12 Movies About Orphans That You Should Watching Update 04/2024

Movies About Orphans

Children and family relationships are the subject of many films. However, how many people out there have dealt with orphans in their lives? Here’s a list of must-see movies that you should surely add to your collection. Several of these will leave you reeling from the inside out. Many of these best orphan movies are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

12. Annie (1982)

Annie (1982)

A number of adaptations of Harold Gay’s 1924 comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” have appeared, but the 1982 musical “Annie” remains one of the most well-known. Orphan Annie finds herself in an unusual predicament when she receives an invitation to live in a wealthy gentleman’s estate, a dramatic contrast to her prior hardships at the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City. When little Annie reunites with the Warbucks after a series of twists and turns, she faces everything from a threat to her life to a joyful ending.

11. Despicable Me 2 (2013)

The sequel to the wildly successful ‘Minions’ film series. Following the events of Despicable Me, Gru is a likable character in Despicable Me 2. As a result, he has left the criminal underworld and is now entirely focused on parenting his two adoptive daughters. For the first time in a long time, we see three orphaned children living a joyful, safe existence that is filled with love, care, and the promise of a bright future. That anarchic edge is gone, but this one relies completely on people’s kindness, their role as a safe haven for youngsters, and is a lot of pleasure to watch. All that remains to be said is, “What more can be said?” AWESOME BANANAS!!

10. Peter Pan (2003)

Peter Pan (2003)

In 1902, J.M. Barrie penned a work that would go on to inspire a slew of cinematic adaptations. He came up with the figure of Peter Pan and went on to construct numerous stories and events centered around him. However, along with Disney’s version from half a century earlier, the 2003 version of “Peter Pan” is one of the most notable adaptations. Wendy and her boys are taken to Neverland by Pan, where he confronts his arch-enemy Hook. The casting in this film is absolutely perfect. As Captain Hook and Mr. George Darling, Jason Isaacs plays the roles of the two characters. There is a contagious and endearing spark between Pan (Jeremy Sumpter) and Wendy (Rachel Hurd-Wood). It’s also the first time a boy has played Peter Pan on stage.

9. Kung fu Panda 2 (2011)

The second film in DreamWorks’ highly successful trilogy. Continuing the storyline established in the first film, Kung Fu Panda explores Po’s past in greater depth. The Dragon Warrior Po and his allies must stop Shen, played by Gary Oldman, from retaliating against them. This can only be accomplished if Po is able to accept the truth of his biological parentage. As a young child, he learns of his parents’ heroic deeds in the face of Shen’s oppression, which led to the disclosure of his own past. Every element of the story is present in this picture, including a memorable villain, a strong sense of community among Po’s group of pals, and of course, a lot of fun.

8. The Book Thief (2013)

The Book Thief (2013)

In 2013, eight years after the publication of Markus Zusak’s novel of the same name, a film adaptation was released. The story takes place during World War II in Germany, and the novel that served as the basis for the screenplay was a huge success. A little German girl who witnessed the death of her younger brother in front of her arrives at her foster home, the Hubermanns, where she is cared for by the Hubermann family. The micro-story of a little girl’s romantic interest in books is juxtaposed with the larger narrative of Nazi Germany’s widespread violence, oppression, and horror. An incredibly heartbreaking film about an orphan who has to deal with a lot of heartache and loss.

7. Hugo (2002)

Hugo, based on Brian Selznick’s story ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret,’ is unlike any other contemporary film about an orphan protagonist. With an insatiable desire to carry out his late father’s aim of mending a mechanical automaton, Hugo is the son of a deceased watchmaker. Living with an alcoholic uncle, he takes care of the clocks at the station. Suddenly, he’s confronted by Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Georges Méliès (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) (Ben Kingsley). Because it’s unlike anything else Martin Scorsese has ever done, it’s truly unique. Love, friendship, and the beautiful history of filmmaking are all themes explored in this heartwarming film.

6. Lion (2017)

Lion (2017)

It’s important to note that although while *spoiler alert* Lion isn’t about an orphan, it does raise issues about one’s own sense of identity and parenthood. After being separated from his family on a train in India, five-year-old Saroo was adopted by an Australian couple. He finds himself in the middle of a strange urban culture that is vastly different from the one he grew up in. He must search for his biological mother in India with unshakeable faith and perseverance. Saroo was born in Australia and grew up there for decades before returning to India with the help of Google Maps and his own investigation. This is a genuine story of a son and his mother’s unfathomable love that transcends time and space, a ‘coming home’ both figurative and literal.

5. Batman Begins (2005)

The most well-known orphan in popular culture. The grim and traumatic boyhood of Batman or Bruce Wayne is well-known to the public. Batman’s legacy is what makes him unique. His parents were shot in an alley by a lowlife as a child, and that trauma reverberates throughout his life. Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan, has a teenage Bruce Wayne training with Ra’s Al Ghul in the League of Shadows only to be disillusioned by his tutor. He returns to Gotham and confronts his fear of bats as Batman as he assumes the mantle of the superhero. Ra’s and Scarecrow’s anarchic scheme must be thwarted, but he must also deal with a painful history.

4. Oliver Twist (1948)

Oliver Twist (1948)

The literary Bruce Wayne! Yes, it’s a rather wide remark to make, but hey, whatever. They are a physical representation of the agony of being an orphan. In the end, David Lean’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel “A Christmas Carol” is good if not exceptional. Oliver Twist is a voyage of adversity and suffering (both mental and physical) for a tiny child who just manages to survive in the brutal and exploitative society depicted by the monochromatic palette and industrial London. The film is so well-made that it can be viewed as a documentary about poverty’s nakedness being unveiled in all its glory.

3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Another massively popular film that has had a profound effect on the current generation. When it comes to examining the intricacy of an orphan’s adolescence, the first film of the franchise delivers the most comprehensive view. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a world where magic prevails, and Harry soon receives a letter from his aunt’s family inviting him to join them. Harry comes to grips with many aspects of his life, including his true identity as “the child who lived,” his sense of duty, his relationship with his parents, and a slew of revelations regarding the wizarding community. For orphans all over the world who want to escape their monotonous existences and experience a life filled with adventure, this is the perfect film. Few films have managed to grab the imagination of an entire generation like Harry Potter.

2. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Grave of the Fireflies is one of those films that keeps you on the edge of your seat for days after you see it. “Grave of the Fireflies” is one of Studio Ghibli’s best films, focusing on the lives of two orphaned children who were left to fend for themselves after their parents were killed in World War II. The movie is stunning, surprising, and heartbreaking all at the same time. When we see a little boy and his infant sister, we get a glimpse of their tenderness and longing for each other. It’s the culmination of a lack of food, money, and shelter that leads to the inevitable conclusion of the film. Instead of trying to form an opinion about the factors that drive war, “Grave of the Fireflies” expresses a brutally honest portrayal of ordinary people and children as its victims.

1. Good Will Hunting (1997)

This is one of those movies you’ll cherish for a long time to come. It transforms your perspective on life, allowing you to see things from a new angle. This is the story of Will Hunting, a troubled young man played to perfection by Matt Damon, who works as a janitor at MIT. In Sean Maguire’s superb portrayal of Sean Maguire, he solves a grade-level Maths problem without any help from anyone. Despite Maguire’s recognition of Will Hunting’s hidden talent, he encounters hurdles in opening Will’s inner demons so that he might discover his actual identity. There is a lot of love in this movie. To begin with, it has a solid social context, an appealing dynamic in the form of Matt Damon and Minnie Driver, and a well-written narrative to boot.