10 Best Movies Like Inside Out for Kids

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movies like Inside Out

Exploring the vast world of animated films that engage children with entertainment and meaningful themes can be rewarding. Among the standout examples is Inside Out (2015), a Pixar masterpiece that delves into the complexities of emotions in a way that resonates with young audiences and adults. Its imaginative storytelling and heartfelt exploration of mental and emotional well-being have set a high standard for what children’s movies can achieve. 2024 will witness its sequel, Inside Out 2, and you can stream other movies like Inside Out 2023 while waiting. If you are looking for excellent movies like Inside Out, here’s a curated list of 10 films that capture similar themes of growth and resilience in delightful and insightful ways.

10 Best Movies Like Inside Out for Kids

  1. Up
  2. Trolls
  3. WALL·E
  4. Onward
  5. Monsters, Inc.
  6. Wreck-It Ralph
  7. Ratatouille
  8. The Lorax
  9. Zootopia
  10. Coco

Up (2009) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Up IMDb Rating 8.3 English 1h 36m

movies like Inside Out-Up-2009

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Starring: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger

What it’s about: Carl Fredricksen, who loves adventure, and Ellie, a tomboy, become lifelong lovers because of their common hobbies. They dream of exploring “Wonderland Falls” in South America one day, but this dream is not realized until Ellie’s death. Carl, specializing in selling balloons, decides to fulfill Ellie’s last wish: he uses colorful balloons to drag the whole house into the sky and head to Wonderland Falls. Carl did not expect a strange little boy, Russell, to meet him on the porch. Russell’s chattering made Carl particularly hate this fat boy. The old and the young finally saw the legendary “Wonderland Falls” after facing numerous hardships during the flight. Carl found that Russell was a lovely child during their long time together.

Why it’s similar: “Up” and “Inside Out” are both acclaimed Pixar films directed by Pete Docter, each winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Emotional storytelling is the biggest similarity—”Up” with themes of love, loss, and adventure, and “Inside Out” explores emotions and mental health. Visually, the two films showcase Pixar’s advanced animation and vibrant aesthetics, with the floating house in “Up” and the imaginative landscapes of Riley’s mind in “Inside Out.” Additionally, Michael Giacchino composed the memorable scores for both films, enhancing their emotional impact. These similarities highlight Pixar’s consistent excellence in creating heartfelt, visually captivating, and emotionally resonant stories.

Review: “Up” is a heartwarming animation acclaimed by critics and viewers. Pixar Animation Studios once again proves its mastery in creating emotionally resonant narratives that transcend age barriers. The film’s exploration of love, adventure, and the power of friendship is complemented by its meticulous attention to detail and stunning animation, setting a new standard in animated filmmaking. “Up” not only delights audiences with its charming characters and memorable moments but also leaves a lasting impression on viewers worldwide.

Trolls (2016) – Streaming on Netflix, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Trolls IMDb Rating 6.4 English 1h 32m

movies like Inside Out-Trolls-2016

Directors: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel

What it’s about: Troll Poppy is the princess of Troll Town. She is cheerful and optimistic. Bridgets are giant, pathetic creatures that only feel happy after eating Trolls. Poppy holds a grand celebration party despite the dissuasion of the “weirdo” Branch in the city, but she never expected to attract Bridgets. Bridgets have captured Poppy’s friends. To save her best friends from Bridget, Poppy asks Branch for help, but Branch is an unsociable pessimist. Although the two do not match in character, they must work together to save their homeland when the grumpy Bergens invade their village.

Why it’s similar: The two are animated family films exploring emotional themes. “Inside Out” personifies human emotions, while “Trolls” focuses on happiness and the pursuit of joy. Both movies use bright and colorful aesthetics to engage viewers and convey positive messages about understanding emotions and finding happiness. Additionally, both films feature strong character development and imaginative world-building. “Inside Out” creates a detailed inner world of the mind, while “Trolls” builds a whimsical universe filled with unique creatures. Simply put, both films use humor and crafted production to appeal to audiences of all ages.

Review: Trolls’s colorful animation and catchy soundtrack contributed to its commercial success, appealing particularly to younger viewers and families. Critics praised its energetic charm and positive messages about happiness and unity, making it a feel-good hit that entertained and uplifted audiences worldwide. The film is a delightful blend of music, humor, and heart, solidifying its place as a beloved addition to the animated film landscape.

