Our list of best kids movies not only inspire wanderlust but make kids learn about other cultures and a lesson or two. These hand-picked best movies for kids let them experience exciting destinations all across the world from the comfort of home.
Do you want your children to have a fun and learning ride around the world, one travel movie at a time? Here are the recommendations for 50 best movies for kids that inspire wanderlust in kids.
PG | 2017 | Age 7+
Miguel, a 12-year old boy, loves music in spite of his family disapproving of music. He travels to the Land of the Dead to meet his great-great-grandfather who was a famous singer and find out the reason for the ban on music in his family by his ancestors.
A Mexican family setup and the traditions they follow inspire to travel to Mexico and experience the rich culture and traditions like the Day of Dead.
#2 Jungle Book
G | 2010 | Age 7+
A movie based on the famous book ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling charms the kids as well as adults.
Set in the Jungles of India, it is the story about the boy Mowgli who was brought up by a pack of wolves along with their wolf cubs and tried to save himself and his family from Sher Khan, the tiger.
With friends like the black panther Bagheera and the bear Baloo, Mowgli lives the wolf way.
PG | 1995 | Age 10+
A movie packed with time travel adventure and adrenaline rush, Jumanji is all about a magical board game or rather world’s most dangerous game where the players don’t just play the game but brave the unknown and unexplored from deserts to jungle to mountains to escape the most dangerous game in the world.
The Jumanji franchise features four films: Jumanji (1195), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).
G | 2000 | Age 6+
The Emperor’s New Groove tells a story of a selfish young Incan Emperor, Kuzco, who’s turned into a llama by his evil ex-advisor, Yzma. A kind llama herder named Pacha helps the emperor to get his throne back. In the end, the selfish king transforms into a kind leader.
Kuzco’s Palace and Pacha’s village are inspired by Machu Picchu in Peru. The movie is a good introduction to the Incan culture and inspires kids to visit one of the seven wonders of the world. It leaves kids with a message that teamwork and kindness are the essential ingredients of a successful life.
Mini-me loved the characters of Kronk and Pacha and I’m sure other kids will too.
PG | 2016 | Age 6+
My daughter’s favorite movie, this animated film is about the story of an adventurous girl Moana living on an island on the Pacific Ocean who loves the waters. She embarks on a journey in the oceans all alone to save her people and meets the demigod Maui.
The beautiful island, the coconut trees, waterfalls, and lovely flowers definitely inspire my children and me to travel to Hawaii and other Pacific islands.
Reading travel books is another exciting way to inspire a love of travel in kids. Isn’t it? We have a list of best travel books for kids hand-picked by seasoned family travelers for you.
G | 1994 | Age 6+
The Lion King is a heartwarming story of a young cub named Simba who has to leave his pride when his wicked uncle murders his father Mufasa.
With backdrops of beautiful grasslands of Africa, it would be great to see the wild animals in their natural habitats.
#7 Happy Feet
PG | 2006 | Age 5+
One movie that for sure will tempt you to visit Antarctica and its icy glaciers is Happy Feet.
It is a story of a young Emperor penguin Mumble, who can’t sing. He is the worst singer but, is a brilliant tap dancer. The music and dance in the movie will make you sway.
PG | 2002 | Age 5+
Set in a tiny quaint town of Hanapepe on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii, Lilo and Stitch is a cute and heartwarming story about what makes Ohana. Well, ohana is a term in Hawaiin language that means family.
A Hawaiin girl named Lilo adopted a dog named Stitch who turns out to be an ill-behaved alien fugitive. It’s sweet the way Lilo’s love and care make him a little behaved.
Kids enjoy the Stitch’s hilarious actions while learning a lot about Hawaiian culture and traditions.
Hanapepe feels like a place lost in time. Tin roof homes, rusted bridges, old storefronts with wooden sidewalks, the town still retains its old-world charm.
You can see the painted Lilo & Stitch mural on shuttered Aloha Theatre in Hanapepe.
