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The Best Kids Movies for Adults We're Not Ashamed to Say We Love

 June 30, 2017
Andy in Lifestyle

When's the last time you watched a kids movie and liked it more than your kids did? When's the last time you went to see a kids movie without any kids? You can probably think of at least once within the last few months. And with summer time comes more kids movies, so hopefully you can find some time to see those, alongside these classics.

A kids movie, is there such a thing anymore? If you watch some of the most popular movies for kids, most of them have so much adult humor you would think they were made for adults. Yes, they might have cute animation styles and have kid-friendly language, but many of them slip in adult humor, references, and themes to make them watchable for adults who have to sit through them with their kids. Kids movies are no longer torture. Admit it, you probably watch them even if there are no kids around. With Despicable Me 3 just released, we were wondering what the best kids movies for adults are. See if your pick made our list. 


  • Despicable Me

Those minions are so popular they got their own movie. But Despicable Me is more than just minions. Supervillains, crazy machines, the costumes, and so many jokes. Just look at the villain from Despicable Me 3. Only an adult can appreciate this villain for who he really is. The flat top mullet, the bald spot, the mustache, and oh those shoulders. He might look funny to kids, but adults will really know what's going on here. 

best kids movies for adults despicable me 3

Image: billboard

  • Shrek

The series of Shrek films took classic fairy tale characters and gave them a modern twist, adding in humor and pop culture to create an instant classic. There were lots of fart jokes for kids, but only adults would be able to catch the references to old characters and other films.

best kids movies for adults shrek

Image: Forbes

  • The Lion King

You really can’t go wrong with this movie. You probably still know what Hakuna Matata means, don’t you? Are you humming the tune now? We knew it! And who could forget the moment when Mufasa falls into the stampede of wildebeests. There are so many iconic moments and adult themes, which makes sense since it was inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet. 


  • The Lego Movie

We weren’t sure about this kids movie and we weren’t sure how much audiences would like it. But it turns out, they like it a lot, as it was one of the biggest movies of the year. And the humor was definitely geared toward adults. Characters like Bad Cop and Batman fired off so many hilarious one-liners it was difficult for us to keep up sometimes. Just like Legos can still be for adults, this kids movie is also for adults.


  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

This movie was an achievement in animation as it mixed live action and animation flawlessly. Even though it had a goofy animated character in Roger Rabbit, this movie was definitely for adults. Jessica Rabbit and the other dark film noir aspects of the movie made it quite serious at many moments. 

best kids movies for adults roger rabbit

Image: Fatherly

  • Toy Story

Need we say more? The toys, the jokes, Jessie’s feelings of abandonment, and Andy growing up and giving away his beloved toys. The Toy Story series made us laugh and cry and everything in between. There is no doubt that this kids movie was made with an adult’s perspective in mind.


  • Coraline

The stop motion animation of this film was amazing and the creepy quality of the whole thing made us feel like it was not only a great kids movie but also a great movie for adults. 


  • Up

Try to watch this kids movie without crying! Can’t do it, can you? The themes of love and loss so wonderfully told through bright and colorful animation easily make this one of the best kids movies for adults. 


  • Howl’s Moving Castle

Hayao Miyazaki is a master of anime. While his movies are rated for kids and often have younger main characters, they are also filled with adults elements about the world and society. Howl’s Moving Castle does just that. 


  • Chicken Run

There’s always something that seems a bit more adult about British humor, even when it's in a kids movie like this. Maybe it’s the delivery, maybe it’s the subject matter, but whatever it is, we want more of it. 

best kids movies for adults chicken run

Image: BBC

  • My Neighbor Totoro

Totoro is an amazing character. How can you not love him? Kids and adults alike fall in love with Totoro, the Catbus, and all the other amazing characters in this kids movie. 


  • Inside Out

Emotions are hard to understand. For everyone. So, don’t judge us if this movie actually helped us understand more about why we are they way we are. That’s pretty deep for a kids movie. 


  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

With Tim Burton’s name on this film, we don’t need to tell you that it might be a kids movie but it is really for adults. This movie isn’t full of the classic fart jokes and laugh out loud moments that many of today’s kids movies have. The humor of this film is darker, making it more of an adult movie than a kids one. 

best kids movies for adults nightmare before christmas

Image: Nerdist

  • WALL-E

This loveable robot and his friends get us every time. And we could also use a reminder about what it means to be human, how we take care of the environment, and what technology can do to us. As always, Pixar knows how to make some of the best kids movies for adults. 


  • Spirited Away

The strong female lead character of this kids movie is only a child but she has to face many issues of life and death and the spirit world she is transported to. Adults will appreciate the surreal elements of the animation and the interesting characters. 

best kids movies for adults spirited away

Image: Vice

  • Home Alone

We watch this every Christmas. And we have ever since it came out. No matter how many times we've seen it, it never gets old. That proves that this kids movie is not just for kids. 


  • The Goonies

When you were a kid, did this movie make you want to go out on some big adventure? Does it give you the same feeling as an adult? That’s why it is one of the best kids movies for adults. 


  • Mrs. Doubtfire

A man in drag pretending to be a nanny so he can spend time with his kids while in the middle of a messy divorce. This is a kids movie? Yup, it is. And not only is it fun to kids to watch, but Robin Williams' performance as Mrs. Doubtfire is a lot of fun for adults too. 

best kids movies for adults mrs doubtfire

Image: Uproxx


Did your favorite kids movie for adults make our list? Check out all these movies and we're sure you will create a movie night that everyone in the family will enjoy.