries and tries and does his best, but winning that star is not easy. It is a lovely story about effort, persistence, friendship, and following your dreams, even if they are a bit unconventional.

Short Movies For Kids - Stick man

20. Stick Man – Amazon Prime – 7.2/10

Stick Man is a family stick man who lives in a tree with his stick lady love and his stick children three. But one day, Stick Man goes out for a jog, and after he is fetched by a dog, he embarks accidentally on an adventure that takes him farther and farther away from home. Finally, after the seasons pass and being constantly confused with a stick, the story has a happy ending on Christmas eve.

Short Movies For Kids - The Gruffalo's Child

21. The Gruffalo’s Child – Amazon Prime – 7.1/10

The Gruffalo’s Child has heard the terrifying story of the Big Bad Mouse from her dad and is warned to not set foot in the deep dark wood. But she is not scared… does he really exist? So one night, she decides to go into the wood and find the mouse herself. A story about wit, how size is not all, and even the smallest creature can outsmart scary beasts.

Short Movies For Kids - Zog and the Flying Doctors

22. Zog and the Flying Doctors (26m) – Amazon Prime / 6.9/10

We fly with Zog, Princess Pearl, and Gadabout the Knight in this story and see them taking care of magical creatures everywhere. But when they visit Princess Pearl’s uncle one day, he captures her and doesn’t let her leave because he feels princesses shouldn’t and can’t be doctors. But Pearl, with the help of her friends, will prove him wrong! Princesses can be doctors and anything they put their hearts into. We love how this story goes against traditional stereotypes.

Short Movies For Kids - The Highway Rat

23. The Highway Rat (25m) – Amazon Prime – 6.7/10

This is the tale of the Highway rat, a bandit that rides the highway stealing the traveler’s food – especially craving cakes and biscuits – and leaving everyone hungry and afraid. Eventually, the rat is tricked by a clever duck, and he gets his comeuppance by ending working in a cake shop – his greatest temptation of all. It’s been a favorite of my son this past year.ear.

Short Movies For Kids - Olaf's Frozen Adventure

24. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (22m) – G – Disney+ – 5.6/10

It’s the first time Elsa & Anna are celebrating Christmas together after the events of Frozen 1. But they realize that everyone has their holiday traditions except them. So Olaf makes it his mission to go around town and collect traditions for them to be able to pick one. Unfortunately, he accidentally loses everything and gets lost, and the sisters realize that they already had a tradition after all: their snowman. A sweet story about what’s important during the holidays, spending time together with your loved ones. This is the first movie we saw at the cinema with my daughter, and it was terrific.

Short Movies For Kids - Toy Story That Time Forgot

25. Toy Story Toons: That Time Forgot (21m) – Disney+ – 7.2/10

Bonnie and her toys go on a playdate. While Bonnie and her friend are playing a video game in the rec room, the toys explore a new world: the friend’s playroom. They encounter toys that have never been played with, and they will teach them what being a toy is all about. A lovely movie that encourages fewer screen games and more playtime with toys that let children’s imagination fly.

Short Movies For Kids - Toy Story of Terror

26. Toy Story of Terror! (21m) – Disney+ – 7.5/10

Woody, Buzz, and the toy gang are stranded at a roadside motel. Something mysterious is going on as the toys keep disappearing. Woody wants to solve the mystery and get his friends back to Bonnie as soon as possible. It is a horror-themed movie, ideal for Halloween. It might be a bit spooky for little ones, but it is a nice watch with a good outcome for the family.

Kung Fu Panda - Secrets of the Scroll

27. Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (23min) – Netflix & DVD – 7.1/10

This is the origin story of the Furious Five and how five different animals combining their special and unique skills can make a fantastic team. It is a story about accepting yourself and how what you would consider weaknesses can turn into your more significant strengths. It also shows how mentors (parents) might be surprised by what their children can do if we let them find their way instead of forcing them into what we think is the right way of doing things. There are some fighting scenes, but we love the lessons we gain from it. On DVD You can find it in this pack.

