When a movie geared toward children is particularly successful — think Frozen, The Little Mermaid, or Encanto — there will without a doubt be a line of toys to follow. Somewhere along the way, the link between kids’ movies and merchandise became intertwined — it’s nearly impossible for a movie to come out without an accompanying toy line. But sometimes, this process is reversed. The toy itself is so iconic, it inspires a movie (or several movies). Over the past few decades, we’ve seen just how enduring a popular franchise can be at the box office. Why dream up a brand new set of characters when you have plenty that kids already know and love?

As we’ve seen with the incredibly enthusiastic response to Barbie’s ingenious marketing campaign this year, even adults get excited to rally behind an iconic toy. Typically, it’s something they grew up with (like Barbie), adding a layer of nostalgia that offers escapism in today’s weary world. And while it’s easy for a movie based on a toy line to come off as cookie cutter and uninspired, there are actually some titles out there that are really good. Sure, your age might impact your overall enjoyment level, but there’s no denying that these films are fun to watch.

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Whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, there’s something so familiar and fun about watching a beloved plaything come to life on screen. With more of these films happening all of the time, let’s catch up on the best movies so far that are based on toys.

The Best Movies Based On Toys

Although they’re sometimes associated with craven financial motives, there have been some really good movies based on children’s toys.
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