PG | 2009 | Age 6+
This is one movie we loved watching as a family. The animated movie revolves around a man who fulfills the lifelong dream of her wife to visit the Paradise Falls in South America after her death.
At old age, he embarks a journey by flying in his house by tying thousands of balloons to it. After watching it, my kids did dream of flying with their house.
The cascades falling from a height and the wilderness tempt you to travel and explore them.
G | 1987 | Age 5+
The cute animated children’s musical, The Chipmunk Adventure is all about the ever-smiling, colorful Chipmunks who compete with Chipettes in a round-the-world hot air balloon race.
The balloon trip moves past breathtaking scenery, intriguing llamas, and famous landmarks and the Chipmunks make stops at Mexico City, Bermuda, Athens, Egypt, and Antarctica. The kids and parents equally enjoy the hot air balloon adventure all around the world.
I mean who wouldn’t love to travel across the world without even leaving a couch. Kids apart from enjoying the movie learn so much about other cultures.
G | 1995 | Age 6+
Based on a real-life incident of the Great Mercy Race in 1925, Balto is an inspiring story of a Siberian husky named Balto who risks his life to save the kids of Nome in Alaska from a deadly epidemic of Diptheria. He courageously leads the sled dog team through the Alaskan wilderness to bring the lifesaving medical supplies.
Set against the harsh yet beautiful landscape of the Alaskan territory, the movie not only inspires wanderlust in kids but also teach them the value of selflessness.
A Disney Plus movie based on the same incident, Togo (2019) reveals that another sled dog named Togo leads the team through the most dangerous leg of the race. Evidently, the movie Balto left out this odyssey’s most compelling and important character.
You can see Balto’s bronze memorial statue in Central Park, New York, and his immortalized body (taxidermied) in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio.
#12 Finding Nemo
G | 2003 | Age 5+
The colorful world under the water fascinates not just kids but even adults. Nemo, a young clownfish in the Great Barrier Reef ventures out in the open seas in spite of getting warned by his father and is caught by divers.
It is an adventure that Nemo’s father takes along with Dory, a blue tang fish all the way to Sydney, Australia.
Finding Dory, a sequel to Finding Nemo (2016) is about Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find her parents with the help of Nemo and Marlin.
G | 1992 | Age 6+
One of the Arabian folktales from One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin is a story of a kind street urchin from Arab named Aladdin who finds a magic lamp with a genie in it. He defeats an evil Vizier, Jafar to win the princess, Jasmine with the help of magical Genie.
It’s one of the most beautifully animated motion films we’ve watched. Open-mouthed, our daughter was glued to the screen entire time. She even forgot to ask for popcorn 😉
The movie is based in the Middle East, majorly, Jordan, North Africa, and Central Asia, but the palace of a sultan is said to be inspired by the beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra, India.
Let your kids hop on the magic carpet and follow the Aladdin inspired adventures to uncover a whole new world of magic.
G | 2004 | Age 6+
Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s book, The Polar Express is a story of a young boy, Billy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus, embarks on a magical train journey to Santa’s home in the North Pole on a Christmas Eve.
The movie is full of unusual adventure and positive lessons. It’s a perfect introduction for kids into the Arctic region. It creates a sense of magic in kids and unveils the power and beauty of believing.
PG | 2005 | Age 7+
The Madagascar Series brings three fun and frolic movies for kids. Featuring a group of friendly wild animals – Marty (zebra), Alex (lion), Melman (giraffe), and Gloria (hippo), the first movie tells a crazy tale of landing in Madagascar after escaping fro the Central Zoo in New York while the second movie takes them to Africa and the third one is about their adventures in Europe.
They are joined by funny lemurs, King Julian and Maurice, and three smart penguins that add more fun to the story.
Madagascar series comes in handy for those who want their kids to travel to different places while having a lot of fun and hearty laugh.
PG | 2012 | Age 8+
Set in Scotland, Brave narrates the heroic journey of a brave young princess named Merida who doesn’t want to follow the age-old customs and wants to carve her own path. Her expression of choice brings chaos in the kingdom that she fights with her bravery and archery skills.
