It's a genre of film that can be incredibly profitable. There are always family-friendly films that crack the list of the highest grossing movies of the year. As such, at any given moment there are loads of kids’ movies in various stages of production or being released to the public for the first time.
With so much competition, there are bound to be several kids’ movies that get produced and released and then are forgotten by all but a few moviegoers. Considering the amount of time, sweat, and thought goes into all of those projects, in a lot of ways that is a crying shame.
Broken up into two different sectors, there are many animated and live-action movies directed at kids out there. With that in mind, if you include both ends of the spectrum when putting together a list like this one, a lot of quality entries are bound to be left out. We've decided to single-out the live-action films for review today.
In order for a movie to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to be a live-action family-friendly film. For the purposes of this list, we are defining kids’ movies as being any film that was designed to be appropriate viewing for some people 12 years of age or younger. On top of that, the movie has to be one that only the biggest film fans will remember, so you won’t find anything like Harry Potter included here.
Here are 20 Forgettable 2000s Kids’ Movies Only True Fans Remember.
20 Hotel for Dogs
Released in January of 2009, Hotel for Dogs wasn’t a complete flop, considering it brought in $117 million at the worldwide box office, but it failed to live up to expectations.
A pair of kids move into a foster home that will not accept their beloved dog, so they find an abandoned hotel.
Before long, they turn it into a residence for pooches without a home. Of course, things fail to run smoothly once the dogs are overheard barking and the kids fight to keep their operation a secret.
Starring the likes of Jake T. Austin, Emma Roberts, Don Cheadle, and Lisa Kudrow, despite the involvement of many famous folks, this movie is barely ever spoken of today.
Far from a huge success upon its initial release, Shorts came out in August of 2009 and only managed to bring in $29 million during its theatrical run.
It tells the story of the fictional town of Black Falls where almost everyone works for a single company. A-wish granting rock falls from the sky into the hands of kids and chaos ensues. However, it isn’t until the town’s adults get in on the wish=granting action that things really start to get out of hand.
One of those movies that most people weren’t aware of even when it was still being shown in theaters, all of these years later it barely seems like this film ever existed.
A TV movie that went on to get a limited release in the DVD and VHS formats everywhere but the United Kingdom, Life-Size debuted on ABC before making its way to the Disney Channel.
Life-Size is the story of a little girl who uses magic in an attempt to resurrect her departed mother.
She misses her mark and instead brings her doll to life. Featuring two of the 2000s biggest stars, Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan, you would think that and the association with Disney would be enough to make this film have a place in more people’s memories. Despite that, however, the vast majority of people appear to have had this movie scrubbed from their memory banks.
17 Our Lips Are Sealed
Released to the masses in November of 2000, Our Lips Are Sealed featured the Olsens playing a pair of sisters who witness a crime and then go into hiding.
After being put into the Witness Protection Program to keep them safe, their lack of discretion results in the powers that be shipping Mark-Kate and Ashley’s characters to Sydney, where their adventures continue.
Despite being a bit more serious-sounding than many of the projects that the Olsen twins were a part of, in execution, this movie got downright silly and put smiles on the faces of its viewers. Like many other Olsen twin projects, this has faded into history.
Released to theaters in August of 2006, Zoom was a total box office bomb since it cost more than $75 million to produce but only brought in $12.5 million at the box office.
Hoping to capitalize on the rising superhero trend, it definitely fell short of expectations.
Zoom stars Tim Allen as a retired crime fighter who rededicates himself to heroics. He joins an academy and helps train a new team of champions like him. A real lowlight in the career of Tim Allen, the movie also starred the likes of Courteney Cox, Chevy Chase, and Kate Mara, but it seems like even they have probably forgotten about it.
15 The Shaggy Dog
From one Tim Allen movie to another, 2006 was a really bad year in his career as this disappointment was released in March.
The Shaggy Dog starred the TV funny man as a lawyer who puts the bulk of his energy into his job. He then becomes infected with a top-secret serum that turns him into a dog.
Having previously put his loved ones on the back-burner, his new vantage as a dog helps him to realize that his wife and kids should have come first all along.
It's far from an original story, which is probably why The Shaggy Dog barely made a dent.
14 Bridge to Terabithia
When Bridge to Terabithia hit theaters in February of 2007, it had the strength of Disney behind it.
The two young main characters dream up a fantasy world that is populated by all manner of fantastical creatures.
They're the king and queen of this land, but once things go awry in the real world, the pair turn to the land they made up to gather their strength.
One of a select few family films put out by Disney that have failed to go down in history, Bridge to Terabithia made decent money at the box office but it has faded away since then.
13 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Released in November 2007, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium had one heck of a cast, featuring the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Jason Bateman.
The Wonder Emporium is a truly unique store run by Mr. Magorium. Since he is 243 years old he decides to hand the reigns over to the Emporium’s much younger manager. From there, the new person in charge and the store’s accountant have to team up and find the magic inside themselves to keep their fantasy world going strong.
The concept seems like it could have had some potential in terms of drawing in kids, the problem is that even the movie’s director thinks it was bad.
12 The Pacifier
In a huge departure for Vin Diesel, instead of featuring him kicking butt and driving fast cars, The Pacifier sees him take on the role of looking after five children.
Released in March of 2005, this film follows in the footsteps of other movies that featured actions stars playing comedic roles, like Kindergarten Cop and The Game Plan. Unfortunately, unlike those two movies, it ended up being very forgettable in the grand scheme of things.
With only one other thing in common with Diesel’s best known franchis - its focus on family - The Pacifier fell far short of the box office success and cultural impact that the Fast and Furious films enjoy.
