Five Great Kid Performances

He’s beloved by children all around the world – with Justin Bieber Never Say Never hitting cinemas, explores some of our favourite kid characters in cinema…

Ferris Bueller – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off


Ferris may not exactly be saving the world but for sheer chutzpah this teenage tearaway makes it into our list. His enthusiastic quest for nothing more than a good time and the lengths he will go to in order to get it are truly heroic! The young Matthew Broderick as Bueller is a role model for any kid who ever woke up and just didn’t feel like going to school (so that’ll be every child then!). What makes Ferris different is the ingenuity and effort he takes to do it – which in our book is about as heroic as it gets!

Paikea – Whale Rider

Whale Rider is a coming of age film with more substance than most (it’s not about getting a date to the prom). Paikea is a young Maori girl who wishes to become
leader of her tribe after her brother who had been destined for the role is killed. A girl has never fulfilled that role, so Paikea has to prove herself worthy to her
disapproving family and community – not to mention the whales that surround the island. Paikea though is determined and fights against circumstance and prejudice to achieve her goal.

Elliott – E.T. the Extra Terrestrial



There is no doubt that E.T. is one of the most enduring characters in film history but the reason the film is so loved is the relationship between E.T. and Elliott.Elliott is an ordinary, timid little boy who finds such deep friendship with the little alien that he is able to summon extraordinary courage in order to protect him from the shadowy and terrifying government agents who want to experiment on his best friend. Elliott manages to rescue his friend and even the escape route would have taken courage; the idea of flying on a bicycle doesn’t sound like a relaxing experience to us!


Sarah Williams – Labyrinth


If were Sarah Williams, we wouldn’t have been too bothered about rescuing baby Toby from the Goblin King. He was a crier, plus he probably would have had a pretty good time growing up with David Bowie…but then we’ve never been all that heroic. Sarah on the other hand fights her way through the utterly surreal labyrinth in order to save her baby brother; fighting away strange creatures, braving the Bog of Eternal Stench, putting up with Hoggle without strangling him, not to mention being menaced by Bowie in a codpiece.

Chihiro – Spirited Away


When you think about it, cinema has a pretty sadistic attitude to children; they are constantly being put into situations that would turn adults into gibbering messes! This is especially true when the children are particularly spoiled or bratty. At the beginning of Spirited Away, Chihiro isn’t exactly a lovable character. When her parents are turned into pigs by a mysterious spell she is forced to fend for herself and muster up the courage to save them and find her way home; all the while dealing with a world filled by bizarre creatures and dangerous spirits.


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