Kids are the example of joy and imagination: they view their future as limitless and full of possibility. Some of these children aspire to enjoy space exploration when they are older. There are a few movies that can help parents foster intergalactic love in their children, and some of them are listed below.
1. Flight of the Navigator
The movie Flight of the Navigator is a remarkable classic that stands the test of time! Made in 1986, it has all the trademark sounds and feels of the time, leaving a nostalgic feeling for parents and creating an exciting experience for kids.
The movie follows a twelve-year-old boy named David who lives with his family in Florida. After some unusual circumstances, he finds himself eight years in the future and with some unique changes due to some alien interference. David is then led to making a deal with some aliens in order to return home.
This classic space film is one that is beloved by many! This movie is rated PG due to language and is recommended for children six and older. (Source)
WALL-E is the favorite movie of many kids! In a distant time, it shows a world where humans have been forced to leave Earth due to littering and pollution. While the humans have left, they made little robots to clean the mess so they could hopefully return to Earth. One of these little robots is Wall-E, a quirky little robot who has child-like curiosity and wonder for the world around him.
In a turn of events, Wall-E meets another robot named Eva. Eva is a robot whose purpose is to check and see if Earth has become inhabitable again. Their journey’s become intertwined as they navigate purpose, environmental friendliness, courage, and love!
This movie is rated G and is recommended for all ages. (Source)
3. Muppets from Space
Muppets from Space was released in 1999 and is centered around a muppet named Gonzo. Gonzo struggles with feelings of abandonment and loneliness and looks to the stars for answers.
After receiving a message from aliens through his cereal, he decides to explore space more deeply. He eventually discovers he is an alien and has to decide whether to return to space or remain on Earth with the other muppets.
This film is rated G and is recommended for all ages. (Source)
4. Apollo 11
Apollo 11 is a detour from the movies previously listed, as it is about previous space exploration rather than future possibilities. It is a documentary that shows the adventure and experiences that led to man landing on the moon. It is unique as the story is entirely shown through film and audio recorded from the time rather than artistic descriptions of what occurred.
This film helps open a child’s eyes to the reality of space travel and the great people who led mankind to break the barriers of what was considered possible. Whether it is for an older or younger child, this film will help them develop a greater interest in space. It is rated G and is recommended for all ages. (Source)
5. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope
The Star Wars series is a standard in space movies. Almost everyone has seen and loves these films. However, A New Hope has an especially special place in the hearts of space fans everywhere. It is the first movie in a legendary series that continues today.
It follows Luke Skywalker on an intergalactic space adventure with a diverse crew. Their main goal is to be able to save Princess Leia from Darth Vader. (Source)
This film is rated PG and is recommended for children 7 and older. (Source)
6. Treasure Planet
Treasure Planet is a visual retelling of a book named Treasure Island by Robert Stewart Lewis. It follows a young man named Jim Hawkins. Jim Hawkins loves the stories of space, especially the stories of a pirate hiding loot on a planet.
Later, through a series of events, he ends up on a hunt for the mysterious Treasure Planet while trying to beat out some other space pirates. This film captures the hearts of young children by combining space, adventure, and pirates into one captivating story. (Source)
A fun fact about this film is that it was one of the first movies to combine 2D hand-drawn animation with computer 3D animation. It also is known for being one of the most expensive traditionally animated films to date. It has a PG rating. (Source)
7. Zathura: A Space Adventure
Zathura: A Space Adventure is another film that is based on a novel! It is based on the book Zathura written by Chris Van Allsburg. This man also wrote Jumanji, another childhood classic. Zathura: A Space Adventure is similar to the Jumanji movies in many ways.
The film follows two young boys who begin playing a space-themed game named Zathura. As they are playing, they end up having a meteor shower in the basement they are playing in.
They realize the game is impacting the world around them. With the help of an astronaut and their older sister, they strive to beat the game so they can make it home. This movie is built for a family that loves Jumanji and also loves space! (Source)
It was given a PG rating and is recommended for children 7 and older. (Source)
8. Space Buddies
This movie combines a love of dogs and space into one heart-warming adventure. It follows a similar idea to the other Buddies movies, where the five puppy siblings end up going on an unintentional adventure. They go to watch a spaceship achieve lift-off, but things don’t end up going as planned.
