101 Best Family Adventure Movies Your Kids Will Love

best family adventure movies your kids will love

I am a huge fan of adventure films, from classic epics like The Man Who Would Be King to fun popcorn flicks like Raiders of the Lost Ark (my favorite film of all time) – tales of treasure hunts, quests, and exotic locations still get me as giddy as when I was a kid.

But many adventure movies these days skew pretty violent – and just aren’t appropriate to watch with kids. So, I decided to sit down and make a list of all the kid-friendly adventure films available out there in movieland.

First, let me get a pet peeve of mine out of the way, there is a HUGE difference between an “Action Movie” and an “Adventure Movie”. While doing research for this list it became painfully apparent that most people don’t know the difference – so here I am to save the day and set you all straight!

If you want to see my definition of an “Adventure Movie” and how I selected the movies on this list CLICK THIS LINK – or if you want to avoid my rant and just peruse the movies continue on below.

NOTE: If you have children younger than 5 this list is probably not gonna do you much good as films for 4-year-olds really don’t have much to offer for true adventure fans.

Animated Adventure Movies For Kids (5-9)

animated adventure movies for kids

I decided to lump all of the animated adventure movies together under one heading, because, if you’re like me, sometime a cartoon character just won’t cut it when it comes to suspending my disbelief. These are all amazing movies but be sure to check the ages before showing them to younger kids, they range from ages 5 up.

Finding Nemo (2003)

Rated G | Ages 5+ | Time: 1h 40min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Finding Nemo is a cute little film from Pixar that made about a bazillion dollars at the box office. You won’t find any bloodthirsty cannibals’ or pits full of spikes or deadly vipers (although there is a pretty nasty shark in the movie). But Nemo is forced to go on a pretty epic quest that has a happy, 5-year-old friendly ending. A fun family film.

Up (2009)

Rated PG | Ages 6+ | Time: 1h 36min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 44min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Wreck It Ralph (2012)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 41min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Peter Pan (1953)

Rated G | Ages 5+ | Time: 1h 17min | Animation, Adventure, Family

Onward (2020)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 42min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Kubo And The Two Strings (2016)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 41min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The Incredibles (2004)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 55min | Animation, Action, Adventure

The Road to El Dorado (2000)

Rated PG | Ages 6+ | Time: 1h 29min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Treasure Planet (2002)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 35min | Animation, Adventure, Family

Adventure Movies for Little Kids (Age 5–7)

adventure movies for little kids age 5–7

Baby’s Day Out (1994)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 39min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Three Amigos (1986)

Rated PG | Ages 4+ | Time: 1h 44min | Comedy, Western

Nim’s Island (2008)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 36min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 2h 1min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy 

Night At The Museum (2006)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 48min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 45min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 38min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

The Pagemaster (1994)

Rated G | Ages 7+ | Time: 1hr 20min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (1989)

Rated PG | Ages 6+ | Time: 1h 33min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Spy Kids (2001)

Rated PG | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 28min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)

Rated PG |  Ages 7+ | Time:  1h 24min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (2011)

Rated PG |   Ages 7+ | Time:  1h 29min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Adventure Movies for Big Kids (Age 8–9)

adventure movies for big kids age 8-9

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 38min | Action, Adventure, Family

The Journey of Natty Gann (1985)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 41min | Adventure, Family 

Never Ending Story (1984)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 42min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The Man From Snowy River (1982)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 42min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Aladdin (2019)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 2h 8min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 2h 4min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The Jungle Book (2016)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 46min | Adventure, Drama, Family

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 33min | Action, Adventure, Family

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 34min | Action, Adventure, Family

Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019)

Rated: PG | Ages: 8+ | Time: 1h 42min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

National Treasure (2004)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 2h 11min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1hr 36min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The Princess Bride (1987)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 38min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Time Bandits (1981)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 50min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

Willow (1988)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 2h 6min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 2h 23min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Prince Caspain (2008)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 2h 30min | Action, Adventure, Family

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 53min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Labyrinth (1986)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 41min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–1993)

Rated TV-G | Ages 8+ | Time: 45min | Action, Adventure, Family

Eragon (2006)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1hr 44min | Action, Adventure, Family

The Neverending Story (1984)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1hr 42min | Adventure, Drama, Family

Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1hr 36min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time 1hr 29min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

The Last Starfighter (1984)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1h 41min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Adventure Movies for Tweens (Age 10–12)

adventure movies for tweens age 10–12

The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 48min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama 

