3 Family Films for Little Kids who Love Cars

There’s nothing like riding in style at the movies, and nobody does it better than Hollywood when it comes to throwing the sub-genre into fifth gear and beyond.

However, there aren’t many car-friendly movies for kids. They’re either about possessed, drivable demons (Stephen King’s Christine), they glorify theft (Gone in 60 Seconds), depict dudes getting car-jacked (John Wick), or showcase dangerous driving (Fast and Furious franchise).

We managed to find three slick flicks fit for kiddies who are only young enough to drive the bumper-cars.

Bold Eagles

2014, NR

This foreign car-toon has been dubbed in English and is now on Netflix. It’s a very sweet, simple story aimed at preschoolers and younger children. The plot centers on Scruffy, a lost baby eagle who has been separated from his family in a protected forest, and one of the main characters is a talking VW Bug (no doubt inspired by the Disney classic Herbie the Love Bug police car. The bouncing baby birdie thinks the car is his mom, and when it comes time to learning how to fly, Scruffy can’t understand why mommy’s wings (doors) don’t lift him into the air.

There are some villains in the mix, but there’s nothing too terribly scary even for pint-sized gearheads. Best of all, the lessons driven home about teamwork, and the environment, are a nice change of pace from the usual kiddie fare. The animation is a bit clunky, but it’s really charming.


2006, G

A hot-shot race-car named Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, but that’s where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family. The film begins right in the thick of a car race, which is visually dazzling and full of roaring engines. Our hero is quickly identified as the red stock car, Lightning McQueen… even though he fails to win the crucial race and is hauled off for an upgrade.

Along the way, there’s a kid-friendly Pixar-style pileup, and he winds up stranded in the small town of Radiator Springs where he meets up with some new friends: Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), a big, dumb tow truck; Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt), a posh Porsche who dabbles in law; and old timer Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), a 1951 Hudson Hornet who once had dreams of fame and fortune. With Lightning’s new friends come life lessons about how “winning isn’t everything”.

There’s also a slick Cars 2 sequel that came out in 2011 and Cars 3 in 2017.

Speed Racer

2008, PG

Can’t say I’m a fan of this film as a whole, but from a visual standpoint and looking through the eyes of a child, I do recommend it. Based on the vintage 1970’s Saturday morning cartoon of the same name, it definitely deserves its own lane on this list.

Here’s the rev-up: Born into a family business of car competitors, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is one of the track’s most marvelous motorists. Cool as a cucumber behind the steering wheel of his Mach 5, he consistently crushes the competition. But when Speed turns down an offer from the head of Royalton Industries to make a move to their garage, he uncovers a secret: The mighty moguls are fixing the races! After that, he finds himself on the fast track to a dangerous demise… but don’t worry – Speed Racer always wins!

The racing scenes in this imaginative mix of animation and live action is truly stunning and edge-of-the-seat pulse-pounding.

What films will you be watching with your little car junkies? Share with us!

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