Instead, the dogs end up getting space suits, getting on the ship, and leaving the world. This leads to an intergalactic adventure where they meet other animals and people and end up gathering some moonstones. (Source)
This film is heart-warming and a good family film. It was given a G rating and is recommended for all audiences and ages. (Source)
9. Mars Needs Moms
Mars Needs Moms is a film that has some good life lessons integrated with Martians and space adventures. It is focused on the relationship between a boy named Milo and his mom. His mom is a good parent with healthy expectations and an abundance of love for her son. A martian sees her interactions with her child and decides to kidnap her and use her motherly influence with nanny-bots. (Source)
Her son watches as his mom gets kidnapped and runs after her. Through ups and downs, the son grows and understands more about how his mom truly loves him to the moon and back. It is rated PG and recommended for kids seven and older. (Source)
10. Earth to Echo
This is a newer film made in 2014 that captures some of the wonder involved with space. It centers on three friends who are having to move away due to a construction project. They receive some signals and are led to a spot in the desert. There, they find a robotic alien.
The alien is damaged and needs to be repaired. The movie centers on the three best friends trying to help this little alien they nickname Echo back home before other forces capture them. (Source)
This story is exciting and heartwarming! Even the robot is adorable to watch, and it shows a new perspective on space exploration. It is rated PG and is recommended for children that are seven and older. (Source)
11. Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is a mixture of superheroes, space adventures, and unlikely friendships. A man named Quill gets kidnapped after his mother’s death to work with thieves and smugglers.
Eventually, Quill ends up stealing an orb that is considered incredibly valuable and has a variety of people sent after him to retrieve it. A bunch of bounty hunters and an assassin all find Quill and decide to work together to keep the orb and the power stone it holds away from bad influences.
In the end, the crew gets their crimes removed from their records and they create the Guardians of the Galaxy. (Source)
This story doesn’t involve any realistic aspects of space travel, but it does open the imagination of children. It can help inspire kids to look for good friends, have courage, and wonder in the world around them. It is rated PG-13 and is best for teenage kids. (Source)
12. Planet 51
Planet 51 is a movie that switches the dialogue to intergalactic travel. It shows a civilization of aliens that are living peacefully on their planet. They don’t understand or know that there is potential life on other planets until a NASA astronaut lands on the planet.
The aliens feel threatened by him due to a lack of communication and want to capture him to perform science experiments on him. The astronaut named Charles “Chuck” Baker enlists the help of some of the aliens to make it back home.
The aliens receive a lot of pushback to trying to help Chuck return home due to the alien’s fear that the man is trying to gain mind control over all of the aliens so they can turn them into zombies. Eventually, the miscommunication is clarified and Chuck gets to return home. (Source)
This adventure shows children how we need to try and understand others who are different than us, even on an intergalactic scale! It’s a fun family comedy that all can enjoy. It is rated PG and is recommended for children six and over. (Source)
13. Space Jam
Space Jam is a unique film that combines cartoons with reality all in the name of space. Space Jam centers on Michael Jordan, a famous basketball player. It starts by showing him as a child with a desire to play basketball professionally.
Then it jumps forward to when Michael Jordan retires from the NBA. However, his retirement is short-lived when aliens from outer space want to kidnap the Looney Toons characters to improve their amusement park. Bugs Bunny convinces the aliens to allow their fate to be decided by a basketball game.
This leads to the characters going to the same universe that Michael Jordan is in and enlisting his help. He joins them in the Looney Toons universe to give them a hand. This movie is a classic that has appeal to all members of the family, including children with a love of space. (Source)
It is rated PG and recommended for children who are 6 and older. (Source)
14. Apollo 13
This movie is similar to Apollo 11. Apollo 13 is a movie that is based on real-life events, however, the makers of this film didn’t only rely on film from the time of the spaceship launch. It focuses on the three astronauts that flew the Apollo 13, Jim Lovell, Ken Mattingly, and Fred Haise.
Before the takeoff, Ken Mattingly gets sick and Lovell’s wife has a nightmare that something will go horribly when they try to take flight. The takeoff still goes as planned until the ship begins to break and malfunction.
Through the ups and downs of the voyage, the viewer can see the fear of the astronauts and the crew on Earth trying to work through many different issues, such as parts malfunctioning, high carbon dioxide levels, and a potential lack of heat shield on the trip back to Earth. It ends well, with all the astronauts making it home safely despite all the opposition. (Source)
This movie goes through all the events of Apollo 13, which can be an incredible lesson for kids in history and space travel. However, this movie can be eye-opening and could detract from a love of space due to fears of space travel. It is rated PG and is recommended for children seven and older/children who are mature enough to handle the dramatic events that occur. (Source)
With such a wide variety of movies to choose from, there is an infinite number of out-of-this-world choices! Whether it is Apollo 11 or Planet 51, there is a movie to satisfy the dreams of a young wannabe space explorer!