I’m reposting Reel Girl’s list of great movies starring girls because I just updated it. Please let me know if you have movies to add. I’m also posting my initial preamble to my recommendations, explaining why it took me so long to make the list and why Reel Girl’s list is hard to get on.
This is a list of girl centered movies with strong girls. That sentence may seem redundant but sadly, it’s not. Many girl centered movies feature a girl who is a princess in distress or a cheerleader trying to keep a boyfriend or Barbie worrying about how to dress for the prom.
Or, if Hollywood allows a strong girl to appear in a movie that is not about a typical, cookie cutter “feminine” dilemma, her screen time is limited; her role is supporting: she is there to help the boy on his quest.
To clarify: the following is a list of movies with strong female main characters where the narrative is based on her brave quest.
This is not a list of HHH (triple Heroine) movies. Some movies may be included on this list such as a Barbie adventure or Kim Possible that would not get a HHH because of the main character’s plastic looks or typical princessy dilemma, but the movie is listed here because, in spite of that stereotype, it is still centered on a brave female hero who has cool adventures.
A few movies are not included on this list even though they are centered on a girl and her brave quest because the movie is simply too awful, meaning boring. “Judy Moody,” unfortunately, fits that category.
Wow, this is why it has been so hard for Reel Girl to recommend, but here we go.
These movies are for kids, not young adults.
Remember, these are movies to show your sons as well as your daughters.
This is a list in progress. Please send in your suggestions.
Reel Girl’s list of great movies starring strong girls:
Spirited Away HHH
My Neighbor Totoro HHH
Kiki’s Delivery Service HHH
Alice In Wonderland (2010) HHH
The Golden Compass HHH
Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia HH
The Powerpuff Girls HH
Wonder Woman HH (2009)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind HHH
The Wizard of Oz HHH
Mary Poppins HH
Pippi Longstocking HH
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe HHH
The Last Unicorn HH
The Secret World of Arrietty HHH
Avalon High HHH
Wrinkle in Time HHH
Nim’s Island HHH
The Croods HH
Ramona and Beezus HH
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl HHH
Fly Away Home HHH
Movies suggested to me that I have not yet seen:
The Secret Garden
Anne of Green Gables
Tinker Bell sequel
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
The Fox and the Child
Leafie a Hen Into the Wild
The Cat Returns
Whisper of the Heart
The Secret of N.I.M.H.
Castle in the Sky
The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
Yobi the Five Tailed Fox
Akeelah and the Bee
Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken
An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars
Ronia the Robbers’ Daughter
Sailor Moon, the movie 1 & 2
Pippi Longstocking sequels
The Worst Witch
Return to Oz
The Secret of Roan Inish
Olive, the Other Reindeer
Home on the Range
Cave of the Golden Rose
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time