WALL·E (2008) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: WALL·E IMDb Rating 8.4 English 1h 38m

movies like Inside Out-WALL·E-2008

Director: Andrew Stanton

Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin

What it’s about: In the future, Earth will become an uninhabitable wasteland with no grass growing. Humans leave Earth to live in interstellar spaceships, waiting for Earth to regenerate into a habitable planet and leaving behind a group of garbage collection robots. Years later, only one robot is still functioning, and WALL-E likes to pick up anything he finds attractive, even the last living plant on Earth. One day, a spaceship lands and leaves behind the reconnaissance robot EVE to search for evidence that life is sustainable again on Earth. He approaches carefully, gradually becomes friends with EVE, and falls in love with her. After rescuing EVE from a sandstorm, he shows all the treasures he has collected, including the plant, but EVE goes into hibernation mode after seeing the plant, leaving only a flashing green beacon. A vast spaceship arrives on Earth to pick up EVE, and the brave WALL-E decides to rescue EVE.

Why it’s similar: As two character-driven movies, “WALL·E” follows the journey of a lonely robot on Earth, exploring love and environmental stewardship, while “Inside Out” delves into the inner workings of a young girl’s mind. Visually stunning and creatively told, these movies highlight Pixar’s knack for touching narratives and striking animation. Both films feature memorable musical scores that enhance their emotional impact, and they are directed by accomplished Pixar filmmakers—Andrew Stanton for “WALL·E” and Pete Docter for “Inside Out.”

Review: “WALL·E” is a masterpiece of animated filmmaking that transcends traditional boundaries with its poignant storytelling and groundbreaking visual style. Besides, the film’s titular character, a lovable and curious robot, captivates audiences with minimal dialogue yet maximum charm. It captivated critics and audiences due to its stunning visuals depicting Earth’s post-apocalyptic landscape and its powerful message about the importance of preserving our planet. WALL·E is also one of the Disney movies like Inside Out.

Onward (2020) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Onward IMDb Rating 7.4 English 1h 42m

movies like Inside Out-Onward-2020

Director: Dan Scanlon

Starring: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

What it’s about: Before Ian was born, Wyden, the father of Ian and Barley Lightfoot, passed away. Their father had given them a present for Ian’s sixteenth birthday. They are a magic wand, a rare phoenix diamond, and a letter with a spell that may bring their father back to life for a single day. Using this magic, they decided to spend a wonderful day with their father. Ian managed to cast the spell, but before it could finish, the gem broke. They set out to locate a second gem to finish the magic without telling their mother.

Why it’s similar: Both films focus on the emotional journeys of their characters. “Inside Out” personifies Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust as they navigate the challenges of growing up. Similarly, “Onward” tackles themes of family bonds, loss, and personal growth as two brothers embark on a quest to spend a day with their deceased father. In addition, the two movies highlight the importance of understanding and embracing emotions to navigate life’s challenges. These thematic parallels showcase Pixar’s ability to create heartfelt stories that resonate with universal emotions and experiences.

Review: Directed by Dan Scanlon, the film follows two brothers—voiced with warmth and authenticity—on a quest to rediscover magic in their world. With its imaginative premise of a modern fantasy realm, “Onward” explores brotherhood, self-discovery, and the power of familial bonds. The film’s visual charm and emotional depth resonate strongly, complemented by Pixar’s signature animation quality that brings both magical creatures and everyday life to vivid life.

Monsters, Inc. (2001) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Monsters, Inc. IMDb Rating 8.1 English 1h 32m

movies like Inside Out-Monsters, Inc.-2001

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, Lee Unkrich

Starring: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs

What it’s about: To frighten kids and record their screams, trained monsters at the Monsters, Inc. factory enter human society through the doors of kids’ bedroom closets. The energy from human children’s screams is stored in energy containers, and the screams can maintain the power supply of Monster City. Sullivan and his partner Mike are the best employees of Monsters, Inc. and have scared many children. One time, Sullivan unintentionally returned the two-year-old Boo to the world of monsters. These awful beasts were frightened by the mischievous and adorable Boo. As quickly as possible, they have to return her to the realm of humans. But in Monster City, there is an evil plan that needs to keep Boo. Can Sullivan send Boo back safely?

Why it’s similar: “Monsters, Inc.” and “Inside Out” share significant similarities. First of all, they depict imaginative worlds and explore complex emotional themes. “Monsters, Inc.” imagines a society where monsters derive energy from children’s screams, touching on themes of friendship and overcoming fear. Meanwhile, “Inside Out” explores the importance of emotional understanding and resilience during life’s challenges. Directed by Pete Docter, both movies showcase Pixar’s advanced animation techniques and visually distinct styles, highlighting Pixar’s ability to craft engaging narratives for audiences of all ages.

