No parent has the time or energy to entertain their kids all the time—that’s a tall order, especially when you’re dealing with toddlers. That’s where movie nights (or mornings, or afternoons) come into play. And while the screen-time guilt is real, not all films are created equally, so we came up with a list of the best movies for toddlers that offer simple, valuable lessons about friendship, teamwork, and kindness. The plots are straightforward, and the visuals, dialogue, and songs are all engaging enough to hold your toddler’s limited attention. So throw on one of these family-friendly flicks and cuddle up with your budding cinephile (or use this time to get some chores done). We know they’ll be a hit. (Curious about which films to watch when they get a bit older? We’ve got those, too.)

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: An Underground Rock Experience

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: An Underground Rock Experience is one of the best movies for toddlers
© HBO Max

Fashion has never been more fun, as an adorable mole rat named Wilbur discovers the joy of clothing, much to the dismay of his community who would never dare not to go bare. When his bandmates in the Mole-ing Stones discover his sartorial secret, they want to turn him over to authorities only to receive a surprising serving of justice.

Where it’s streaming: HBO Max

Why it’s great for toddlers: Aside from the catchy tunes to rock out to, kids will learn–and adults will be reminded–to embrace self-expression and the things they love, despite what others might say. The story telling is top notch as it’s penned by former Sesame Street writer Mo Willems.


Encanto is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Disney

Travel to Colombia and meet the Madrigals, a multi-generational family living in a magical home that bestows powers on all its inhabitants—well, everyone except Mirabel. Feeling lost and confused over not being blessed with a special gift, Mirabel searches for a purpose, and finds one after discovering that her familial home is in danger of losing its magic.

Where it’s streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Colorful, musical and magical are just a few adjectives to describe this Disney instant classic. Be prepared to listen to pretty much every song on repeat (Lin-Manual Miranda's tunes have reached "Let It Go" status). Some themes might be a little tricky for young minds to grasp (namely feeling inadequate and like an outcast), but overall kids will learn to believe in themselves and their abilities and that families can work together to overcome obstacles.


Sing is a good movie for toddlers
© Universal Pictures

When koala Buster Moon is faced with the deterioration of a theater he runs, he comes up with an ingenious idea, a singing competition. The competitors are all animals, each with their own personality and unique voice (think a stay-at-home pig who desperately needs something for herself, a stage-shy elephant with an incredible voice, and a gorilla hoping to make his own way in the world). The film’s characters are voiced by Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Seth MacFarlane, among others. 

Where is it streaming: Amazon Prime, Hulu (with Live TV)

Why it’s great for toddlers: Parents and kids will notice popular songs that are featured on playlists and the radio, and many toddlers may even be able to sing along with the adorable animal characters. Lessons on believing in yourself, the importance of friendly competition, and supporting others will please parents who can help younger viewers pick up on these themes throughout the film.

Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie

Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Paramount

Your kids’ top rescue crew returns in this sequel to PAW Patrol: The Movie. This time around, a meteor crash lands in Adventure City and magically gives Chase and his friends superpowers. After learning that a meteor-obsessed mad scientist named Victoria Vance wants to steal their powers for villainous means, the crew jumps into action to do what they do best: save the day.

Where it’s streaming: Paramount+

Why it’s great for toddlers: It’s filled with a cast of familiar characters that your tot already loves, and stays true to the PAW Patrol formula. That being said, there are a lot of action sequences that result in loud noises and characters being in peril, so some children might find it distressing. In addition to themes of teamwork and perseverance, tiny patroller Skye shines as she reminds kids that even the smallest pups can make a huge difference.

Finding Nemo

'Finding Nemo' is a good movie for toddlers
© Walt Disney Studios

When clownfish Marlin’s young son Nemo gets captured, he goes on an animated adventure across the ocean to find him. Marlin gets some help from absent-minded fish Dory, meets some laid-back turtles, and escapes the clutches of hungry seagulls in this well-loved film that debuted 20 years ago. 

Where it's streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Toddlers can learn about ocean life in a fun and colorful way, while also picking up positive lessons on friendship and the importance of family. Parents should note that some of the predator fish may frighten very young viewers.


