Candy hearts and color-changing tattoos are just some of the goodies that come with kids' Valentine's Day cards. While the kiddos are munching on powdery conversation hearts, you can not only keep them entertained but teach them a thing or two about the nature of love with these perfect Valentine's Day movies for kids. Try one of these for movie night if you're celebrating Valentine's Day as a family too; there are plenty of films here that adults will like as much as the kids.
Valentine's Day Movies for Pre-K and Kindergarten
When it comes to little tikes, you don't want to put on any movies that are too plot-heavy or complicated. Rather, you can focus on films with simple narratives that are beautifully shot. Staples from fifty years ago and animated ones from this past year will keep your kids entertained and feeling the warm fuzzies all day long.
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Follow a sweet uptown Cocker Spaniel named Lady, fall in love with the scrappy downtown mut, named Tramp in Disney's Lady and the Tramp. You can stream Lady and the Tramp on Disney+ or rent it on Amazon Prime Video.
A classic tale of following your dreams and finding love in the most unexpected places, Disney's Cinderella is perhaps the best known retelling of the fairy tale. Stream Cinderella on Disney+.
The Aristocats (1970)
The Aristocats follow a family of upper crust Parisian cats, finding their way back home after being kidnapped for the fortune they're set to inherit. Along the way, they run into O'Malley, a vibrant and crafty tomcat. You can stream The Aristocats on Disney+.
Be My Valentine, Love, Barney (2000)
Everyone's favorite purple dinosaur is back in this Valentine's Day themed installment. Join Barney and friends as they celebrate everything to do with February's best holiday. You can watch the entire film on YouTube.
Pooh's Grand Adventure (1997)
Pooh and his friends from the 100 Acre Woods set out on a dangerous adventure to find out where Christopher Robin disappeared to. The film illustrates the power and love found in friendship. You can rent Pooh's Grand Adventure on YouTube.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
An alien crash-lands on Earth and gets mistakenly adopted by a young, quirky girl. The two face obstacles from both of their homes, all the while learning about what family really means. You can stream Lilo & Stitch on Disney+.
Finding Nemo (2003)
A clown fish with an underdeveloped fin gets taken far away from home and his dad searches throughout the entire ocean to get him back. This film shows how strong family love can be. You can stream Finding Nemo on Disney+.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Two dogs and a cat band together to traipse through the mountains and the wilderness to get back home to their beloved owners. You can stream Homeward Bound on Disney+.
Charlotte's Web (2006)
Based on the popular children's novel, Charlotte's Web follows Wilbur, a small piglet, and Charlotte, a barn spider, as they work together to find a way to keep Wilbur from being taken away at the end of the season. Love between unlikely friends has never been stronger. You can stream Charlotte's Web on Paramount Plus or Amazon Prime Video.
Valentine's Day Movies for Elementary School Kids
Elementary schoolers can be a fickle bunch because of the wide range of ages you've got going on. But these Valentine's Day movies will entertain kids of all ages. Young and old kids alike will be wiping their eyes and busting their guts over these timeless films that all have a gooey heart at their center.
An ogre named Shrek and a donkey race to save a Princess in order to protect Shrek's swamp, but the cantankerous ogre gets a few unexpected lessons about love and friendship along the way. You can stream Shrek on Peacock or rent it from Amazon Prime Video.
The Little Rascals (1994)
Learn alongside the UglyDolls in this animated film just what it means to be different and how being different makes you both special and worthy of love. You can rent UglyDolls from Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
Discover the magical fairy world that lives in the beautiful rainforest, FernGully, as they band together to fight against an evil force and human pollution. You can stream FernGully on Amazon Prime Video.
Princess Poppy and Branch, two Trolls from the Troll Village, race to save their friends from the deadly Bergens. You can stream Trolls on Netflix.
By My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975)
Charlie Brown and gang prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day, all the while some misunderstandings and hijinks ensue. You can stream Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown on Apple TV.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
A young Viking who feels like an outsider learns to set aside his community's hatred of dragons when faced with a 'toothless' one that needs his help. You can stream How to Train Your Dragon on Amazon Prime Video.
An evil queen casts the pure-hearted Giselle to the human world just before her wedding day, but Giselle makes the most of her experience while falling deeply in love. You can stream Enchanted on Disney+.