Review: “Monsters, Inc.” solidifies Pixar’s reputation as a storytelling and animation excellence pioneer. This imaginative tale of monsters who generate power from children’s screams captured the hearts of critics and audiences alike. With its inventive concept and endearing characters like Sulley and Mike, it became a box-office sensation and received universal acclaim. The film’s blend of humor, emotion, and visual innovation set new benchmarks in animation.

Wreck-It Ralph (2012) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Wreck-It Ralph IMDb Rating 7.7 English 1h 41m

Director: Rich Moore

Starring: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch

What it’s about: Wreck-It Ralph is the villain in the game, and his daily life is to cause destruction. The halo of the winner surrounds his opponent, Fix-It Felix because he always arrives on time and fixes the damaged things. Faced with his boring life day after day, he finally decided to change. He simply thought that as long as he could get a medal, he could get rid of his identity as a villain, so one day, after the game hall closed, Wreck-It Ralph secretly left his game and explored the world of other video games. The game to which Wreck-It Ralph belonged was identified as a system error due to his loss. The game would be permanently deleted if he did not return as soon as possible. This may be Wreck-It Ralph’s chance to realize his dream, but it may also be a road of no return.

Why it’s similar: “Wreck-It Ralph” explores identity and friendship within arcade video games, while “Inside Out” personifies emotions to depict emotional understanding and resilience. Both movies, directed with visual creativity by Disney and Pixar, showcase advanced animation techniques that vividly bring their unique worlds to life, enhancing their storytelling impact. These similarities highlight their ability to blend creativity, emotion, and universal themes.

Review: Directed by Rich Moore, Wreck-It Ralph masterfully combines humor, adventure, and heartfelt moments to follow the titular character’s journey to break free from his criminal stereotype. Audiences embraced its imaginative concept of video game characters interacting beyond their games, while critics lauded its clever references and emotional depth. With vibrant animation and a stellar voice cast, this classic Disney movie like Inside Out entertained and resonated with young audiences and nostalgic gamers.

Ratatouille (2007) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Ratatouille IMDb Rating 8.1 English 1h 51m

Directors: Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava

Starring: Brad Garrett, Lou Romano, Patton Oswalt

What it’s about: The tiny mouse, Remy, has a superior sense of smell and aspires to be a five-star chef. He happened to meet Linguini, a Gusté restaurant trainee. This poor apprentice lacked culinary talent and was going to be fired. So this man and this mouse established a peculiar alliance: Remy used his inventive intellect to run Linguini’s front desk “performance.” Linguini not only became a new “genius chef” with Remy’s guidance but also won the heart of a gorgeous coworker and became the legal heir of the Gusté restaurant. Linguini was a little overwhelmed by his rapid success. He wanted to eliminate his puppet persona, so he drove Remy out of the kitchen. The former chef, who refused to fail, wanted to discover the key to Linguini’s unexpected success. How would Linguini deal with these issues in the absence of Remy?

Why it’s similar: These films feature rich character development: “Ratatouille” follows Remy and Linguini navigating the culinary world with themes of ambition and creativity, while “Inside Out” personifies emotions navigating a young girl’s mind, exploring emotional intelligence and resilience. Pixar’s animation visually shines with “Ratatouille,” capturing Paris and culinary artistry, and “Inside Out,” creatively visualizing memories and emotions. Both movies urge viewers to pursue dreams and understand emotions through compelling storytelling and exceptional animation.

Review: “Ratatouille” is a culinary delight that received universal acclaim for its originality, charm, and masterful storytelling. The film enchanted audiences with its unique premise of a rat with culinary aspirations, blending humor and heart seamlessly. Critics praised its sophisticated animation, detailed portrayal of Parisian cuisine, and memorable characters, particularly the determined rat Remy. Most importantly, the film appealed to families with its lighthearted comedy and resonated with adults through its themes of ambition, creativity, and the pursuit of dreams.

The Lorax (2012) – Streaming on Peacock, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: The Lorax IMDb Rating 6.4 English 1h 26m

Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda

Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito

What it’s about: Thneedville’s flowers, plants, and trees are machine-made and computer-controlled at all times. But Ted has a dream: to discover a living tree. It’s all because his favorite girl, Audrey, wishes to witness a real tree in her lifetime. So he discussed it with his mother and grandmother, and his grandmother instructed him to locate a man named Once-ler, which he did. Once-ler hunted for a suitable material to create a product he dubbed “Thneed.” He determined that the ground where Truffula trees were planted was suitable. When he cut down a tree to make his Thneed, a bright orange bearded elf named Lorax sprang from the fallen stump. The Lorax informed him that this was wrong and requested that he leave. As the demand for his products increased, he required more trees and acreage to produce them. His company swiftly grew, but he was unconcerned about the environmental damage caused by deforestation and industrial waste. This magnificent environment began to transform.

