A Century of Film

Kids Filmsozgang

The Genre

For a lot of people, Kids films mean Animated films.  Perhaps part of the problem is that I really should re-name the genre to Family Films, which I probably would if it didn’t mean making changes in so many different spreadsheets.  “Kids” implies it’s only for children and a lot of these films are only for children (and really shouldn’t even be for them because they’re so insipid) whereas “Family” opens up the notion to films that are good for kids, that kids can enjoy, but really are also aimed at the whole family where adults can also enjoy them.  That would make people stop thinking just “animated” and open things up to films like The Wizard of Oz, Miracle on 34th Street, The Muppet Movie or Babe.

Part of the reason that Animated and Kids films are viewed as synonymous are because of Walt Disney of course, which is ironic, since Disney has, since the late 40s, made non-animated Kids films as well.  But early on, while a lot of films were okay for kids, there were very few Kids films.  That started to change with Shirley Temple and Rin Tin Tin and Lassie films.  Then, of course, Disney started making feature length animated films in 1937 and everything changed.  Prior to 1982, I only rate four Kids films higher than *** that aren’t Disney animated films and one of those is a Disney film with some animation (Mary Poppins) and another is a film now owned by Disney (Muppet Movie).

Eventually, of course, other studios than Disney would make animated films and Kids films would become much bigger business (especially once merchandising got involved).  But the long history of Disney, especially when combined with Pixar, has ensured that Disney still has the lion’s share of the best (and often most successful, though not necessarily so) Kids films.  For more, of course, see the Animated Film post and see the upcoming Disney post.


Most of the sub-genres of Kids films are just breaking up Animation into smaller groups to track them in my spreadsheet.


  • Best Film:  Babe

This is perhaps the most enduring sub-genre of Kids films, even more so than Animated films.  There were animal films even before there were feature length films and sub-sub-genres include Benji, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin and Rusty, not to mention the long list of Disney Animal films starting with Old Yeller.  All told, I list 111 films with an average of 51 (they aren’t good films) with Babe being the only one above ***.


  • Best Film:  Rango

Wait, you’re thinking, did he just list Rango as the greatest Animated film of all-time?  Of course not.  The easiest way to keep films together in my spreadsheet is to break down the various groups of Animated films (generally by production company).  So Rango is the greatest Animated film that doesn’t get broken down.

Animated (Aardman)

  • Best Film:  Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Just four films through 2011 but an amazing 87 average.

Animated (Anime)

  • Best Film:  A Letter to Momo

And to be clear here, these are Anime films that aren’t made by Ghibli.  I’ve got 28 films with an average of 56.7.  It’s worth noting that lots of Anime films aren’t Kids films but are either Fantasy or Sci-Fi.

Animated (Asterix)

  • Best Film:  Asterix vs Caesar

The beloved French character (my brother used to read him when my family lived in France before I was born) has six films that I’ve seen for a 65.7 average.

Animated (Blue Sky)

  • Best Film:  Ice Age

Only six films for a 61.7 average but it seems like each succeeding film brings the average down.  The Ice Age films are big international box office but not very good.

Animated (Disney)

  • Best Film:  Fantasia

This is 51 films (the original 50 listed here plus the 2011 Winnie the Pooh) and they average 74.6.  The nadir was between Lion King and Tangled as every film ranked below *** was released in those 16 years.

Animated (Disneytoon)

  • Best Film:  Return to Neverland

Disneytoon is usually reserved for straight-to-video product but all of the Tinker Bell (and some Pooh characters) have had feature releases as well.  Eleven films averaging 61.3.

Animated (DreamWorks)

  • Best Film:  Shrek 2

DreamWorks focused on animation right from the beginning because they were trying to compete directly with Disney.  Through 2011 they have 20 films for an average of 69.8 with six of them hitting ***.5 or higher (actually only Shrek 2 is higher).

Animated (Filmation)

  • Best Film:  Journey Back to Oz

This isn’t actually all of Filmation (6 films, 42.7) because some of them are down below in the Toys section.  Filmation was always known more for television, including a lot of things I have very fond memories of (and are afraid to go back and watch for fear that actually they’re not very good): the various Batman shows as well as Tarzan and Flash Gordon but their films are mostly pretty bad.

Animated (Fox)

  • Best Film:  Anastasia

Fox made a big deal in the late 90s with investments in Anastasia and Titan A.E. but the latter’s financial disaster crushed it.  There are a few other Fox films I throw in with them (but not the Blue Sky films).

Animated (Ghibli)

  • Best Film:  My Neighbor Totoro

No bad films, one great film, but that’s because several of their best I don’t qualify as Kids (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke).  Eight films with a 78.1 average.

Animated (Hanna-Barbera)

  • Best Film:  Charlotte’s Web

Also known more for television (a lot of television) but they turned several of their series into films (most notably Yogi Bear, Flintstones and Jetsons).

Animated (Illumination)

  • Best Film:  Despicable Me

Still new in 2011 with just two films but a lot more coming beyond that.

Animated (Looney Tunes)

  • Best Film:  Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island

These are mostly clip films but the clips are so good that they do okay anyway with 8 films averaging 69.5 and a couple of hybrid films (Space Jam, Looney Tunes: Back in Action).

Animated (Nickelodeon)

  • Best Film:  Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Technically, Rango should be here but these are the eight feature films made from properties that were originally Nickelodeon shows (which Rango wasn’t).

Animated (Peanuts)

  • Best Film:  Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown

Four films from 1970 through 1980, all of them good but none great.

Animated (Pixar)

  • Best Film:  Wall-E

Through 2011, 12 films that average 87.3, or 10 that average 91.1 aside from the Cars films.

Animated (Rankin/Bass)

  • Best Film:  The Last Unicorn

Another pair more known for television and my favorite work of theirs is actually their Hobbit which sadly was made for television (as was their Return of the King).  Six films averaging 47.2

Animated (Sony)

  • Best Film:  Surf’s Up

Sony opened their own animation studio in 2006 and have made four films so far for a 46.3 average.

Animated (Toy)

  • Best Film:  Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie

Films based on toy lines which generally suck.  Six films for a 39.3 average.

Animated (Universal)

  • Best Film:  An American Tail

There’s actually no production studio linking these but are simply animated films released by Universal.  Seven films that average 61.8.


  • Best Film:  The Miracle on 34th Street

Only one great film and only one other film above **.5 (Santa Clause).  13 films that average 47.2.


  • Best Film:  Freaky Friday

Disney films, of course, aren’t really a sub-genre.  But Disney makes a specific kind of Kids film and there are so many of them that it was worth separating them out and allowing them to be grouped together like this.  There are 84 films with a 52.0 average.

Franchise (Muppets)

  • Best Film:  The Muppet Movie

Through 2011 there are 7 Muppet films with a 66.5 average (I could really include the two Sesame Street feature films – Follow That Bird and Elmo in Grouchland but that would bring the average down and they are different from the Muppets in general).

Lit Adaptation

  • Best Film:  Peter Pan

I list 9 films with a 65.8 average.  The only author (aside from Twain below) I list separately is Steinbeck (an adaptation of Red Pony).

Lit Adaptation (Twain)

  • Best Film:  The Adventures of Tom and Huck

There are seven films here with a 49.4 average, six of them either Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn and one really awful version of The Prince and the Pauper.


  • Best Film:  The Wizard of Oz

There are 13 films with a 60.8 average so imagine what the list looks like aside from The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins and Enchanted.


  • Best Film:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (Shakespeare)

To be clear, that’s the Jiri Trinka 1959 version of Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The list includes Martial Arts, Monster, Religious, Sports and even Spy films.  None of them are very good and many of them are bad.

The Directors

This section in some ways isn’t relevant in this genre.  The most prominent (and best) director is Hayao Miyazaki and many of his best works aren’t Kids films.  There are various Disney directors who would end up here because they worked on great films but Walt himself was the guiding force on much of that and you can’t get around the fact that many of them had lots of directors.

The Starstemple

Shirley Temple

The films listed below are less “essential” than just big films in which Temple starred.  None of the films with her are actually all that good.  But she was a big star and so Fox made as many films with her as quickly as possible.  Between the ages of 6 and 11 she made 26 films (10 of them in 1934 alone) and she was one of the biggest box office stars in Hollywood.
Essential Viewing:  Little Miss Marker, Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, Heidi

The Studios

Just wait for the upcoming Disney post.  Fox had Shirley Temple, MGM had Lassie and Columbia released Rusty films but it was really all about Disney from the minute they started releasing feature length films.


Japan has by far the most, accounting for nearly a third of all the Foreign Kids films I’ve seen and there would be even more if so many Anime weren’t Kids films.  Next up is France which includes the Asterix films.  Only a handful of films have been over *** and all but one were Japanese (the other was French – Ernest and Celestine).

Oscar Submissions

Of the films I have seen, I only list 11 as Kids films, none of which remotely deserved a nomination and none of which received a nomination.  Surprisingly, neither France nor Japan have submitted one.

ranked list explanation

note:  Please don’t try to make the following list match up with other lists I have made.  All my lists are fluid and they change.  That being said, all the ***.5 or **** films are in accordance with my ongoing Top 1000 list.  I’ve tried to include films I saw in the theater and all films that I have already reviewed (including all films from 1994 which can be found here which is unfortunate since 1994 was, aside from The Lion King, a terrible year for Kids films) at some point but it’s exhausting including links so if you want to read my review the best idea is either to use the search feature (with the title in quotes) or look under external reviews on the IMDb.

