They can be annoying, as our "ten most annoying kids" list showed, but they can also be adorable, cute, hilarious, heart-breaking, and brilliant. Never write off the young punters or little guys. They will one day be running the show and may thank us for a fond remembrance. As always it is the order they were thought of, nothing more.
10. Billy Rowan (Sebastian Rice-Edwards): Hope and Glory 1989
A not so well-known British WWII drama about a young boy and his family in the blitz. This really is the perfectly portrayal of a boy of those times. He ravage bombsites, collects shrapnel, watches girls (from a distance) and get in various other wartime childhood scrapes. The scene where he finds his lead soldiers is worthy of any adult actor. A beautiful ending and just generally a fantastic, heart-warming film. Perfect for a first date movie, or a boxing day treat. No chance of regret on that one.
9. Miles Russel (Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin) Uncle Buck 1989: Flu Season
I could not do the list without the king of child acting and it was either Kevin from Home Alone, or this. Now people mock this guy, but he was never, to his credit, annoying. He got it exactly right. However, it is his hilarious turn in Uncle Buck that wins his place here. When he sees his ghastly older sister snogging a young thug with he quips the line: "That's a pretty silly thing to do in 'flu season!" Delivery worthy of Alec Baldwin.
8. Morgan Stark (Alexandra Rabe) Avengers Endgame 2019
Not much screen time, however she is eternally adorable and infinitely cute. Her brilliant scenes with the fabulous Robert Downey Jnr and the heart-breaking ending on the bench with Happy are what makes us love her 3000.
7. Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) Stranger Things
The current Netflix favourite Stephen King-style supernatural series has a wealth of young talent, so it is hard to pick. For us, the cream of the crop is the lovable Dustin His goofy appearance, speech impediment, ready one-liners, and loyalty to his friends stands him out just a little more than the rest. A great dynamic between them, reminiscent of Stand by Me but less full of implausible sentiment, is the main reason that the show is so watchable.
6. Wednesday Adams (Christina Ricci) The Addams Family 1991
Deadpan over and above any other screen presence. She fires out monotone vitriol at her brother and family but is at heart, just looking to protect them. Her highlight is in the camp Thanksgiving pageant where she wreaks havoc on the insipid and cruel counselors and the obsequious children all in the name of Pocahontas. A flurry of high quality child talent was to grace this production but today was definitely Wednesday.
5. Natalie Scheffer: Joe Somebody 2001
A story about a man beaten up by a workplace bully in front of his daughter. The film was a flop, but the silver lining was the daughter herself. Now as this is a top ten child star list, I am avoiding the word "precocious" and have allowed two uses, first is here. She is forced, through an immature mother to grow up fast which she has done but retaining the charm and whimsy of her age. Although the film crashed, her quick and snappy dialogue and incessant likability got her a nomination for best young actress that year.
4. Ray Boyd (Johnathan Lipnicki) Jerry Maguire 2001
Anyone reading knew this was coming. The carousel-riding Jerry-hugging little wonder from one of the most successful movies ever was a hit with all viewers. Whilst a lot of his most adorable lines were added in post-production, it still is to his credit that his incredibly cute portrayal never wandered into sickly (wonder why Liar Liar is not in the list?) The ring-bearer scene threatened to push it into the said zone but due to the other excellence, we let it slide.
3. Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd) The Shining 1980
The sort of little kid everyone wants (aside from the supernatural horror part). He is well behaved, inventive, polite, and most of all he is a brilliant child in a crisis. No whining, no squawking, no questions. Anyone remember that little blonde girl in season 2 of 24 that looked like an old man and was CONSTANTLY grizzling throughout the crisis? None of that here. Danny listens to his mother and shows quick thinking and guts, even when his father is trying to chop him up with an axe
2. Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) Little Miss Sunshine 2006
Precocious (that's two) without the slick irritation of Dakota Fanning and others that have that label, Olive is simply adorable. She is damaged, hilarious, and that dance at the end is always going to be a cinematic legend. Those who label it paedophilia are the same ones who said that about 'Brasseye.' Totally wonderful, the troubled family unifies on stage to let "Olive be Olive." That line, when asked by the pageant controller where her Grandad is: "He's in the trunk of our car." Just brilliant.
I.* Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) Stand by Me 1986
There are a few to choose from. Phoenix is too nice, Wheaton too whiny, and O'Connell too daft (although never write off the fat kid, couldn't believe it when I saw Jerry Maguire!) So the choice has to be the oddball Teddy. For any reason, he was the most believable, he was the funniest, and he delivered his lines with hilarity. The swamp scene was just brilliant. If you had to ask which would be the presence the film could not do without (as it was not originally meant to be Gordy as a main) I would say Feldman every time. Of course there is an overall dynamic that makes them all vital as well as the rich tapestry of additional faces, the biggest piece of the pie is his, hands down
why have I used an I instead of 1? (Because if you write the number "1" first in a sentence on this shitty Wix Website platform it defaults to list mode and indents the margin whether you like it or not so choose wisely web-warriors)