25 Best Disney Movies for Toddlers
Toddlers are children from 12 months to three years of age and even though it is not recommendable for them to sit in front of the television for a longer period of time, there are some movies and cartoons that might be appropriate and perfect for them to be introduced to this wonderful world of colours, music and beautiful stories.
Disney has been associated with children’s movies and cartoons since forever and it has given us so many unforgettable moments with the characters that we won’t forget for the rest of our lives. This is the list of the 25 best Disney movies for toddlers.
Cars is an unforgettable cartoon that teaches children all sorts of things, such as the importance of never giving up, the importance of friendship, and being someone’s support. It is a story of a successful and cocky race car named Lightning McQueen who is on his way to a competition in California.
He damages the road of the small town of Radiator Springs and needs to stay there to repair it. At first, he can’t adjust to this small community of nice and friendly cars, but one step at a time he starts to value the meaning of true friendship and love.
Finding Nemo (2003)
One of the most beloved and beautiful cartoons of all time, a wonderful story of love and friendship. After his son is captured and sent to Sydney, a shy clownfish Marlin leaves home and sets out to find him. On his journey, he meets different sea creatures who somehow help him find his way.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, Nemo is trapped inside a big fish tank and plans a great getaway with his fellow captives. And we follow an adventure of a lifetime, laugh our hearts out at some situations, and almost cry at some. This cartoon has one of the most memorable supporting characters ever, a fish called Dori who has a very bad memory which puts her into hilarious situations.
A well-known, but somewhat changed story of Rapunzel, told through the words of a small thief Flynn Rider. On his run from the court’s guards, he stumbles upon a well-hidden castle where he finds a beautiful girl who lives with her mother and rarely goes out. He realises that she is a long-lost daughter of the king and queen of this land and decides to take her back to her family.
But her mother is an evil witch who took Rapunzel many years ago since she knows the secret to her magical hair and she is not at all satisfied with Flynn’s intentions. This cartoon has got it all. It is an adventure you shouldn’t miss, a beautiful story that shows what a good heart can do and that evil needs to be recognised and fought against.
This visually stunning cartoon takes us on a long and beautiful journey across the Pacific. Moana is a rebellious daughter of a village chief, his only child who definitely inherited his family’s love for the sea and navigating. When her island faces the loss of fish and therefore food supplies, Moana learns that it was caused when the demigod Maui stole the heart of the goddess Te Fiti.
The only way to help her people is to force Maui to return Te Fiti’s heart. On this journey, Moana will discover a lot about her ancestors and show her bravery and independence. This is a beautiful cartoon based on Polynesian mythology, one that you will definitely want to see more than once.
One of the biggest cartoon sensations in the last decade is definitely the story of an ice queen and her kingdom and all the obstacles she needs to overcome to become what she truly is. It is a story about friendship and love, one that stays in our hearts forever.
Elsa and her sister Anna live in a big castle in the town of Arendelle, two heiresses to the throne their parents left them when they died. The girls are locked inside the castle due to Elsa’s secret. She can turn everything to the ice after touching it and as measures of precaution, both of them were advised not to go out and mingle with their fellow citizens. Until an accident happens where Elsa decides to flee and never come back home. Anna is the one who decides to save her, together with her new friends, Cristoph and his reindeer Sven and a hilarious snowman named Olaf.
The Jungle Book (1967)
This cartoon might have some issues nowadays with the portrayal of some animal characters, but it is still a wonderful story that shows us that being different is not a bad thing and that there will always be someone who will take care of our wellbeing.
Baby Mowgli has been abandoned after an accident and raised by wolves in a jungle, but as he grows older it becomes clear that he will have to try and find his place around humans. Some of his animal friends agree with this fact, but some don’t want him to go so Mowgli stays in the jungle, spending time with Baloo the bear and his friends. But Mowgli might be in danger from the animals who don’t tolerate people and he will soon have to decide what to do, stay in the jungle or leave and save his life.
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
This is a beloved story by Lewis Carrol, but also a beautiful cartoon full of vivid colours and unforgettable characters. Some scenes might be a bit too much for small children, but nevertheless, it is an experience for all senses. Alice is a girl who is always daydreaming, completely lost in the world from her books and poems she never stops reading.
One day she spots a white rabbit who runs away from her saying he is late, but she decides to follow him and ends up in a rabbit hole that leads her to a land full of new discoveries and adventures, but all sorts of dangers, too.
Finding Dory (2016)
Finding Nemo is one of the most beautiful cartoons ever and one the best suitable for toddlers and its sequel Finding Dory follows its big brother’s footsteps, providing children with 90 minutes of pure joy and fun.
