The Best St. Patrick’s Day Movies  for Kids

The Best St. Patrick’s Day Movies for Kids

The Best St. Patrick's Day Movies for Kids

Felipe Femur the skeleton here with my friend, Melody the banshee. Melody is mute, so I’ll be doing the talking, but this is her favorite holiday. She dyed her hair orange and Choral the crab is painted up green. Melody wanted to make sure you had a wailing good time, so she helped pick these great holiday movies. Oh, this old thing? Just pulled it out of my closet this morning. I thought I’d wear my leprechaun outfit today in honor of Ireland, the Emerald Isle, and for St. Patrick’s Day. Plus there that American tradition of pinching those not wearing green. I guess it’s to warn people that leprechauns like to pinch those they can see, meaning those not wearing green. Not that I have any skin to pinch, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Anyway, we’ve searched high and low for the best family-friendly Irish/ St. Patrick’s Day movies for children, so without further ado…

OK… a little more ado. The following list is just as exciting as finding a lucky four-leaf clover. Enjoy all of the films throughout the day or settle for one.  If you are having trouble deciding which movie to watch this St. Patrick’s Day, consider watching the ones with my Felipe Femur seal of approval next to it. This indicates  my top choice for St. Patrick’s Day enjoyment! Be sure to check out our craft and activity section to find more fun things to do on this holiday. You’ll even find word searches for St. Patty’s Day! All free! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, reader!

Leprechauns List of the Best St. Patrick's Day Movies for Kids

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Behind the Waterfall

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Behind the Waterfall (1995)

 

Behind the Waterfall is a film that features a young boy, Tommy, and his sister who have recently lost their father in a tragic airplane crash. With the idea of leprechauns having to grant wishes when caught planted in their young minds, young Tommy and his older sister set off to capture one. Together the siblings come across a kindly older man, the town storyteller, who they assume is a leprechaun. They spend the summer trying to prove the town story teller is a leprechaun. In doing so, the old man get’s the children to come out of their shells. The children are told stories about banshees, fairies, and a magical flute that grants a single wish to whomever plays it. The film also introduces the púca, a mythical creature, or rather in the case of this movie a horse spirit that in Celtic folklore brings both good and bad fortune. The town storyteller uses stories and imagination to help two siblings come to terms with a parent’s death in this touching family-friendly movie that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

 Darby O'Gill and the Little People

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Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)

The classic, Darby O’Gill and the Little People, is story about an Irishman and his battle of wits with the clever leprechauns—he goes toe to toe, mind to mind, wit to wit with the king of the leprechauns in order to play matchmaker for the younger protagonists. Parents should be warned that there are some scary parts in this film, such as the introduction of the banshee. It isn’t violent, but it is a bit spooky. Still it’s a great introduction to Irish mythology with the banshee and leprechauns. The movie is filled with magic. Magical people (leperachauns), a banshee, and three wishes. The movie’s screenplay was written by Lawrence Edward Watkin, based on the books of Herminie Templeton Kavanagh. Darby O’Gill and the Little People was release in 1959 by Walt Disney Productions. The feature film stars Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Jimmy O’Dea,  and a young Sean Connery. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson. It is also a top pick for great St. Patrick’s Day viewing.

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Dwegons and Leprechauns

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Dwegons and Leprechauns (2014)

Dwegons and Leprechauns features the down-on-their-luck Fitzgerald family. The family, hoping for change decides to move from Chicago when they inherit an old house in the countryside of Northern California. To their astonishment, the family finds the home is full of unexpected, strange creatures called Dwegons that are monstrous but friendly. Dwegons are tiny, hideous looking, winged creatures that have scales, horns, and humanoid arms and legs, as well as faces on their torsos. These magical creatures ultimately bring the family together. While the movie does not focus largely on Irish culture or even the leprechauns, nor it is high budget like the majority of these other films, it is a newer movie, and a unique one at that. Dwegons and Leprechauns (2014) is a movie kids will likely enjoy more than adults. Quirky, strange, and heartwarming.

