Movies are a magical thing. Even people who make them must feel a sense of whimsy once their creations are finally put on the big screen. One can only imagine, then, how children must view the cinematic art form. Everything about it, from the actors to the sets and effects, seems impossible, and therefore imbued with mysticism.
This could also backfire if the kid watches something too violent or scary. Most everyone has a childhood story of them freaking out from a movie or television show. Because of this, a lot of parents are careful about what they will and won't let their children watch. Being the sneaky critters they are, youths often find their way around this.
The ten films presented below are universally beloved by children. However, these were not produced with little ones in mind. It doesn't mean they are necessarily bad for kids, though, just that the content will probably teach them a few grownup words and ideas. Special mention should probably be given to Avengers: Infinity War before we get started, because what started out as a fun superhero team up undoubtedly ended with thousands of young Marvel fans in tears.
Grease's catchy tunes and sly dance numbers had kids gluing their eyes to the television screen.
Many probably committed the lyrics to "Greased Lightning" to memory, having no clue about the innuendos that are about as subtle as atomic bombs. Some arguably questionable messages appear in the story too, but who cares when the songs and performances are this good.
Hairspray isn't nearly as inappropriate as Grease, but a few things still slip through the cracks. It does have positive messages regarding race and the power of music, so there are definitely good things in it for young ones. Just don't let them know the flasher from "Good Morning Baltimore" directed the original 1988 film on which the musical is based.
It would be unfortunate for them to search that name and happen upon Pink Flamingos. Kids see a lot at much earlier ages than prior generations thanks to the web, but Divine eating dog excrement would perhaps prove too much for them.
8 Austin Powers
Michael Meyer's dimwitted characters are pop culture icons, and Austin Powers is perhaps the most popular of them all. Considering the universal appeal of James Bond, it's no wonder why kids would latch onto this goofy comedy.
Much like the spy movies it parodies, the film is brimming with carnal comedy and many sensual, steamy moments.
7 Lord Of The Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels are a favorite of youths, and nobody should ever discourage reading. The film adaptations are also universally beloved by fans, but they are pretty violent. Who remembers Boromir getting his arm sliced off right before his decapitation?
While on the subject of Boromir, the orcs themselves are so disgustingly designed, they are liable to give the squeamish nightmares. It gets away with it for being set in a fantasy world and having a very distinct line between good and evil.
6 The Matrix
The Matrix forever changed action cinema, and every moviegoer needs to see it at least once.
Adults were discussing the film's themes and ideas, while kids were jumping around and school and bending over backward shouting out "Matrix!" as if the other kids didn't already realize what they were imitating. Kids love the over the top action sequences, but most of the plot goes in one ear and out the other.
5 Police Academy
The Police Academy films have an interesting trajectory. The first one was a raunchy R-rated comedy filled with crude jokes and some bareness to boot. However, the films slowly got more kid friendly as time went on. Young ones first get a taste of the goofy, live-action Saturday morning cartoon vibe that the later entries have, and then explore the more adult beginnings. The first one is ultimately the best, and they usually stick with it afterward. If they get in trouble, though, parents force them to Police Academy: Mission To Moscow as punishment.
4 Wizard Of Oz
This one is probably the most kid-friendly of the bunch. The only reason it's on the list is that it comes from a time when going to the cinema was a formal affair for adults. Kids went to matinees, while the older folks dressed up nice, went to dinner, and then caught the latest flick at an extravagantly designed theater. These days, Wizard of Oz is a classic for all ages.
3 The Dark Knight
How can Batman not possibly be for kids? Well, when was the last time a kids' movie featured a dude getting a pencil rammed through his face, or a man losing half his face?
Tim Burton's Batman was billed as a dark version of the caped crusader, but Nolan's trilogy gets pitch black.
2 James Bond Movies
Unrealistic depictions of carnal encounters, rampant misogyny, several arguably questionable moments, and an invincible main character killing people like life is worth a mere pittance.
All of this and more is packed into the James Bond movies, which are adored by people of all ages. They can't be blamed since a lot of them are really stellar movies, but the producers definitely did not intend for kids to see these.
1 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
The Indiana Jones Films have everything kids love; adventure, magic, and people getting chopped up by airplane rotors. Kids didn't go into the movie loving that last one, but they definitely did after seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark. These films definitely weren't made with kids in mind but they're probably not the worst thing on this list.