The strength and wit of the princess and the beauty of the mother-daughter relationship make it worth watching for young girls.
The rugged gorgeous Scottish Highlands inspire the set of the movie. The iconic Eilean Donan Castle and Dunnottar Castle in Scotland served as the inspiration for Merida’s home. The movie motivates families enough to travel to Scotland.
G | 1975 | Age 8+
Worried about their daughter’s health, a family leaves the chaotic life of the city for the wilderness. They learn to respect and love nature while braving the challenges of the wilderness. The movie sends a strong message that family is everything.
The film is shot in the Gunnison National Forest in Colorado. It’s a great movie to develop a love for nature and outdoors in kids.
It has sequels – The Further Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1978) and Mountain Family Robinson (1979).
G | 2011 | Age 6+
The Rio is a story of Blu, a domesticated male Macaw who lives with Linda, a bookshop owner in the tiny city of Moose Lake in Minnesota. When a Brazilian ornithologist informs about Jewel, Blu’s female counterpart in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Linda takes Blu to Rio to find Jewel.
Colorful, warm-hearted, and adventurous tale of a rare bird delights kids of all ages. Mini-me is nuts for both the movies in the Rio Series.
Kids will learn quite about Brazilian customs, especially Rio Carnival, and everything that makes Rio de Janeiro unique and exciting.
PG | 1992 | Age 10+
When Kevin’s family is about to board the flight for their Christmas vacation in Miami, Kevin accidentally boards another flight and reaches New York. The 12-year-old boy is smart and checks himself into the famous Hotel Plaza. See how he explores the city, makes new friends while bumps into his rival criminals. It is fascinating to watch him take on the men with his traps and intelligence.
The movie is shot during Christmas time and what better place than New York to experience it. The snowy streets, beautiful Central Park, majestic Christmas tree, and ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center, you’ll fall in love with the city.
#20 Mary Poppins
G | 1964 | Age 6+
An utter delight for kids! Marry Poppins, a magical flying nanny with her magic and sunny attitude helps bring a family closer and rediscover the joy in life.
We loved Mary Poppins and even its sequel – Mary Poppins Returns (2018).
Unlike the classic Mary Poppins film which was filmed entirely at California’s Walt Disney Studios with painted London backgrounds, Mary Poppins Returns showcased famous London attractions like Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge.
PG | 2015 | Age 6+
Based on Micheal Bond’s book, it is a cute story about a bear, who travels to London from the jungles of Peru after losing his parents and is adopted by the Brown family.
The bear gets his name Paddington after being found at the Paddington station. Set in London, you can’t miss the famous Paddington Station, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and many other London attractions.
Paddington 2, a sequel released in 2018 shows how Paddington, now well-settled with the Brown Family in Windsor Gardens unmasks the thief who stole a birthday present he bought for her aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday.
#22 The Sound of Music
NR | 1965 | Age 6+
The breathtaking Austrian Alps would come alive in the Sound of Music by Trapp Family Singers in 1938.
Based on the memoir ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers’ by Maria Vonn Trapp, The Sound of Music is one of the most musical classics of all time.
Set in Salzburg in Austria, it’s an outstanding children’s film with adorable characters, melodious music, and a meaningful story.
Maria, a young Austrian nun joins as a governess of Captain Vonn Trapp’s seven troublesome kids and becomes kids’ favorite in no time and eventually marries the captain.
It’s also a subtle history lesson for kids about Nazis and World War II.
During our visit to the city of Mozart, Salzburg, mini-me right away identified the Pegasus Statue Fountain with the stairs leading up to the rose hill at Mirabell Gardens. The location was featured in the classic “Do, Re, Mi” song in The Sound of Music. She joyfully sang and danced around the fountain exactly how Maria and kids did in the movie 🙂
PG | 2006 | Age 7+
Based on the children’s picture book by Croatian illustrator Milan Trenc, Night at the Museum Series is a story about a single parent, Larry who works as a night watchman at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He discovers that the museum exhibits come to life every night creating chaos.
