50 Films to watch before you’re 11 (or whenever)

My grandfather took me to see my first film in cinema when I was nearly 6. I remember it clearly. Of course I had seen films on television, but to see one on the big screen with my hero (my grandfather was the best) was an adventure. We saw Pet’s Dragon, the original of course. Now you know how old I am, approximately. And though that film is not on The List, it started a life-long fascination with films.

Films are more than just entertainment, just as books are more than just stories. When told well, both cinematic stories and written stories can help shape your world view. The best thing is that this shared world view can bridge geographical and cultural boundaries. That whole generation that read Harry Potter will understand each other as grown-ups, even if they read the books in different languages and maybe call Hogwarts ‘Zweinstein’. It gives them common ground. And so do films.

So this list is a great start to introduce young ‘uns to great films that are age appropriate. It includes classic Disney such as Mary Poppins, and pre-Disney Star Wars: A New Hope. But also Zootropolis and Spirited Away. And… obviously… my favourite The Princess Bride. Which, I may add, kids under 11 cannot SEEEEE in The Netherlands because our stupid ratings system thinks that The Princess Bride is a gritty, mean film for 12+. Idiots. It’s my pet peeve with our system of Kijkwijzer. Petty, small-minded child-opressors.

But if you live in a normal country, and you’re under 11, you can actually see it.

(So can kids in The Netherlands: any parent can decide what they want their kids to watch, right?)

Curious about the whole list? Go to Intofilm.org and check it out. Maybe there are some titles that you haven’t seen yet and you feel you should. Don’t let your advanced age stop you from watching any of them. And keep the list handy for inspiration to watch pretty okay films with young film fans.


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