Ponyo is a good movie for toddlers
© Walt Disney Studios

In what feels like a magical mashup of Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid, a five-year-old boy rescues Ponyo, a goldfish princess. Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, and Betty White lend their voices to this animated fantasy film helmed by master filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki. 

Where it's streaming: HBO Max

Why it’s great for toddlers: The colorful and simplistic animation in the film will draw toddlers in and keep them captivated for the nearly two-hour runtime. Ecofriendly messages will also appeal to parents.

Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is a good movie for toddlers
© Walt Disney Studios

The famous and timeless bear goes on an unexpected adventure with his friends. They must rescue his human friend, Christopher Robin whom they believe has been taken by a horrible monster called the Backson. 

Where it's streaming: Disney+, Amazon Prime 

Why it’s great for toddlers: This timeless classic focuses on some of the sweetest and most caring bonds of friendship, and the Pooh gang are examples of positive role models who are selfless and kind. Young viewers will also delight in the songs and the simplicity of the story.

Puffin Rock and the New Friends

Puffin Rock and the New Friends is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Apple TV

Everyone’s favorite Irish birds have finally soared to the big screen in this adventurous tale filled with the same level of charm the hit series is known for. With an ominous storm brewing off the coast of Puffin Rock, Oona, Baba and a flock of new friends race against time to find a missing puffling egg.

Where it’s streaming: Apple TV

Why it’s great for toddlers: Just like the series, important lessons are gently delivered for young minds so as not to overwhelm them. While the importance of teamwork to reach a goal is front and center, the topic of climate change and its ripple effect on communities is explored in a way that little minds can start to understand.

Blue’s Big City Adventure

Blues Clues Big City Adventure is great movie for toddlers
© Paramount Original

Canine Blue gets her first feature-film musical adventure complete with song and dance numbers. Instead of placing Blue in an animated world, as the television series does, the film finds Blue and her human companion Josh in a very real and vibrant New York City. They are heading to an audition for a Broadway show and need help from passersby and viewers when they get lost. 

Where it's streaming: Paramount+

Why it’s great for toddlers: The songs are engaging, and toddlers will want to dance and sing along. With the same format as the television show, young viewers can follow the paw print clues right along with Blue and Josh, involving toddlers in the journey. Parents will also enjoy the message that dreams can come true and may find seeing previous hosts Steve and Joe a nostalgic bonus.


Smallfoot is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Warner Bros. Pictures

Flipping the tale of Bigfoot around, this flick sees a lovable yeti named Migo come face-to-face with the mythical creature Smallfoot, aka a human. Unfortunately, no one believes him. So with his friends by his side, Migo leaves the grounds of his village to see what other wonders might exist in the world.

Where it’s streaming: HBO Max

Why it’s great for toddlers: Simply said, yetis are cool! And Channing Tatum does a great job making Migo so likable that you can’t help but root for him. That being said, just a head’s up that there is some tension and mild fighting between humans and yetis whenever they meet. Oh, and the soundtrack is also stacked with sing-along friendly tunes by Zendaya and James Cordon.


Up is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Walt Disney Pictures

Pixar’s uplifting adventure tale is still flying high 15 years after its initial release. After making a promise to his late wife, elderly widower Carl ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to fly to South America. En route, he discovers an adorable stowaway, nine-year-old Russell, a young "Wilderness Explorer" scout who has come along for the ride. The unlikely travel buddies meet a cast of colorful characters along their journey as they work together to overcome some dubious forces that threaten to keep them from reaching their final destination.

Where it’s streaming: Disney+

Why is it great for toddlers? They’ll learn to embrace new adventures from Carl and Russell and you’ll be reminded how much this movie makes you cry. While the film deals with grief and loss, the non-stop action and silly moments are enough to entertain your kiddo if you’re not ready to or have other plans to broach this subject.

The Daniel Tiger Movie: Won't You Be Our Neighbor


Daniel and the whole Tiger clan welcome a new family to the neighborhood with the hopes of making them feel welcome. Daniel hopes to find a new friend. If kids like this movie, they can also watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip 

Where it's streaming: Amazon Prime 

Why it’s great for toddlers: Based on the characters from the PBS television series, Daniel Tiger is a positive role model who provides kids with a fun way to learn some valuable lessons surrounding friendship and kindness. He also teaches young kids basic social skills and problem-solving with simple language in terms they can understand. Daniel also speaks directly to kids.

