The Best of | Birthdays

11 Movies That Make the Best Kids Birthday Party Themes

There’s something about the pure energy of a kids movie that still has my heart at 26. While my friends anticipate the latest blockbuster action films and rom-coms, I’m always eager to see what creative genius Pixar will top themselves with next.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Inside Out. The movie takes viewers inside the head of an 11-year-old via personified emotions. Between the wild visuals and outrageous adventures, you’ll discover important life lessons for all ages. So while most kids’ movies are light-hearted, there’s a lot of hidden meaning behind your little one’s favorite film (or your favorite, I’m not judging).

All of this is to say: Kids movies make the absolute best birthday party themes. From being brave like Moana to finding unlikely friends like Woody and Buzz Lightyear, there’s no better way to celebrate a milestone than with inspiration from your favorite characters. 

photographer: Charmaine Mallari Photography | design: French Accent Design | rentals: Creating a Scene Winnipeg | cake: Sugar and Blooms Cake

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Minions is probably one of the most adorable kids party themes on this list. The cheery color palette alone is reason to make this your movie party choice. We love a plot (and celebration) that encourages teamwork, eating bananas (hello, potassium), and staying curious.

Minions also tells us that it’s okay to make mistakes — just don’t let it be missing out on a creative party opportunity, like this one.  

Playful Toy Story Themed 5th Birthday Celebration
photo courtesy of, planner & design: ChrisFête Events

Detroit, MI

I’ll be honest, I have a personal attachment to Toy Story. Kids around my age basically grew up with Andy, and when he left for college in Toy Story 3 we were leaving too (or weren’t far from it).

But there’s a lot more to work with here than a timeline. From heartwarming music including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” to all the toys that came alive, the design, prop, and experiential element options are endless. You can even dress the part (I certainly did when I was little).

Magnificent Sing Themed 3rd Birthday Party in Boston, Massachusetts
photo courtesy of, planner & design: ChrisFête Events

Boston, MA

There’s so much to love about Sing, I won’t even attempt to fit it all into this paragraph (if you haven’t seen it, you should, immediately). The overall message is to believe in yourself.

When it comes to a Sing party, I’d suggest activities like kids karaoke, and a sing-along playlist. This birthday offers the perfect inspiration. Each small guest found colorful microphones at their kid-size stools, along with iced cookies representing the main characters. 

Dumbo Carnival Celebration
photographer: Christy and Co | planner: One Inspired Party | décor & rentals: Bambini Soiree | balloons: Balloons by Luz Paz | graphic design & cake stand: Nicks and May | cakes: Divine Delicacies Cakes | sweets: Baked with Love, You can call me Sweetie | printing: Sebastian Barragan 

Miami, FL

I’m sure you know the plot of Dumbo, but in case you don’t, it tells the tale of a circus elephant born with oversized ears. And you guessed it, what made Dumbo different also made him extremely talented and special.

So why choose an ordinary circus theme when you can give it a Dumbo twist like this 1st birthday? Our team is especially loving the marquee letters spelling out the birthday boy’s name and the life-like Dumbo cake. 

Beauty and the Beast Inspired Party
photographer: Unique Design Studios | planner: Monica Pardo Events | design, floral & props: Bambini Soiree | venue: Coral Gables Woman’s Club | sweets: Catalina’s Bake Shop | cake: Moulin Rose Bakery | caterer: Dish Catering by Luis | hair station: Lovely Locks Parties | dj: Power Parties | production: Maxon Productions | entertainment: Bubbles Show; Black and Wine | vinyl wrapping: Wrapafloor | stationery: Love Paper Creations

Coral Gables, FL

The Beauty and the Beast storyline tells us that it’s what’s on the inside that counts — except when it comes to a Beauty and the Beast-themed party, that is.

This 6th birthday went all-in on décor with vibrant red rose centerpieces, intricately designed desserts, and a fairytale photo op. An iconic, yellow Belle outfit for the birthday girl or boy wouldn’t hurt either!

