The past few decades have seen the rise, fall and potential rebound in the popularity of the young adult film franchise. Initially driven by large successful franchises such as Harry potter, The hunger Games, and dusk, the genre has diversified and expanded in recent years.
Always with blockbusters like the MCU Spider Man films, the genre now also includes romantic comedies such as To all the boys as well as animated franchises like How to train your dragon. While some young adult film franchises lose momentum after the first film or gain a loyal fan base who continue to see the films regardless of their quality, some franchises are able to maintain the same level of quality throughout. of the various entries, cementing themselves as the best young adult film franchises.
ten To all the boys (6.5)
Stream on Netflix
The Netflix Romantic Comedy Franchise To all the boys follows high school student Lara Jean as her letters to her former crushes are posted against her will, prompting boys from her past to suddenly resurface.
While the film mainly moves away from this central concept by the third film, the franchise is bolstered by its cast of likable characters, led by a charming performance by Lana Condor as Lara Jean. The sequels aren’t as fresh as the original, but the franchise is a sweet and endearing series that’s sure to keep fans of the genre entertained.
9 The Maze Runner (6.5)
Rent Maze Runner on Vudu; Stream Scorch Trials on TNT; Stream Death Cure on Hulu
Set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world, the maze runner The film trilogy deals with protagonist Thomas’ attempts to avoid a series of obstacles as he uncovers the truth about the mysterious Department of the Global Disaster Destruction Zone.
While the movies sometimes leaned too much on the genre’s clichés and tropes, the thrilling action and solid performances from the impressive cast helped overcome these issues. While the series didn’t finish adapting all of the books, the films delivered a memorable and beloved trilogy.
8 The Chronicles of Narnia (6.6)
Stream on Disney +
Based on the classic book series, the Chronicles of Narnia The trilogy adapts the first three novels in the series, following the Pevensie children as they discover the Magic Kingdom and begin working with Aslan and the Forces of Good to protect Narnia.
Because of the way time works in Narnia, each of Pevensie’s children’s adventures in Narnia is drastically different, allowing the franchise to introduce new characters and villains into each movie. With an engaging setting, excellent production design, and expansive mythology, the franchise is the perfect entry into the fantasy genre for the youngest.
7 The Incredible Spider-Man (6.8)
Stream on TruTV and FXNow
2010s The Amazing Spider-Man The franchise rebooted the famous web-slinger, once again telling its origin story but introducing new villains like Lizard and Electro, and focusing on its relationship with Gwen Stacy rather than Mary Jane.
Andrew Garfield’s more pleasant and cool take on the character helps set the film apart from the Tobey Maguire films. The series takes great advantage of the excellent chemistry between Garfield and Emma Stone. While the second movie isn’t as well received as the first, the two main characters and a fun tone help carry the franchise forward.
6 Spider-Man (6.9)
Stream On Peacock
Released at the start of the recent superhero movie boom, the Sam Raimi Spider Man the films have helped establish the expectations and conventions of modern superhero film. The films have successfully achieved comic book accuracy in a believable and grounded way.
For many fans, this first big screen adaptation remains their favorite version of the character. Tobey Maguire manages to capture both the youthful energy and the weight of responsibility that defines Spider-Man. Even with a less-than-stellar third entry, the strong first film and near-perfect sequel help establish the first. Spider Man franchise as an instant classic.
5 The Hunger Games (7.0)
Stream on Hulu and Epix
Led by a star performance by Jennifer Lawrence, The hunger Games The franchise follows Katniss Everdeen as she unwittingly becomes the symbol of rebellion against an oppressive and tyrannical government.
While the first film was a great introduction, the series culminates with even better following in Hunger Games – Catching Fire As it expanded the world, introduced a new cast of characters, and developed the central conflict further. The franchise is engaging and compelling, driven by an intriguing concept and its main star.
4 Kick (7.0)
Rent on Apple TV
The Kick ass franchise follows a regular high school student named Dave Lizewski as he sets out to become a real-life superhero. With a humorous and often satirical tone, the films chronicle his journey to becoming a superhero, showing all the other eccentric heroes and villains who cross his path.
With an ultra-violent and secular approach, the films are a smooth and visceral experience. The stealing stage performances of Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz as Big Daddy and Hit-Girl in the original and Jim Carrey as Col. Stars and Stripes in the sequel also help flesh out the world. Movies are a conscious and very enjoyable watch, especially for fans of superhero movies.
3 MCU Spider-Man (7.4)
Rent on Vudu
Despite being the character’s third cinematic iteration, the MCU Spider Man the movies found another way to reinvent the character, this time leaning back in his youth while also tying his story to the established MCU, mostly through his relationship with Tony Stark.
By emphasizing the young adult angle, the franchise is able to highlight the character’s strengths and set him apart from all the other heroes in the MCU. With well-written villains, great action sequences, and a John Hughes-inspired tone, the films are fun and engaging. While it remains to be seen how the third film will be received, the first two have laid a solid foundation of likable characters and intriguing stories to draw upon.
2 Harry Potter (7.7)
Stream on HBO Max and Peacock
Perhaps the most successful young adult franchise of all time, the Harry potter the franchise represents the best that the genre has to offer. Following the titular wizard as he fights against Voldemort’s forces, the series matures with its audience, spanning eight films that gradually become darker and more mature as the characters age.
The franchise perfectly balances its grand overall story with gripping episodic adventures that make each movie fresh and unique. Set in an instantly iconic world and filled with beloved characters, the franchise uses its fantastical elements to capture the experience of growing up.
1 How to Train Your Dragon (7.8)
Broadcast Part 1 on the peacock; Part 2 on Netflix; & Part 3 on FXNow
The animated franchise How to train your dragon takes place in a world in which the Vikings hunt and kill dragons. The series follows a young Viking named Harold as he goes against the status quo and befriends a dragon instead of killing it.
The franchise is surprisingly thoughtful and mature, following Harold from teenage to adult. With beautiful animation, charming characters, a star voice cast, and some truly shocking moments, the franchise is a moving and engaging exploration of identity and maturation into adulthood.
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