Best Movies for Tweens

best-movies-for-tweensAs my daughter gets older (she’s eight, going on nine-teen!) I’ve definitely noticed that we’re entering the ‘Tween’ age. That odd age between 8 and 12, too young for teenage stuff (boys, makeup, high school), and too old for kid stuff (Barney, Dora, and Diego have left the building, folks!). I struggle with allowing her to grow up and discover more mature things, while she still wants to play with Lego, ride her bike, and create stories with her animal toys.

I want to be able to spend time with her, doing things that she wants to do, things she thinks are cool, and things that I think are still age appropriate. And that includes movies. There are a million and one movies out there for tweens and teenagers, but some are simply not appropriate for an almost-nine year old.

Things on my “Inappropriate Tween Movie List“? Silly girls being obsessed with clothes and outfits and shopping at the mall and wanting to make out with boys. Those are unnecessary, and I hate that so many films portray girls so one-dimensional. I also dislike realistic fighting and guns.

Things on the Age-Appropriate Tween Movie List? I love characters that are strong and that have to overcome weakness and adversity. I love movies that are funny, that place the main characters in tricky situations, serious or silly. I love movies that can show a more somber side of life, as well as fantastical and imaginative worlds. Movies that make you think, that have morals and lessons.

As I’ve been searching for some awesome tween movies, I thought I’d share with you some of the ones that we’ve come to love. Some are older, some are new, there are different genres, but they are all age-appropriate, and mostly good for both girls and boys.

Here are some of the Best Movies for Tweens:

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Aquamarine

When two girls find a real-live mermaid in their local swimming pool, their whole summer changes! My daughter absolutely adores this movie – despite the fact that she is not a girly girl or a fan of the Little Mermaid (which was one of my personal favourites as a kid!). It’s a light-hearted and fun movie, although has a bit of a boy-crazy side to it! Find Aquamarine on Amazon.

diaryofawimpykid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Kids love this movie because of all the funny adventures Greg has with his brother, Rodrick, and best friend, Rowley. While I don’t adore that Greg is all about video games, the boys get into innocent trouble, the parents are fun and silly characters, and kids can relate to it. My daughter loves the books and the movies! Diary of a Wimpy Kid One, Two, and Three.

theprincessbride

The Princess Bride

One of the funniest movies of the last century, this is a classic that will have your kids laughing along with the silly characters, and getting into the adventure storyline. It’s a movie that’s fun to watch for the whole family, as well as quote for the rest of eternity… “Marriage has brought us together to-die!” The Princess Bride on Amazon.

robinhoodmenintights

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

I grew up with this Robin Hood parody and can quote every line from the movie! Kids love the songs, the ridiculous outfits and silly adventure and fight scenes, while adults can enjoy the humour as well. There’s a little bit of mature humour and almost nudity in this movie, so use your discretion. Find Robin Hood: Men in Tights on Amazon.

parent-trapThe Parent Trap

This movie follows mischievous, seperated-at-birth-and-found-again twins as they try to bring their parents back together again. My daughter first watched this movie when she was in the hospital for her ears, and has loved it ever since. And it’s fun watching Lindsay Lohan when she first started! Find The Parent Trap here.

catinparis

A Cat in Paris

This animated movie is a wonderful adventure/crime film, where a cat leads a young Parisian girl to solve a mystery in one night. It’s not overly frightening, but definitely delivers a sense of suspense and thrills, along with beautiful animation. I think this film is magical.  A Cat in Paris on Amazon.

harrypotterHarry Potter

Based on J.K. Rowling’s incredible book series, the Harry Potter movies are fantastical, imaginative, and great for tweens. I have only watch the first three movies with my daughter, but I think as she gets older we’ll watch the remaining ones. Harry Potter 1-8  on Amazon.

homewardbound

Homeward Bound

For the animal and adventure lover, this movie is amazing and a great classic. Following the three animals across mountains and forests, there is an emotional connection, as well as a few funny moments. Kids of all ages can relate to both the humans and the animals in the movie. Find Homeward Bound on Amazon.

spirited_awaySpirited Away

This film is about a 10-year old girl who embarks down a tunnel and ends up in a weird and fantastical world. The story appeals to viewers of any age. Find Spirited Away on Amazon. Fans of Japanese animation will also enjoy similar movies such as My Neighbour Totoro and The Secret World of Arrietty.

chroniclesofnarnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

Based on the wonderful book series by C.S. Lewis, there have been three Narnia movies made so far, with a fourth on the way. These films are fantastical with lots of adventure, but still feel like they are real for the viewers. They are long, but definitely worth it. Find The Chronicles of Narnia One, Two, and Three on Amazon.

ramonaandbeezus

Ramona and Beezus

Kids love the adventures of Ramona Quimby and her big sister Beezus (I loved the book as a child!) , and this movie brings the story to life in a fun way! My daughter loves this movie and thinks it’s hilarious! Find Ramona and Beezus on Amazon.