The Iron Giant (1999)
Musical-hearted Miguel searches for his great-great-grandfather in the Land of the Dead to understand how his family's ban on music came to be. You can stream Coco on Disney+.
An old man sets out on the adventure of a lifetime when his house, rigged up with balloons, carries him and an unknown stowaway to far-off lands. You can stream Up on Disney+.
The Parent Trap (1998)
Two identical twins separated at birth reunite at a summer camp and vow to bring their estranged parents back together by trading places. You can stream The Parent Trap on Disney+.
The curious and talented Matilda discovers her telepathic powers and uses them to outwit their school's evil headmistress and her unsavory parents. You can stream Matilda on HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video.
Stuart Little (1999)
Tuck Everlasting (2002)
A young woman discovers a family who can live forever and falls in love with one of their sons. You can stream Tuck Everlasting on Disney+.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Dorothy Gale gets swept away by a tornado and lands in Oz, a curious place filled with both friends and foe. You can stream The Wizard of Oz on HBO Max, Hulu (with a premium subscription), and Amazon Prime Video.
Valentine's Day Movies for Pre-Teens
Towards the end of elementary school, the puberty monster rears its ugly head and kids start becoming fascinated with the idea of romance. They're trying to decode this mystical feeling like the little detectives they are, and these movies are perfect for showing pre-teens what young love is all about and the many forms it takes.
Princess Diaries (2001)
Awkward teenager Mia Thermopolis bonds with her grandmother as she learns how to be the princess she was born to be. You can stream Princess Diaries on Disney+.
The Princess Bride (1987)
Join a young boy as his grandfather tells you the story of one man's journey through several bumps in the road to return to his true love. You can stream The Princess Bride on Disney+.
Ella Enchanted (2004)
Cursed to obey any command directed to her, Ella does her best to hide her curse while evading an evil stepfamily and a handsome prince. You can stream Ella Enchanted on Hulu (with a premium subscription) or rent from Amazon Prime Video.
A Cinderella Story (2004)
Teenager Samantha Montgomery works to get out from under her stepmother's clutches and meet the secret boy she's fallen in love with over text. You can rent A Cinderella Story on Amazon Prime Video.
The Cheetah Girls (2003)
Four best-friends from different backgrounds come together to bring their music to the world. You can stream The Cheetah Girls on Disney+.
Little Women (1994)
Based on Louisa May Alcott's famous novel, Little Women focuses on the four March sisters and what blessings and tragedies befall their lives. You can rent the classic on Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV+.
Based on a novel of the same name, Wonder follows a young boy with a facial disability who navigates a public school for the first time. You can rent Wonder on Amazon Prime Video.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
A young child does his best to help a mysterious alien find his way back home. You can rent E.T. on Amazon Prime Video.
Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
A pre-teen boy befriends a new girl at school, and together they imagine an entire fantasy world for themselves in the woods. You can stream Bridge to Terabithia on Disney+.
Show Kids Love in All Its Forms
When you're a kid, one of the best parts of Valentine's Day is picking out exactly which box of Valentine's Day cards you're going to bring to school. But, with people focusing so much on the holiday's romantic aspect, tossing on a film that explores love in more ways than one is a great idea to help young developing minds celebrate it. Some themes about love that you explore with your kids or in the classroom include:
- Familial Love - Talk to your kids about your own family members and what makes each of them special. Have them discuss the specific attributes or nuances they love about their own family, too.
- Community Love - We don't exist in a vacuum, and as they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Exploring the idea of loving people outside of your family who care for you and care about you is a great way to incorporate other aspects of loving.
- Environmental Love - Love doesn't have to only be exchanged between human beings; you can also share a deep and personal connection to the world around you. You can use movies like FernGully to spark a conversation about how we treat our environment. Get your kids outside and let them explore the parts of the world they like the most.
- Self-Love - There's nothing more important for a child to learn about than self-love. Ask them to name the top three things they love about themselves. Or, you can have them draw a self-portrait and ask them to include images or words about the things they love most about themselves.
Love's Found Everywhere and in Everything
Beyond buying your spouse or partner a few roses or taking them to a nice dinner to celebrate, Valentine's Day is all about love. Love manifests in a myriad of ways, and it's the theme of so many good movies. From delightful animated flicks about finding 'the one' to compassionate films exploring the journey it takes to love yourself, there's a kid-friendly Valentine film for every kind of love out there.