Short Movies For Kids - Kung Fu Panda Secrets of the Furious Five

28. Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Furious Five (25m) – Netflix & DVD – 7.1/10

Po teaches a bunch of bunnies a martial arts class. To do so, he tells stories of the Furious Five’s past to highlight values and character traits that make them outstanding in Kung Fu and in life.

Short Movies For Kids - Kung Fu Panda Holiday

29. Kung Fu Panda Holiday (21m) – Netflix & DVD – 6.8/10

Po has been given the great honor to host the annual holiday feast for all the Kung Fu Masters. But he is torn between his duty as Dragon Warrior and being a good son. How will he be able to meet everyone’s expectations? It is a sweet story about making tough decisions but finally realizing that you must do what feels right for you.

Short Movies For Kids - Trolls Holiday

30. Trolls Holiday (26m) – Netflix & DVD – 6.2/10 | **** Common Sense Selection 6+

We all know that Trolls love to celebrate – everything! Princess Poppy is worried that Bridget and the Bergens have no holidays. So she embarks on a mission to give a holiday to them, thinking that they need it just for the sake of it without actually thinking why they should be celebrating something. Holidays are more than glitter and gifts; it’s about celebrating the awesome things in life, like friendship.

Short Movies For Kids - Super Monsters Vidas First Halloween

31. Super Monsters Vida’s First Halloween (24m) – Netflix – 5.8/10 | ***** Common Sense Selection 4+

This sweet movie shows how different cultures celebrate a holiday: Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. The Super Monsters celebrate Halloween and share their traditions with Vida, who has never celebrated Halloween before. In return, they learn about Dia de Muertos from Lobo, Vida, and their family and are invited to a Día de Los Muertos party. A fantastic cross-cultural film. It might not have an excellent rating in IMDb, but it is very well considered in Common Sense. It is very child-friendly and has no spooky bits, so ideal for toddlers.

Short Movies For Kids - Go Go Cory Carson

32. Go! Go! Cory Carson: Summer Camp (20m) – Netflix – 5.1/10 | ***** Common Sense Selection 4+

Cory Carson goes to Camp Friendship again this year. He has so many plans for him and his best friend, Freddie! But when Freddie comes with his cousin Rosie, Cory is jealous and has difficulty accepting that all his plans for 2 should now be plans for 3. A lovely story about making new friends, accepting change, and owning to one’s mistakes. Again, IMDb’s rating is not excellent, but it is for Common Sense Media, and I agree with the latter. It won’t win an Oscar, but it is child-friendly, character development, and ideal for little ones with nice values.

Short Movies For Kids - The Tiger Who Came To Tea

33. The Tiger Who Came to Tea (23m) – Amazon Prime & DVD – 6.8/10

Based on Judith Kerr’s classic famous book, this movie is terrific. This is a timeless English classic story that has been around for over 50 years. The film was released in 2020. Sophie hears a knock on the door and is surprised by a prominent stripy visitor. They invite him in for tea (dinner), and he is very, very hungry. It is sweet and fun. It is voiced by famous voices like Dave Oyelowo as the Tiger, Benedict Cumberbatch as the Daddy, Tamsin Greig as the Mummy, and David Walliams as the narrator. There is a very catchy song by Robbie Williams, “Hey Tiger!” that we love and that you’ll be singing all day long.

Short Movies For Kids - How To Train Your Dragon Homecoming

34. How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming (22m) – PG – Netflix – 7.4/10 | Common Sense Selection 7+

The new generation of Vikings does not remember the special bond there once was between Dragons and them. So hiccup decides to put in place a Snoggletog holiday pageant to celebrate dragons and remember the connection they once had. It is a lovely and heartwarming story about family, traditions, and friendship.

