Get in the Spirit of 'The BFG' with These 10 Great Sci-Fi Fantasies for Kids
Steven Spielberg brings Roald Dahl's whimsical 1982 novel 'The BFG' to life in his latest film. Here are 10 more terrific movies about kids encountering the unknown that your kids will enjoy.
1. The Iron Giant
At the height of the Cold War, Hogarth Hughes is obsessed with robots – and then finds his very own giant, iron-eating robot who doesn't seem to know where he came from. Keeping the big guy's presence a secret is difficult, but he can't let the gung-ho military find him. A timeless, moving tale about deciding who you want to be.
2. The Phantom Tollbooth
This half-live-action/half-animated film directed by Chuck Jones, based on Norton Juster's book that taught us about Jumping to Conclusions and Eating Your Words, tells the story of a boy who encounters a bizarre world where numbers and letters are at war. It has highly stylized animation and a great message about the beauty of knowledge, but may be a bit advanced for little kids.
3. The Neverending Story
Wolfgang Peterson directed this fairy tale about a motherless boy who finds a magical book whose story comes to life. As he gets caught up in the struggle between good and evil in the battle to save a land called Fantasia he gets to ride everyone's favorite furry dragon, Falkor.
4. The Witches
In one of the best adaptations of a Roald Dahl book besides 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' Luke (Jasen Fisher) discovers that Anjelica Huston is really the Grand High Witch and she turns him and a friend into mice. He's got to stop her evil plot before she and her coven turn all of England's children into rodents.
5. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
When it comes to kids discovering strange and otherworldly things in movies, this classic is the granddaddy of them all. We all know the story of Elliott and the little alien he finds in his backyard and helps to get home, but introducing it to your kids who haven’t seen it yet is where the true magic begins.
6. Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak's beloved storybook becomes an imaginative, beautifully realized film by Spike Jonze about a lonely boy who becomes the “King of the Wild Things.” It may be more adult than most kids' movies, but it met with the enthusiastic approval of critics and Sendak himself.
7. The Borrowers
The future Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) is one of a family of four-inch-tall people who secretly share the world with regular-size folk in this charming adaptation of the classic book by British author Mary Norton, whose books also inspired 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks.' Hugh Laurie, John Goodman and Jim Broadbent costar.
8. The Secret World of Arrietty
Most viewers agree that this anime version of 'The Borrowers' – scripted by 'Spirited Away' director Hayao Miyazaki – has more heart and depth than the '90s Hollywood version. Watch them both and decide!
9. Jack the Giant Slayer
Nicholas Hoult plays the enterprising Jack, who battles some extremely ugly giants – included their two-headed leader – in this fairy tale adventure directed by 'X-Men’'s Bryan Singer. Ewan McGregor makes a dashing soldier who aids in the quest.
10. Super 8
In this ode to all things wondrously Spielberg set in the summer of 1979, a group of kids are making a Super 8 movie when they witness a horrific train crash that unleashes something big upon their town. Soon unexplained things are happening and they've got to work together to save the day. It’s J.J. Abrams’ loving homage to Spielberg’s great late ’70s-early ’80s work.