Marvelous Movies for 3s and 4s

Need to switch up your cinematic rotation? Park Slope Parents members have ideas for movies that are sure to be a hit with the three-to-four-year old set—including a few that might just be equally loved by parents.

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A PSP member asked their Pre-K Group...

“What movies are your 3-4 year old kids loving these days? My 4-year-old daughter is about to be home for 12 days straight so I want to have a lineup of movies she'll like (aka ways to guarantee 90 consecutive minutes of time to myself / quiet). She's liked Wreck-it Ralph, Frozen, The Croods, Moana, Beauty and the Beast, Zootopia, Secret Life of Pets, to name a few.

We especially like when it's a movie the grown-ups may enjoy.”


First, a couple of tips on seeking out quality movies and entertainment…

“Overall we have the most luck with movies based on books we know he already likes. He understands what’s happening and gets really engaged with it in a way that doesn’t seem to happen with non-book movies.”

“The other thing I find really good and that I prefer to movies actually, is the PBS show app and the PBS games app. They’re free & easy to use on the iPad, there’s tons of options and it’s more interactive so he’s not just sitting and staring at the TV for hours (tho that happens quite a lot when there is no school, so no judgment there). But I like to mix it up! He has learned a bunch from this app, all on his own. Daniel Tiger, Sesame and they are always adding new shows! There is a funny hamster one now that he is into.”


Parents came through with movie recs...

101 Dalmatians

A Bug’s Life

Aladdin: “Both the one from the 90s and the new one with Will Smith”

A Snowy Day




Charlotte’s Web

Christopher Robin: “The 2018 live action, I think on Netflix.”

Coco: “My son loved Coco which is on Disney+. We’ve seen it together at least 20 times now.”

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Curious George

Despicable Me: “We've been working our way through the Despicable Me trilogy. Highly recommend!”

Finding Dory

Finding Nemo

Homeward Bound

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How to Train Your Dragon

Jingle Jangle Christmas

Julia Donaldson movies: “Zog, The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, etc. Mostly on Prime, some on Netflix.”

Madagascar and Madagascar 2: “Only downside is that [my son is] also obsessed with ‘I Like to Move It’ by Reel to Real, but that song can make for a great little dance party, let's be honest.”

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Mary Poppins

Matilda: “My almost 4 year old really liked Matilda, and I think that's a great movie for adults too!”


Monsters, Inc.

Monsters University


Penguins: “The only thing I have to add that I haven’t seen mentioned so far is the Penguin documentary on Disney. It features ‘Steve’ and his coming of age story. Has some enjoyable anthropomorphism. A couple of scary scenes, but it all works out.”

Penguins of Madagascar: “My kids 7 and 3.5 often disagree about what movies to watch but both enjoy the Madagascar movies, including Penguins of Madagascar, which has a ton of jokes for parents but will likely go over the younger one's heads.”


Shaun the Sheep: “Highly recommend Shaun the Sheep movies and show for all ages. Even my 8-year-old happily watches it.”




Soul: “The 2020 animated movie, I think also on Netflix.”

Space Jam

Storytime Online: “We haven’t done many movies yet, but one favorite source of shorter videos is the Storyline Online collection from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

Well known actors read children’s books. They include a targeted age range for each and we have the best luck comprehension-wise with the K-2nd grade range. J’s favorite is Library Lion.”

Studio Ghibli: “If you have HBO Max, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away are both well liked by my 3-year-old. Most of the Studio Ghibli movies make for pretty wonderful parent-kid watching.”

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The Boss Baby

The Good Dinosaur

The Jungle Book

The Land Before Time: “If anyone is into dinosaurs... my kids and I have watched the Land Before Time movies (like all 13 of them) many, many times. The first one is the best.”

The Lorax: “My daughter loves the book and also enjoyed the film.”

The Sound of Music

Toy Story: “We purchased the movies on Amazon. She’s still stuck on Toy Story 1 because she just wants to watch it over and over again. Just as she did with Moana.”

Trash Truck: “My son loves Trash Truck on Netflix. It’s not a movie but 12 episodes which my son just loves to watch over and over again.”

Trolls: “For movies, I loathe Trolls. But it’s toddler crack, so if I REALLY need to get something done I’ll put it on & she’ll watch the whole thing in one sitting.”


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Weston Woods: “For less-guilt screen time we use the Weston Woods productions, which are gently animated books that are about 5–20 minutes long. So far we’ve found 100+ options that way. Lots of favorites on there - I’m Dirty, Where the Wild Things Are, Ferdinand, Corduroy, etc.,  and also some books we hadn’t heard of before that have become favorites — Groovy Joe, Hi Fly Guy, and Spoon (to name just a few). The easiest way to find them is to search ‘Weston Woods’ on Amazon Prime. So many books are on there that you can also try searching for the book title specifically. A few of them you have to pay for, but the price is really low (like $1.99).”

Winnie the Pooh

Wolfwalkers: “We just watched Wolfwalkers, which B loves, but I think it's super scary, even for me! It's a good movie and I'm only adding it since you've already mentioned a few other ‘older kid’ movies.”



Further reading on PSP:

With Little Kids: Ideas for Family Movie Night!