Best Travel Movies for Kids
Can’t travel and looking for ways to travel with kids from home? Take a look at our list of the best travel movies for kids. These movies about travel and culture will teach your kids about parts of the world as well as inspire them to want to travel.
Best Travel Movies for Kids
This list of travel movies has a mix of animated and non animated movies about travel for kids that will help teach about different places around the world. This article is Part 1 of 2 Travel Movies posts with animated options for young kids. For non-animated travel movies for the whole family, see our Family Travel Movies post.
1. Madagascar (2005) PG
A fun travel movie for kids to learn about Madagascar! Four zoo animals and a group of friends celebrate Marty the zebra’s birthday at the Central Park Zoo. Marty longs to experience the wild and follows a group of penguins he learns are trying to escape. The group of friends eventually find themselves in Madagascar. They face unexpected challenges of being in the wild, challenging their friendships in turn. This movie will inspire children to face challenges while travelling with good humour.
2. Kung Fu Panda (2008) PG
Giant Panda Po lives in the Valley of Peace set in Ancient China. He would love to do kung fu (martial arts), but has to help his father with his noodle shop. He gets a chance at his dream, however, when he is chosen to fulfill a prophecy of a great kung fu warrior. Po starts training alongside his idols under their teacher, Master Shifu the red panda, who helps him turn his weaknesses into strengths. While teaching perseverance through a heart warming and comedic story, children will become more inspired to look more into the world of martial arts and learn about the Chinese culture.
3. Coco (2017) PG
In Mexico, young Miguel dreams of becoming a musician despite his family’s ban on music. During the holiday of the Day of the Dead, Miguel accidentally enters the Land of the Dead. He has to find his great-great grandfather, his grandmother Coco’s father, before he is stuck there forever. The movie, just like the holiday it is inspired by, is a celebration of the lives of those who came before. Coco is a fantastic travel movie for kids that will inspire children of all ages to look more into the vibrant culture of Mexico and take a trip down memory lane with their loved ones.
4. Rio (2011) G
Blu is a macaw that had been smuggled out of Brazil, later found and raised by a girl named Linda in Minnesota. Blu, domesticated, is too afraid to fly. One day, Linda is contacted by an ornithologist because Blu is the last remaining male of his species and is therefore needed to mate with the last known female of his species, Jewel. Linda travels with Blu to Rio, where Blu and Jewel’s mating is not as easy least of all because the two birds are captured by smugglers to be sold at the black market. While travelling through the colourful city of Rio, the movie also raises awareness to the global threat to endangered species.
5. Abominable (2019) PG
Busy teenager Yi, living in Shanghai, finds an escaped yeti on her roof. She names him Everest and resolves to help bring him back to his family in Mount Everest with the help of two friends, Peng and Jin. Yi gets to fulfill her dream to travel across China, while trying to evade those who want to capture Everest. With vividly animated landscapes inspired by the mountains of China, this movie will inspire children to pack a backpack of their own to see these beautiful views.
6. Happy Feet (2006) PG
Enter into the continent Antarctica with Happy Feet! Emperor penguin Mumble is different from the other penguins. He doesn’t have a heart song like the others, which is needed to find a mate. On the contrary, he has a horrible singing voice. He is, however, great at tap dancing, a talent that is not fully accepted. This causes Mumble to feel left out, especially when the penguin he’s in love with is one of the best singers of their penguin generation. Mumble leaves to find himself, and finds that maybe his own unique talents are more than enough. This movie will inspire children of all ages to see how travelling can help broaden horizons and become more open-minded.
7. Moana (aka Vaiana or Oceania) (2016) PG
In the (Ancient) Polynesian island of Motunui, Moana is set to be the next chief. Moana is drawn to exploring the ocean and what’s beyond it, but she is forbidden from sailing. However, her draw toward the ocean could be what saves their village when it suffers after the goddess Te Fiti loses her heart. Moana has to restore the goddess’ heart, and restore her village’s heart for ocean exploration in the process. Children of all ages will not only enjoy singing songs from the Polynesian islands, but will also be inspired to look into the heritage of the aesthetically beautiful Polynesian culture.
8. Ratatouille (2007) G
Sewer rat Remy has an akin sense of taste and smell, and a great love for cooking. He meets Alfredo Linguini, a restaurant worker in Paris, who is hopeless at his job. When they learn that Remy can control Alfredo by tugging at his hair under his hat, they make a dream team: Remy can live his dream as a chef and Alfredo can hide his helplessness in the kitchen. Through his persistence, Remy the rat shows the meaning of, “anyone can cook!” Ratatouille is a movie that will inspire children to look more into French culture with Paris, French music and cuisine lovingly presented to the audience. The words “hell” and “bloody” are used once.
9. Lilo and Stitch (2002) PG
Stitch is an alien that loves to cause chaos. Trying to escape captivity, he ends up on Earth, in the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i. A recently-orphaned young girl named Lilo adopts Stitch, thinking he’s a dog. Stitch keeps pretending to be a dog to evade capture as he lives with Lilo and her older sister Nani, who is struggling to keep Lilo living with her. Through their experiences, they learn what being a family means. Children of all shapes and sizes will want to tag along Lilo and Stitch as they go on trips throughout the tropical island.
