Coming-of-Age Movies

The coming-of-age story is a timeless genre -- often poignant, usually powerful, and sometimes funny -- and movies with this theme can be a great way to expose kids to important life lessons. These movies are some of our favorite stories about growing up. They span decades, but each leaves an impact that feels very fresh. Use these films as jumping-off points for talking to kids about the issues explored in the movies. For more great characters, try our list of coming-of-age books.

Kiki's Delivery Service Poster Image
MOVIE

Kiki's Delivery Service

age 5+

A mystical, positive take on girl's coming of age.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1990)
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The Lion King (1994) Poster Image
MOVIE

The Lion King (1994)

age 6+

Musical king-of-the-beasts blockbuster is powerful, scary.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1994)
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Anne of Green Gables Poster Image
MOVIE

Anne of Green Gables

age 7+

Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1986)
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Akeelah and the Bee Poster Image
MOVIE

Akeelah and the Bee

age 8+

Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2006)
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Labyrinth Poster Image
MOVIE

Labyrinth

age 8+

Surreal coming-of-age fantasy -- with Muppets.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1986)
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Rip Girls Poster Image
MOVIE

Rip Girls

age 8+

Coming-of-age surf movie has good vibes, strong role models.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2000)
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The Sandlot Poster Image
MOVIE

The Sandlot

age 8+

Lighthearted, nostalgic tween comedy; some language.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1993)
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Old Yeller Poster Image
MOVIE

Old Yeller

age 8+

Tearjerker is one of the best early Disney dramas.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1957)
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Spirited Away Poster Image
MOVIE

Spirited Away

age 9+

Magnificent movie with scary creatures and a strong heroine.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2002)
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Where the Wild Things Are Poster Image
MOVIE

Where the Wild Things Are

age 9+

Sometimes-dark adaptation focuses on friendship, loneliness.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2009)
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Children of Heaven Poster Image
MOVIE

Children of Heaven

age 10+

Excellent subtitled Iranian coming-of-age story.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1999)
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Turning Red Poster Image
MOVIE

Turning Red

age 10+

Pixar coming-of-age tale explores puberty and parent issues.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
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My Girl Poster Image
MOVIE

My Girl

age 11+

Coming of age tale tackles death; for older kids.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1991)
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Napoleon Dynamite Poster Image
MOVIE

Napoleon Dynamite

age 11+

One-of-a-kind high school comedy for the family.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2004)
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13 Going on 30 Poster Image
MOVIE

13 Going on 30

age 12+

Touching, hilarious Jennifer Garner romcom.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2004)
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Catherine Called Birdy movie poster
MOVIE

Catherine Called Birdy

age 12+

Heartfelt medieval comedy adaptation tackles adult themes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Poster Image
MOVIE

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

age 12+

Classic teen comedy has language, lack of consequences.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1986)
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Grease Poster Image
MOVIE

Grease

age 12+

Musical phenomenon is still great fun but quite racy.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1978)
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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Poster Image
MOVIE

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

age 12+

Sensitive portrayal of four girls' friendships.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2005)
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To Kill a Mockingbird Poster Image
MOVIE

To Kill a Mockingbird

age 12+

Masterpiece with crucial lessons about prejudice.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1962)
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