Toy Story

© Walt Disney Studios

A flashy new toy space ranger named Buzz threatens old-school cowboy action figure Woody, who fears the young boy whose bedroom he shares no longer wants him. This film, the first in the iconic franchise, features several toys like Mr. Potato Head, toy soldiers, and a piggy bank coming to life when the child who owns them isn’t around. 

Where is it streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Parents can share some of their own childhood memories through the cast of classic toy characters they may have played with growing up, including a toy tape recorder, an Etch A Sketch, a barrel of monkeys, a troll doll, and the Magic 8Ball. Toddlers will also delight in the idea of toys magically coming to life. Parents should know that some words may not be suitable for toddlers, including ‘shut up’ and ‘idiot.’ There are also some darker moments where toys get hurt or do mildly scary things to protect themselves.

Related: 16 Kids’ Movies That Parents Love Too

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Shaun the Sheep is a good movie for toddlers
© Lionsgate

Things get interesting at Mossy Bottom Farm when a space alien shows up, but she isn’t there to take over the world. Will Shaun and the gang be able to get her back to her own planet before she is captured by a nefarious organization?  

Where is it streaming: Netflix 

Why it’s great for toddlers: Young viewers will delight at the simplicity of the dialogue, which is just a series of expressive sounds. Parents will appreciate the lessons surrounding inclusion and friendship that they can share with their kids as they watch.

Bee Movie

Bee Movie is a good movie for toddlers
© DreamWorks Studios

Young bee Barry B. Benson, who just graduated college, wants to do more than become a part of the hive in this comedy starring Jerry Seinfeld. He befriends a human and realizes he may have a great purpose other than honey-making. Some A-list stars lend their voices to the film including Oprah Winfrey, Chris Rock, and Kathy Bates.

Where it's streaming: Netflix

Why it’s great for toddlers: This family friendly movie lets parents enjoy the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld while their toddlers can easily follow the story. The movie also has great lessons about teamwork and unique relationships, like the one between Barry and Vanessa. After watching the film, parents can follow up with an educational lesson on how bees really make honey.

The Tigger Movie

The Tigger Movie is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Disney

With all his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood busy preparing for winter, a lonely Tigger decides to go on an epic journey to find members in his family tree. After a few roadblocks along the way, his search comes to a surprising and heartfelt end as Pooh, Roo, Piglet and co. rally around their bouncy friend to remind him of the true meaning of family.

Where it’s streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Youngsters will learn that families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and how true friends will be there for you no matter what. Parents will also love the nostalgia of seeing A.A. Milne’s iconic characters up to their old tricks.

The Peanuts Movie

© 20th Century Studios

With a modern look, the Peanuts gang gets its very own film. Parents will enjoy seeing the loveable characters from their youth embark on new adventures as Charlie Brown tries to go from a loveable loser to someone who can impress the new girl. 

Where it's streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: The movie clocks in with a runtime of just 93 minutes, making it short enough to sustain young viewers' attention. It also touches on important themes like friendship and self-esteem, and almost all of the characters are voiced by actual child actors instead of adult Hollywood stars.


© Universal Studios

This '90s film will bring many parents back to childhood. Babe, the title character, proves he is more than just an average pig (His talents include the ability to herd sheep.). This children’s classic won an Academy Award and garnered multiple nominations, including one for Best Picture. 

Where is it streaming: Amazon Prime, Apple TV

Why it’s great for toddlers: Young viewers will enjoy the various farm animal characters, especially the tiny mouse chorus, which adds a musical element to the film. It also gives kids a chance to see farm life from the perspective of the animals.

PAW Patrol: The Movie

Paw Patrol: The Movie is a good movie for toddlers
Courtesy Spin Master

Ryder and his crew must step up when infamous cat-lover and troublemaker Mayor Humdinger causes chaos in Adventure City. The rescue pups even have a new friend, Liberty, a delightful dachshund. 

Where is it streaming: Paramount+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Toddlers will be excited to see their favorite pups from the television series in this animated feature-length adventure. The engaging storyline and introduction of new vehicles and rescues will keep them on the edge of their seats.

