10 Best Childhood Movies of All Time

Childhood is a one-time affair but thanks to the movies we can revisit them anytime we want. Cinema depicts childhood – the most glorious time of our lives – in different shades and lights. It offers us an insight into the psyche of raw, uninfluenced minds from all over the world with each experience enriching and thought-provoking. If we are to make a list of all the children’s films ever made it will take years of study, watching films and observation. The list below features some of the most influential films depicting the joy, innocence and in some cases the horrors of childhood. Here is the list of 10 best movies about childhood.


10. Forbidden Games (1952)

They say childhood is the most joyous episode in a person’s life but anyone who has survived the two World Wars might have more than one or two things to add to that saying. The French human drama ‘Forbidden Games’ aptly showcases how a child’s imagination can numb the greatest of pains. Two innocent souls – Paulette and Michel – gets caught in the misery of the Second World War in their own fateful ways, become close friends and finds joy in the simplest of things like burying dead animals. It is shown as if they are oblivious to the death around them but in reality, they are unable to come to terms with the death, decay, and destruction around them. So they create a world of their own where they a send off a dead being with a proper burial. Brigitte Fossey (Paulette) and Goerges Poujouly (Michel) were complete naturals in their respective roles and despite their young age, they displayed a deep understanding of the parts they were playing.


9. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Filmmaker Wes Anderson is known for creating Utopian worlds inhabited by childlike characters. Except in this one, the children are not only the protagonists but they also call the shots. Two young lovers (12-year-olds) flee their homes and so their friends accompanied by a few responsible adults forms a search party to find them and to prevent a probable Shakespearean tragedy. Picture perfect landscapes brought alive by excellent cinematography and a feel good background score keeps you entertained throughout. There is everything you expect from a Wes Anderson film – eccentric characters, rose-tinted point of views and an overwhelming sense of assurance. ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ stays with you long after you have finished watching it, somewhere in the sweet corner of your hearts.


8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

The film is a cinematic tribute to every child in the world obsessed with candies, chocolates or anything sweet that will give them a sugar rush. Charlie Bucket, a young boy dream of candies all day and all night but his poor family cannot even afford him what many children his age take for granted. Fate smiles upon him when he chances upon a golden ticket to visit the Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and a lifetime supply of chocolates as a prize. This once in a lifetime opportunity not only fulfills his heart’s innermost desire but also becomes an experience in caring, sharing, loving and the importance of following set rules in life. If one can watch the film from a wide-eyed child’s point of view it is a fun as well as a learning experience. In a sweet musical way, it even works for the adults. The screenplay was written by Roald Dahl himself – the author on whose book the film is based on.


7. The Harry Potter Series

What to say about a film series which took the world by storm for over a decade? It is every inquisitive child’s dream come true. A screen adaptation of JK Rowling’s bestselling novel about a young wizard coming to terms with his identity and his adventures along with his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry Potter is not just a film franchise it is a billion dollar enterprise. Director Chris Columbus did a commendable job of translating the magic onto the screen without losing its essence and flavor. Thanks to the Harry Potter movies, we got to witness the growth of cinematic icons like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Robert Pattinson.


6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Even after 78 years after its release ‘The Wizard of Oz’ still manages to pack a punch among both minors and adults. The timelessness of the film lies in its depiction of childhood insecurity sans any gloss and sentimentality. It hits a raw nerve every time one re-watches it, with its matter-of-fact narration of a child’s psyche. In a very nonchalant and musical way, the film gives you life lessons on growing up and how to adapt to the challenges that life throws at you. At the center of it all is Judy Garland as Dorothy, who pulls off an innocent yet impactful performance with the help of her amusing co-stars like Glinda: The Good Witch, The Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow and The Tin Man. Here the wizard is just a metaphor for that one reliable person in our life with whom we can share our every whims, fancies, and fears.

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