As 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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