43 Best Space Movies for Kids

Ever since people have been aware enough to gaze up at the stars, they’ve been fascinated by space. There’s something exciting and a little scary about the unknown, and there’s nothing more unknown than the vast expanse of space.

Little kids dream of being astronauts; teenagers in love gaze longingly up at the night sky; adults wonder if there are other beings up there just waiting to come down and visit. People love space.

By the same token, people also love space movies. The unexpected success of the Star Wars movies in a time when such films were entirely expected to flop is a testament to that.

For this list, we’ve put together some of the very best space movies for kids of all ages. Whether you’re trying to find a movie to entertain your toddler while you’re cleaning or are looking for a great space movie for family movie night, this list has you covered.

*Note: All “appropriate age” ratings come from CommonSenseMedia and shouldn’t take the place of your own parental discretion.

Space Movies for Toddlers (Ages 2-4)

*Note: These movies don’t have much in them that would entertain you, the parent, or any older children or teens in your house. These are strictly movies for young, toddler-age children and are best used for entertaining your babies while you’re cooking dinner, cleaning or otherwise occupied.

Fly Me to the Moon (2008)

Veggie Tales: Veggies in Space, The Fennel Frontier (2014)

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Space Adventure (2011)

Ready Jet Go!: One Small Step (2019)

Jetsons: The Movie (1990)

The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1997)

Space Movies for Little Kids (Ages 5-7)

WALL-E (2008)

Space Buddies (2009)

Space Jam (1996)

Apollo 11 (2019)

 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (1998)

Muppets from Space (1999)

Explorers (1985)

Space Movies for Big Kids (Ages 8-9)

Treasure Planet (2002)

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens (2013)

The Last Starfighter (1984)

The Star Wars Franchise (1977-2020)

Space Chimps (2008)

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Hidden Figures (2016)

The Right Stuff (1983)

Thunderbirds (2004)

Space Movies for Tweens (Ages 10-12)

Spaceballs (1987)

The Guardians of the Galaxy Movies (2014-2017)

Captain Marvel (2019)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 10+ | Time 2hr 3min

If you’re looking for a movie that incorporates space, superheroes and a strong female lead all in one great package, this is it. Brie Larson is perfect as Carol Danvers, a female Air Force pilot who crashes an experimental airplane and is picked up by Kree aliens. Danvers spends a lot of time in space with the Kree and is turned into a half-human/half-Kree to save her life. This also gives her extraordinary powers.

This is a typical high-budget, Marvel blockbuster. The movie takes place both on Earth and in space, and the special effects, action scenes and CGI are all amazing. There’s nothing cheesy about this movie, either in plot or in visual effects. It’s an incredibly good movie whether you’re into space, superheroes, Marvel or none of the above.

Apollo 13 (1995)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005)

The Original Men in Black (1997)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Rated G | Ages 12+ | 1h 31min

This is another classic space movie that can’t be overlooked on any list of best space movies. I read something once that said something like, “Space is both wondrous and terrifying, so it’s fitting that this movie is the perfect mixture of both,” and I thought that summed up 2001: A Space Odyssey fairly perfectly.

The film was directed by Stanley Kubrick of The Shining and A Clockwork Orange fame, so it should come as no surprise that this movie has some terrifying moments. Most of them come from a small, red dot on a sentient computer named Hal.

The movie has its beautiful, magical moments too. Although it was released over 50 years ago in 1968, the depiction of space is gorgeous. The effects were so good, in fact, that conspiracy theorists to this day use it as “proof” that NASA faked the moon landing.

The theory is ridiculous, of course, but once you see the stunning visuals of outer space in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you can see how it might make people wonder. Just be aware that this one could scare children who are easily frightened.

SpaceCamp (1986)

spacecamp 1986
Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 47min

Unless you’re from Alabama – which happens to be where I, myself, was born and raised – or one of its nearer neighbors, you might not know what a big deal Space Camp is. Here in Alabama, getting the chance to visit Space Camp is the child and teen equivalent of winning the lottery.

Students write essays trying to win scholarships to Space Camp every year; Space Camp is dangled as the unbeatable prize for selling the most in the school fundraiser or having the highest GPA in your class at the end of the year.

Put simply, Space Camp is huge.

This movie is inspired by the actual U.S. Space and Rocket Center Space Camp right here in Huntsville, Alabama, but in the film, the SpaceCamp is set in Florida near Cape Canaveral.

Four kids are selected to go to SpaceCamp for the summer, but by some weird, accidental twist of fate, they’re accidentally sent to space on a real shuttle instead. The kids then find themselves alone in space and have to practically become real astronauts in order to get back to Earth again.

There are no alien invasions and no future, sci-fi tech in this film, but it’s still a decent space movie, especially if you have kids in the house.

For us kids in Alabama, this movie was always kind of the dream we wished would come true for us, but the folks at Space Camp are good at their jobs; thus far, no kids have been accidentally launched into space.

Titan A.E. (2000)

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014)

October Sky (1999)

october sky 1999
Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 48min

This is another one of those movies that isn’t strictly about space, but it does have rockets in it, and the young man in the movie eventually goes to work for NASA, so there’s a relation there.

It’s enough of a correlation that I thought I could probably get away with adding it to the list because it’s a beautiful, amazing movie that’s particularly well-suited to watching with your children. Plus, it’s a true story and is incredibly inspirational.

It’s the story of Homer Hickam, a young boy from a small town in West Virginia who dreams of becoming an engineer who builds rockets for NASA.

His dad, the superintendent of the local mine is not supportive and constantly tries to get Homer to give up his dreams of outer space and come to work at the mine. Instead, Homer spends all his time collecting spare parts and building rockets.

Eventually, Homer’s rockets take him to a large competition, which he wins, providing him with many scholarship opportunities and opening up many doors for his future. At this point, his dad finally realizes that he was wrong, and that Homer following his dreams is what should have happened all along.

The whole movie is incredibly heartwarming and moving, and it’s a testament to the resilience of Homer’s spirit and drive when even the people he loved most had no hope in him.

You absolutely do not want to skip this movie.

Space Movies for Teens (Ages 13+)

Gravity (2013)

Ender’s Game (2013)

The Martian (2015)

The Fifth Element (1997)

The New Star Trek Movies (2009-2016)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 7min
Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 12min
Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 2min

These movies are almost on par with Star Wars in terms of popular space movies that everyone knows, and they don’t really need a description. Suffice it to say, between Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, the original show got a great makeover in these films. The casting choices couldn’t have been more perfect, and that extends into the rest of the cast as well. I didn’t even like Star Trek, the show, but even I enjoyed these movies.

Interstellar (2014)

Independence Day (1996)

Avatar (2009)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 13+ | Time: 2h 42min

Whether you’re looking for a great space movie, a family-friendly movie, a fantasy movie or any other type of movie, I recommend Avatar. It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful movies you’ll ever watch. In the theater, it was unbeatable; I had never seen anything like it, but even watching it now from home, I’m still impressed with its beauty.

There are all the traditional elements of a space movie – unimaginable tech, high-powered weapons, intense battle scenes and spaceships hurtling through space – but all of that pales in comparison to just enjoying the stunning visual effects of the movie.

The film is set in a fictional world called Pandora in the very real Alpha Centauri solar system, and it’s beautiful there, much more beautiful than even planet Earth. It’s inhabited by a race of blue, vaguely humanoid-like creatures known as the Na’vi, and they, too, look amazing. You’d almost swear they were real creatures.

The plot is good; the acting is fine; everything about the movie is great, but I promise you, the visual effects will absolutely blow your mind.

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