Night at the Museum series combines three films with a set of spin-offs and effects-laden adventure to raise a hearty chuckle in kids as well as grown-ups.
PG | 2013 | Age 5+
Every girl’s dream, the magical world of two princesses Anna and Elsa. The magical powers of Elsa to convert anything to ice, the fearless Anna, a cute talking snowman Olaf do everything to save the kingdom from the perpetual winter it has been trapped into.
Frozen introduce the breathtaking country of Norway in Scandinavia to kids. The city of Frozen is modeled after the western fjord region of Norway. The chapel in the movie is inspired by the St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway. Elsa’s Ice Palace is compared to Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada
A charming story, that will surely inspire you to travel to Norway and it’s beautiful towns and fjords.
Frozen 2, a sequel released in 2019 is a charmer too! While Frozen was based on Norway, Frozen 2 is inspired by Iceland.
NR | 1986 | Age 7+
I relived my childhood while watching one of my favorite childhood movies, Anne of Green Gables with mini-me. Since childhood, whenever I see the beautiful pictures of Prince Edward Island, the first thing that crosses my mind is Anne of Green Gables.
The movie is based on 1908 children’s classic by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. It’s a story of a 13-year-old girl named Anna Shirley, an orphan who’s sent by mistake to live with a foster family on Prince Edward Island.
Her new guardians wanted to adopt a boy, so found it difficult to accept Anne. Eventually, Anne wins over her foster family with her vivid imagination and fiery spirit.
You can walk the footsteps of Anne Shirley and visit all the Anne of Green Gable’s destinations in a Canadian Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI).
#26 The Goonies
PG | 1985 | Age 10+
An action-adventure film, it’s a fun story of a group of kids called The Goonies who embark on an adventure to find a pirate’s treasure (to be used to save their neighborhood in Astoria, Oregon) after discovering an ancient map in the attic.
The film was shot in Astoria in Oregon and California. You can visit most of the filming locations except the home of the Walsh family which was closed for the public due to over-tourism.
G | 1991 | Age 6+
You have the option to enjoy this classic Disney fairytale as both animated (1991) and a non-animated (2017) version.
It’s a story of a girl named Belle who goes to find her father who has been trapped by an evil-looking creature. The movie ends with a revelation that the creature, in fact, is a cursed prince.
Riquewihr, a little town in the Alsace region of France is said to be the inspiration behind Belle’s hometown and the Cháteau de Chambord in the Loir-Et-Cher, France is the real-life castle that’s presumably the vision behind the Beast’s castle.
The movie will definitely want you to visit the beautiful castles in France.
#28 Kung Fu Panda
PG | 2008 | Age 6+
Featuring three films (Kung Fu Panda in 2008, Kung Fu Panda 2 in 2011, and Kung Fu Panda 3 in 2016), some cartoon shorts (Secrets of the Furious Five in 2008, Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special in 2008, and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters in 2011), and two TV series (Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness in 2011 and Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny in 2018), the Kung Fu Panda series is a story of a bumbling panda named Po.
Guided by Master Shifu, he’s trained by the great kung fu masters, Furious Five – Viper, Tigress, Monkey, Crane, and Mantis to defeat the wicked villains.
The most popular and highest-earning China-themed animated Holiday movie franchise ever, the Kung fu Panda films make kids learn about Chinese culture without leaving home.
Did you know Panda is considered a national treasure in China? And you can see these beautiful creatures in nature reserves in China’s southwest region.
G | 1968 | Age 6+
Based on Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, it’s a musical adventure fantasy movie. An eccentric inventor and a single father, Mr. Potts turns a beat-up Grand Prix into a dream machine for his children. The fancy car can fly high, float, and even feel.
Potts family then embark on an adventure to save Grandpa Potts in fantasy land.
The film was mostly shot in England’s countryside with a few scenes shot at French Riviera. Some of the sites like the village of Turville in Buckinghamshire and a Box Hill in Surrey, have since then become tourist attractions for the fans of the movie.
G | 2007 | Age 6+
Remy, a rat dreams of becoming a famous French chef. But, how can rodents be in a restaurant? I mean, people detest rodents and there’s no way they’ll eat a dish cooked by a rat.
With a fancy restaurant in Paris, Remy tries and masters the art of cooking by making a delicious Ratatouille.
Watch this movie about friendship and desire and get inspired to travel to the land of Eiffel Tower and scrumptious food, Paris.
#31 The Muppet Movie
G | 1979 | Age 6+
An adorable road trip romp, The Muppet Movie follows Kermit and his friends’ cross-country drive to Hollywood to make it big while eluding evil frog-leg restaurateur. A Muppets’ road trip that promises a lot of celebrity cameos, songs and unlimited fun inspires kids to plan one of their own.
The Muppets, fuzzy and plush creatures pull even the cliche stuff off in a heartening way. My daughter adores them since she started watching Sesame Street.
Ever since this film tasted success, Jim Henson’s adorable creatures have been real movie stars. They have been starred in several movies – The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppets from Space (1999), The Muppets (2011), and Muppets Most Wanted (2014).
G | 1993 | Age 6+
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey follows a story of three pets – Chance, Shadow, and Sassy. Thinking they are abandoned, the trio travels across mountains and forests of Sierra Nevada to find their owners.
The uplifting and heartening adventures of the talking animals, Homeward Bound is sure to delight kids. The movie leaves kids with a strong message about the importance of teamwork, perseverance, courage, and family in life and an urge to set on an adventure.
Not as good as the first one, but I guess the kids will welcome their adorable talking animals again in the sequel released in 1996 – Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco.
#33 Sleeping Beauty
G | 1959 | Age 5+
Based on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty is a story about Aurora, a young princess who’s cursed by Maleficent, an evil fairy after being humiliated by the princess’s parents.
Despite a genuine try to avoid the spell by the good fairies, the spell works, and Aurora, at the age of 16, falls into a deep slumber. Prince Phillip, after defeating the evil fairy kisses Aurora that breaks the spell and two of them live happily ever after 🙂
Prince Philip’s castle is inspired by the exquisite Neuschwanstein Castle perched high on the German Alps. The castle is one of the most celebrated landmarks in Germany and attracts people from across the world for its fairytale charm.
PG | 2014 | Age 6+
Adaptation of the Peabody’s Improbable History segments of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an all-ages fun movie with a mix of adventure and humor.
It’s about a genius and a well-rounded dog, and his naughty adopted boy from Manhattan, New York who speed back in time using Mr. Peabody’s greatest invention, the WABAC time machine. But, Sherman with his friend Penny invites trouble for Mr. Peabody by altering the important events in world history. Three of them then figure out ways to repair history.
The movie reveals many historical figures and events as the protagonists travel through time. Kids experience and learn about Ancient Greece and Egypt, the Renaissance, and the French Revolution.
The puns in the movie target the older audience though it’s fun for kids of all ages. It lets kids embrace the art of being yourself no matter what.
Check out this curated list of 30 best Bollywood travel movies that’ll inspire you to pack your bags and go on an adventure. These travel-themed Bollywood movies will also satisfy your craving for travel while you can’t travel.
PG | 1995 | Age 8+
A children’s adventure film, The Amazing Panda Adventure follows a story of a young American boy named Ryan who travels to China to meet his zoologist father and helps him save a panda cub from the poachers amidst all the adventure and mayhem to reunite it with its panda mother at the panda reserve.
The movie is shot in Sichuan, a Chinese province known for its towering peaks and thin waterfalls and is home to the Yangtze, Asia’s longest river, and giant pandas. The region is packed with natural as well as cultural attractions.
NR | 2014 | Age 8+
An ordinary construction worker in Chicago, Joe dreams of becoming an archaeologist. His dream comes true the day he’s mistaken for a real professor Humbert and travels to Cusco, Peru with his sidekicks – a bird and a dog (Jeff) in search of the Lost City of Paititi.
On this Indiana Jones-style adventure, he falls in love with professor Luvrof’s daughter, Sara, and steps up to save the Lost City of the Incas from bandits Max Mordon, and Kopponen.
The movie is a great way to introduce kids to the famous archeological sites of Peru as it beautifully shows scenes from Machu Pichu and Nazca lines. Also, a great way to teach kids the importance of teamwork.
G | 2007 | Age 6+
In Mr. Bean’s Holiday, the awe-kward Mr. Bean takes you to Cannes, France. He separates a son from his father and then try to help them reunite in his own silly ways while exploring France.
G | 1992 | Age 6+
The movie is set in an Australian rain forest called Ferngully. It’s shown as a natural habitat of fairies. Crysta, one of the charming fairies is curious about the world outside but doesn’t believe in the existence of humans until a bat named, Batty changed her mind.
She goes out to find the truth behind the existence of humans and met a human named Zak whom she accidentally shrinks to fairy-size and later on, saves the rainforest along with Batty and Zak from an evil spirit named Hexxus.
The movie inspires kids to travel to as well as admire the places of nature and leaves them with a valuable lesson on environment conservation.
If your kids love the movie, they’ll enjoy its sequel released in 1998 – Ferngully 2: The Magical Rescue.
G | 1969 | Age 8+
This is a classic American comedy where a tour guide Charlie takes his American clients on an 18-day tour of Europe.
Featuring destinations like London, Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, and Italy, the film gives some serious travel goals to kids and parents.
NR | 2015 | Age 7+
A story set in the breathtakingly beautiful Swiss Alps, Heidi will definitely inspire you to add Switzerland to your bucket list.
The film is based on the classic book Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Heidi, an orphaned girl goes to live with her grandfather in the small hamlet in Swiss alps. The visual beauty, the happiness of friendship in the story will take you on a joyous ride for sure.
G | 1962 | Age 8+
A classic American comedy, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation is a story about a banker who plans a peaceful holiday with his wife and children at a California beach house. But little to his surprise finds one problem after the other.
A fun a comic way that he tries and solves. Are you ready for a summer break at California beaches?
G | 2006 | Age 5+
The Cars franchise includes three animated films – Cars (2006), Cars 2 (2011), and Cars 3 (2017) and two spin-offs – Planes (2013) and Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014).
In the first movie Cars, the famous race car, Lightning McQueen travels to California to participate in the Piston Cup race. He accidentally damages the road in Radiator Springs, a small town along the route, and is punished to repair the damage. Lightning McQueen finds love and friendship in the kind locals while working hard to repair the damaged property.
The historic US Route 66 is an inspiration behind the movie Cars. Route 66 is one of the best road trips in the world.
Cars 2, the second in the series tells the story of how Lightning McQueen and his friend Mater travel to participate in a three-part Grand Prix Race set in Japan, Italy, and England while defeating the villain who wants to sabotage the race.
Cars 3 focuses on how a legendary race car, Lightning Macqueen overcomes the fear of being lost as the new generation race cars take over the world of racing.
PG | 2019 | Age 8+
A delightfully adventurous movie, Abominable tells a story of a teenage girl from Shanghai who finds Yeti on her apartment’s roof and determines to reunite him with his family at Everest with the help of her friends Jin and Peng.
They set on an epic cross-China adventure to take Yeti back to his home on the Himalayas while saving him from an evil wealthy man and a zoologist who want Yeti for their selfish desires.
The roller-coaster ride to the Everest through little towns, forests, rivers, and lakes delights kids and adults alike. The movie teaches kids about the importance of kindness, empathy, sacrifice, healing, love, and friendship – the values disappearing in this fast-paced world.
G | 1989 | Age 5+
Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid narrates a story of Ariel, a mermaid princess. She’s the daughter of the king of the sea, Triton. Fascinated with life outside of the ocean, she travels to the land where she fell in love with a human prince, Eric.
To fulfill her desire to be with the prince, she gets herself into trouble by making a foolish deal with Ursula, an evil sea witch.
The prince Eric’s seaside castle has been inspired by Chateau de Chillon, a magical palace, perched high on a rocky cliff along the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The kids and kids at heart will be inspired to travel to the real-life castle that inspired the castle in this Disney fairytale musical.
PG | 2010 | Age 5+
A delightful rendition of Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale Rapunzel, Tangled is a story a young princess named Rapunzel with swoon-worthy magically long blonde hair who with the help of a handsome and charming thief, Flynn Ride escape the mysterious tower she has spent her life in to discover the world she has never seen.
The fictional island kingdom of Corona in the movie is inspired by the island of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. The renaissance castle on the island reminds of Mont–Saint–Michel Abbey. The towers, however, remind of Château de Chenonceau from Chenonceaux, France.
The movie also showcases Chaing Mai‘s (Thailand) mesmerizing and surreal ‘Festival of Lights’ aka Yi Peng Festival wherein people light thousands of lanterns, write their wishes on them, and release them into the sky. This spiritual festival is celebrated in November to honor Buddha. In the movie, the parents of Rapunzel send the lighted sky lanterns every year to remember their lost daughter.
G | 1998 | Age 5+
Inspired from a Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Mulan is set in China during the Han Dynasty, from around 200 BC to 200 AD. A young Chinese maiden, Fa Mulan disguised herself as a warrior to fight the Hun invasion knowing that her old and weak father wouldn’t able to survive the war.
The Emperor’s home in Mulan is inspired by the Forbidden City in China. Interestingly, the Forbidden City was built way later than the time period shown in the movie.
The Forbidden City, the former imperial palace to the Emperor of China is located in Beijing. It’s converted into a museum now. Every time you watch this movie, you’re transported to ancient China.
G | 1996 | Age 8+
Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel Notre-Dame de Paris, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is set in Paris in the late 15th-century. It tells a tale of Quasimodo, a deformed yet gentle souled bell ringer of Notre Dame who killed his guardian Archdeacon Claude Frollo to save his unrequited love gypsy Esmeralda and the cathedral.
You can even see the celebrated gargoyles of the Notre Dame Cathedral Paris as the characters in the movie.
The movie passes a valuable lesson of accepting others for who they are rather than judging them. It recreates the life in Paris during the 15th-century while showcasing the gorgeous Notre Dame on the River Seine, one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture in the world.
G | 2009 | Age 6+
Set in the historic city of New Orleans in Louisiana, The Princess and the Frog features a hardworking and ambitious waitress called Tiana who turns into a frog after kissing a frog prince. Now she has to find a way to break the evil spell before it’s too late.
From the French Quarter, Bourbon Street to Mississippi River Delta, New Orleans is evident in the movie.
The song ‘Down in New Orleans’ melodiously celebrates the city of New Orleans.
G | 1998 | Age 7+
A sensitive family movie, The Cave of the Yellow Dog is a gem. It’s a tale of a young girl from a Mongolian family of nomads named Nansal who brings a baby dog home from the Mongolian fields but has to leave her newfound friend when her father insists.
With her photogenic face and simple yet powerful performance, Nansal wins hearts.
The exotic locale and striking scenes of lush grasslands of Mongolia feed the wanderlust in kids. Plus, kids learn a vital lesson that life’s not easy and comes with conditions but it rewards those who courageously embrace it with all its limitations.
#50 Fly Away Home
PG | 1998 | Age 8+
A heart-tugging and stunningly beautiful adventure, Fly Away Home is a coming of age story of a father and daughter who make a flock of geese learn their migratory route from Ontario, Canada to North Carolina using ultralight planes.
With the stunningly shot panoramic views of the rural landscape in Canada and a lesson or two on how we should adapt to new places and people and take care of animals and birds with love – Fly Away Home is a wonderfully done movie.
We hope our round-up of the best movies for kids to inspire travel in them keeps your kids busy exploring and learning. What’s your kid’s favorite travel movie? Is it included in the list? If not, we’d love to add it. Let us know in the comments below!
Need some more travel inspiration? Check out these best travel quotes in the world to inspire wanderlust!
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