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From Herbie to Lightning McQueen: the five best car movies for kids

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June 2nd 2020 fun

We’re all stuck in the house a little more than usual and if you’ve got kids you’ll know they get bored easily, especially on the ranier days. This is where a saving grace comes through: films!

From Herbie to Lightning McQueen, cars have been a feature of many a kids film. So, whether you prefer animated car movies or old school favourites, take a look at some of the must-see films in our car movies list to keep the kids entertained.

5. Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)

The world's craziest Volkswagen Beetle returned to our screens after a 25 year hiatus, to meet his new owner, Maggie (Lindsay Lohan). By channeling the spirit of the original, this modern version is fun for all the family..

Maggie was born into an automobile-racing family, and is an aspiring race car driver. For her graduation present, her dad (Michael Keaton) gifted her a Volkswagen Beetle (Herbie) from the local junkyard. Will she be able to restore Herbie up to her race car standard?

While it can be a little corny at times, its messages of teamwork and family solidarity is sure to strike a chord, plus it has a few laughs in store for the adults, too!


4. The Lego Movie (2014)

Emmet (Chris Pratt) is an ordinary LEGO figurine – he follows the rules, he's a nice guy, and is always smiling. When he's mistaken for the 'special', he's recruited to join a quest to stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from gluing the LEGO universe… will he be able to stop him?

This is the ideal film for kids and adults, meaning you won’t have to suffer too much while watching it. It’s filled with fun songs, laughter and suspense, as well as quite a few LEGO cars along the way!


3. Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Ever since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was brought to life on the big screen in 2001 with 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', the public have become obsessed.

In the second installment, a house elf warns boy wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) that trouble is at bay at Hogwarts. Will Harry uncover the mystery behind the Chamber of Secrets?

Why is this in a list of car movies list? Well, don’t you recall the iconic scene with a flying blue Ford Anglia? It's a must-see for all fantasy fans, plus it may even kickstart your children’s reading habits.

Almost everybody loves Harry Potter, so this is an easy choice if your kids are driving you over the edge.


2. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Your kids haven’t seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang yet? We’re not one to pass judgement, but…

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang theme tune has been stuck in our heads for over half a century now!

Down-on-his-luck oddball inventor Caractacus (Dick Van Dyke) picks himself back up when one of his inventions comes to life – a flying car. Featuring all things over the top, fun and fanciful, it's a classic.

It’s not only timeless, but it has something for all viewers: whether the grandparents are looking after them or you’re letting them watch it alone, this car-themed movie will delight from start to finish.

Just be prepared for your kids to be singing its theme tune for, well, forever.


1. Cars (2006)

This animated car film has seen two sequels, but the original is where it’s at. Melding feel-good Pixar charm with motorsports, this is a theme that all budding motorheads will adore.

Hotshot race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is travelling cross-country to the Piston Cup Championship to compete against two pros. When he finds himself dozing on Route 66, he accidentally damages some property in the small town of Radiator Springs. Full of friendly faces, famous McQueen feels he's too good to be there. Will he make it to California in time to compete?

The most feel-good car movie for children, highly rated by 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.


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