Jumanji (1995)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 44min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

Rated PG |  Ages 10+ | Time: 2h | Action, Adventure, Family

Mulan (2020)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time:  1h 55min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Tomorrowland: A World Beyond (2015)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 2h 10min | Action, Adventure, Family

Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010)

Rated PG | Ages 9+ | Time: 1hr 43min | Action, Adventure, Family

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time: 1h 49min | Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

Hook (1991)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 2h 22min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Back to the Future (1985)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 56min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Holes (2003)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 57min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Enola Holmes (2020)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 3min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 10min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The Goonies (1985)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1h 54min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time: 1h 59min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time: 2h 3min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Rated PG | Ages 11+ | Time: 1h 55min | Action, Adventure

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time: 2h 7min | Action, Adventure

Jurassic Park (1993)

Rated PG-13 | Ages: 12+ | Time: 2hr 7min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Romancing The Stone (1984)

Rated PG | Ages 12+ | Time: 1h 46min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Rated: PG-13 | Ages: 12+ | Time: 2h 23min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The Mummy (1999)

Rated PG | Ages: 12+ | Time: 2h 4min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The Mummy Returns (2001)

Rated PG-13 | Ages: 12+ | Time: 2h 10min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Rated PG-13 | Ages: 12+ | Time: 1h 50min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Ready Player One (2018)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 20min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time 2h 7min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The Golden Compass (2007)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 1hr 53min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Stardust (2007)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2hr 7min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time 1hr 58min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters  (2013)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time 1hr 46min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Rated PG | Ages 10+ | Time: 1hr 49min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 11+ | Time: 1hr 54min | Adventure, Fantasy

Adventure Movies for Teens (Age 13+)

adventure movies for teens age 13+

Avatar (2009)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 13+ | Time: 2h 42min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

The Maze Runner (2014)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 13+ | Time: 1hr 53min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 14+ | Time: 2h 3min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 13+ | Time: 1h 42min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

Congo (1995)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 13+ | Time: 1h 49min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 14+ | 1h 40min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 14+ | 1h 57min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Tomb Raider (2018)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 14+ | Time: 1h 59min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Last Action Hero (1993)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 15+ | Time: 2hr 10min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

Rated PG-13 | Ages 12+ | Time: 2h 31min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy 

Classic Family Adventure Movies (Pre 1970)

classic family adventure movies pre 1970

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Rated PG | Ages 8+ | Time: 1h 42min | Action, Adventure, Romance

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Rated G | Ages 6+ | Time: 2h 24min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy 

7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

Rated G | Ages 7+ |  Time: 1h 28min | Action, Adventure, Family

Valley of the Gwangi (1969)

Rated G | Time: 1h 36min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Sea Hawk (1940)

Rated Approved | Time: 2h 7min | Action, Adventure, History

Treasure Island (1934)

Not Rated | Ages 7+ | Time: 1h 50min | Adventure, Family

Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

Rated G | Ages 7+ | Time: 2h 55min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

Rated G | Ages 8+ | Time: 2h 6min | Adventure, Family 

Action Vs. Adventure Movies

While I love action movies like Die Hard, they do not necessarily involve any real Adventurous elements – many action films made these days just rely on huge explosions (hello Transformers) and have very little substance or character transformation.

Adventure implies going on a quest of some type, traveling to exotic, unknown territories, solving riddles or ancient mysteries, engage in hazardous and exciting activities and undertaking dangers and unknown risks.

In better Adventure Movies there is usually a major character transformation ala Joseph Campbell’s Heroes’ Journey. This is one of the reasons I love watching Adventure Movies with my kids, they learn lessons about strength of character and how to persevere when the whole world seems like it is stacked against you.

You won’t find any Harry Potter Movies on this list, don’t worry I love them as much as you – but they are not really “Adventure” movies. They are more mystery, fantasy, coming of age stories.

Also absent are any Superhero Movies, as they are more in the “Action” genre as opposed to Adventure. The one exception is Thor: Ragnarok – which is a rollicking good adventure!

So, there you have it – the Top 100 Best Adventure Films of All Time! This list is constantly updated and changed as my (and my kid’s) tastes change – so be sure to check back in a couple of months. (I’m working on a printable PDF as well)

Also, be sure to check out my other related movie posts like the Best Summer Movies for Kids, and one of my favorites, 25 Movies Like Jumanji, you will find a bunch of other great action-oriented films on those lists as well.

best family adventure movies your kids will love
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