Why it’s similar: Produced by Universal Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, these films target families with their thematic depth. “The Lorax” emphasizes environmental conservation and critiques consumerism through its vibrant, Dr. Seuss-inspired animation. In contrast, “Inside Out” illustrates the complexities of human emotions and promotes resilience. The two deliver important messages about stewardship and emotional understanding, resonating with audiences through compelling storytelling and vivid animation.

Review: “The Lorax” brings Dr. Seuss’s environmental message to life with vibrant animation and heartfelt storytelling. Critics and viewers alike appreciated its timely themes of environmental conservation and the consequences of industrialization, conveyed through the whimsical world of the Once-ler and the Lorax. The film’s colorful characters, catchy musical numbers, and powerful message about the importance of environmental stewardship captivated audiences, making it both an entertaining family film and a poignant reminder of the need to protect our planet.

Zootopia (2016) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Zootopia IMDb Rating 8.0 English 1h 48m

Directors: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba

What it’s about: Zootopia is an unusual modern animal city. Every animal has its own home here, and they live peacefully. If you work hard, you will establish a reputation for yourself here. Judy Rabbit, the world’s first rabbit police officer, finds it challenging to work with a gang of aggressive big animal cops. To prove herself, she sets out to solve a perplexing case. On her journey to uncover the truth, she is compelled to team up with Nick, an eloquent fox with exceptional lying abilities, but she discovers that this case is part of a massive plan to subvert Zootopia.

Why it’s similar: The two films are well-known animated movies with rich narratives. “Zootopia” addresses societal issues like prejudice and diversity through animal characters, promoting unity and tolerance. Meanwhile, “Inside Out” delves into emotional intelligence by personifying emotions—joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. Both use advanced animation techniques to vividly depict their themes, resonating with audiences through their depth and universal relevance.

Review: “Zootopia” (2016) is a groundbreaking animated film with widespread acclaim for its timely themes, compelling characters, and innovative storytelling. The movie explores prejudice, diversity, and social justice through a brilliantly imagined world of anthropomorphic animals. The audiences praised its clever allegory and the chemistry between its leads, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde. Its powerful message of inclusion and tolerance makes it a box-office success and a cultural phenomenon. “Zootopia” entertained the audiences with its humor and adventure and sparked important conversations about societal issues.

Coco (2017) – Streaming on Disney+, rent or buy on Amazon Video, Apple TV

Movies Like Inside Out: Coco IMDb Rating 8.4 English 1h 45m

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina

Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt

What it’s about: Miguel has wanted to be a musician since childhood, but his family is against him and prevents music in the home. His family believes music curses their home. Miguel once unintentionally destroyed the photograph in the middle of the family shrine. He noticed that his father was holding Ernesto’s guitar in the shot. Miguel thought Ernesto was his great-great-grandfather, so he broke into Ernesto’s tomb to get his guitar for the day of the Dead performance but inadvertently unlocked the door to the Land of the Dead instead. Every year on the Day of the Dead, deceased family members return to the Earth to reunite with their loved ones, yet no one has ever visited the world of the dead. The colorful realm of the dead took away Miguel, but what surprised him the most was the reunion with his deceased great-great-grandfather and predecessors. The family had to figure out how to return Miguel to the real world.

Why it’s similar: “Coco” (2017) and “Inside Out” (2015) share profound explorations of cultural themes. “Inside Out” follows a young girl’s emotional intelligence and resilience, while “Coco” celebrates Mexican culture through Dia de los Muertos, emphasizing family bonds and honoring ancestors. Visually, “Inside Out” depicts abstract concepts within imaginative landscapes, while “Coco” vividly portrays the vibrant traditions of Mexico. These films showcase Pixar’s ability to blend rich storytelling with visual splendor and deliver an emotional heritage that resonates universally.

Review: Coco received widespread acclaim for its heartfelt storytelling and celebration of Mexican culture, particularly its Dia de los Muertos portrayal. Critics praised its emotional depth, memorable music, and captivating representation of Mexican traditions. “Coco” not only entertained viewers with its engaging narrative and vibrant characters but also resonated deeply with its universal themes of family, memory, and the power of music to connect generations. It is undoubtedly one of Pixar’s most beloved and culturally significant films.

Conclusion: Movies like Inside Out impact children far beyond their entertainment value; they serve as powerful tools for them to understand themselves and the world around them. Each film recommended here entertains and offers valuable lessons about empathy, resilience, and emotional intelligence. Watching these films allows children to embark on journeys of self-discovery and understanding, making them viewers and active participants in their emotional growth.

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