Movies based on classic books have storylines so engaging that Hollywood has gotten behind them. Whether or not you’re a proponent of reading the book before you see the movie, here are ten favorites to share with family and friends.
- The BFG
Based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, ten-year old Sophie and her new friend, the Big Friendly Giant, team up to convince Queen Victoria to get rid of bad giants like Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater.
Heads Up: Scariness, death, dark tone
- Charlotte’s Web
Based on the classic book, a spider called Charlotte weaves wordy webs to save her pig friend from the butcher.
Heads Up: Name-calling, death
- The Wizard of Oz
A tornado whisks Dorothy and her dog Toto on an adventure to the magical land of Oz, where they encounter a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion. They must bring the Wizard of Oz a wicked witch’s broom to secure his help.
Heads Up: Scariness, tornado
Join the Empowering Kids with Character newsletter for more fun activity ideas and receive a free rainbow Thank You Card download that kids can color in!
- Where the Wild Things Are
Mischievous Max escapes to the land of the fierce and beautiful Wild Things, where he becomes king in an effort to create a happy utopia. However, he discovers that it’s not easy. Due to frightening scenes, this favorite is perfect for older children (9+).
Heads Up: Scariness, loneliness, insecurity, alcohol, kissing, mild language
Mathilda, an extremely intelligent and gifted reader, is bullied by her ignorant parents and cruel headmaster, the Trunchbull. When she discovers her power of telekinesis, she fights back against her parents and the Trunchbull to help herself and her kind teacher, Ms. Honey.
Heads Up: Scariness, violence, suicide, mild language, parental neglect
- Bridge to Terabithia
In a beautiful tale of friendship, Jesse and new-girl Leslie create an imaginary world called Terabithia, which Jesse will come to call upon in the face of tragedy. Due to mature themes, more appropriate for older kids (9+).
Heads Up: Loneliness, religious and class differences, strained parent-child relationships, bullying, death
- The Secret Garden
When a young girl is orphaned and sent to live with her uncle in the English countryside, she discovers a secret garden and new friends.
Heads Up: Earthquake, grief, name-calling, slapping, death.
- Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
When a poor boy called Charlie discovers a Golden Ticket in a chocolate bar that will give him access to the candy factory of the secretive Mr. Wonka, he proves himself to be a capable future owner of Wonka’s property in a wacky adventure.
Heads Up: Scariness
- Mary Poppins
A five-time Oscar-winning musical about a magical nanny who brings adventure and fun to two London siblings.
Heads Up: Alcohol, smoking
- The Lorax
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss, this is a creative, adventurous tale about environmental impact in an imaginary world that was once beautiful but now almost devoid of nature and the highly-sought Truffula trees. Encourages reflection on the importance of being eco-friendly.
Heads up: Marketing promotions, mild scariness
Enjoy these movies based on books, and sign up for the Empowering Kids with Character newsletter for more fun activity ideas and to receive a free rainbow Thank You Card download that kids can color in!
Children’s Movies With Strong Moral Lessons
Summer Movies for Children