The Top 75 Kids Films

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Fantasia
  3. Wall-E
  4. Bambi
  5. Mary Poppins
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. Pinocchio
  8. Ratatouille
  9. The Little Mermaid
  10. Up
  11. My Neighbor Totoro
  12. The Incredibles
  13. Finding Nemo
  14. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  15. Toy Story 3
  16. Aladdin
  17. Toy Story 2
  18. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  19. Lady and the Tramp
  20. Sleeping Beauty
  21. The Muppet Movie
  22. Toy Story
  23. Tangled
  24. A Letter to Momo
  25. Chicken Run
  26. Lilo and Stitch
  27. Monsters Inc.
  28. The Miracle on 34th Street
  29. Shrek 2
  30. The Lion King
  31. Cinderella
  32. Rango
  33. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  34. How to Train Your Dragon
  35. Arthur Christmas
  36. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  37. Shrek
  38. Enchanted
  39. Dumbo
  40. Kiki’s Delivery Service
  41. Flushed Away
  42. Despicable Me
  43. Fantasia 2000
  44. The Secret World of Arietty
  45. The Jungle Book
  46. The Iron Giant
  47. A Bug’s Life
  48. Peter Pan (2003)
  49. Puss in Boots
  50. Kung Fu Panda
  51. Happy Feet
  52. Nanny McPhee
  53. Monster House
  54. Song of the South
  55. From Up on Poppy Hill
  56. Alice in Wonderland
  57. Peter Pan (1953)
  58. The Sword in the Stone
  59. 101 Dalmations
  60. Melody Time
  61. The Secret of Nimh
  62. The Aristocats
  63. Fun and Fancy Free
  64. Kung Fu Panda 2
  65. Babe
  66. Saludos Amigos
  67. The Fox and the Hound
  68. Ponyo
  69. James and the Giant Peach
  70. Ella Enchanted
  71. Spy Kids
  72. Labyrinth
  73. A Little Princess
  74. Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island
  75. Nanny McPhee Returns

Notable Kids Films Not in the Top 75

  • Matilda (#76)
  • Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (#78)
  • Antz (#85)
  • Cars (#94)
  • The Princess and the Frog (#97)
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (#99)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (1996) (#102)
  • Anastasia  (1997) (#105)
  • Ice Age (#109)
  • The Parent Trap  (1961) (#114)
  • Tarzan  (1999) (#122)
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (#132)
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action (#146)
  • Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (#150)
  • Space Jam (#164)
  • Brother Bear (#168)
  • Hook (#171)
  • Asterix Conquers America (#186)
  • Surf’s Up (#197)
  • The Wind in the Willows (#211)
  • The Absent Minded Professor (#221)
  • The Yearling (#229)
  • The Santa Clause (#260)
  • That Darn Cat  (1965) (#290)
  • Bolt (#331)
  • The Tigger Movie (#338)
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (#340)
  • Treasure Planet (#360)
  • Lassie  (1994) (#362)
  • Pocahontas (#372)
  • The Swan Princess (#408)
  • Piglet’s Big Movie (#418)
  • Black Beauty (#454)
  • Miracle on 34th Street  (1994) (#492)
  • Angels in the Outfield  (1994) (#507)
  • The Princess and the Goblin (#543)
  • Monkey Trouble (#552)
  • Mulan (#557)
  • Felidae (#562)
  • Thumbelina (#567)
  • A Christmas Story (#572)
  • Hercules (#576)
  • D2: The Mighty Ducks (#600)
  • Little Giants (#602)
  • The Flintstones (#607)
  • Shark Tale (#608)
  • 101 Dalmations (1996) (#618)
  • Little Big League (#661)
  • Andre (#664)
  • Camp Nowhere (#667)
  • The Little Rascals (#688)
  • 3 Ninjas Kick Back (#695)
  • Doctor Dolittle (#698)
  • A Troll in Central Park (#704)
  • Blank Check (#716)
  • The Pagemaster (#724)
  • Richie Rich (#733)
  • Baby’s Day Out (#745)

The Bottom 10 Kids Films, #776-785
(worst being #10, which is #785 overall)

  1. The Smurfs
  2. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
  3. Mom and Dad Save the World
  4. Doogal
  5. Suburban Commando
  6. Mac and Me
  7. The Cat in the Hat
  8. Baby Geniuses
  9. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  10. Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie

note:  These bottom 10 are all .5 films.

Best Kids Films By Decade

  • 1910’s:  n/a
  • 1920’s:  n/a
  • 1930’s:  The Wizard of Oz
  • 1940’s:  Fantasia
  • 1950’s:  Lady and the Tramp
  • 1960’s:  Mary Poppins
  • 1970’s:  The Muppet Movie
  • 1980’s:  The Little Mermaid
  • 1990’s:  Beauty and the Beast
  • 2000’s:  Wall-E
  • 2010’s:  Toy Story 3

Worst Kids Films By Decade

  • 1910’s:  n/a
  • 1920’s:  n/a
  • 1930’s:  Huckleberry Finn
  • 1940’s:  Danny Boy
  • 1950’s:  A Dog’s Best Friend
  • 1960’s:  Mad Monster Party
  • 1970’s:  Raggedy Ann & Andy
  • 1980’s:  Mac and Me
  • 1990’s:  Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
  • 2000’s:  Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  • 2010’s:  Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

The Most Over-Rated Kids Films

  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    A perfectly fine Kids film but not an all-time classic.
  2. A Christmas Story
    Not a fine film.  Not a good film.  An obnoxious, stupid film with a terrible lead performance and horrible voice-over narration.  Fully reviewed here.

The Statistics

note:  These statistics won’t quite match the numbers above because this was the last part written for the post and I saw more films in between.

Total Films 1912-2011:  833  (10th)

Total Percentage of All Films 1912-2011:  3.34%

  • 1912-1929:  6  (12th)  –  0.41%
  • 1930-1939:  18  (12th)  –  0.69%
  • 1940-1949:  50  (11th)  –  0.64%
  • 1950-1959:  42  (12th)  –  0.90%
  • 1960-1969:  94  (12th)  –  2.49%
  • 1970-1979:  86  (8th)  –  7.33%
  • 1980-1989:  89  (8th)  –  7.30%
  • 1990-1999:  186  (8th)  –  6.67%
  • 2000-2011:  262  (4th)  –  5.37%


  • ****:  4.41%
  • ***.5:  3.46%
  • ***:  30.07%
  • **.5:  23.74%
  • **:  24.82%
  • *.5:  4.77%
  • *:  5.72%
  • .5:  2.98%
  • 0:  0.00%

Biggest Years:

  • 2006:  32
  • 1995:  30
  • 1994:  26
  • 2009:  25

Biggest Years by Percentage of All Films:

  • 1995:  9.62%
  • 2006:  7.71%
  • 1994:  7.43%
  • 2000:  7.17%

Best Years:

  • 2004, 2009:  1 Top 10, 2 Top 20

The Top Films:

  • Nighthawk Winner:  1939
  • Top 10 Films:  23
  • First Year in the Top 10:  1937
  • Latest Year in the Top 10:  2010
  • Longest Streak with at least one Top 10 Film:  1939-42, 2007-10
  • Longest Streak without a Top 10 Film:  1965-76
  • Best Decade for Top 10 Films:  2000’s  (5)
  • Worst Decade for Top 10 Films:  1920’s  (0)
  • Top 20 Films:  44
  • Longest Streak with at least one Top 20 Film:  1999-2005
  • Longest Streak without a Top 20 Film:  1926-36
  • Best Decade for Top 20 Films:  2000’s  (11)
  • Worst Decade for Top 20 Films:  1920’s  (0)

Nighthawk Awards

  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  89
  • Number of Films That Have Won Nighthawks:  46
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  44
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  17
  • Best Picture Nominations:  9
  • Total Number of Nominations:  236
  • Total Number of Wins:  79
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Animated Film  (58)  /  Song  (51 films, 84 noms)
  • Director with Most Nighthawk Nominated Films:  Clyde Geronimi  (6)
  • Best Film with No Nighthawks:  Toy Story 2
  • Best Film with No Nighthawk Nominations:  Peter Pan  (2003)
  • Number of Films That Have Earned Comedy Nominations:  49
  • Number of Films That Have Won Comedy Awards:  12
  • Comedy Picture Nominations:  36
  • Total Number of Comedy Nominations:  88
  • Total Number of Comedy Wins:  19
  • Category With the Most Comedy Nominations:  Picture  (36)
  • Best Comedy Film With No Nominations:  The Lion King
  • Number of Films That Have Earned Drama Nominations:  3
  • Number of Films That Have Won Drama Awards:  1
  • Drama Picture Nominations:  1
  • Total Number of Drama Nominations:  5
  • Total Number of Drama Wins:  1
  • Category With the Most Drama Nominations:  Adapted Screenplay  (2)
  • Best Drama Film With No Nominations:  The Iron Giant
  • Most 2nd Place Finishes:  Mary Poppins  (5)
  • Most 6th Place Finishes:  Pinocchio  (3)
  • Most Top 10 Finishes:  The Wizard of Oz  (21)
  • Most Top 20 Finishes:  The Wizard of Oz  (21)
  • Best Film Without a Top 10 Finish:  Nanny McPhee
  • Best Film Without a Top 20 Finish:  n/a

Most Nighthawk Nominations:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  18
  2. Mary Poppins  –  17
  3. Beauty and the Beast  –  9
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  –  8
  5. Wall-E  –  8
  6. Pinocchio  –  6
  7. Bambi  –  6
  8. The Little Mermaid  –  6
  9. Aladdin  –  6
  10. six films  –  5

Most Nighthawks:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  14
  2. Mary Poppins  –  5
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  –  3
  4. 14 films –  2

Most Nighthawk Points:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  795
  2. Mary Poppins  –  480
  3. Wall-E  –  270
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  –  245
  5. Beauty and the Beast  –  240
  6. Ratatouille  –  205
  7. Up  –  205
  8. Bambi  –  190
  9. Fantasia  –  175
  10. Finding Nemo  –  145

Most Comedy Nominations:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  7
  2. Mary Poppins  –  6
  3. 30 films  –  2

Most Comedy Wins:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  6
  2. Wall-E  –  2
  3. Toy Story 3  –  2
  4. 9 films  –  1

Most Comedy Points:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  490
  2. Mary Poppins  –  265
  3. Wall-E  –  180
  4. Toy Story 3  –  180
  5. Bambi  /  Alice in Wonderland  /  Beauty and the Beast  –  140

Most Drama Nominations:

  1. Bambi  –  2
  2. Miracle on 34th Street  –  2
  3. My Neighbor Totoro  –  1

Most Drama Wins:

  1. Bambi  –  1

Most Drama Points:

  1. Bambi  –  140
  2. Miracle on 34th Street  –  70
  3. My Neighbor Totoro  –  40

All-Time Nighthawk Awards

note:  These are my all-time Top 5 in each category.  But in the Analysis section, I discuss not only how Kids films have done in the Nighthawks but also in-depth discussions of how they have done in all the awards groups.  There are a few lists here that aren’t in my usual Nighthawk Awards.