Home-Alone-Poster

Home Alone 1 & 2

The classic movie where Kevin’s family forgot him at home when they went on vacation is a must-watch. I love Home Alone 1 & 2 (did you know they go all the way up to 5 now?!), and so do my kids. Hilarious situations, tricky villains, and emotional moments make it a fun movie for the whole family. Find Home Alone 1 & 2 on Amazon.

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Beethoven

If you have a dog lover on your hands, you must introduce them to Beethoven. This fun tale about a St. Bernard and the family that took him in is funny and touching at once. Find Beethoven on Amazon.


 

There are so many great movies for tweens, and this list is just the beginning! Do you have any favourite movies that your tweens like to watch?

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  • I love your tween movie selections! If I were to add to your list it would definitely be the Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted. I love movies that show the strength of the female characters. And can you tell I am an Anne Hathaway fan? Thank you for sharing!

  • These are awesome suggestions! I have loved The Princess Bride and Men in Tights forever! I was super excited to see them included in your list!

  • Those are really some good movies and some that I have not seen. Yet! In my case, it is a nine year old boy, but he has enjoyed Tangled, and Brave. Those seem suited to not just be the ” man rescues girl” stories. I like him to see strong women. Well, a balance between the two really. So many of the movies these days show so much violence, it makes it hard to choose appropriately. Thanks for the list.

  • I do not have tweens/am not a tween, buttt I loved Spirited Away, Homeward Bound, and The Parent Trap! :] I have somehow still never seen any of The Chronicles of Narnia movies. :[

  • My children still love Parent Trap, Aquamarine and Home Alone. They are 12 and 14 and have seen those movies many times. It tough to find ones that are not violent, scary, overly sexual. Great list!

    • Thanks for the comment! I agree, it’s super hard! My daughter still loves animated movies, but as she gets older and she’s getting into non-animated movies, I had trouble finding good ones!

  • It is definitely a tough age! I remember going through it. I don’t have kids so it is not something I am going through and because of that my next question may be odd: I am not sure I would show my kids The Parent Trap, not because of the content but because of the whole Lindsay Lohan thing…like that would lead to a slippery slope of explaining her current lifestyle etc. I am not sure how much exposure kids have today to celebrity news etc so it may be a dumb questions/statement – sorry!

    • That’s a good thought! However, my eight year old has no idea who Lindsay Lohan is, and I don’t think her friends do either. But as they get older (maybe 13, 14, 15) and get into celebrities more (I”m not sure what age that happens!?), I’d definitely have some explaining to do!

  • I’m not sure I agree with you on considering movies that portray women as stereotypically girly being inappropriate. Women run the gamut from typically feminine to all other kinds of things and I don’t think we should throw certain portrayals to the ground so much as ensure that there’s a rounded, comprehensive number of three-dimensional female characters on screen so that no one female character has to bear the brunt of being the “perfect” female character, which is just harmful anyway.

    That said – The Princess Bride is a classic, and Ramona and Beezus made me cry so much. I didn’t realize it was going to hit home the way it did. And I need to watch A Cat In Paris!

    • I guess what I should have said is not necessarily girly meaning feminine – nothing against that. I just think at 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 they’re a bit young to watch movies that focus on girls whose main hobbies are shopping, being clique-y, boys, and making out. I love the movie Clueless, for instance, but wouldn’t want my daughter to see it until she was a teenager at least. I agree with what you’re saying.

  • Hello Margarita,

    These are all great recommendations, some of which I enjoyed as a kid. My kiddo is 12 now and has developed a new interest in scary movies. Finding movies that are age appropriate horror is a challenge. When he was younger he took a liking to Goosebumps and is now reading more challenging suspense/thriller books by Margaret Haddix. I’ve never really been a fan of horror but I assume it may be a boy thing so I try to read along and watch with him as often as I can. If you have any recommendations along those lines that would be great. Thanks again.:)

  • I’m disappointed that you would include Harry Potter. Are you not suppose to be a Christian organization. Harry is a sorcerer which is defined as witch, warlock. No my tween will not be watching movies about witchcraft

  • There is a couple of movies my girls have not seen yet, thanks for doing this list. My 8.9.and 12 year old likes, Racing stripes, Anne of Green Gables, Second Chances, Yours, Mine and ours, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

  • I do not really agree with any of this. You said that tweens are to young for boys and makeup. This is NOT true. They maybe are to young for dating but I know many 8 year old girls that like boys. Heck, I did too when I was 8. About makeup, yes, it is important that our kids don’t go places wearing makeup much to old for them. But at 8 and 9 years old, if my kid wants to try eyeshadow, I’ll let them. I just taught them how to do it properly. Girls don’t wear makeup to look pretty or for boys, they wear it because they want to do it for fun. It does no harm as long as u teach them in moderation. As for these movies, these are maybe movies a 8 and 9 year old would watch, but defenitley not a older tween. For ages 10-12, these movie are considered “childish”. Trust me, I have raised 4 girl tweens and I have observed.