20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books

Grace
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This guide to the 20 best kids’ movies based on books aims to highlight those films that have authentically and creatively captured the essence of their literary origins. 

The Secret Garden (1993)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© Warner Bros.

This enchanting tale follows the transformation of a young girl, uprooted from her life in India and sent to her uncle’s sprawling yet gloomy estate in England.

In her solitude, she stumbles upon a hidden garden that had been locked away and forgotten. As she breathes life back into the garden, she unravels the mystery that haunts the estate and revitalizes the lives of those around her.

Matilda (1996)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Columbia TriStar – © 1996

The story narrates the journey of a gifted girl, Matilda, who, despite growing up in an unloving, dismissive family, discovers her extraordinary telekinetic abilities and uses them to challenge authoritarian figures and transform her destiny.

The film serves as a beautiful reminder that every child has the power to change their narrative, making it an enduring classic among kids’ movies based on books.

Little Women (2019)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Wilson Webb – © 2019 CTMG

Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film presents a touching narrative about the March sisters – their dreams, challenges, joys, and enduring bond.

With an authentic portrayal of sisterhood and stellar performances from a star-studded cast, it brings a fresh perspective to this classic tale.

Holes (2003)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 2003 – Walt Disney Studios

Based on Louis Sachar’s acclaimed novel, this movie invites young viewers into a world where past and present collide and unlikely friendships are built amidst a quest for hidden treasure.

With a dash of life lessons subtly threaded into its storyline, “Holes” is an engaging cinematic experience that resonates with audiences long after the credits roll.

A Little Princess (1995)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1995-Warner Bros

This enchanting movie tells the tale of a young girl’s resilience, imagination, and unwavering belief in magic despite her challenges in a strict boarding school.

With a creative narrative and relatable characters, it delivers an inspiring message of hope and kindness that resonates with children and adults.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Silver Screen Collection

The film vividly depicts a whimsical chocolate haven where ordinary rules don’t apply. It brings Dahl’s book to life with memorable songs, endearing characters, and the mysteriously magical Willy Wonka.

Ed Grant, a media reviewer, has recommended this movie as appropriate for kids aged 12 years. He says, “A few scary/tense scenes may disturb younger or more sensitive children.”

The Railway Children (1970)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives

Based on E. Nesbit’s timeless book, it takes us on an adventure in the enchanting English countryside. Through the eyes of three children, their lives take an unexpected turn, leading to friendship, courage, and kindness along the railway tracks.

A must-watch for all, it’s a magical experience with timeless lessons of love, hope, and the spirit of childhood.

Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Paramount Pictures

This beloved classic, adapted from the cherished novel, follows a young boy and his two Redbone Coonhounds in the Ozarks. Together, they experience joy, heartache, and valuable life lessons, captivating audiences of all ages.

This film celebrates enduring friendship and the indomitable spirit of youth, making it a must-see on our list of best children’s movies based on books.

The Witches (1990)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Richard Blanshard – © 2011

This magical tale, woven with humor, suspense, and a hint of danger, introduces us to a world where witches disguise themselves as ordinary women, plotting to rid the world of children.

Filled with captivating characters and surprising plot twists, this classic stands the test of time, brilliantly capturing Dahl’s imaginative storytelling.

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Theo Wargo

his film follows Max, a rebellious boy with a wild spirit, who sails to an island inhabited by mysterious creatures – the “Wild Things.”

Each frame of this cinematic gem is filled with enchanting visuals, stirring emotions, and profound life lessons. It reminds children and adults about the power of imagination, self-discovery, and the beautiful complexities of growing up.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by MGM Studios

They are adapted from L. Frank Baum’s beloved book, this film whisks us away with Dorothy and her band of unique companions on a magical journey to meet the fabled Wizard in the Emerald City.

The movie’s vibrant technicolor visuals, unforgettable musical numbers, and poignant lessons about home and self-belief have made it an enduring favorite in children’s literature-based cinema.

