The Top2040 list of kid-friendly sci-fi movies, for ages 15 and under:
1 - The Last Starfighter (1984) a teen who has a lot of skill in video games is recruited by a friendly alien to help his people fend off an evil military force. Good story, nice effects, and suitable for both kids and parents.
2 - The Explorers (1985) starring a very young Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. Three kids get help from an alien force to build a spaceship.
3 - The Black Hole (1979) a big-budget Disney movie that really has some amazing design in ships, sets and space scene. Your younger kids will enjoy B.O.B., the robot, and your teens will marvel at the great story and effects.
4 - Return of the Jedi (1983) Of all the Star Wars movies, this one was the most kid-friendly, and features the cuddly Ewoks in the second half of the film.
5 - Titan A.E. (2000) An imaginative animated feature movie from Don Bluth, with beautiful space travel sequences.
6 - This Island Earth (1955) A scientific team travels to another planet to help aliens save their dying world. Once there, they meet up with advance technology and Mutant aliens.
7 - Galaxy Quest (1999) A sci-fi comedy about actors on a space-travel show who suddenly are sent into space, for real, to play they parts in a real battle against aliens. Clever and funny movie.
8 - Enemy Mine (1985) An astronaut and an alien have to work together to survive after crashing on a hostile planet. They start as enemies, and end as best friends.
9 - Stargate (1994) An expedition travels through a gate to another world. This movie spawned 3 TV series.
10 - Planet of the Apes (1968) and POTA and Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) - as long as the apes themselves don't scare your kids, these 2 movies are well-written and G rated.
11 - Tron (1982) A man goes inside a video game ... The 2010 remake is PG.
12 - Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) A pulp-style invasion movie.
13 - Flight of the Navigator (1986) a boy rides into the future on an alien ship that he finds by accident
14 - Zathura : A Space Adventure (2005) A video game comes to life and shoots the kids into space for an adventure.
15 - Angry Red Planet (1959) This movie about a ship to Mars is not entirely in color. If your kids can get past that aspect, they will love this feature.
2001: A Space Odyssey, and Apollo 13 are both good "outer space" movies with a G rating, but they may seem a little boring to your kids. Try them for your teens, but often the younger kids won't sit through these two.
Here at Top2040, see also:
This sci-fi list is primarily "outer space" movies, to satisfy your child's desire to see rockets and planets, but for more earthly sci-fi movies, G-rated and kid-friendly:
E.T. (1982) from Steven Spielberg
Coneheads (1993) starring Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin
Short Circuit (1986) a cute robot adventure on Earth
Race to Witch Mountain (2009), based on Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)
Aliens in the Attic (2009)
Super 8 (2011) Kids making a short film accidentally film an alien and get involved in helping it
Among the Star Trek movies, "Star Trek IV The Voyage Home" is the most kid-friendly.
Science fiction movies are important to stretch the imagination, and help kids grow and mature with inspiration. Even G-rated movies in space, getting harder to find, can entertain and make us think.
The best sci-fi movies for kids.