Short Movies For Kids - Revolting Rhymes

35. Revolting Rhymes part 1 (28m) – Amazon – 7.9/10

This is the first of 2 animated films based on the much-loved rhymes book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. We hear the story of the friendship of Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White and how their paths cross with the Three Little Pigs – told by none other than the Wolf. Their tales have an alternative twist that might not be suitable for very, very young ones or sensible ones as it can get a bit dark in some situations. SPOILER, but I believe much needed before showing to the children:

  • Red Riding hood actually kills the Wolf.
  • The Pigs don’t survive.
  • The Wicked Queen has strange eating tastes.

It is brilliantly made, but I would suggest you watch it first.

I bet you think you know this story.

You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.

Short Movies For Kids - Revolting Rhymes 1

36. Revolting Rhymes Part 2 (29m) – Amazon – 7.9/10

In the second part of the famous rhymes, the Wolf tells the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella. You can not imagine how it goes, for the real story is very different from the fairy tales we’ve always been told. The scariest part, I think, could be that the Wolf impersonates a babysitter, and when Red Riding Hood’s children open the door and see who has come home, they are terrified. Again, I believe it is not for tiny ones (my children have not yet seen it), but I think older children (7 and up) might enjoy it without having nightmares. SPOILER – the children are ok. It is brilliantly made, but I would suggest you watch it first.est you watch if first.

Short Movies For Kids - The Snowman

37. The Snowman (26m) – (0+) – Amazon Prime – 8.2/10

This short movie is a Christmas-time classic tale based on the best-selling book “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs. The film is charming, wordless, and with music released in 1982. It is the story of a young boy whose snowman comes to life and embarks on an unforgettable heart-warming adventure on Christmas Eve. SPOILER – The snowman melts in the end, so it finishes with a sad note.

Source of images in this section: imdb.com, amazon.com & Netflix.

Short movies for kids – 30-45 minutes

Short Movies for Kids - Here We Are

38. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth (36m) – Apple TV+ – imdb 7.4/10 | ***** Common Sense Selection 5+

What a fantastic movie based on the book by the same title from Oliver Jeffers. A 7-year-old boy learns from his parents about the beautiful planet we live on. Then, on Earth Day, they go out and end up visiting The Museum of Everything, where they see exhibits that show them about the fantastic things we have on our planet. It is a lovely story that celebrates parents as a child’s first teachers, a friendly family relationship with lovely dynamics -like family meetings- and encourages respect to Earth and its diversity. It is a unique film that will charm young children and get them to ask questions and be curious about learning new things. My 5-year-old daughter loves it.

Short Movies For Kids - Were Going on a Bear Hunt

39. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (30m) – Amazon Prime – 6.5/10

This movie is based on the best-selling book from Michael Rosen, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” It is very true to the illustration style that is so recognizable from Helen Oxenbury. However, I would point out it is not a totally truthful adaptation from the book, as it has extra lines and the story plot is slightly different, although the book’s story does fit in it. It is still lovely to watch, but in this case, my children do enjoy reading the book more.

Short Movies For Kids - The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other stories DVD

40. The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories (32m) – (0+) Amazon Prime – 7.7/10

This collection of 5 stories from Eric Carle (so it could be considered 5 short films of 8 minutes each). It is a very truthful adaptation of the books, keeping the iconic illustration collage style from the books and just the words written. So you have “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me,” “The Very Quiet Cricket,” “The Mixed-Up Chameleon,” “I See a Song.” We really enjoyed seeing “The Hungry Caterpillar” animated.


Source of images in this section: appletv+ & amazon.com.

Short movies for kids – a lovely excuse to watch something together as a family

I hope this selection will be helpful. Yes, at home we enjoy movies and these short movies are fantastic to watch together. They are ideal because of their length, and they are simply lovely. I am amazed at the high quality of some movies based on fantastic books that we love, and I must admit these are my favorites. My children enjoy watching them, but I have a wonderful time too. I really enjoy watching them as well.

We have a soft spot for Julia Donaldson’s & Axel Scheffler’s books, and the movies are fantastic. If you like them and want to see more books from them, please check out this post with our 21 books collection.

Please let me know if you’ve enjoyed any of these or if you have other recommendations. We are always looking for new things to watch 😉

Happy family time!*

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