  • Best Picture
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Fantasia
  3. Wall-E
  4. Bambi
  5. Mary Poppins

Analysis:  Wizard is the only Nighthawk winner though eight other films earn nominations, all of them Disney and all but Mary Poppins being animated as well.  In total there are 24 Top 10 films and 43 Top 20 films.  There have been a whopping 36 Comedy / Musical noms and seven winners (Wizard, Fantasia, Melody Time, Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Wall-E, Toy Story 3) but only one Drama nominee (Bambi).
While no film has won the Oscar (not surprising), there have actually been 9 Oscar nominees (surprising): Wizard, Yearling, Miracle on 34th Street, Mary Poppins, Doctor Dolittle, Beauty and the Beast, Babe, Up, Toy Story 3.
In the years before the Globes began their Animated Film category, Kids films did very well, winning Picture in Comedy / Musical four times in nine years (Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Babe, Toy Story 2).  Of the 10 Globe nominees (all in Comedy) only two pre-dated the Disney Renaissance (Mary Poppins / Dolittle) with seven more coming from 1989-2004, all animated.  But only Babe and Shrek have managed BAFTA nominations and only Shrek, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3 earned CC noms with Shrek, Incredibles, Up and Toy Story 3 earning PGA noms.  Of the four Best Picture awards at critics groups, one was for Babe (NSFC) and the other three went to Wall-E (LAFC, BSFC, CFC).

  • Best Director
  1. Victor Fleming  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Robert Stevenson  (Mary Poppins)
  3. Wes Anderson  (Fantastic Mr. Fox)
  4. Alfonso Cuaron  (A Little Princess)
  5. George Seaton  (Miracle on 34th Street)

Analysis:  Fleming wins the Nighthawk and Stevenson earns a nomination.
There have been four Oscar nominees, one of which didn’t even earn a Picture nominee (Clarence Brown for National Velvet) though the other three did (Brown again the next year for Yearling, Stevenson, Chris Noonan for Babe).  Stevenson’s DGA nom is the only other nominee from any group.  This is why there is nothing in the Director section above.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Beauty and the Beast
  3. Mary Poppins
  4. Bambi
  5. Toy Story 3

Analysis:  Wizard is the only Nighthawk winner though eight other films earn noms (my next four plus Snow White, Pinocchio, Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Toy Story 2).  Little Mermaid, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 add Comedy wins.  There are 25 Comedy nominees in total.
Miracle won the Oscar (multiple category wins back in 1947) with noms for Mary Poppins, Babe, Shrek and Toy Story 3Shrek won the BAFTA with noms for Babe and Toy Story 3Fantastic Mr. Fox and Toy Story 3 earned CC noms.  Mary Poppins won the WGA with noms for Absent-Minded Professor, Parent Trap, That Darn Cat, Doctor Dolittle, A Christmas Story and Babe, all but the last in an era with more categories.

  • Best Novel Adapted into a Kids Film:
  1. Gulliver’s Travels
  2. The Wind in the Willows
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  5. Oliver Twist

Analysis:  This is a very tricky Top 5 and it hinges on me having an MA in Literature.  I definitely factor in the level at which a book is written.  The thing is, there are examples of the very best books at multiple levels that have been adapted into Kids films, from beginners (Cat in the Hat) to picture books (Lorax, Where the Wild Things Are) to young readers (Charlotte’s Web) to young adults (Wizard of Oz, Secret of NIMH).  But my Top 5 includes one Top 100, two more Top 200 and two other great novels.  And it’s possible I missed some looking over the list.

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Wall-E
  2. Ratatouille
  3. My Neighbor Tototo
  4. Up
  5. Finding Nemo

Analysis:  Wall-E and Ratatouille are the only Nighthawk winners with six other nominees (the other three in my Top 5 plus Miracle on 34th Street, Toy Story and Incredibles).  Toy Story adds a Comedy win.  There are 14 Drama noms in total.
There have been six Oscar nominees, all of them Pixar films (the six listed above).  Miracle won the Globe.  Finding Nemo and Up earned BAFTA noms.  Up earned a CC nom.  Ratatouille and Wall-E each won one critics award.  Because Pixar is not a signatory to the WGA, no Kids film has ever earned a WGA nom.

  • wwBest Actor:
  1. Gene Wilder  (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
  2. Gregory Peck  (The Yearling)
  3. Robin Williams  (Hook)
  4. Dustin Hoffman  (Hook)
  5. Dick Van Dyke  (Mary Poppins)

Analysis:  That’s my whole list and a very sad list it is.  The awards groups agree except for the Globes with Peck earning an Oscar nom and George Clooney winning a critics award for Fantastic Mr. Fox (added on to Up in the Air).  But the Globes say otherwise with a win for Peck (yes – in the same year as The Best Years of Our Lives and It’s a Wonderful Life, Gregory Peck won Best Actor at the Globes for The Yearling) and noms for Fred MacMurray (Absent-Minded Professor), Van Dyke, Rex Harrison (Dolittle), Wilder and Hoffman.

  • julie-andrews-mary-poppins-ledeBest Actress
  1. Julie Andrews  (Mary Poppins)
  2. Judy Garland  (The Wizard of Oz)
  3. Amy Adams  (Enchanted)
  4. Emma Thompson  (Nanny McPhee)
  5. Jane Wyman  (The Yearling)

Analysis:  Andrews and Garland both earn Nighthawk noms (Adams misses out in a strong year).  Andrews and Garland both win the Comedy / Musical award with noms for Adams, Thompson, Angela Lansbury (Bedknobs and Broomsticks) and Anne Hathaway (Ella Enchanted).
Andrews won the Oscar of course while Wyman was nominated.  Andrews is also the only Globe winner with eight performances earning noms, all in Comedy / Musical, several of them in very weak years.  Hayley Mills was BAFTA nominated for Pollyanna.  Adams earned a CC nom.  Anjelica Huston won three critics awards for The Witches but let’s be honest; they were really for The Grifters.

  • Ray Bolger The Wizard of OzBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Ray Bolger  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Edmund Gwenn  (Miracle on 34th Street)
  3. Frank Morgan  (The Wizard of Oz)
  4. James Cromwell  (Babe)
  5. Mickey Rooney  (The Black Stallion)

Analysis:  Bolger and Gwenn earn Nighthawk noms.  Bolger wins the Comedy / Musical award with noms for Morgan and Cromwell as well as David Tomlinson in Mary Poppins.
Gwenn won the Oscar with noms for Rooney and Cromwell.  Gwenn and Richard Attenborough (Doctor Dolittle) won the Globe.  Bernard Cribbins (Railway Children) and Eddie Murphy (Shrek) earned BAFTA noms.

  • witchs-son-1-2-color-please-dont-cropBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Margaret Hamilton  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Anne Revere  (National Velvet)
  3. Glynis Johns  (Mary Poppins)
  4. Maggie Smith  (Hook)

Analysis:  Yes, it really is that weak.  Hamilton does win the Nighthawk.  Johns earns a Comedy nom.
Revere won the Oscar.  And that is literally the awards history for the whole category in this genre.

  • Best Ensemble
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Enchanted
  4. Miracle on 34th Street
  5. The Yearling

Analysis:  This adds up all the acting points across the categories.  Two of these films (Enchanted and Miracle) are entirely off one performance.

  • Best Editing:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Wall-E
  3. Mary Poppins
  4. Up
  5. Beauty and the Beast

Analysis:  Wizard and Mary Poppins win the Nighthawk.  The other three earn Nighthawk noms as do Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi.
National Velvet and Mary Poppins won the Oscar.  Oscar noms went to Yearling, Parent Trap, Doctor Dolittle, Black Stallion and Babe.
Babe earned a BAFTA nom.
ACE has been much more generous with Kids films with wins for Parent Trap, Mary Poppins and in the Animated category for Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3 and Rango.  Prior to the Animated category beginning noms went to Doctor Dolittle, Black Stallion, Shrek, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Incredibles and Ratatouille (the last five all in the Comedy category).

