Quick Start Film List: Ages 7-11

The Painting
The Painting

Get started on your film club journey with this list of suggested titles for those students aged 7-11. These films provide enjoyable, accessible and diverse viewing experiences, with stories from cultures all around the world, and are the perfect place to start for the first-time film club.

Toy Story

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration79 mins

Toy Story(1995)

Old-fashioned cowboy toy Woody is threatened by the arrival of flashy, hi-tech Buzz Lightyear in this character-driven animation from Pixar.

‘Toy Story’ is not only an all-time classic of the genre, but was both the first feature from Pixar studios as well as being the first fully computer-generated animation feature film anywhere. Say hello to Woody, Buzz, Hamm, Rex and the rest of the gang in this story about friendship, and make some friends for life of your own along the way.

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

CertU

Age group5–14

Duration95 mins

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory(1971)

Visually brilliant 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation about a little boy who wins a tour of the maddest sweet factory in the world!

Based on Roald Dahl’s much-loved book, this incredible story follows the life of a poor boy as a worldwide golden ticket contest occurs around him. Against all odds, Charlie manages to find one of the tickets and wins a tour of the greatest chocolate factory in the world, but it – and its bizarre creator – will be even more surprising than he could possibly imagine.

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The Sound of Music

CertU

Age group7+

Duration174 mins

The Sound of Music(1965)

The stunning Austrian mountains provide the backdrop for this wartime musical extravaganza.

A much-loved classic which has it all: music, romance, war, family frolics and so much more. When a mischievous nun is sent to look after a house of unruly children, she decides to play them at their own game in order to win them over. But in the course of doing so, she accidentally falls for their father while bringing music back into the Von Trapp household.

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Early Man

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration90 mins

Early Man(2018)

Aardman animation adventure set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths ruled the earth.

Aardman have entertained children and adults alike throughout the years with their funny adventures and memorable characters, from Shaun the Sheep to Wallace and Gromit. In this prehistoric story, two civilisations – tribes from the Stone Age and Bronze Age – decide to settle their differences in perhaps the most British way possible: with a good old game of football.

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Missing Link

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration95 mins

Missing Link(2019)

An ambitious explorer discovers a talkative, lonely creature, beginning an adventure that takes them to a mythical land.

As well as the likes of Pixar and Aardman, there’s also animation studio LAIKA who continue to do sterling work through releases such as ‘Coraline’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. ‘Missing Link’, their most recent film, isn’t as dark as some of their previous work but instead contains plenty of humour and adventure, and is full of fascinating characters.

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Tron

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration92 mins

Tron(1982)

Visually peerless example of Hollywood coming to terms with computers, in which programmer Kevin Flynn gets sucked into a game.

‘Tron’ is a fun and fast-paced adventure with standout visuals which should particularly appeal to children of this age group. Beyond this, it's also a fascinating look from back in the early 1980s at Hollywood’s ideas of what computers could look like and how they might function, using technology which was genuinely cutting edge at the time of the film’s release.

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Four Kids and It

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration108 mins

Four Kids and It(2020)

A group of children holidaying in Cornwall meet a mysterious magical creature with the power to grant wishes.

Based on the much-read children’s book by Jacqueline Wilson (itself based on another book!), this latest adaptation stars the likes of Russell Brand, Michael Caine and Matthew Goode. It celebrates old-school British storytelling as a group of siblings discover a mysterious creature with magical powers during their Cornwall holiday.

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Shakespeare: The Animated Tales - Disc 1

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration100 mins

Shakespeare: The Animated Tales - Disc 1(1992)

Short animated versions of Shakespeare's plays, the perfect way to get to know the work of one of Britain's greatest writers.

Twelve of Shakespeare’s most famous plays are adapted into short animated versions – each with its own style to suit the story – in this ever-popular three disc set. The discs are divided into Tragedies, Comedies and Histories, providing an accessible and engaging introduction into one of Britain’s greatest writers, and some of the most adored stories ever told.

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The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films: Disc A

CertU

Age group7+

Duration180 mins

The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films: Disc A(1917)

Essential introduction to silent comedy giant Buster Keaton, full of unbelievable stunts and endless slapstick, featuring eight of his short films.