Related: 100+ Movies Every Kid Needs to See Before They Grow Up


Cars is a good movie for toddlers
© Walt Disney Studios

In this 2006 film, race car superstar Lightning McQueen gets sidelined in the small community of Radiator Springs while on his way to a big event. While not happy about it at first, Lightning begins to realize that there is more to life than racing and stardom, and he may have found it in the small town with its eclectic cast of characters. Young viewers can catch Cars 2 and Cars 3 if they love the first film. 

Where it's streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: The lessons surrounding winning and the value of friendship are important ones that parents can explore with their kids as they watch the film. The colorful animation and cast of characters will keep even the youngest viewers entertained. Parents should note that there is some mild language in the film such as hell.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie

Pooh's Heffalump Movie is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Walt Disney Pictures

After a loud noise rocks the Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh and friends go in search of the culprit. After learning that it might have been caused by a heffalump–a “dangerous” creature–the crew decides to try and catch one. After being left behind, Roo goes on his own adventure and comes across an adorable heffalump called Lumpy. They band together to prove to everyone that the heffalumps don't deserve their bad reputation.

Where it’s streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: It’s been nearly 20 years since this movie hit the big screen and sadly its lessons are still needed today, namely never to judge a book by its cover. Apart from teachings on friendship and acceptance, kids will love its adventurous nature and sweet characters.

Curious George

Curious George is one of the best movies for toddlers
© Universal Pictures

The beloved children’s book comes to life as the always-curious monkey George is taken from Africa to New York City for the adventure of a lifetime. Of course, your fave primate gets into a whole lot of mischievous behavior alongside his museum-employee pal, aka The Man With the Yellow Hat. After learning that the museum owner’s son wants to turn the educational building into a parking lot, the duo team up to do everything they can to stop that from happening.

Where it’s streaming: Hulu

Why it’s great for toddlers: Watching George being clumsy and silly always leads to laughs, while parents will enjoy hearing the familiar voices of comedy legends like Will Ferrell, Eugene Levy and Dick Van Dyke. And of course, at the heart of this film is the message to always embrace and explore curiosity, which is so important for developing minds.

One Big Ocean

Based on the educational PBS preschool series, the film features characters Splash and Bubbles leaving their home and heading out into the vast ocean. They meet many types of ocean creatures and explore a variety of topics. 

Where is it streaming: Amazon Prime 

Why it’s great for toddlers: Educational concepts such as biodiversity and migration are presented in a way that young viewers can understand. The colorful characters, ocean environment, and fun songs will keep toddlers entertained as they learn valuable lessons about unity and the importance of caring for our undersea world.


© 20th Century Studios

A rare macaw named Blu decides to leave behind the comfort of his Minnesota home and head to Rio de Janeiro after meeting Jewel. Jewel, another rare macaw, is different than the domesticated Blu. Their differences lead to adventures neither of them ever imagined. The film features the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and Neil Patrick Harris. 

Where it's streaming: Hulu, Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: Rio is filled with vibrant colors, positive messages, and role models, including the independent female Jewel. The catchy music in the film will also hold the attention of toddlers. There is some mild language like ‘idiot’ and ‘shut up,’ a few scary characters, and some scantily-clad people at Carnival.


© Walt Disney Studios

Remy, a rat, wants nothing more than to become a great chef. When he finds himself living under a fancy Parisian restaurant, the culinary scene will be forever changed. The characters are voiced by some of the funniest names in comedy including Patton Oswalt, Will Arnett, Brad Garrett, and Janeane Garofalo. 

Where it's streaming: Disney+

Why it’s great for toddlers: With an interesting plot, plenty of humor, and colorful animation, the film will appeal to toddlers and parents. Parents should be aware that some scenes may be a bit intense for younger viewers, especially one featuring a gun-wielding granny.

The Muppets Take Manhattan

Muppets Take Manhattan
Sony Pictures

In this classic 1980s film featuring Jim Henson’s muppets, Kermit the Frog and his friends graduate from college and head to Manhattan to take Broadway by storm with their new show. Once they get to the Big Apple, they realize things aren’t so simple and showbiz is tougher than they could have imagined. 

Where is it streaming: Paramount+, Amazon Prime

Why it’s great for toddlers: Young viewers will enjoy the cute and funny muppets, each with a unique personality. They will also love the musical dance numbers peppered throughout the film.  Parents should know that the film does feature some adult humor and smoking.

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