Finian’s Rainbow

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Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

In this classic musical, an Irish immigrant moves into a Southern American town—Rainbow Valley, Missitucky, USA—with his daughter. There he believes he will find great wealth. With a magical piece of gold “borrowed” from the leprechauns, he plans to change everyone’s lives for the better, including a besieged tobacco farmer and the African American populace who are threatened by a narrow-minded politician. In “borrowing” the leprechauns’ gold he has stolen from them their magical powers. One leprechaun, Og, goes on a quest to get the gold back.

This film introduces children to both Irish mythology in the form of Leprechauns, as well as bigotry in the form of segregation.

The Last Leprechaun

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Last Leprechaun, The (1998)

Tommy and Ethal Barrick are sent away to spend the summer with their new stepmother in Ireland. Both of the children miss their distant but successful businessman father, but it isn’t homesickness that ends up being the problem. Once they arrive, Tommy and Ethal realize that their new step mother is an evil witch with magical powers and an evil butler to boot. On top of these magical powers, their step-mother harbors a hatred for all things green.

With the help of a kindly housekeeper, the children struggle to fight off the evil butler and step-mother as they try to understand their father. Will they  find the family that they never had?

 

  Leapin Leprechauns

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Leapin Leprechauns (1995)

A young boy, Mikey Dennehy, makes some fascinating discoveries while on vacation at his uncle’s house in Ireland. Mikey discovers that not only are the mythical creatures/ little people, leprechauns, real, but that his new next door neighbor is the queen of the underworld. This evil queen is intent on rounding up all the leprechauns for a massive sacrifice, while in the mortal world a man tries to build a theme park on top of land secretly home to the friendly leprechauns.

The sequel to this family-friendly adventure is called Spellbreaker: Secret Of The Leprechauns (1996). This sequal again features Mikey Dennehy as he visits Fairyhill, Ireland for the summer.

The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold

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Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold, The (1981)

This is more of a Christmas movie than a St. Patrick’s Day movie, but it does retain the themes that are in most every other selection on this list. As such, this is great as both a St. Patrick’s day movie with the banshee, gold, and leprechauns theme, and as a Christmas movie with it being set just before Christmas

A young sailor by the name of Dinty Doyle finds himself stranded on an island. This island just happens to be home to leprechauns. Unfortunately, by digging up a pine tree, Dinty Doyle accidentally releases Old Mag the Hag. Old Mag the Hag is a banshee—a mythical, Irish creature with a horrifying scream—who seeks the gold of the leprechauns, which she wants before Christmas comes. Dinty finds himself helping the leprechauns protect Blarney Kilakilarney’s gold from a greedy Hag. Can Dinty Doyle keep Old Mag the Hag away from the gold so that she doesn’t use it for her own evil purposes?

LUCK OF THE IRISH

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Luck of the Irish (2001)

In this Disney TV movie original, Kyle Johnson, a popular junior high school basketball player learns a bit about his genealogy with an unexpected and fun adventure. Kyle has never known a thing about his heritage, but he learns quickly when he has his lucky gold coin stolen. Bizarre things start to happen to Kyle. His ears become elfish, pointed; his hair begins to turn orange; and most inconvenient of all (being he’s a basketball player) he grows shorter and shorter. Kyle returns home one day to find that his mother has shrunken to half foot in height. The truth is revealed: his mother’s side is made up of Leprechauns. Kyle is only half leprechaun though, since his dad is a human. It also turns out that the gold coin he always wore was actually a lucky coin. Magically lucky. When the coin is in the possession of the youngest member of the family, it allows all the leprechauns to pass as humans. However, since the coin is gone, the family has lost their luck, and begin reverting to their true forms.

