5 of the Best Sci-Fi Movies for Kids

E.T. Is Terrifying

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial | Universal Pictures

While many science fiction films are full of things that most children would appreciate — such as bizarre aliens, futuristic spaceships, and sentient robots — the genre is generally not considered family-friendly. After all, this is a genre that includes everything from the chest-bursting critters in Alien, to the city-destroying mutant monsters of Godzilla. While most kids would probably love to meet a robot, a murderous android with an inexplicable Austrian accent from The Terminator should probably not be their first introduction to robots in movies. Fortunately, there are some family-friendly sci-fi films out there that are still entertaining to watch, but won’t psychologically scar your children.

Here are five great sci-fi films that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

When it comes to family-friendly sci-fi, it’s hard to top Steven Spielberg’s classic movie about a lovable alien creature that is stranded on earth and befriends a young boy. While the film contains some intense scenes of E.T. fleeing government agents trying to capture him, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an overall great film with which to introduce children to science fiction. Despite being over thirty years old, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has remained popular with audiences and critics alike and currently has a 98 percent “Certified Fresh” rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes.

For families that are sensitive about the appearance of firearms onscreen, a twentieth anniversary edition of the film digitally replaced rifles held by some federal agents with walkie-talkies. Besides being notable for starring a wrinkled brown space alien, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is also notable for starring a young Drew Barrymore in what would become her breakout role.