By Noelle Buffam · March 26, 2011

Children’s Film is a genre of film aimed at entertaining young audiences. The Children genre is usually rated G, and has simplistic content that is age-appropriate. As with the Family genre, children films cover a wide array of topics and can fall into multiple genres – such as adventure and musicals. Most often, this genre incorporates fantasy elements and plays on the possibility that imagination holds. Many films in this genre are animated and serve an educational purpose. The majority of Children’s films will demonstrate some kind of moral message, cautionary tale, or contain a plot that illustrates good overcoming evil.

Examples of Children Film:

The Muppet Movie The Muppet gang goes on a road trip to Hollywood, where Kermit is bullied by a mean fast food restaurant owner to be his new “spokesfrog.”

Casper A young girl moves into an old mansion and has adventures with a friendly ghost, who inhabits the house along with three other mean and taunting spirits.

The Rugrats Movie After getting lost on a family vacation, the toddlers have an adventure trying to find their way home.

Children Sub-genres:

Animal Film

As a sub-genre of Children film, these films incorporate an animal or a group of animals. These films use the animal as the focal point or as one of the main characters. As characters, the animals have human characteristics – such as the ability to speak. While aimed at audiences under 12-years-old, these films contain a straightforward plot, entertaining characters, and a simple moral message.

Examples: Beethoven, Homeward Bound, Babe.


Animated Children film is a sub-genre that caters to a young and specific age demographic. This sub-genre usually explores a fantastical world with vivid animation. The tone of these films is light and fun, with musical numbers often incorporated into the plot. The story usually centers on the protagonist who must battle in a “good-over-evil” scenario.

Examples: Aladdin, Fern Gully, Beauty and the Beast.


A Musical interweaves vocal and dance performances into the narrative of the film.  The traditional Children’s Musical has a simple storyline, while having elaborate dance and musical numbers. Many animated children’s movies are also considered Musicals. The musical numbers in such films can not only entertain, but also explain and reiterate the plot in the film.

Examples: Annie, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins.