Listmania! Best Foreign Films for Kids | Teeny Manolo






Listmania! Best Foreign Films for Kids

By Glinda

The Hollywood machine has turned out some great children’s movies to be sure, but for some reason, parents tend to overlook foreign films as an alternative to too much Disney.  These films portray a very different world view than most American films, and that is a view that we often forget is well worth watching.

PhotobucketThe Red Balloon (France) Set in Paris, this boy and his balloon are not easily parted. Completely charming, even though there is no dialogue.

PhotobucketWhite Mane (France) A companion piece to the Red Balloon, it is the story of a young boy and the wild horse he tames and their struggle against adults who wish to control them.

PhotobucketThe Butterfly (France) An elderly butterfly hunter embarks on a trip to find an elusive butterfly and discovers he has a suprise companion.

PhotobucketChildren of Heaven (Iran) A brother loses his sister’s only pair of shoes, and they are afraid that their parents will find out, since the family is too poor to buy another pair. Can he win her a new pair in a school contest?

PhotobucketThe Blue Umbrella (India) A girl owns and then loses a very special blue umbrella, but in the end she finds something even better.

PhotobucketCave of the Yellow Dog (Mongolia) A young girl finds an adorable black and white puppy, but her father is afraid that the dog will go after his sheep.

PhotobucketRabbit-Proof Fence (Australia) Three girls are taken away to become part of Australia’s aboriginal “Stolen Generation” and this movie is based on a true story of their journey back home to find their family.

PhotobucketWhale Rider (New Zealand) The only film on this list to have a PG-13 rating, the performances and story line of this movie about a girl who must overcome her family’s disapproval to follow her destiny is too good to miss.









9 Responses to “Listmania! Best Foreign Films for Kids”




  1. galadrium Says:

    Wow! I’m going to have to check these out. Great list idea.




  2. shell Says:

    wow. the red balloon. now that brings back grade school memories!!




  3. leanne Says:

    what about the films from Studio Ghibli of Japan – Spirited Away (2002 Oscar winner) and Kiki’s Delivery Service. And they have just released Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea -which is apparently fantastic




  4. Joe Yang - Foreign Film Reviewer Says:

    Thanks for the list! These are the kinds of films kids may remember into adulthood, as I (and many others my age) remember being absolutely mesmerized by RED BALLOON when I was little.




  5. Glinda Says:

    leanne, I should have emphasized that this was a foreign “cinema” list that wasn’t including animation. I woud definitely have included Sprited Away and even Curse of the Were-Rabbit!




  6. dgm Says:

    I was also mesmerized by The Red Balloon as a kid, so I brought it home from the library a few weeks ago. My hubby had never seen it so he and the kids watched it. The unanimous verdict: BO-RING! And weird. Ah well.

    BUT! Children of Heaven is one of my favorite movies.




  7. Becky Says:

    Wonderful list, thanks! Some old favorites, and some new ideas (my father just us “Rabbit-Proof Fence”).

    A few others my kids and I have enjoyed together — “Far from Home” (Canadian, not very foreign but lovely) and Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast” (France). And the wacky “Donkey Skin” or “Peau d’Ane” with Catherine Deneuve (France).




  8. Eilish Says:

    I might add “The Secret of Roan Inish” to the list for a dreamier child. Would be too slow for many, but I loved it. Another fabulous Irish film for all horse lovers is “Into the West.” Great good time.












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