Frozen Themed Birthday Party
photo courtesy of, planner & design: Sugar Rose Events | rentals: SJB Events | balloons: Signature Creations

Dix Hills, NY

For all the parents with Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces kids, this is the best winter party inspiration. From “Let it Go” to “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” consider yourself warned that the music will be stuck in your head for days to come.

Hire a balloon artist to create a winter white ceiling installation like this celebration, and have a rental company add white draping and some sparkly silver linen, and your little guests will be immediately transported to Arendelle. 

photographer: Tatiana Teo Photography | planner: The Party Muse | floral: Barbara’s Flowers | cakes: Lulu’s Cake Boutique | calligraphy: Minted Feather | cups & favors: Noir Style

New York, NY

I won’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Moana, but I will tell you it would make the best kids party theme (and the details from this 3rd birthday prove it).

Moana is not your typical Disney princess, and for that, we love her even more. If your little one has a summer birthday, or you’re simply looking for a tropical feel, this movie puts an adventurous spin on a popular party style. 

Vibrant and Virtual Trollz Theme Birthday Party in Miami, Florida
photographer: Bufotos | planner: The Treehouse Events | bespoke paperie: Lexi Kay Paperie | bon bon boxes & troll pods: Oh La La Party Paperie

Miami, FL

There’s never been a better time to emphasize the importance of finding the silver lining, and Trolls does that in a kid-friendly way. This virtual 4th birthday party offers inspiration to bring the movie to life (and it’s no coincidence that there’s silver tinsel wall linings).

When it comes to a Trolls party theme, bring on the color. From invitations to party favors, desserts and more, this movie will make for a memorable milestone, guaranteed. 

Off to Neverland!
photo courtesy of, planner & décor: Simply Perfect Events | floral: Arthur Golabek | venue: Town stages new york | rentals & fabrications: Decco By Party Up Productions

New York, NY

According to Simply Perfect Events, all that was needed was “faith, trust, and pixie dust” to make this Peter Pan party soar. Taking guests to Neverland may seem like an obvious party theme, but the depth of detail and wide range of elements you can use makes each Peter Pan party totally unique.

The best part? This theme is totally transferable to adult parties — after all, we never need to grow out of such a classic. 

Star Wars Themed 5th Birthday
photographer: Alyssa Hunter Photography | planner, design, balloons & rentals: Hello Pretty Events | floral: Daydream Studio LA | acrylic signage: Crafting Gems | cotton candy & shaved ice: The Jolly Sheep | live balloon art: BalloonWorkz | cake: KT Cakes Bakeshop | star wars characters: OC Characters IO | mobile zoo: Mobile Zoo of Southern California | rentals: Belle of the Ball Event Decor

Westlake Village, CA

Okay, Star Wars isn’t the most kid-friendly movie on the list, but it is PG — and for that reason I couldn’t leave it out.

This “trooper training” birthday optimized the theme for young ones with character-lined centerpieces, a galaxy-inspired balloon installation, and a Yoda cake topper (resist that, you will not). Animated chair backings, “choose wisely” dessert carts, and a costume station prove that every detail counts when it comes to making your theme party stand out. 


People Also Ask…

How do you choose a good party theme?

There are a few things to consider when selecting your little one’s party theme. First, what are their interests and hobbies? There are plenty of movies that can align with your kids’ latest obsession. From Cars to Paw Patrol it’s easy to find characters that reflect something they love.

You can also consider the season. Finding Nemo and Surf’s Up make great summer party themes, while Frozen and Ice Age might suit winter birthdays better. If you need more ideas, you can filter real kids’ birthday parties on PartySlate by theme, season, style, and more.

What’s next?

Ready to start planning your kids’ birthday party? PartySlate has all the tools you need to find a venue near you, find trustworthy vendors, and find inspiration. Plus, you can save photos you love to an Idea Slate, so your favorite ideas are always there waiting for you. You can also hire a party planner to ease the stress of producing your child’s dream theme.