Now considered by most observers to be one of the weirdest actors in all of Hollywood, sometimes it is easy to forget that not too long ago Shia LaBeouf had a pretty squeaky clean image.
A relic of that period, Holes is a family-friendly film which was released in April of 2003. A decent performer at the box office, since it made $71 million on a $20 million budget, it seemed destined to have a place in the hearts of many viewers.
Instead, after its initial release on home media, the movie has been overshadowed by a long list of other kids’ movies that have been released since.
10 The Country Bears
As soon as trailers for The Country Bears began to show, it seemed like it was going to be a laughing stock. It was a major box office bomb, costing $35 million and bringing in only $18 million worldwide.
The story of a bear cub that tries to reunite the members of The Country Bears, a legendary band in the world of the movie, nothing about it is overly compelling.
Being so poorly conceived and executed might have earned this film some notoriety, but it isn’t entertainingly bad so it doesn't even qualify as a "so bad it's good" cinematic oddity.
9 Sky High
Sky High is far better than most of the other films that appear on this list. Taking place in and around a school where kids are taught to be superheroes, this movie has a lot of heart, many amusing moments, and a young cast of characters that are easy to invest in. On top of that, the movie features stars like Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Lynda Carter, Bruce Campbell, and Dave Foley in pivotal roles as well.
Despite all that, this film has somehow gone on to be forgotten by the vast majority of movie fans, which is a really big shame.
8 Big Fat Liar
Released in February of 2002, Big Fat Liar had a pretty outlandish story. It stars Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes as a pair of youngsters that take on a Hollywood mogul.
It all happens because the big shot played by Paul Giamatti stole the class paper of one of the kids and turned it into a blockbuster movie.
Lots of children love seeing youngsters taking on adults and winning.
Though a solid performer at the box office when it was first released, the only thing people seem to remember about this movie is the image of Giamatti’s character with blue skin.
7 Zathura: A Space Adventure
It's given of a given that a huge percentage of sequels fail to live up to the original movies. A film that takes place in the same world as Jumanji, even though nothing about the previous film is referenced onscreen, Zathura: A Space Adventure follows that trend.
It features an extremely similar story, with the main difference being that the board game seen in this movie is based on space, which means this film features some amazing visuals.
However, this movie that came out in November 2005 lacks the charms of Jumanji. Without the charisma of Robin Williams, this film is easy to forget.
6 Snow Day
One of the best pieces of news for most children is finding out that your school isn’t opening due to an overabundance of snow. It feels like you’ve received a get out of jail free card. Of course, a lot of the time, reality falls short of expectations for your day off, given that the weather may force you to stay inside.
Featuring the kind of day off that most kids dream of having, it seemed like Snow Day captured the imaginations of many youngsters.
It was able to do that because the movie was so easy to digest, but the simplicity of it also served as its main weakness in terms of building a lasting connection with its viewers.
Proof that Hollywood will green-light any project that is based on a well-known property, the movie Underdog is based on a ‘60s cartoon.
With a story that was decades old when this live-action animated hybrid was released in August 2007, in no way was Underdog culturally relevant at the time.
Focused on a pooch that receives superpowers, including the abilities to speak and fly, this film failed to find much of an audience.
If you are an Underdog fan, you likely think of the cartoon version first. If you're not into the cartoon, this live-action adaptation likely never comes to mind.
4 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
In many cases, if you take two things that are awesome and combine them the results are fantastic, such as chocolate and peanut butter or bacon and eggs. However, there also are times in which both entities lose a great deal of their appeal and the whole thing is watered down.
An example of the latter, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz brings together one of the best kids’ entertainment franchises of all-time and a story almost everyone has come to know very well.
Despite the strengths of its individual elements, this movie is wildly inferior to most Muppets movies and The Wizard of Oz, which is why most viewers have chosen to forget it.
3 Fat Albert
Released in December 2004, Fat Albert was a live-action spinoff of a long-canceled animated series.
The movie starts off with Fat Albert and his cartoon pals stepping out of a TV and into the live-action world of the film.
They're forced to grapple with how different the reality they’ve been thrust into is. They do their best to assist an unpopular teenaged girl deal with her life.
Despite starring the hilarious Kenan Thompson, even the fame he found on Saturday Night Live years later didn’t help this movie find a following. Of course, there are also some people that want nothing to do with this movie now based on its Cosby connection.
2 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Seriously, what was up with the 2000s and the push to make live-action movies based on cartoons that were long gone from the cultural zeitgeist?
Not only was 2000’s The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle an abject failure but it also involved several acting talents that should have been far above it.
Featuring the likes of Robert De Niro, Rene Russo, Jason Alexander, Carl Reiner, John Goodman, and David Alan Grier, it seems like the producers must have dumped money on all of their doorsteps. No matter what inspired all of them to be a part of this atrocious movie, they should all be overjoyed that most people forget it exists.
A wholly unique entity on this list, Gooby was such a gigantic failure that briefly gained a very small amount of notoriety because it was featured in an episode of the podcast How Did This Get Made?.
In fact, when it was released in theaters, it only managed to bring in $3,234 in total. Rest assured, that isn’t even a typo, its final box office number really was measured in thousands of dollars.
The story of a six-foot-tall teddy bear monster that comes to life to help an 11 year-old cope with his life as his family moves into a new home, Gooby gets downright weird.
Alternatively known as A Ted Named Gooby, no matter what name producers give this movie, you will forget all about it almost as soon as you are done reading about it.
Do you remember any of these 2000s kids' movies? Let us know in the comments!