Outer space is a subject that has been explored in movies for a long time, and the next Disney-Pixar film Light yearwith toy storyfrom Buzz Lightyear, is set to take viewers on a journey through space as they delve into the beloved character’s origins.
In anticipation of Light year grows, it’s worth taking the time to look back at some of the earlier space-related movies for kids. Each has elements, whether character or story, that make it appealing, but their IMDb ratings show that some hold up better than others.
ten Space Buddies (2009) – 4.2
Stream on Disney+
The five adorable golden retriever puppies have had countless adventures, from playing basketball to sled dog racing, and are now going to the moon! The five puppies end up stranded in a spaceship that is actually launched into space. With the spacecraft not fully refueled, a visit to the moon and a derailment on the way back, it was their biggest adventure yet.
space buddies Didn’t receive the highest rating on IMDb, but to be fair, it’s a movie about five talking puppies who go to space, so it’s definitely aimed at a certain age group. Subsequent Air Bud Pup Movies Didn’t Do as Well as 1997’s air bud done, but movie content works well for kids who love dogs, and in this case, space too.
9 Fly Me To The Moon (2008) – 4.5
Stream on the Roku Channel and Hoopla
fly me to the moon is a film about three adventurous flies who board the Apollo 13 flight and set off on a journey to the moon. The three flies – Nat, IQ and Scooter – must overcome obstacles and work together to help the ship’s astronauts when things start to go wrong. Viewers of all ages will become attached to these three flies as they travel through space and experience things no other fly has experienced before.
It’s a great beginner’s space movie for kids, though it’s been criticized for lacking substance and a concept that sometimes falls a bit flat. The film also received a lot of criticism for creating an incredible storyline about the famous Apollo 13 flight, and some may see it as an attempt to capitalize on the success of Alvin and the Chipmunks since the three flies seem to share many personality traits with the beloved chipmunks.
8 Planet 51 (2009) – 6
Stream on Hulu
Planet 51 flips the concept of alien invasion on its head, exploring how an alien race would react if a human arrived on their planet. The titular Planet 51 is filled with aliens who live their lives similar to humans on Earth. Chaos ensues when human astronaut Chuck Baker lands on the planet.
Even though it doesn’t have the highest IMDb rating, Planet 51 is a kid-friendly alien invasion movie that viewers can watch over and over again. The film no doubt falls into many classic alien movie cliches, but its goofy humor and colorful characters are sure to keep kids entertained. Meanwhile, the films’ incessant pop culture references to 1950s America may be enough to keep adults tuned in.
7 Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005) – 6.2
Stream on IMDb TV
With a concept similar to Jumanji, Zathura is a space-themed board game that seemed harmless at first but ended up having magical properties. Highlighting the dangers of space, but also its fascinating and beautiful parts, this film shows how unpredictable space can be and that there are many parts of outer space with which one should not not play.
For a children’s film, there are certainly parts of Zathura it’s a little scary. There are also a few concepts that might fly over some young kids’ heads, but for older kids this movie can be a lot of fun due to its interesting, if not unique, concept of a board game coming to life.
6 Space Muppets (1999) – 6.2
Stream on HBO Max
space muppets explores where Gonzo is from as his alien family tries to reach him. Naturally, he is kidnapped by a government organization and an adventure ensues as his friends try to help free him and reunite him with his family.
A story about loving yourself for who you are, no matter where you come from, as well as themes of friendship, family and loyalty – combined with space travel, of course – in make a unique take on the space movie genre. This particular muppets The film may not be the highest rated in the franchise, but it’s still loved and appreciated for its unique concept.
5 Space Containment (1996) – 6.5
Stream on HBO Max
The classic 1996 movie space jam tells the story of Bugs Bunny and his friends as they recruit professional basketball player Michael Jordan to help them beat the Nerdlucks so they don’t get taken to the Swackhammer theme park. The battle between the Looney Tune gang and the Monstars is one for the books, especially considering space jam was based on an advertisement.
space jam is a gem in the lineup of space-related films, as it is an incredibly beloved and popular film despite the lackluster rating it received. The classic Looney Tunes cast, combined with other popular actors and stars, made it a hit. So much so that a sequel was released in 2021 – Space Jam: A New Legacy.
4 Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) – 6.5
Available to rent on AppleTV+ and Amazon Prime Video
Not only Monsters vs. aliens have an absolutely star-studded cast, but the film also waged a kid-friendly war between aliens and monsters. Five monsters – BOB, The Missing Link, Dr. Cockroah, Susan and Insectosaurus – unite to help the government defeat an alien invasion.
While this may not be one of the best “friendly” alien movies, Monsters vs. aliens is great in its own way because it shows that what people perceive as “scary” and “bad” can end up being good and useful. It highlights the fact that people shouldn’t be judged on how they look or what others may have said about them.
3 Home (2015) – 6.6
Stream on Netflix
In the movie Residence, an alien species called Boov takes over planet Earth and captures all humans. Tip is the only human who managed to escape Boov’s hands, and she continues to hide from them with her cat named Pig as she searches for her mother.
This journey is filled with laughter and tears, and a bond that ends up being stronger than the two could have ever imagined. An adventure around the world and through space, and a wonderful story about the importance of friendship and family make this a great movie to watch as a family.
2 Treasure Planet (2002) – 7.1
Stream on Disney+
Viewers follow young Jim Hawkins as he joins a pirate crew and travels through space in search of the mysterious “Treasure Planet.” Jim and the crew encounter supernovae and new species of creatures such as BEN, who is a robot. This means that in addition to being a great space movie, treasure planet is one of the best animated films to have a protagonist robot.
While there may be a few scenes that aren’t suitable for young children due to the violence, this is the perfect space adventure for older kids. There’s a lot to explore and learn about space, pirates, and adventures in general in this film, which makes it more than worthy of its high IMDb rating.
1 Wall-E (2008) – 8.4
Stream on Disney+
One of Disney-Pixar’s best space movies is Wall-E. The film follows one of the trash cleaning robots, named Wall-E, who seems to be the only one cleaning up the mess humans have left on Earth.
Wall-E was quickly loved and cherished by viewers of all ages. As it follows a cute and curious robot, moviegoers were captivated by the protagonist, his story, and the film’s larger important themes, leading to his high rating. Although there are some aspects that only adults could understand, there is a lot to love and appreciate by audiences of all ages.
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