37 answers

Favorite Disney Movies for 3 Year Old

My son just turned 3 in January and we would like to occassionally have a family movie night. I would like to purchase a few Disney animated movies. There are so many and I don't know which would be age appropriate for my son. What were your kids favorite Disney movies at 3 to 4 years old?

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Thank you for all of the feedback. Based on the responses, I plan to get Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Madasgascar and Ice Age. We already have Cars and A Bugs Life. I also just picked up several Disney VHS tapes. We still have a VCR in the kids play room! My son watched Jungle Book for the first time last night and seemed to really enjoy it! Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers

CARS!!! But good luck getting them to watch anything else! My son is obsessed and does not want to watch anything other than CARS.

My 3 1/2 year old son LOVES the movie CARS. You've gotten lots of great suggestions, but I would definitely say that's a hit with most every young boy I know.

When my son was that age, he was afraid of many of the Disney movies, because on the back of the box there was always a photo of a "bad" guy, so he wouldn't watch many of the classics. He loved any of the Winnie the Pooh movies, because there isn't any scary stuff in them. The Tigger Movie was a favorite.

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Finding NEMO is a favorite in our house....also Jungle Book (the original), DUMBO was one we watched over and over again! Have fun!

Hi C.! If you want to go the non-animated route, my 3 year old LOVES Milo and Otis and Homeward Bound. They are both rated G and very cute. You can usually find Milo and Otis at Target for under five dollars.

hi C....Congrats on yer family. :) Finding Nemo, Lion king, Pooh's Heffalump movie, and Bambi 2 i would put at the top of my list. altho not Disney, Land before time movies are also #1 , not so crazy about the tv series, but the movies were excellent. Have Fun :)...mother of 3 boys here...18, 16, and 5. :)

An all time favorite is Fantasia. It has a lot of color, movement and music that keeps the kids interested.

Hello C.,

My son loves Whorton Hears a Who, Toy Story, Cars, Robots, and amazingly Under Dog. Hope this helps.

Have a good day!

My grandson loves Toy Story and Toy Story 2.

My daughter is 3 1/2 & she loves Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, Fox & the Hound, Cars, The Emperors New Groove, & The Little Mermaid.
Hope that helps out!

My kids love Bambi, Peter Pan, & Toy Story. My boys are 2 & 4. I just started introducing the movies to them this year, and they have watched all three of them over and over. So far, their favorite is Bambi. They don't seem to mind that it looks "old" and isn't digitally enhanced. In my opinion, the older Disney movies would be better for younger children because of the language and violence in the newer movies. The bad language and violence seem to get more acceptable by society each year, so we are seeing it more and more in children's movies. Just my opinion, though.

CARS!!! But good luck getting them to watch anything else! My son is obsessed and does not want to watch anything other than CARS.

Finding nemo, bugs life, cars, wall-e, Toy story, Peter pan, Fox and the hound, The jungle book, The lion king, Pinochio, 101 Dalmations, Mary poppins (if he like music) Mickey mouse clubhouse, Up, All dogs go to heaven, Bolt, Horton hears a who, And Tarzan. I love watching the Heffalump movie, the tiger movie and piglets big movie with my daughter. If you like winnie the pooh they are cute movies too. She also like the bee movie, madagascar, Surfs up, and happy feet, Over the hedge, Open season, And if you get a chance to take him to the theatre and see the new chipmunks movie. I was really cute and the whole family enjoyed it even our 6 month old sat through and was amazed with it. Good luck.

My son is 3 1/2 and he loves all the pixar moivies. I however have gotten tired of them, so I have been mixing it up with some of the classics - Sword in the Stone, Tarzan, Robin Hood, Mulan, etc. He has enjoyed all of them. I think it all depends on what you want him to see.

I'm going to be a little different, and recommend My Neighbor, Totoro. It's actually a Studio Ghibli film, but Disney bought the rights to it in the U.S., and so it is sold in English in the U.S.

I love My Neighbor, Totoro for my family for a couple of reasons. First, there is no bad guy. No scary confrontation, no evil characters. I think it is a fun, cute movie, and I prefer the story-telling style and the lighter tone compared to some the (in my opinion) more adult and sometimes scarier home-grown Disney movies. Good luck!


I haven't read all the responses, so I may be duplicatin, and some are probably not Disney....my sons liked Toy Story, Little Mermaid, Fox and Hound, Milo and Otis (I like it too), anything with Thomas the Tank Engine, Disney's "Silly Symphonies" (the old ones, probably can't find them anymore), Winnie the Pooh (here again, I prefer the older ones, with the narrator; they are slower-paced, a little more "gentle"), The Brave Little Toaster (although it is a little scary near the end when the magnet grabs the appliances and the toaster is about to get crumpled up in the gears). Fantasia was also a hit. Little Engine that Could. My younger son also liked the Disney TV movie "Ready to Run" about a horse. He may have been slightly older when he really got into that. There was another video we used to rent from Blockbuster, about trucks in the city of Toronto (something like "Mighty Machines"?) which he really liked.

When they get older (9-10ish), try to have them see Disney's "The Color of Friendship" based on true events (a white South African girl exchange student is placed with the black family of Cong. Ron Dellums, a big opponent of apartheid). We saw this on TV when we had Disney channel, very powerful.

Oh--I just remembered--I saw a movie at a school where I worked... it was a movie version of the poem "Rosie's Walk"--terrific! the kindergarteners loved it.

Thanks for asking the question, it took me back to remembering that time--the kiddos are 15 and 18 now! Enjoy the movies and your kids!

