Must Have Movies for My Daughter & Me?

I recently moved into a new house and we don’t have cable. I looked online for rates of local cable companies and found there are none! Here you have to have a dish! So we sacrificed cable, etc. and decided to use the monthly payments on DVD’s.

Well, I want to get some recommendations for “Must Have Movies” from my fellow dopers. To avoid listing all of the 40+ DVD’s I have, I will ignore the recommendations for movies I already have. Also, my daughter (20 months) only likes computer animated movies. She has Ice Age, A Bug’s Life, Antz, Toy Story2, and Loves Monsters, Inc. What others of this movie genre are good?

thanx everyone…

You might want to try Lilo and Stitch . My three year old son loves it. I think it is very good, but my wife thought it was too violent when we first got it. There are some explosions and stuff, and some monster-looking animated characters fighting, but no worse than 5 minutes of your average Roadrunner cartoon. Rent it first, maybe.

The beginning is a little slow, but with the DVD it is easy to skip over that part, right to where the credits (and music) start.

It’s not computer animated, but my daughter got Disney’s Little Mermaid when she was about 2 (I think) and it is still one of her favorite movies at 16.

why’s everybody staring at me?!?!


I’m sorry- I really got nothing else.

Babe the Gallant Pig

The Black Stallion

The Bear

You can never go wrong with * Sound of Musin, Mary Poppins and Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang*.

If you like to make your daughter cry, you could always try the surreally creepy 5,000 Fingers of Dr. Terwilliger, courtesy of Dr. Seuss.

Otherwise, I know a lot more about books for kids than movies for kids, and won’t be much help here.


If you can track down copies of them:

My Neighbor Totoro


Kiki’s delivery service

are both really sweet.

Totoro is about two sisters who move to the country with their father while their mother is in the hospital. They meet Totoro, a giant raccoon nature spirit, and have adventures.

Kiki is about a girl who’s a witch in training who sets out on her own for the first time away from her family. She moves to a new town and opens a flying broom delivery service.

Both are extremely well animated. (They’re done by Studio Ghibli, the Japanese equivalent of Disney, and the animation equals or surpasses Disney feature film animation). They have little girl protagonists. And they have a mild, sweet tone. (About the worst thing that happens in Totoro is that the littlest girl gets lost – but they find her and she’s just fine.)

My kids really like Milo and Otis, Chicken Run, Barbie as Rapunzel (computer animated,) Babar, and their set of animated Beatrix Potter videos. There’s also a feature length Roly Poly Olie DVD out now, both my kids love it, and it’s computer animated.

How about tapes/dvd’s of kid’s shows? My littlest one loves Dora The Explorer, Kipper, Little Bear and especially Maisy.

I also second both of these!

Have you considered Netflix?

For computer-animated features, she might enjoy Shrek and Toy Story I. If she loves the ones you listed, and she’s twenty months old, I suspect that she’s drawn to the visual effects, more than to the stories.

Anyway, it’s time to expand her horizons. Get her Charlotte’s Web, The Iron Giant, and some Bear in the Big Blue House episodes.

Once upon a time, I was out Christmas shopping. I intended to get my neices something educational, really I did.

Then I turned a corner and saw a VHS copy of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. A half-hour Chuck Jones cartoon based on a Rudyard Kipling story.The hero is a mongoose and the villains are a pair of cobras. When I was in grade school, I thought it was the coolest show ever made

I loved Rikki-Tikki-Tavi growing up! Nickelodeon used to show cartoon movies on the weekends, and that was one of my favorites.

Not CG, and you may already have it, but The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the best Disney movies of the past several years.

It may be a bit too scary for her, but The Dark Crystal was one of my all time favorite movies as a child. It’s got some big scaries in it, so you may want to wait a year or so if you feel you must, but it is an excelent fantasy movie for kids.

The Brave Little Toaster
Iron Giant
Chicken Run

(Only Chicken Run is CG, I believe)

I second Babe.

Another good CG feature is James and the Giant Peach, but some scenes may be a little scary for a 20-month old.

Also some colorful live-action productions with dancing and big dresses, like Disney’s Cinderella starring Brandi and Bernadette Peters. And Muppets Take Manhattan is always good, but be ready to wear out the rewind button when they show the baby muppet flashback.


Chicken Run and James and the Giant Peach aren’t computer animated, they’re stop-motion, but that doesn’t stop them from being great flicks. And a 2-year-old probably won’t care either way.


I would also as both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000. The lack of dialogue should be a plus for someone who doesn’t talk much.

I third Totoro and Kiki. I had enjoyed a couple of other Miyazaki films but I was skeptical that I would like his children’s films that much. I was completely wrong. More than any Disney fare I have seen they go beyond entertainment and have beautifully crafted themes about family and friendship. They are among the very best children’s films I have ever seen.
Roger Ebert put Totoro on his Great Movies list. Here is his review:
As for availability Totoro has been released on a plain-vanilla DVD recently. It’s pan-and-scan and dub-only but that won’t matter to your daughter.

Kiki will be released on April 15 on a two-disk set.

Spirited Away by the same director will also be released on DVD the same day. It’s a wonderful film but it has some monsters so it might be scary to a two year old. Check it out by yourself first to see whether your kid will enjoy it.

I would also recommend Totoro & Kiki. I can’t wait for Spirited Away to come out as well. (Princess Mononoke is too graphic for your daughter.)
One you might want to try is The Wizard Of Oz. I recall watching my then 2-year old daughter watching it spellbound. She could not look away from it. It amazingly held her attention the whole film, quite a feat for a 2-year old attention span.

I have to disagree with Laughing Lagomorph on Lilo and Stitch. My daughter is 25 months, and it was way too violent for her. She loves Monster’s Inc, so I don’t think it had anything to do with the way Stitch looks. There were lots of explosions and guns in the beginning, and she buried her face in my side and said, “It’s very bright, Mommy. I don’t like it.”

[Proud Mommy] Yes, she speaks in full sentences. [/Proud Mommy]

She loves both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, as well as Dora the Explorer and (blush) Spongebob Squarepants. Another good one is Beauty and the Beast.