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. The Black Stallion
  4. A Little Princess
  5. Hook

Analysis:  Wizard wins the Nighthawk with a nom for Mary Poppins.
The Yearling actually won the Oscar (though it was the Oscar for Color Cinematography in a weak year) while The Blue Bird, Lassie Come Home, National Velvet, The Absent Minded Professor, Mary Poppins, Doctor Dolittle and A Little Princess all earned noms.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland won the BAFTA with a nom for Black StallionHook earned an ASC nom.  Black Stallion won the LAFC and NSFC.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Herbert Stothart  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Alan Menken  (Beauty and the Beast)
  3. Hans Zimmer  (The Lion King)
  4. Alan Menken  (The Little Mermaid)
  5. John Williams  (Hook)

Analysis:  Possibly the hardest category aside from Song to sort out the Top 5 with Up, Ratatouille, Aladdin and Mary Poppins all vying for that fifth spot.  Nighthawk winners are Snow White, Wizard, Lion King and Up.  There are an additional 10 Nighthawk nominees including Menken three times and three Pixar films.
The dominating Kids category.  Wizard, Pinocchio and Dumbo won three Oscars in a row.  Then, except for Mary Poppins (which also earned an Adapted Score nom), no winners again until 5 in 7 years for the Disney Renaissance.  Then there’s also Up.  Over the years, 23 films earned noms (including Dolittle nominated in both Score and Adapted) with eight Disney animated films from 1937 to 1959, one random film in 1972 (Napoleon and Samantha) then a post-Renaissance return with the Comedy Score category (7 in four years) then six more this century.  In addition, seven films have earned Adapted nominations.  In total, 10 Oscar and 42 total noms.
From 1964 to 1979 there were five live action (or hybrid) films to earn Globe noms.  Then came the four Disney winners in six years.  Then came five noms in the following four years (3 Disney, 1 Pixar, 1 DreamWorks).  Then in 2009 was the win for Up and a nom for Where the Wild Things Are.
Only Up has won the BAFTA though nine films have earned noms including three Renaissance films.  The Road to El Dorado and Up won the CC with noms for Enchanted, Princess and the Frog and Where the Wild Things Are.  Seven different films have won one critics award each but no film has won more than one.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Wall-E
  2. The Wizard of Oz
  3. Fantasia
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Mary Poppins

Analysis:  Wizard wins the Nighthawk with eight others earning noms, three of which are Pixar films.
No Kids films has ever won the Oscar though 13 films have earned nominations, all of them Disney except Dolittle and Polar Express.  The noms have come in waves: four early Animated films (Bambi, Saludos Amigos, Three Caballeros, Cinderella), three 60s non-animated (Parent Trap, Mary Poppins, Dolittle), two from the Renaissance (Beauty, Aladdin), then four more recent animated (Incredibles, Polar Express, Ratatouille, Wall-E).
The BAFTAs have nominated Lion King, Shrek, Wall-E and UpToy Story 3 earned a CC nom.  Lion King, Jumanji, Shrek and Wall-E earned CAS noms.

  • munchkinland_superBest Art Direction:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Hook
  4. A Little Princess
  5. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Analysis:  Wizard and Mary Poppins win the Nighthawk while Hook earns a nom.
Only The Yearling has managed an Oscar win (Wizard was up against Gone with the Wind while Poppins was up against My Fair Lady) though 10 films have managed an Oscar nom including all of my top four.
Peter Rabbit and Tales of Beatrix Potter earned a BAFTA nom.  Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Where the Wild Things Are earned ADG noms.  A Little Princess won the LAFC.

  • Best Costume Design:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Hook
  4. Peter Pan
  5. A Little Princess

Analysis:  Wizard and Mary Poppins win the Nighthawk while Hook is nominated.
Wizard predates the Oscar category while Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Hook and (bizarrely) 102 Dalmations earned noms.  The 1972 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland won the BAFTA while Peter Rabbit and the Tales of Beatrix Potter earned a nom.  Where the Wild Things Are earned a CC nom.  Enchanted was CDG nommed.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  3. Jumanji
  4. Hook
  5. Babe

Analysis:  Wizard, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Jumanji win the Nighthawk.  Return to Oz, Hook and Babe earn Nighthawk noms.
Mary Poppins, Dolittle, Bedknobs and Babe won the Oscar while six other films earned noms.
For a long time, this was Kids best category at the BAFTAs.  Prior to 2006 when Animated Film began at the BAFTAs, 15 of the 22 Kids films to earn BAFTA noms were nominated in Visual Effects though only Honey I Shrunk the Kids won.  Since 2006 however, only Toy Story 3 has earned a nom.
Thanks to the Animated category at VES a Kids film has won every year since 2007 and there have been an additional 12 nominees.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Wall-E
  2. The Wizard of Oz
  3. Finding Nemo
  4. The Incredibles
  5. Toy Story 3

Analysis:  Wizard of Oz and Fantasia win the Nighthawk with noms for Mary Poppins, Aladdin, Finding Nemo, Wall-E and Toy Story 3.
The Black Stallion and The Incredibles won the Oscar with noms for eight other films, five of which are Pixar films.  Having revised what counts for the MPSE only Black Stallion (win) and Inspector Gadget (nom) are still listed.

  • Best Makeup
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Labyrinth
  3. Hook
  4. The Witches
  5. Peter Pan  (2003)

Analysis:  Oz wins the Nighthawk with noms for Mary Poppins, Willy Wonka, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Labyrinth and Hook.
Hook is the only Oscar nominee.  The Witches and 101 Dalmations earned BAFTA noms.  The Cat in the Hat earned three MUASG noms (but lost them all).

  • Best Technical Aspects
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Hook
  4. Wall-E
  5. Beauty and the Beast

Analysis:  This is a totaling up of all the points in the tech categories.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Over the Rainbow”  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. “The Rainbow Connection”  (The Muppet Movie)
  3. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”  (Mary Poppins)
  4. “When You Wish Upon a Star”  (Pinocchio)
  5. “Circle of Life”  (The Lion King)

Analysis:  Perhaps the hardest category to come up with a Top 5.  I had to cut all songs from Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid as well as “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”, “Life’s a Happy Song” and “The Bare Necessities.”  Thanks to the long delay before establishing Animated Film at most awards groups, this is the category most identified with Kids films and the Nighthawk Awards are no exception.
As mentioned in the Nighthawk Awards category, there are 51 films but they account for 84 nominations.  They also account for 20 wins.
The Oscar nominees are quite high of course: 49 films, 58 noms, 15 wins.  The wins begin in 1939 and run all the way through to 2011.  Prior to The Little Mermaid the numbers for 50 years were 22 films, 22 noms, 5 wins with no wins since 1967.  Since then, the numbers in 23 years are 27 films, 36 noms, 10 wins and since 1997 only 2003 and 2005 didn’t have a nom for a Kids film.  Six films have earned two noms and three have earned three (no longer possible after 2007).
The Globe numbers are also impressive: 32 films, 38 noms, 9 wins with only 6 noms and 1 win coming before 1989.  Aladdin is the only film with 3 noms.
At the CC there have been 15 nominees though only two films have won the award with The Muppets winning and earning two other noms.

  • Best Original Song (Film Total)
  1. Mary Poppins  –  43
  2. The Wizard of Oz  –  40
  3. Beauty and the Beast  –  38
  4. The Little Mermaid  –  37
  5. The Muppet Movie  /  Aladdin  –  35

Analysis:  This adds up the top five original songs for a film (I cut off the list at five no matter how many original songs a film might have) on the 0-9 scale and adds them together.

  • fantasiaBest Animated Film:
  1. Fantasia
  2. Wall-E
  3. Bambi
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Pinocchio

Analysis:  This genre dominates the category of course with 35 wins at the Nighthawks and 23 other nominations.
It also dominates the Oscars with 10 of the first 11 wins and 20 other nominees.  They also wins 5 of the first 6 Globes and earn 15 other nominations.  At the BAFTAs they have all six of the wins so far and seven other nominees.  They’ve won all but one of the CC awards and earned 26 other noms.  They dominate the guilds with four films winning both the Annie and PGA and five more winning one or the other as well.  In all, 70 films have been nominated for either award.  At the critics, 22 films share a combined 43 awards with four each for Wall-E, Toy Story 3 and Rango.

  • Best Foreign Film:
  1. My Neighbor Totoro
  2. A Letter to Momo
  3. Kiki’s Delivery Service
  4. The Secret World of Arietty
  5. From Up on Poppy Hill

note:  Totoro wins the Nighthawk and Kiki earns a nom.  Kids films just haven’t broken through here.  It’s the same elsewhere with only the 1970 film Paw earning an Oscar nom.

  • Best Film (by my points system):
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Aladdin
  5. The Little Mermaid

Analysis:  A simply tally of all my points.  A lot of this is figured on the Best Song tallies with all five of these films earning over 30 points there.

  • Best Film  (weighted points system)
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Wall-E
  5. Ratatouille

Analysis:  Aladdin and The Little Mermaid don’t make it because so much of their points is in their songs while Wall-E and Ratatouille have more points in higher scoring categories.

Best Films With No Top 5 Finishes:

  • Toy Story 3

note:  Mid-range **** film that doesn’t earn a Top 5..

Worst Film with a Top 5 Finish:

  • The Witches

note:  A high **.5 but the only film with a Top 5 not to earn at least ***.

