Best kid movies of 2012

Dec 25, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Miss some of these fantastic films earlier in the year? Check them out on DVD and have a fun movie night with the whole family.

Here are our top kid movie picks for 2012.

The Secret World of Arrietty

Legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki teams up with Walt Disney Pictures to bring an adaption of the classic book The Borrowers to the big screen. With the voice talents of Will Arnett, Carol Burnett and Amy Poehler, this film rises above standard animated fare. It has a simple message that even the smallest people can do big things.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman and Jeremy Piven voice an eclectic group of pirates in this unique animated film from the team who brought you Wallace & Gromit. The plot of this kid’s film is eclipsed by the stellar comedy performances and the rollicking animation. This is a gentler take on pirates that’s appropriate for younger adventure lovers.


Pixar Animation Studio’s long anticipated feature did not disappoint. With a strong, young female lead, this film embraces individuality and independence with a rare focus on the relationship between a mother and daughter. The jaw-dropping animation and haunting musical score make Brave one of the stand-out films of 2012.


Though the subject matter of this film may upset younger viewers and sensitive kids, this is a beautiful, kid-friendly look at chimpanzees in nature. The latest in Disney’s series of nature films, Chimpanzee focuses on an irresistibly cute baby chimp named Oscar. Check it out for a break from traditional kid movies.


The animation studio that developed Coraline brought this much anticipated stop motion film to theaters. While the animation is amazing to behold, the real heart of this film is the message about not judging others and learning to stand up for what you believe is right. Spooky but not too scary, this film is viewable year-round.

Wreck-it Ralph

Stellar voice talents John C. Reilly and Jack McBrayer bring to life video game characters in a film that will delight kids and tickle parents who grew up playing video games and arcade games. The huge cast, including Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman, breathes life to a variety of best-loved character types in a film that teaches kids about discovering true identity.

Rise of the Guardians

Though it’s only made a medium-sized splash at the box office, Rise of the Guardians has quickly become a fan favorite to those who have made it to the theater. A unique take on childhood legends like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, this holiday film delights children with a tale of defending hope and imagination.

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