Top 10 Underrated Kids Movies

Script written by Craig Butler. Sometimes a kid wants something other than Harry Potter or a Disney princess. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 underrated kids movies. For this list, we’re focusing on high quality children’s films, live action or animated, that deserve a wider audience. If you’re more interested in weird factor, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Creepy Kids Movies. Special thanks to our users VMInHere, Emmanuel Pader and Andrew A. Dennison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Underrated Kids’ Movies


Sometimes a kid wants something other than Harry Potter or a Disney princess. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 underrated kids’ movies.

For this list, we’re focusing on high quality children’s films, live action or animated, that deserve a wider audience. If you’re more interested in weird factor, be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Creepy Kids Movies.

#10: “The Last Starfighter” (1984)

Video game addicts haven’t lived until they’ve seen “The Last Starfighter.” One the cinema’s first CGI-heavy films, it’s an exciting adventure tale about a teenager who discovers that his favorite game is really real. And he’s desperately needed to win the real space war that’s going on. It’s a fun film, made more so by Robert Preston doing his patented con-man bit – this time as a space alien. Hey, it works.

#9: “An American Tail” (1986)

One of the first films to successfully challenge Disney’s dominance of feature length animation, “An American Tail” scored with audiences in 1986 but has since fallen by the wayside. That’s a shame: it’s a funny but touching tale of Russian mice immigrating to America to escape the pogroms. “American Tail” scores for its story, its beautiful Don Bluth animation, its Jewish-American themes and its excellent voice cast that includes Madeline Kahn, Christopher Plummer and Dom DeLuise.

#8: “The Prince of Egypt” (1998)

Moses rules in “The Prince of Egypt,” an adaptation of much of the Biblical book of Exodus. Produced by DreamWorks Animation, the artwork is suitably beautiful – especially the backgrounds. It also features a knock-out array of talent in the voice department, from the Moses of Val Kilmer to Ralph Fiennes, Sandra Bullock, Michelle Pfeiffer, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Helen Mirren.

#7: “Chicken Run” (2000)

Peter Lord and Nick Park’s riotous “Chicken Run” is a stop-motion animation treasure. A bunch of hens destined for the chopping block put their faith in a big-talking blowhard of a rooster and pay for it – almost. Mel Gibson voices the rooster, but it’s Miranda Richardson’s vile villainess that steals the show. “Chicken Run” teaches several important lessons – but it does so without being preachy.

#6: “Flight of the Navigator” (1986)

A young boy is abducted by aliens and returned to Earth with his head filled with alien technological knowledge. Oh, and eight years have passed, but he hasn’t aged a bit. You just know the government is going to want to get their hands on him – especially after an alien spaceship is discovered. “Flight of the Navigator” is tremendous fun, exactly the kind of adventure every 12-year-old boy dreams about.

#5: “The Secret of NIMH” (1982)

When her child falls ill, Mrs. Brisby, a field mouse, seeks out the help of a group of odd rats whose intelligence was boosted as part of a scientific experiment. Mrs. Brisby and the rats team up, despite the efforts of a greedy and disgruntled rat to foil their efforts. “The Secret of NIMH” combines traditional Disney-style animation with a more contemporary storyline to create a dramatic, unique cartoon experience.

#4: “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (1992)

A strong environmental message permeates “FernGully.” Lumberjacks in the forest are confronted both by fairies eager to save the trees and the evil spirit Hexxus, who desires environmental destruction. Good triumphs in the end, with the humans learning a valuable lesson. “FernGully” may have its preachy moments, but it’s also an exciting adventure story with some genuinely heartfelt moments and a star-studded cast that includes Christian Slater, Robin Williams, Cheech and Chong, and Tim Curry at his villainous best.

#3: “The Iron Giant” (1999)

In the 1950s, a lonely boy named Hogarth stumbles across a giant injured robot. Created by aliens with the purpose of causing destruction, the Iron Giant’s memory has been wiped out. From Hogarth, the robot learns about love, kindness and self-sacrifice. Critically acclaimed, “The Iron Giant” is one of the most moving of modern children’s movies; and the emotional punch it packs is matched by the joys and thrills it provides.

#2: “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987)

A movie about household appliances? Seriously? But “The Brave Little Toaster” is just that – and it’s an amazingly good movie as well. The toaster and his friends set out on a danger-filled journey to find their owner – and almost end up consigned to the scrap heap. “The Brave Little Toaster” has quirky songs, a unique set of characters, a witty and entertaining screenplay and pitch-perfect direction. What more do you need?

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Time Bandits” (1981)
- “The Rescuers Down Under” (1990)
- “Willow” (1988)
- “Explorers” (1985)
- “Balto” (1995)

#1: “The Road to El Dorado” (2000)

“The Road to El Dorado” boasts an engaging Elton John-Tim Rice score, but it’d be a treat even without it. Loosely inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” it tells of two con men who stumble upon the legendary city of El Dorado. Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh are a wild comedic duo as the criminal couple, and the script provides an abundance of laughs. Kind of a modern version of the classic Bing Crosby-Bob Hope “Road” films, “The Road to El Dorado” is pure fun.

Do you agree with our choices? What other neglected masterpieces should we have added to this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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