Silent, slapstick comedy classics are a tonic for the soul and also provide a wonderful introduction to cinema’s rich history for young audiences, with the likes of Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton providing hilarious set pieces. This is the first part of a four-disc set, featuring eight shorts on each, with this disc focusing on titles from 1917 and 1918.

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Believe

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration95 mins

Believe(2013)

Touching fictional tale about legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby helping a talented but wayward young footballer fulfil his dreams.

In 1984 Manchester, an 11-year-old named George is struggling with exam pressure and still feeling the effects of a terrible loss. After he resorts to stealing so that he can afford to enter a football competition he is confronted by legendary manager Sir Matt Busby, who recognises talent in the boy, and decides to come out of retirement to coach the young team.

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Zarafa

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration76 mins

Zarafa(2012)

Stunning animation about a young Sudanese boy’s escape from slave traders and his incredible and perilous journey to Paris with an orphaned giraffe.

Take a trip back to a time when the hot air balloon was the most exciting new invention in the world in this remarkable true story. This animated adventure follows an incredible journey between Africa and France, featuring a touching friendship between a boy and a giraffe, as well as providing a gentle introduction to tougher themes such as slavery.

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Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration99 mins

Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest(2006)

In this bright and colourful animated fairy tale, two childhood friends are reunited as adults by a thrilling quest.

With beautiful designs from animator and director Michel Ocelot, this French-Arabic fairy tale serves as an introduction to filmmaking styles from around the world. In it, two childhood friends who love to hear their nurse’s stories of an imprisoned princess both go in search for her as adults, putting their friendship to the test.

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Whale Rider

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration101 mins

Whale Rider(2002)

Tradition causes trouble in a family when a young Maori girl wants to take up what she believes is her rightful place at the head of her tribe.

This funny and touching coming-of-age tale deals with issues around gender, tradition, and cultural beliefs as a young Maori girl challenges the societal norms and expectations around her. Also very moving at times, ‘Whale Rider’ is a lovely film about daring to be yourself.

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Felix

CertUnclassified

Age group7–14

Duration94 mins

Felix(2013)

An uplifting South African film about a 13-year-old talented musician who must earn a place in his new school’s jazz concert.

Providing an insight into life in a South African township, this film deals with transition and anti-bullying issues as Felix adjusts to a new school. Featuring fantastic music and focusing on the power of new friendships, this film is a joy to watch.

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Mad Hot Ballroom

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration101 mins

Mad Hot Ballroom(2005)

An uplifting, thought-provoking documentary about a group of ordinary eleven year olds who set out to compete in a ballroom dance contest in New York.

Audiences will be swept up in this journey towards a big competition and be amazed at the effect that ballroom dancing has on young people’s self-esteem in this heartwarming and inspiring documentary which explores this sub-culture.

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Le Tableau (The Painting)

CertUnclassified

Age group7–11

Duration76 mins

Le Tableau (The Painting)(2011)

Beautiful French animation celebrating tolerance and artistic expression.

In ‘The Painting’, society is strictly divided, with “Sketchies” – the artist’s first pencil drawings – at the bottom of the social ladder, and “Allduns” – the final versions – at the top. Tired of their unfair treatment, a bunch of characters climb out of their paintings to seek answers. This gorgeous French animation explores class and difference in an accessible way.

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The Penguin Who Couldn't Swim

CertUnclassified

Age group7–11

Duration6 mins

The Penguin Who Couldn't Swim(2018)

A penguin stranded on an island unable to swim must come up with imaginative ways to stay afloat.

This short animated film looks at topics such as disability and difference, as well as creativity. A penguin who is unable to swim like those around him – and cast aside for not being able to do so – decides to overcome both his bullies and his fears by embracing the issue and finding inventive methods to defeat it.

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Into Film Youth Made Shorts: Transition (2016)

CertUnclassified

Age group7–11

Duration28 mins

Into Film Youth Made Shorts: Transition (2016)(2016)

Eight youth made short films thematically linked to transition from filmmakers based all around the UK.

With a total running time of 28 minutes, these eight short films from young filmmakers explore the theme of ‘transition’ – moving from one place to the next, be it literally or metaphorically – in a variety of ways, with an emphasis on starting a new school experience.

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