The story follows the well-known character, the beloved character of the forgetful fish Dory who remembers some things in her life and the most important is that she was separated from her parents as a child. With the help of her friends Nemo and Marlin, she embarks on an adventurous journey to find them. It will lead her to the Marine Life Institute where she will meet different marine species.
Toy Story (1995)
Another beloved story is the one of two toys who form a lifelong bond after being enemies at the very beginning of their unforgettable journey. Woody has always been Andy’s favourite pet, but things change when he receives a new, special one for his birthday. Andy got an action figure known as Buzz Lightyear who does not believe he is a toy, unlike Andy’s other toys who come to life when he is away.
Woody, consumed with jealousy, tries to get rid of Buzz, but somehow both of them get lost and have to find a way to come back to Andy before he moves together with his family. This will be the beginning of a journey that will result in a relationship stronger than many human’s. This is a wonderful story that teaches children about friendship and love and is one of the most beautiful cartoons ever.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
This might be a questionable choice, due to the main villain in the cartoon, Cruella de Vil, who is one of the baddest and craziest villains ever, but the other segment of the story is so wonderful and even educational that the little ones might forget about her monstrous plans.
Pongo and Perdita are parents to 15 beautiful puppies who caught the eye of the mentioned villain who wants to make a coat from their skin and hires two thugs to kidnap them. Desperate, Pongo and Perdita seek help from other London local dogs to find and rescue their children.
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
This cartoon is such a delight to watch, it is inspiring, intriguing, funny and witty at the same time. Full of likeable characters and unforgettable adventures, it is the story about a poor boy Arthur (Wart) who wants to become a knight’s squire. One day he stumbles upon Merlin, a powerful but amnesiac magician who has some other plans for Arthur.
He takes him under his wing, resolute to provide him with an education that will help him achieve anything he wants. Merlin is certain that Arthur is destined to be more than a squire and he will make all his effort to help him with that. Unfortunately for them, but hilarious for the viewers, and especially children, things won’t go as planned.
Mary Poppins (1964)
After a series of uptight, boring and strict nannies, Michael and Jane Banks are tired of getting new ones almost every week and trying to get rid of them. But their father needs help and is desperate to find someone who will take good care of his children, but also be loved or at least liked by them. One cloudy morning, there is a knock on the door and an uninvited guest enters their home.
Her name is Mary Poppins and she is their new nanny, a magical and witty woman who will take them on numerous adventures, but also teach them how to behave, especially with adults. This beautiful story is a must see for everyone, but it is a special delight for the youngest.
One of the best Disney cartoons of all time, this special and inventive cartoon tells the story of a poor street boy Aladdin who spends his days stealing food from the local merchants. His life completely changes when he meets Yasmin, a beautiful princess and finds a magical lamp with a genie inside.
Being genie’s master now, Aladdin can be granted three wishes and genie’s only one is to be free, but they don’t know that there is a devious man called Jafar who has his plans with both Aladdin and the lamp. This cartoon has also a beautiful message to it, one that the youngest should be presented with and, together with its beautiful characters, it makes it one of the most memorable cartoons.
Peter Pan (1953)
A well known, beloved story by M.J.Barrie has been put into a cartoon that hardly any child will ever forget. It has everything, adventure and magic, a beautiful story about family, friendship and love and an intriguing villain, all packed in 90 minutes of pure fun. Peter Pan is an orphan who lives in Neverland, a land where children don’t grow up and everything is possible.
He loses his shadow on one of his visits to London and it happens to end up in a room of three children who discover Peter and soon embark on an unforgettable journey with him. They will fight with pirates, run from a crocodile, dance with lost boys, but also have to deal with the fact that they are not without a family and that their parents must be worried sick while they are away from home.
Lion King (1994)
One of the first movies for toddlers that comes to mind and one of the most beautiful and beloved ever, the story of a young lion cub who is destined for great things, but will have to go through a lot to become what he needs to be. Simba is cast out of his pride by his evil uncle and has to adapt to a life in the often unfriendly and dangerous savannah,
Even though this is a cartoon for the youngest, there might be some scenes that could be too much for the toddlers, but the overall atmosphere, colours and genius characters are definitely things they will remember.
Coco is a masterpiece, a cartoon that received two Oscars, for best music and best cartoon. It is unforgettable, with its interesting storyline, memorable characters, gripping music, and a wonderful message. Miguel is a talented guitar player who has to hide his talent because of his family’s long tradition where music is not allowed.
Miguel wants to become an accomplished musician as his idol and in order to prove his talent, he finds himself in a parallel world, the Mexican Land of the Dead where he finds so much about his family’s secrets, meets interesting characters and deals with one of the greatest disappointments of his life. But everything has its own reasons and Miguel is a boy who is destined to do great things in life.