Nighthawk Notablestnhwizardofoz0015

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  The Wizard of Oz
  • Best Line  (comedic):  “I’m on my way to New York City to break into public television.”  (The Muppet Movie  –  Carrol Spinney)
  • Best Line  (dramatic):  “There’s no place like home.”  (Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz)
  • Best Opening:  The Muppet Movie
  • Best Ending:  The Muppet Movie
  • Best Scene:  the world turns to color in The Wizard of Oz
  • Most Heart-Wrenching Scene:  the opening of Finding Nemo
  • Best Kiss:  Belle and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast
  • Best Use of a Song (dramatic):  “The Circle of Life” in The Lion King
  • Best Use of a Song (comedic):  “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Best Soundtrack:  Mary Poppins
  • Funniest Film:  Ratatouille
  • Worst Film I Saw in the Theater:  101 Dalmations  (1996)
  • Read the Book, SKIP the Film:  The Cat in the Hat
  • Best Sequel / Franchise Film:  Toy Story 3
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz
  • Sexiest Performance:  Carle Gugino in Spy Kids
  • Best Credits:  Toy Story 2  (closing)
  • Best Tagline:  “On June 23rd, a chicken will rise.”  (Chicken Run)
  • Best Teaser:  Ratatouille
  • Best Cameo:  Orson Welles in The Muppet Movie
  • Best Animated Character Performance:  Robin Williams in Aladdin

note:  It doesn’t include categories that are covered in some of the lists above like Worst Film, Most Over-rated Film, Best Ensemble, etc and some categories are covered in the Franchise list at the end of the post.

Soundtracks I Own:  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Muppet Movie, Oliver & Company, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Anastasia (Veronica’s), Tarzan, Fantasia 2000, Monsters Inc, Incredibles, Wall-E, Up

At the Theater

By the end of 2011, I had probably seen over 1000 films in the theater at some point or another.  I had certainly been to the movies well over 1000 times.  In chronological order, the Kids films I have seen in the theater are: The Wizard of Oz (at least three times), Fantasia, Mary Poppins, The Great Muppet Caper, Beauty and the Beast (three times), Hook, Aladdin, The Lion King (three times), Toy Story, Babe, Pocahontas, James and the Giant Peach, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Space Jam, 101 Dalmations (twice – not by choice), Anastasia, Hercules, A Bug’s Life, Antz, Mulan, Toy Story 2, Tarzan, Chicken Run, Fantasia 2000, Tigger Movie, Monsters Inc, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Piglet’s Big Movie, Incredibles, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Wall-E, Up, Toy Story 3.


Academy Awards

  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  101
  • Number of Films That Have Won Oscars:  31
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  46
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  15
  • Best Picture Nominations:  9
  • Total Number of Nominations:  227
  • Total Number of Wins:  50
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Song  (49)
  • Number of Films with Nominations I Haven’t Seen:  0
  • Directors with Most Oscar Nominated Films:  Ron Clements / John Musker  (5)
  • Best Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Fantasia

Oscar Oddities:

  • The only films with more than one nomination to win all of their nominations are Pinocchio and Pocahontas, both of which went 2 for 2 (Score, Song).  If that doesn’t seem right to you, I’ll remind you that the Disney Renaissance films (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King) all had multiple nominations for Song.
  • While Kids Films are often thought of as the same as Animated Films, I’ll remind you that 2/3 of the Best Picture nominees in this genre are live action films (Wizard of Oz, Yearling, Miracle on 34th Street, Mary Poppins, Doctor Dolittle, Babe).
  • Only five major awards have been won by Kids films, three of them by Miracle on 34th Street (Screenplay, Story, Supporting Actor) and the other two by Mary Poppins (Actress) and National Velvet (Supporting Actress).
  • 70% of all Oscars won in this genre are in Score (10), Song (15) or Animated Film (10).

Most Oscar Nominations

  1. Mary Poppins  –  13
  2. Doctor Dolittle  –  9
  3. The Yearling  –  7
  4. Babe  –  7
  5. Beauty and the Beast  –  6
  6. Wall-E  –  6
  7. The Wizard of Oz  /  National Velvet  –  5
  8. Bedknobs and Broomsticks  /  Hook  –  5
  9. Aladdin  /  Ratatouille  –  5
  10. Up  /  Toy Story 3  –  5

Most Oscar Wins:

  1. Mary Poppins  –  5
  2. Miracle on 34th Street  –  3
  3. 13 films  –  2

note:  Of the 13 films to win two Oscars, five of them were Disney films from 1989 to 1995 which won Score and Song.

Most Oscar Points:

  1. Mary Poppins  –  445
  2. The Yearling  –  280
  3. Miracle on 34th Street  –  270
  4. Babe  –  240
  5. Doctor Dolittle  –  225
  6. National Velvet  –  200
  7. Up  –  195
  8. Toy Story 3  –  165
  9. Beauty and the Beast  –  160
  10. The Wizard of Oz  –  155

note:  These are the nine films nominated for Best Picture plus National Velvet (which won two Oscars).

Critics Awards

  • Number of Films That Have Won Critics Awards:  26
  • Number of Films With Multiple Awards:  16
  • Best Picture Wins:  4
  • Total Number of Awards:  63
  • Category With the Most Awards:  Animated Film  (43)

Most Awards:

  1. Wall-E  –  9
  2. The Incredibles  –  4
  3. Ratatouille  –  4
  4. Up  –  4
  5. Toy Story 3  /  Rango  –  4

Most Points:

  1. Wall-E  –  541
  2. The Witches  –  196
  3. Ratatouille  –  180
  4. The Incredibles  –  162
  5. The Fantastic Mr. Fox  –  150

Most Points by Critics Group:

  • NYFC:  The Fantastic Mr. Fox  –  110
  • LAFC:  The Black Stallion  /  Wall-E  –  100
  • NSFC:  Babe  –  100
  • BSFC:  Wall-E  –  140
  • CFC:  Wall-E  –  270
  • NBR:  eleven films –  40

Golden Globes

  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  71
  • Number of Films That Have Won Globes:  20
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  21
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  6
  • Best Picture Nominations:  14  (all Comedy)
  • Total Number of Nominations:  106
  • Total Number of Wins:  28
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Song  (32)
  • Best Film with No Globe Nominations:  My Neighbor Totoro
  • Best English Language Film with No Globe Nominations:  Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Globe oddities:

  • Of the 6 films to win multiple Globes, 4 of them are considered the Disney Renaissance, with Beauty and the Beast and Lion King each winning three (Picture, Score, Song) and Little Mermaid and Aladdin winning two each (Score, Song).
  • Of the 6 films to win multiple Globes, only Miracle on 34th Street didn’t win Score.
  • The Yearling is the only Kids film to earn a nomination in a Drama category (Actor).
  • Disney accounts for 37 of the 71 nominated films, 63 of the 106 nominations and 20 of the 28 wins as well as five of the six films to win multiple awards.  No other studio has more than 7 films, 10 noms or 3 wins.  No Kids film has been nominated for Director, Supporting Actress or Foreign Film.
  • Of the 48 films nominated before 2006 (when Animated Film began), 27 of them were nominated for Song.  Of the 23 films nominated since 2006, all but three were nominated for Animated Film and only four of those films were nominated for Song.  The films not nominated for Animated Film are Enchanted, Where the Wild Things Are and Gnomeo and Juliet, two of which were nominated for Song.

Most Globe Nominations:

  1. Doctor Dolittle  –  5
  2. Aladdin  –  5
  3. Mary Poppins  –  4
  4. The Little Mermaid  –  4
  5. Beauty and the Beast  /  The Lion King  –  3

Most Globes:

  1. Beauty and the Beast  –  3
  2. The Lion King  –  3
  3. Miracle on 34th Street  –  2
  4. The Little Mermaid  –  2
  5. Aladdin  /  Up  –  1

Most Globe Points:

  1. Mary Poppins  –  180
  2. Doctor Dolittle  –  180
  3. Beauty and the Beast  –  180
  4. The Lion King  –  180
  5. Miracle on 34th Street  /  Aladdin  –  140

Guild Awards

  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  89
  • Number of Films That Have Won Guild Awards:  24
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  38
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  12
  • Best Picture Nominations:  4
  • Total Number of Nominations:  163
  • Total Number of Wins:  43
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Animated Film  (70)
  • Best Film with No Guild Nominations:  The Little Mermaid


  • Prior to 2009, every Animated film nominated at the guilds earned an Animated Film nomination.  The first Animated film to earn a guild nomination but not an Annie or PGA Animated Film nomination was Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
  • The arrival of the Annie and the drop-off of non-Animated Kids films really changed things at the Guilds.  Prior to 1991, six of the seven Kids films to earn nominations earned a WGA nom.  But Animated films are not signatories to the WGA and aren’t eligible.  Since 1991, Babe is the only Kids film to earn a WGA nom.

Most Guild Nominations:

  1. Wall-E  –  6
  2. Ratatouille  –  5
  3. Up  –  5
  4. Toy Story 3  –  5
  5. The Lion King  –  4
  6. Shrek  –  4
  7. The Incredibles  –  4
  8. How to Train Your Dragon  –  4
  9. Rango  –  4
  10. Puss in Boots  –  4

Most Guild Wins:

  1. Up  –  4
  2. The Lion King  –  3
  3. Cars  –  3
  4. Ratatouille  –  3
  5. Wall-E  /  Rango  –  3

Most Guild Points:

  1. Up  –  210
  2. Wall-E  –  180
  3. Mary Poppins  –  175
  4. Toy Story 3  –  175
  5. Ratatouille  –  155
  6. Rango  –  140
  7. Shrek  –  135
  8. The Incredibles  –  135
  9. How to Train Your Dragon  –  115
  10. The Parent Trap  –  90

Highest Guild Point Percentage:

  1. Mary Poppins  –  14.46%
  2. The Parent Trap  –  7.69%
  3. The Black Stallion  –  5.73%
  4. Doctor Dolittle  –  4.94%
  5. Up  –  4.94%
  6. Wall-E  –  4.70%
  7. Toy Story 3  –  4.22%
  8. Ratatouille  –  4.10%
  9. The Incredibles  –  3.88%
  10. That Darn Cat  –  3.85%


  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  35
  • Number of Films That Have Won BAFTAs:  10
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  16
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  2
  • Number of Nominated Films I Haven’t Seen:  0
  • Best Picture Nominations:  2
  • Total Number of Nominations:  61
  • Total Number of Wins:  12
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Visual Effects  /  Animated Film  (13)
  • Best Film With No BAFTA Nominations:  Mary Poppins


  • Kids films have earned as many Screenplay nominations (5) as Picture and all acting categories combined (5).
  • Only two films have been nominated for Picture (Babe, Shrek) but three have been nominated for British Film (Borrowers, Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit).
  • Since the category began in 1982, Kids films have earned 13 Visual Effects nominations.  All but two of them were in the stretch from 1990 to 2001.
  • Since Animated Film began in 2006 no Kids film has earned a nomination unless it was also nominated for Animated Film.