10. Spirited Away (2001) PG
In Japan, young Chihiro is on a car ride with her parents to their new home. After a wrong turn, her parents explore a tunnel where they eat some strange food at an abandoned restaurant that turns them into pigs. Chihiro finds herself in the spirit world, where she must never forget her real name. With the help of a young boy named Haku, Chihiro uses her kindness, courage, and judgement to save her parents and find her way back home. “Spirited Away” will inspire kids to look into Japanese culture and think of travel as a journey after going on one with Chihiro.
11. Jungle Book (1967 and 2016) PG
Mowgli is a human child raised by wolves in the jungles of India. Shere Khan, a Bengal tiger with a hatred for humans, becomes aware of Mowgli’s existence in the jungle and is determined to kill him. Mowgli leaves his wolf pack for their safety. The movie from 1967 is an animated movie featuring some classic songs, while the movie from 2016 is live-action with CGI. Both movies will inspire children to imagine a peaceful co-existence between humans and nature.
12. Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) PG
Mr. Peabody, an intelligent anthropomorphic dog, has adopted a young human boy named Sherman as his son. He uses a time-travelling machine to teach Sherman history in real time. In their travels through time, they end up not only learning about history but also influencing it, and learning more about their relationship as a father and son. Like how Mr. Peabody teaches his son Sherman, this movie will inspire children’s love to travel through history.
13. Mulan (1998) G
Mulan takes the place of her sick father when the emperor orders one man from each family to join the army, after the Huns invade imperial China. Women are not allowed in the military, so Mulan has to disguise herself as a man. Mulan, who never felt that she met society’s expectations of what a woman should be like, proves herself through her perseverance and quick-thinking. An inspiring story of courage, Mulan will make kids want to look more into the rich and long history of Chinese culture.
14. The Princess and the Frog (2009) G
In the city of New Orleans, Tiana is a hard-working girl saving up to open up her own restaurant. She meets Prince Naveen of Maldonia who has been turned into a frog by a voodooist. He asks her to kiss him in order to break the spell, believing her to be a princess because of a costume she was wearing. Since she is not a princess, instead of breaking the spell, she turns into a frog herself! With a soundful soundtrack and colourful animation, “The Princess and the Frog” will inspire a look into the vibrant culture of New Orleans.
15. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) G
Teenage Incan emperor Kuzco is a spoiled and selfish emperor who tells a kind villager Pacha that he will demolish his home in order to build a summer house. However, before he can do so, he is turned into a llama by his advisor Yzma who wants to take over the empire. Kuzco ends up on a cart that belongs to Pacha and now needs his help to turn back into the spoiled emperor he is, and to stop Yzma from taking over his empire. Children will want to learn more about the history of the Incan empire and traveling through South America after watching this funny travel movie.
16. Aladdin (1992) G
Aladdin is an adventurous travel movie for kids about the journey of Aladdin, a theif, who falls in love with a Princess named Jasmine, but cannot marry her as he is not a prince. Along his journey to retrieve a magic lamp for Jafar, he frees a genie who grants him three wishes.
This kids movie features various aspects of Asian and Arab culture which kids can learn about, (with some stereotypes) while joining the adventure of the magic carpet and a mischievous monkey.
17. Polar Express (2004) G
The Polar Express a travel movie for kids that is the perfect introduction for kids into the Arctic Zone. It is a story of a young boy, Billy, who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, Billy embarks on a magical train journey to Santa’s home in the North Pole.
The movie is full of adventure and positive lessons where kids can learn about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas. It creates a sense of magic in children and unveils the power and beauty of believing.
18. Brave (2012) PG
Princess Merida in the Medieval Scottish kingdom of DunBroch is a free-spirited, talented archer who loves to ride her horse and dislikes her royal duties. One of which is to accept a betrothal. She uses her superior archery skills to refuse betrothals from various clans, causing a rift in her relationship with her mother. After giving her mother cake that she received from an elderly witch from whom she asked for something to change her fate, Merida’s mother transforms into a black bear. Merida must work to right wrongs in order to break the enchantment. “Brave” will make everyone want to ride horses with Merida on the mountains of DunBroch.
19. The Breadwinner (2017) PG-13
Under control of the Taliban, girls and women are not allowed to go out of the house without a male relative in the city of Kabul in Afghanistan. After her father is arrested, a young girl named Parvana has to courageously disguise herself as a boy in order to provide for her family and attempt to free her father from prison. An eye-opening movie to situations in other countries, it also shows that hope comes from the resilience and courage that brave people like Parvana show. The rating is for some violent images.
20. Zarafa (2012) PG
An orphaned Sudanese boy, Maki, is sold as a slave. He escapes and comes across a mother and her young giraffe which is later on named Zarafa. The slave trader finds him and manages to kill the mother giraffe. Maki makes a promise to keep Zarafa safe, a promise he is resolute in keeping. With this story of resilience based on a true story of Zarafa the giraffe, children will be inspired to look more into the landscapes of Northern Africa and the history between two continents.
Movies about Travel for Kids
This list of travel movies for kids has lots of animated options. For family movie nights, check out our Travel Movies for Families.
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