The Magical Legend Of The Leprechauns

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Magical Legend of the Leprechauns, The (1999)

While this is a TV miniseries and not a movie, it still earns it’s place on this list of the best St. Patrick’s Day movies for kids. The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns is a series that begins with an American businessman, Jack Woods, renting a cottage on the enchanted Emerald Isle (Ireland). This cottage is occupied by a family of leprechauns. Leprechaun Seamus Muldoon’s son and his friends crash the fairies’ annual costume ball. Muldoon’s son falls in love with the fairy Princess, Jessica and their love rekindles a feud between the faries and the leprechauns. This feud soon escalates into a war. The Grand Banshee, who is much like Melody’s father, warns of terrible consequences to this war. The American business man, Jack Woods, is chosen as the maker and keeper of peace. Jack interrupts his own love life, a romance with an Irish woman, to help the leprechauns and fairies. He finds himself deep in a strange and wonderful magical adventure.

poster art

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Secret of Kells, The (2009)

A modern and uniquely animated film, The Secret of the Kells is a wonderful addition to this list of St. Patrick’s Day movies for kids that demonstrates the value of books and education. In an isolated, walled outpost lives the protagonist, a monkish young Brendan. His village is small but full of quirky and friendly characters.  Soon he finds his outpost will be attacked by a raiding band of north men barbarians. Brendan is happy being safe within the wall of the outpost, but a new life of adventure calls when a master illuminator arrives from the isle of Iona. This celebrated master carries an ancient but unfinished book—a book that is full of secret wisdom and powers. To help complete this book, Brendan must overcome his fears and set out on a dangerous quest to collect oak berries for the production of colored ink. His quest takes him into the enchanted forest where mythical creatures are veiled. Here he meets the fairy by the name of Aisling, who is a mysterious young wolf-girl.  Aisling helps Brendan along the way, but with the North man barbarians fast approaching, will Brendan’s determination illuminate the darkness that threatens his way of life in order to show that enlightenment is the best defense against evil?

Song of the Sea

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Song of the Sea (2014)

From the director/ writer of The Secret of the Kells comes my second top pick, Song of the Sea. Six years after his wife dies giving birth to his daughter, Saoirse, Conor lives as a lighthouse with his daughter and son, Ben. Ben blames his sister for the death of his mother and Saorise is mute. (Melody found Saorise quiet relatable). After a visit from her grandmother, Saoirse finds out she is the last of the selkies. The Selkies are those who transform from people into seals, in this case with the help of a sealskin coat. After this, Ben and Saorise are taken away from the sea to live in the city with their grandmother. Together, Ben and Saorise must escape from their grandmother’s home and journey to the sea. There they must free the fairy creatures that are trapped and save the spirit world. The film introduces Celtic mythology, and is one of the few that doesn’t focus on leprechauns, thus the plot and story are as fresh as the artistic animations are.

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A Very Unlucky Leprechaun

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Very Unlucky Leprechaun, A (1998)

An unlucky leprechaun teams up with a young girl to overcome challenges. In this comical-fantasy film for the entire family, nine-year-old Molly Wilson moves with her family to Ireland. Her father, Howard, has inherited an estate; however, the family soon learns that their new home is known to the locals as “Misfortune Mansion.” Supposedly bad fortune comes to anyone who lives there. As it happens, they learn that they’ll have a pay a hefty tax if they want to stay in their new home. Luckily, Molly discovers a leprechaun living on the grounds and befriends him as the house needs a leprechaun to bring it good luck. Unfortunately, Lucky (Warwick Davis) the leprechaun is anything but. In ironic fashion that is typical of my very own friends (Sunny the sun loving vampire, Melody the mute banshee, etc) Lucky’s luck has run out because he hasn’t eaten a four-leaf clover in over a 100 years. The leprechaun’s bad luck begins to rub off on young Molly. She starts to get into all kinds of dilemmas. Can Lucky and Molly turn their luck around and win the prize from the town’s annual cart race to pay the taxes and keep the house?

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