Most BAFTA Noms:

  1. Shrek  –  6
  2. Babe  –  4
  3. Up  –  4
  4. Wall-E  –  3
  5. Toy Story 3  –  3

Most BAFTA Wins:

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  –  2
  2. Up  –  2
  3. eight films  –  1

Most BAFTA Points:

  1. Shrek  –  220
  2. Up  –  150
  3. Babe  –  130
  4. Toy Story 3  –  95
  5. Wall-E  –  85

Broadcast Film Critics Awards
(Critic’s Choice Awards)

  • Number of Films That Have Earned Nominations:  48
  • Number of Films That Have Won BFCA:  16
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  15
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  2
  • Best Picture Nominations:  5
  • Total Number of Nominations:  73
  • Total Number of Wins:  18
  • Category With the Most Nominations:  Animated Film  (40)
  • Best Film with No BFCA Nominations:  A Letter to Momo


  • Given the history at the Oscars, one would think that Animated Film and Song would go hand in hand for Kids films.  And that’s what happened at the first BFCA Awards with those categories when The Prince of Egypt won both.  It hasn’t happened again since.
  • The Road to El Dorado is the only Kids film to earn a BFCA nomination without earning a nomination for either Animated Film or Song.
  • Through 2011, 48 Kids films have earned BFCA noms.  8 films were nominated for both Animated Film and Song, 32 for Animated Film, 7 for Song and 1 for neither.

Most Nominations:

  1. Toy Story 3  –  5
  2. Up  –  4
  3. Enchanted  –  3
  4. Wall-E  –  3
  5. The Princess and the Frog  /  Where the Wild Things Are  /  The Muppets  –  3

Most Wins:

  1. The Prince of Egypt  –  2
  2. Up –  2

BFCA Points:

  1. Up  –  180
  2. Toy Story 3  –  160
  3. Wall-E  –  100
  4. Shrek  –  90
  5. Finding Nemo  –  90

All Awards

Most Nominations:

  1. Wall-E  –  29
  2. Up  –  24
  3. Toy Story 3  –  23
  4. Mary Poppins  –  20
  5. Shrek  –  17
  6. Ratatouille  –  17
  7. Doctor Dolittle  –  16
  8. Beauty and the Beast  –  15
  9. Aladdin  –  14
  10. The Lion King  /  Babe  /  The Incredibles  –  14

Most Awards:

  1. Wall-E  –  16
  2. Up  –  16
  3. Ratatouille  –  11
  4. Toy Story 3  –  11
  5. Rango  –  10
  6. Mary Poppins  –  8
  7. Beauty and the Beast  –  8
  8. The Lion King  –  8
  9. The Incredibles  –  8
  10. Aladdin  /  Shrek  /  Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit  –  6

Total Awards Points

  1. Wall-E  –  1081
  2. Up  –  918
  3. Toy Story 3  –  746
  4. Mary Poppins  –  729
  5. Shrek  –  601
  6. Ratatouille  –  588
  7. Babe  –  566
  8. The Incredibles  –  481
  9. Beauty and the Beast  –  434
  10. Rango  –  410

Highest Awards Points Percentage:

  1. Miracle on 34th Street  –  8.33%
  2. The Yearling  –  7.94%
  3. Mary Poppins  –  7.39%
  4. Wall-E  –  6.01%
  5. Up  –  4.68%
  6. Ratatouille  –  4.47%
  7. Babe  –  4.00%
  8. National Velvet  –  3.91%
  9. Toy Story 3  –  3.85%
  10. The Wizard of Oz  –  3.82%

note:  This is why I do the percentage, because it gives a historical perspective.
note:  Miracle is the only #2 in points for its year.  Yearling and Mary Poppins (#3 both) are the only others in the Top 4 while Wall-E, Doctor Dolittle and National Velvet made the Top 5.


I won’t do a lot of lists because that’s the whole point of TSPDT – they put a ridiculous amount of lists in the blender and come out with the “definitive” one.  Their lists includes lists by genre, so you can always go there and look at their source lists.

The TSPDT Top 10 Kids Films:

  1. The Wizard of Oz (#104)
  2. My Neighbor Totoro (#227)
  3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (#315)
  4. Wall-E (#366)
  5. Fantasia (#456)
  6. Pinocchio  (#459)
  7. Toy Story (#514)
  8. Bambi (#652)
  9. Dumbo (#733)
  10. Mary Poppins (#831)

note:  These are the current (2021) rankings from TSPDT.  A few years ago, Mary Poppins wasn’t on the list but Finding Nemo was.  Babe is the only other Kids film in the Top 1000.  Totoro and Wall-E move up the list almost every year.

The IMDb Voters Top 9 Kids Films

  1. The Lion King
  2. Wall-E
  3. Toy Story
  4. Toy Story 3
  5. Up
  6. My Neighbor Totoro
  7. Finding Nemo
  8. How to Train Your Dragon
  9. Monsters Inc.

note:  These are all the Kids films through 2011 in the Top 250 at the IMDb.  Which, really, says more about the people who vote on the IMDb than it does about the films themselves, especially since The Wizard of Oz is not on the list, nor any pre-1994 Disney film (or any pre-1988 film at all).

Box Office

Top 10 U.S. Domestic Box Office  (through December 31, 2011)

  1. Shrek 2  –  $441.2 mil
  2. Toy Story 3  –  $415.0 mil
  3. Finding Nemo  –  $339.7 mil
  4. Shrek the Third  –  $322.7 mil
  5. The Lion King  –  $312.8 mil
  6. Up  –  $293.0 mil
  7. Shrek  –  $267.6 mil
  8. The Incredibles  –  $261.4 mil
  9. Monsters, Inc.  –  $255.8 mil
  10. Despicable Me  –  $251.5 mil

Top 10 U.S. Domestic Box Office (all-time, adjusted to 2020)

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs –  $1,021 mil
  2. 101 Dalmations –  $936.22 mil
  3. The Lion King –  $835.30 mil
  4. Fantasia –  $778.11 mil
  5. Mary Poppins –  $732.56 mil
  6. Sleeping Beauty –  $680.97 mil
  7. Shrek 2 –  $665.74 mil
  8. Pinocchio –  $631.56 mil
  9. Bambi –  $596.98 mil
  10. Finding Nemo –  $577.06 mil

note:  Please see my long note here as to why some of these numbers are clearly absurd.


The Best Kids Film I Haven’t Yet Reviewed

My Neighbor Totoro

(1988, dir. Hayao Miyazaki)my_neighbor_totoro

Veronica had me watch Kiki’s Delivery Service first.  That was my introduction to the films of Hayao Miyazaki, of the way that he understood children, understood childhood and understood magic.  He knew that childhood was a time when you could believe in things and they would happen, when you are more resilient that adults imagine because they can not remember it and when you feel as passionately about anything as you ever will for the rest of your life.  And Kiki is a very good film, lovely enough that for years, a tapestry of her has hung over our bed.  But Totoro, well, Totoro is much more part of our lives.

A family moves to the country.  Both the time (it evokes the 1950s or late 1940s but doesn’t say) and the place (a rural area but not too far from a town that has a hospital) are left vague but that’s part of the atmosphere.  A family is moving out to a house that some of the locals (especially the young boy in the neighbor family) believe is haunted.  Indeed, when they first start opening the doors, a parade of small dark creatures scurry away.  But this isn’t a horror film.  It’s one of the most wonderful Kids films ever made.  These aren’t frightening creatures but little soot-mites, dustbunnies that are moving away from the light.

There is another dustbunny and he’s not small at all.  His name is Totoro and he is the biggest, fluffiest thing you can imagine.  The younger daughter in the family, Mei, finds him when she follows a small creature into the grove under a tree and finds his resting place.  Totoro is big and somewhat vocal (he yells and the yell has amazing effects) and has the most expressive eyes that you can possibly imagine.  Mei instantly feels at home with him, falling asleep on his enormous fluffy belly.

They will see more of Totoro.  One night when Mei and her older sister Satsuki are waiting for their father at the bus stop in the rain, Totoro emerges from the darkness and waits with them.  What follows is one of the most delightful scenes ever put on film.  It’s a pure example of filming what should be there, even if it’s not moving anything forward.  First, Totoro waits with a leaf on his head but the leaf continues to drip on his nose.  Satsuki gives Totoro and umbrella and at first the noise of the raindrops on the umbrella seems to startle him but then it gives him sheer delight.  He leaps into the air, landing with a thud and bringing down a hail of raindrops upon the umbrella.  Overjoyed, he gives a giant yell and then we see lights in the distance.  But this isn’t the bus yet with their father but rather the cat bus, a multi-legged animal that emerges from the darkness, opens a door in its side to let Totoro in and then races off into the night.