This is a cartoon that no one forgets and the youngest especially love, due to its playful characters and a beautiful story. It has also one of the most tragic and saddest moments in the history of cartoons, maybe a scene that many parents will fast forward while watching the cartoon with their children.
Nevertheless it is a cartoon that has educational purposes and shows the importance of protection and care and the strength of a parental love. Bambi is a buck fawn whose destiny is to become the prince of the forest, but now he is just a young deer who wants to enjoy his life together with his best friends.
Who would think that someone would ever come up with a story about a rat chef? But everything is possible in cartoons. And this is one of the best in the last two decades and one of many we like to go back to. A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a French chef despite all the odds against him. But fate always shows itself and this time it put Remy in the sewers beneath one of the most prestigious Paris restaurants.
Remy meets his culinary hero and soon becomes one of his greatest helpers, unfortunately, one which simply mustn’t be seen or mentioned, given the fact that rodents are not really the most welcome animals in the kitchen.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Probably one of the most famous children stories of all time and a beautiful cartoon full of adventures and messages that everyone should remember, this is definitely one of the first cartoons to show the youngest. It has memorable characters that every child will instantly grow fond of and their adventures can be watched over and over again.
Pooh is a naive bear who spends his days in the Hundred Acre Wood, together with his friends, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Rabbit and Tigger. It is a story that children adore and one that will follow them throughout their childhood.
Even though it is pretty serious and dark at times, this retelling of an old Chinese folktale is one of the most progressive cartoons ever, putting a young, strong woman at the centre of attention. Mulan is a stubborn girl who decides to enrol in the army instead of him, since she believes he wouldn’t survive the war cruelties.
Completely ignoring her family’s protests, even after ordering a small dragon Mushu to convince her to abandon her plans, Mulan disguises herself as a man and leaves her home, with Mushu by her side. This wonderful and heartwarming story shows how women can be strong and powerful and make it without anyone’s help. It is a great example to show children from an early age.
This action-packed cartoon is a must-see for the whole family since it is a story of a not-so-ordinary family. Bob and his wife Helen are superheroes, the world’ greatest to be precise and they spend their days fighting crime. Fifteen years later they were forced to retire and live a normal suburban life with their three children.
They have never forgotten their true self and being always eager to continue this career, Bob finally gets his chance when he is summoned to a remote island on a secret assignment. It will take more than only two of them, but this won’t be a problem, since their children have also been born with supernatural powers.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
This lovely cartoon talks about a group of friends who must deal with a situation where everything and everyone depends on them. Po, a lazy panda and the biggest fan of Kung Fu is unexpectedly chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy and his dream becomes reality when he enters the world of Kung Fu.
He has the opportunity to be next to his idols, the legendary Furious Five, but soon he will be the one who has to defend everyone from the dangerous snow leopard who is headed their way. It is now time for Po to show his real talent and turn his dreams into reality. This cartoon shows us how our biggest weaknesses can sometimes become our greatest strengths.
A Bug’s Life (1998)
This adorable cartoon brings us closer to the fascinating and organised world of ants and their fellow bugs. We follow a colony of ants who work for a group of demanding grasshoppers and have to collect all the food on the island they live on. When a misfit inventor Flik accidentally knocks down one of their piles, problems with grasshoppers begin to develop.
Flik promises to find a group of warrior bugs to confront the grasshoppers but all he can find is a group of talented circus performers. Nevertheless, he will have to take the matter into his hands and show his friends that he can be serious and that they can count on him. This is a great cartoon for toddlers since it is educative, funny and full of adventures they will certainly like.
The Brave Little Toaster (1987)
Even though this is a true children’s movie, with many funny moments and cute characters, it also hides something deeper, and worth discussing. It is a story about a set of dated appliances (a toaster, a lampstand, a blanket and a few more) who find themselves in a sold summer home and decide to go on a quest and find their eight-year-old owner.
They will find themselves in many unforgettable situations and go through many adventures that will at the same time make them face their biggest fears and learn a lot about themselves and their friends. This is a beautiful story about hope and friendship, but also one that deals with various problems, such as loneliness and abandonment.
Tinker Bell (2008)
One of the most famous fairies in the novel and animated world is Tinker Bell, Peter Pan’s faithful companion who plays the leading role in this cartoon. Tinker Bell is a newly born fairy who learns that her destiny is to repair all sorts of things. But she is not free, since Queen Clarion is watching over her and all her moves.
Rebellious and brave, Tinker Bell wants to fly to the mainland with her sisters, but she will soon realise that with the arrival of spring, they will all require some special skills, such as hard work and faith and this will be Tinker Bell’s big test for her boldness and strong will.