K. Z.

Cartoons are so digitally enhanced today that kids are used to that and might be bored with the classic Disney movies like Bambi or Sleeping Beauty because they look "old". I suggest Finding Nemo, A Bugs Life, Up, the Ice Age movies, Madagascar, etc. And the great thing about these movies is that they are fun for adults to watch too!

Almost all the Disney movies are appropriate for a 3 year old. Some of my daughter's favorites are "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" "Madagascar" and "Madagascar 2" "Cars" "Cinderella" "Tinkerbell" "Mary Poppins" and about a million others. HA! Since she's quit taking a nap, she has quiet time in the afternoon. I usually let her pick a movie to watch since that's the only way she'll be still for longer than 5 mins. Some of the newer Disney movies have some adult geared humor in them, but it's not appropriate, the kids just don't "get" it. My daughter LOVES the older cartoons and the newer ones. I would be careful with the older ones though, they seem to have a lot of violence and death in them. IMO, the newer ones are much lighter and definitely funnier :)

Hi, C.,

You may want to check out www.pluggedin.com for movie reviews. I check out all the movies there before I let my children watch them. It tells you all the positive elements, negative elements, sexual content, language, etc. So YOU can be the one to decide if a film is appropriate for your children.

For example, Toy Story is a great flick, but I personally wouldn't let my children watch it until they were five, because by that time they understood that we don't say certain words that they would hear in the movie. And I wouldn't have to worry about them watching the movie and then calling someone "stupid" or "idiot".

Every family is different, though, so it's a great site to read up on the movie and choose what's best for your family.

Blessings, J.

My sound loved the Fox and The Hound 2 at that age.

I would HIGHLY recommend "Horton Hears a Who!" Not sure who made it, but it has a great message and has some humor that is funny for adults too(appropriate for kids too...they just may not get it) so it makes it easy to watch for the 47th time. :) Good luck!


They're not Disney, but they're great! I vote for any Wallace & Gromit movie. My kids love them. A Close Shave, The Wrong Trousers and our favorite, The Curse of the Ware-Rabbit.


My 3 1/2 year old son LOVES the movie CARS. You've gotten lots of great suggestions, but I would definitely say that's a hit with most every young boy I know.

I have girls but I started with Cinderella because nothing is scary about it. Sleeping Beauty has a pretty good hero. Prince Phillip has to battle his way out of a dungeon and fight a dragon before he rescues sleeping beauty. Aladdin is good, but you may have to explain what is going on. Lion King is good if your son likes animals. The more modern disney movies have references adults get but go over kids heads. Borrow from your library. Then if you don't enjoy the movie you can try a different one.

If you can stand another suggestion, my kids love 'Robin Hood' and 'Pete's Dragon'.

My daughter was hooked on "Toy Story" at that age...and we enjoyed watching it too~

Wall-E is one of our family favorites.

My 3 yo loves up, cars, Finding Nemo, Handy Manny, and Jungle Book, and Happy feet.

My kids 4 & 2 love the pixar movies. Finding Nemo and Cars are my son's favorite. Also you might want to try The Land Before Time. It is not Disney but it is a great movie about dinosaurs and boys usually love dinosaurs.

Toy Story and Cars!!

The Lion King and Cars...Hands Down!!!

I admit I'm a huge Disney fan so we've got the entire collection on DVD and out of those my son (3) LOVES Cars, Finding Nemo and Toy Story. He likes pretty much all of them but really enjoys those three.

My son is 2 and he LOVES the Cars movie - turned out his first word was Lightening! We would watch this almost every night for a month. I recently watched with him the Ice Age movies which he really enjoyed - especially the squirrel. It all depends on what your son likes. Clinton is really big with cars and trains and we found out he likes dinosaurs when we watched the newest Ice Age movie. You may want to rent some movies before you buy them to see which movies he likes so that you dont waste your money on a movie he may not watch again...just a suggestion.

Finding Nemo, UP and Alice in the wonderland ( not disney movie )

My son loves Wall-E. I know it isn't Disney, but he also loves "Blues Clues". We have Netflix, and it's in the "Watch Instantly" category. Right now, Wall-E is also a "Watch Instantly". We have a Xbox 360, and bought a Xbox Live membership card from Radio Shack, so we can watch Netflix on our T.V.
My daughter used to be addicted to Hercules and Aladdin. She's older now, and she's moved on to Sponge Bob.

We like Nemo (memo) but I fast forward a few minutes past the scary scene. 101 Dalmations is the favorite this week. Monster Inc was last weeks favorite. Jungle book is good too but again - fast forward through the beginning.

When my son was that age, he was afraid of many of the Disney movies, because on the back of the box there was always a photo of a "bad" guy, so he wouldn't watch many of the classics. He loved any of the Winnie the Pooh movies, because there isn't any scary stuff in them. The Tigger Movie was a favorite.

101 Dalmations, the original.

When my son was that age (now 9) if I had to watch TOY STORY (which he called Woody Buzz)and ICE AGE and Monsters Inc anymore I think I'd scream! LOL!
I read through comments and the common denomiator here was Toy Story. Great movie and he'll totally love it!

My sons are obsessed with Toy Story 1 & 2, Cars, Bolt, Lilo and Stitch, The Incredibles and they really like the Madagascar movies. Someone mentioned Horton hears a Who, that one is great for them as well. Also, the boys really love The Pirates Who Don't do Anything by the Veggie Tales, from them is also Jonah.

We let them watch a little more variety because we have to drive back and forth across the state taking my son to his dad's house. Most of the Disney movies are cute and your son will probably enjoy them. I will say, my 2 yr old was afraid of the lady in the gas mask at the beginning of Ratattouie (sp?) Happy hunting!

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