That is the kind of magic that exists in this film.  A giant dustbunny who loves the sound of the rain and will later bring trees to life.  A cat bus that will take you where you need to go (I absolutely believe that Rowling must have seen the film before she thought of the Knight Bus).  Children that react like actual children (getting upset with each other, worrying about each other, worrying about their mother, playing outside).  The mother is at the hospital and in a different film that would lead to a dramatic conclusion but it’s just something they are dealing with.  Like a lot of the details in the film (trash under the house or in the water, the shrine), it’s just a part of the world that they inhabit.

The kids work because they are real and nice and fun.  But Totoro works because he is one of the greatest creations ever conceived for an animated film.  It’s no accident that Totoro would become the emblem for Studio Ghibli and would become known around the world (licensing products have earned over $1 billion) and that’s why we have so much of it.  Because this is a film to sink into, a film absolutely perfect for a person of any age, interesting enough to keep the attention and safe enough for everyone to watch.  Because isn’t this the world you want to live in?

The Worst Kids Film I Haven’t Yet Reviewed

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2

(1999, dir. Bob Clark)superbabies_baby_geniuses_two

Mark Harris recently, after former child star and perpetual scumbag Ricky Schroeder accosted a Costco employee that “The standings for ‘Worst person involved in the making of Franco Zeffirelli’s The Champ’ remain fluid, a nod to the severe issues that arose about Zeffirelli before his death and the freak that Jon Voight has become.  So what are we to make of this piece of crap in which its greatest crime against humanity might be that it introduced Voight to Scott Baio and that might not be as bad as its crimes against film and taste.

Is it necessary to review the entire film?  Why bother?  I certainly didn’t look at the entire film again.  In fact, I found a clip of the film of just a few minutes and that clip alone gave me enough to know that it was unnecessary to review the film and really it was unnecessary to even see it in the first place but that’s what OCD is all about.

The first film, which should have never been funded given the title in the first place, was so bad that it has one positive review on Rotten Tomatoes which was given out by someone from Box Office Magazine and if you click on that reviewer you find a lot of positive reviews for films that everyone else agreed was terrible.  Both films were made by Bob Clark (this was his last film), the wonderfully tasteful director who brought us the first two Porky’s films, Rhinestone and A Christmas Story.  His inability to direct a child in that film was added to terrible CGI in these two films of babies with their faces changed to mimic actual talking.  It’s like they looked at Look Who’s Talking and thought, “rather than have Bruce Willis be amusing, I can CGI the kids and make it look like they’re actually doing things”.

The scene I watched involves a baby rescuing other babies from an evil orphanage.  The orphanage is being run by Jon Voight, dressed like a Nazi.  The baby leaps in and suddenly he’s Jackie Chan, leaping around, beating people up, except that Chan actually does those things and this is really, really bad visual effects.  Also Chan has an air of comedy as he does his moves while there is nothing remotely funny about Voight in the uniform or the baby or really anything about the film at all.  You watch the scene and you just sit there in utter disbelief that anyone thought this was a film that should be made and that it actually reached release (with enough publicity that the Razzies rightly noticed it and nominated it for four awards).

Bonus Review

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

(1989, dir. Joe Johnston)honey_i_shrunk_the_kids

“The original production company, Doric Films, took pictures of two houses in Coronado, California with the intention of filming there. After selling the script to Disney, Disney recreated the houses on a lot in Mexico. The homeowners threatened to sue Disney if restitution wasn’t made. Disney eventually settled the issue out of court.”

That is an item, which I happened to write, that can be found on the trivia page for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the charming 1989 Disney film that ended up becoming their highest grossing film ever to that point behind just Roger Rabbit and Snow White (and it probably didn’t hurt that it had a Roger Rabbit short in front of it).  Even though 1989 was the year that I started going to the movies on my own, I didn’t see it in the theater because I was too busy seeing Batman, Indiana Jones and Star Trek to bother with something that looked like just a film for kids.  So I definitely wasn’t the one who did it, although apparently memories differ as to whether it was my aunt or my uncle who basically stood up in the theater while seeing the film (or trailer) and said out loud “That’s my parents’ house!”

honey-I-shrunk-the-kids-garbage-outIs that, in fact, my grandparents’ house in the picture on the left?  Technically it is not, nor is it the house of the Messners, who lived next door on the right side of that photo, and therein, of course, lay the legal dispute.  So, before we get to this film that was actually surprisingly difficult to watch last night, though not because of questions of quality, let’s look at what happened in the making of this film.

IMG_0161By the time of the picture on the right, the house was in very sad shape.  That picture is from 2003 and is one of a series of photos I took that day.  They were the last photos of the house, a house I was more attached to than any other in my life.  The house, built sometime around 1900 (different family members have different dates in their heads and the Historical Association certificate I have only has the date it was given) was, by this point, held together by duct tape and spit.  The lawn was in sad shape.  We knew when we packed up my grandmother’s stuff that this house that she had lived in since 1949, where my mother was raised, where I had more fun games of sardines than I can count, was not long for the world.  It was gone by the end of the year, a wonderful, warm, two story (plus attic) house that gave me so much joy.

IMG_0162So, how did that house on 1021 Flora Avenue in Coronado come to be in a film that was made on a studio lot in Mexico City?  Well, around about 1985, some people from a company called Doric Films were scouting locations for a film they wanted to make about a group of kids (children of the people who lived there and next door neighbors) who get shrunk down to a quarter inch and have to make their way across what would normally be a very modest suburban backyard.  They looked at my grandparents house because the yard was the right size (it has no alley on the far end in real life), they liked the look of the house (interesting that my grandfather’s work room – whose door they faithfully recreated on the left – was not used as the work room) and they wanted it to have a large attic.  The attic (not seen in the film picture but seen through the branches at the top of my picture) ran the length of the house above the bedrooms and we spent a lot of time hiding or playing up there (my uncle had a model train set that ran the entire length of the attic) and it’s the most faithful interior part of the house that is recreated in the film (although the bit just inside the back door is very faithful as well).  The company scouted the house, took a lot of pictures, both of the house and the Messner’s house next door (which is the physical exterior model for the next door neighbors’ house) then they went away.  We heard the company went bankrupt.  Then came 1989 and either my aunt (seeing the trailer before a different film) or my uncle (seeing the film with his kids) saw the film.  My grandparents (who were not well-off) left things to John Messner and by July 27, just four weeks after the film was released, things were rolling.

IMG_0163So, yes, we sued.  Actually, it never came to that.  The threat was enough and though the amount came down quite a bit in the end, Disney did, in fact, settle.  What had happened was that Doric sold the story to Disney and Disney, whether deliberately or not, ignored the agreement with Doric and simply recreated the house on a lot in Mexico City.  As an interesting side note to all of this, at one point these letters back and forth (I have only included the initial contact and the final settlement – there is a lot of back and forth in between which I am in possession of) were being cc’d to Frank Wells.  Now, if you are familiar with Disney history, Frank Wells was the President of Disney at the time whose later death in a helicopter crash brought out the Eisner / Katzenberg feud and essentially is responsible for the start of DreamWorks as documented here.  So did Mr. Messner kick it up to Wells to get his attention?  Well, not really.  He kicked it up to Wells by mentioning that these two houses were quite close to Wells’ mother’s house.  See, Wells is also from Coronado and his younger brother was actually in my mother’s class growing up (she actually sent him a condolence note when Frank died which he responded to).  They were trying to make this a bit personal.

All of that is relevant not only as interesting film trivia (about the location), a story about taking on a corporate giant (Disney paid us off!) but also because it colors my ability to watch the film.  It had been a very long time since I had seen the film and no I didn’t watch the VHS copy that Disney sent us (though my mother has it and I just dusted it off yesterday while at her house) but watched it on Disney+.  I remembered the film as a whole but a lot of details were gone (neither Veronica nor I had any memory of the animated title sequence for instance) though we had been reminded of some of it because of a Disney+ show about collecting film props that had an episode on this film.

This is a fun film, a silly film but with a fun premise that is well done.  Four kids get shrunk down to a quarter inch and then have to make it across a treacherous backyard (I will tell you for a fact that are no scorpions in Coronado and I wonder if it got added in because they were filming in Mexico City).  It’s got Rick Moranis playing his uber-nerd type character and it’s perfectly fitting.  It’s a reminder of what made Moranis such a fun actor to watch in films like Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs and Parenthood.  The four kids aren’t great but they play their parts well (pretty girl, boy who likes pretty girl, bully, nerd) and they work well together.  There is even the additional random connection in that Thomas Wilson Brown (the older boy) had played the part of Kevin Costner’s nephew in Silverado a few years before and of course Costner and I went to the same high school.

The film is well-made.  It’s got interesting visual effects which didn’t manage an Oscar nomination (and come in 6th at the Nighthawks) but actually ended up winning the BAFTA (over Total Recall amazingly enough).  It’s heart-warming in the way the kids come together and make the parents come together and the way their friendly ant (who helps them across the yard) dies defending them against the terrifying scorpion.

But it was weird to watch it as well and a reminder of why I haven’t watched it that often.  That is my grandparents yard.  I spent I don’t know how many countless hours in that yard.  The back of the house is such a perfect likeness that it was, at times, difficult to watch and remember that the actual house is no longer there.  It’s a film that is still fun for adults (especially the line where Moranis is asked if the kids exploded and he replies “No, if the machine had blown up the kids, there’d be pieces of them everywhere.”) and it was fun for Thomas to watch the tiny kids, especially when one of them is in danger of being eaten (the scene that finished every trailer and commercial for the film as I recall).  But sometimes, even when a film is fun and charming there are other things that can get in the way.