The Princess Bride (1987)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1987 – MGM

Based on William Goldman’s 1973 novel, this enchanting fairy tale transports viewers into a world of brave heroes, wicked villains, and true love.

It’s a charming journey through a vividly imagined world that feels magical and real. The film’s gentle humor and timeless themes make it a classic for all ages.

Mary Poppins (1964)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1964 Walt Disney Productions

This enchanting tale of a magical nanny adds whimsy and wonder to the stern Banks household, showing that life can be as charmed as the imagination allows.

With memorable tunes, captivating performances, and a heartwarming narrative, “Mary Poppins” remains a cherished gem in children’s cinema, offering an escape into a world where fantasy and reality harmoniously intersect.

Anne of Green Gables (1934)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Paramount Pictures

Based on L.M. Montgomery’s famous book, it follows the spirited orphan girl, Anne Shirley, through her misadventures and charming tales of life and friendship in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island.

This timeless classic teaches children about acceptance, resilience, and the beauty of being different. It is a must-watch for every child who loves to dream and imagine.

Watership Down (1978)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1978 – Warner Bros

It’s a journey into the wild, seen through the eyes of brave rabbits, who embark on an adventure filled with danger, courage, and the unyielding spirit of survival.

This film, based on Richard Adams’ beloved novel, encompasses themes of friendship, leadership, and resilience, making it an unforgettable masterpiece that elegantly blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Paramount Pictures

Directed by the creatively eccentric Wes Anderson, this charming film brings the cunning, quick-witted fox to life as he embarks on daring escapades. Children are immersed in a whimsical world of courage, family bonds, and fantastic adventures as Mr. Fox outsmarts the cruel farmers.

Peter Pan (1953)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1953 – Walt Disney Studios.

This enchanting film is a gentle reminder of childhood’s innocent joy and boundless curiosity. The hand-drawn animation and melodic score infuse each scene with an irresistible charm that has captivated generations.

A tale of friendship, bravery, and the enduring magic of make-believe, “Peter Pan” is a must-see in children’s cinema.

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 1984 Warner Bros.

Based on Michael Ende’s mesmerizing novel, the film immerses viewers in the magical realm of Fantasica. It follows Bastian, a young boy who becomes an unexpected hero on a quest to save this mystical world from the terrifying Nothing.

With themes of courage, friendship, and the power of beliefs, a timeless classic showcases the transformative magic of literature and endless adventure.

Shrek (2001)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
© 2011 – Dream Works Paramount Pictures

Based on William Steig’s book, Shrek is a heartwarming tale of an ogre on a grand adventure to rescue a princess. It challenges norms and stereotypes, teaching children to embrace their individuality.

Humor, friendship, and essential life lessons make it a must-watch in our list of best kid’s movies based on books.

Hugo (2011)

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Photo by Jaap Buitendijk – © 2010 GK Films

It transports us to the enchanting world of a young boy in a Paris train station, capturing the magic of early cinema and the allure of motion pictures.

Based on the innovative book, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” this unforgettable tale intertwines mystery, friendship, and mesmerizing visuals. A must-see for all ages!

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16 Feel-Good Movies That Are Extremely Well Written

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
Provided by Frenz

In the mood for a cinematic pick-me-up? Look no further. We’ve rounded up 16 feel-good movies that aren’t just sunshine and rainbows but are also beautifully scripted works of art. These movies don’t just tickle your funny bone or warm your heart; they show off the writing chops of some genuinely gifted storytellers.

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18 Halloween Movies for People Who Hate Being Scared

20 Best Kids Movies Based On Books
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It’s that time of year again – when the leaves turn orange, pumpkins are on every doorstep, and eerie decorations add a touch of the uncanny to every corner. But let’s be honest, not all of us have the stomach for the heart-stopping, jump-out-of-your-seat kind of horror movies that seem to saturate your Netflix suggestions the moment October hits.

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  • Grace

    Grace combines her legal education with her interests in art, travel, history, writing, and nature to produce well-rounded and engaging content.

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