All-Time:  Top 5 all-time finishes since 2011 include Mary Poppins Returns (Director, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Visual Effects, Makeup, Song Total), Inside Out (Screenplay, Animated Film), Toy Story 4 (Adapted Screenplay), Paddington 2 (Supporting Actor, Visual Effects), Cinderella (Supporting Actress, Costume Design), The Lion King (Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Editing), Coco (Sound Editing), Big Bad Fox (Foreign Film) and Moana (best film with no Top 5 finishes).

Full Ranking List:

The Top 125 Kids Films

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Fantasia
  3. Wall-E
  4. Bambi
  5. Mary Poppins
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. Inside Out
  8. Pinocchio
  9. Coco
  10. Ratatouille
  11. The Little Mermaid
  12. Up
  13. Mary Poppins Returns
  14. My Neighbor Totoro
  15. The Incredibles
  16. Finding Nemo
  17. Moana
  18. Toy Story 4
  19. Soul
  20. Finding Dory
  21. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  22. Toy Story 3
  23. Incredibles 2
  24. Aladdin
  25. Toy Story 2
  26. Zootopia
  27. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  28. Lady and the Tramp
  29. Sleeping Beauty
  30. The Muppet Movie
  31. Toy Story
  32. Brave
  33. Tangled
  34. Frozen
  35. Kubo and the Two Strings
  36. A Letter to Momo
  37. Chicken Run
  38. Paddington 2
  39. Lilo and Stitch
  40. Monsters Inc.
  41. The Miracle on 34th Street
  42. Shrek 2
  43. The Lion King
  44. Wreck-It-Ralph
  45. The LEGO Movie
  46. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales
  47. Cinderella
  48. Frankenweenie
  49. Ralph Breaks the Internet
  50. Paddington
  51. Rango
  52. The Peanuts Movie
  53. The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  54. How to Train Your Dragon
  55. Arthur Christmas
  56. Frozen II
  57. Monsters University
  58. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  59. Ernest and Celestine
  60. Shrek
  61. Big Hero 6
  62. Onward
  63. Enchanted
  64. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  65. Wolfwalkers
  66. Abominable
  67. Dumbo
  68. Kiki’s Delivery Service
  69. The Boxtrolls
  70. Flushed Away
  71. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  72. Despicable Me
  73. Fantasia 2000
  74. The Secret World of Arietty
  75. The Jungle Book
  76. The Iron Giant
  77. A Bug’s Life
  78. Peter Pan (2003)
  79. The LEGO Batman Movie
  80. Missing Link
  81. Puss in Boots
  82. Kung Fu Panda
  83. Happy Feet
  84. Nanny McPhee
  85. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  86. Monster House
  87. ParaNorman
  88. Song of the South
  89. From Up on Poppy Hill
  90. Alice in Wonderland
  91. Peter Pan (1953)
  92. The Sword in the Stone
  93. 101 Dalmations
  94. Melody Time
  95. The Secret of Nimh
  96. Mary and the Witch’s Flower
  97. Sing
  98. Song of the Sea
  99. The Aristocats
  100. Fun and Fancy Free
  101. Kung Fu Panda 2
  102. Babe
  103. Saludos Amigos
  104. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
  105. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
  106. The Fox and the Hound
  107. Ponyo
  108. James and the Giant Peach
  109. Ella Enchanted
  110. Spy Kids
  111. Labyrinth
  112. A Little Princess
  113. Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island
  114. Nanny McPhee Returns
  115. Matilda
  116. Christopher Robin
  117. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
  118. Freaky Friday  (1976)
  119. Make Mine Music
  120. Minions
  121. Bugs Bunny Superstar
  122. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  123. Gauche the Cellist

Notable Kids Films Not in the Top 125

note:  By notable, I mean Oscar nominated for Animated Film or I saw it in the theater.

  • Over the Moon (#131)
  • The Good Dinosaur (#140)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (#142)
  • Klaus (#145)
  • Isle of Dogs (#152)
  • Ferdinand (#395)
  • The Croods (#517)
  • Boss Baby  (#778)
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (#865)

The Bottom 10 Kids Films, #971-980
(worst being #10, which is #980 overall)

  1. Nine Lives
  2. Doogal
  3. Suburban Commando
  4. Mac and Me
  5. The Cat in the Hat
  6. After the Wizard
  7. Baby Geniuses
  8. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
  9. Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie
  10. The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

Sub-Genres:  Animal has a new best film (Paddington 2) but the average has actually gone to down to 48 thanks to films like Nine Lives, Show Dogs, A Dog’s Way Home, A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s JourneyThe Big Bad Fox and Other Tales is the new best film in just Animated.  Aardman is up to 8 films but down to a 79.8 average (Early Man really brought it down).  Blue Sky is up to 12 films and the average is down to 56.8.  The DreamWorks average is down to 65.1 thanks to a lot of duds.  Illumination has exploded up to 10 films with an average of 63.4.  Two new solid Animated sub-genres have popped up: Laika (4, 82.25) and LEGO (4, 77.25).  Peanuts has a new best movie (Peanuts Movie) which is also a Blue Sky film but I count it here.  Sony is now up to 13 films but with Smurfs and Hotel Transylvania franchises the average is down to 39.3.  Disney has a new sub-sub-genre with the Live Action Adaptations of their Animated films.  While several count as Fantasy, I list 5 as Kids for an average of 55.8 (brought down by 101 and 102 Dalmations).

Academy Awards:  Other than Animated Film (most of the noms, all but one of the wins), most of the Oscar noms have come in Song since 2011 (nine noms, two wins).  Only two films have earned more than two noms since 2011: Mary Poppins Returns (4) and Soul (3) and the 2020 Pinocchio is the only non-Animated film with more than one nom.  Frozen and Coco are the only films to win an Oscar outside of Animated Film (both won Song).

Critics:  Other than Animated Film (most of them), the only award won by a Kids film at the critics groups since 2011 is Best Original Screenplay for The LEGO Movie at the NBR.

Golden Globes:  With 145 points and 4 noms, Mary Poppins Returns sneaks into the Top 5 in both.  Since 2011, only 16 of the 35 nominated films have been Disney (namely because of spreading the wealth with Animated Film – only 3 of the 35 nominated films weren’t nominated for Animated Film (The Star, Trolls, Mary Poppins Returns), but Disney has accounted for over half the noms (24 of 46) and wins (5 of 7).

BAFTA:  Since 2011, only 5 Kids films have earned BAFTA noms without Animated Film, two of which are Paddington films.  Mary Poppins Returns and Paddington 2 each landed in the top 5 with 3 noms and neither earned an Animated Film nom.  No Kids film has won a BAFTA in any category except Animated Film since 2009.

BFCA:  In 2013, Frozen would become the first film in 15 years to win Animated Film and Song with Coco joining it in 2017.  Not only are they the only Kids films to win two awards since 2011, they’re the only Kids films to win any award other than Animated Film since 2011.  Mary Poppins Returns tied the record for points (180) and crushed the record for noms (8).  The only three films to earn any noms without Animated Film since 2011 are Mary Poppins, Cinderella (Costume Design) and The Lion King (VE, Song).

Guilds:  Animated Films continue to dominate at the Guilds.  Of the 67 Kids films nominated at the Guilds since 2011, 54 of them earned either Annie or PGA noms.  Of the other 13, 8 of them earned VE noms.  The only live action films to earn guild noms since 2011 are Cinderella, Christopher Robin and Mary Poppins ReturnsToy Story 4 (205 points), Frozen and Coco (200 points each) are near the top for points.  With the adding of an Art Direction Animated award, several films now have 6 noms while Frozen and Coco both have 5 wins.

Soundtracks:  Brave, Frozen, Inside Out, Moana, Sing, Coco, Mary Poppins Returns, Frozen II

Theater:  Brave, Frozen, Monsters University, Big Hero 6, Inside Out, Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Minions, Good Dinosaur, SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (not by choice), Moana, Finding Dory, Zootopia, Sing, Kung Fu Panda 3, Coco, LEGO Batman Movie, Mary Poppins Returns, Incredibles 2, Paddington 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Christopher Robin, Toy Story 4, Frozen II, Lion King, LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Onward

Top 10 U.S. Domestic Box Office  (through June 2021)

  1. Incredibles 2  –  $608.5 mil
  2. The Lion King  (2019)  –  $543.68 mil
  3. Finding Dory  –  $486.2 mil
  4. Frozen II  –  $477.3 mil
  5. Shrek 2  –  $441.2 mil
  6. Toy Story 4  –  $434.0 mil
  7. The Lion King  –  $422.7 mil
  8. Toy Story 3  –  $415.0 mil
  9. Frozen  –  $400.7 mil
  10. Finding Nemo  –  $380.8 mil

2 Responses to “A Century of Film: Kids Films”

  1. F.T. Says:

    I’m still rather fond of SUBURBAN COMMANDO – but OK, it was better in childhood.

  2. mountanto Says:

    Can’t argue too much with The Wizard of Oz as #1, or The Oogieloves at #0 (I still have my butterfly wand from when I saw it in the theaters!). I’m not sure I’d consider Fantasia a Kids film as such, not if Spirited Away and Roger Rabbit aren’t so considered, but of your list, I’d put Fantasia first, and on my own, if I broke down films by genre, I’d put Roger Rabbit first, since I first saw it as a young child and was instantly taken with it.

    I do, however, totally disagree with you on A Christmas Story, a film I’ve loved my whole life and consider genuinely excellent to boot. I can admit that Shepherd’s VO gets a touch cloying at times, but it also has many of my favorite lines in the film, and I certainly think Peter Billingsley gives an excellent performance as Ralphie, a bit obnoxious, more than a bit naive, but wholly believable within the parameters of the story. But it’s your list, so…

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