30 Most Intelligent Movie Children

Fly Away Home (1996)

The Intelligent Child: Amy Alden, the girl who finds a nest of bird eggs and, when they've hatched, becomes 'mother' to a family of geese.

Cleverest Moment: Learning to fly in order to lead the way so that the birds can migrate to a bird sanctuary.

Explorers (1985)

The Intelligent Child: Wolfgang Muller, who successfully interprets the dreams of his friend Ben as providing the information required to build a working spacecraft.

Cleverest Moment: Actually building the ship - out of an old waltzer, no less - and taking it out for a spin into the cosmos.

Akeelah And The Bee (2006)

The Intelligent Child: Spelling bee expert Akeelah Anderson is given a shot at the national finals when a professor realises her potential.

Cleverest Moment: A champion's spot for spelling 'pulchritude' correctly. We assume she knows what it means, too.

My Kid Could Paint That (2007)

The Intelligent Child: Marla Olmstead, a gifted painter of abstract expression despite being in kindergarten. Or is she? This documentary ponders whether the story is too good to be true.

Cleverest Moment: Regardless of whether she's a prodigy or getting help from her folks, not many kids could earn $300,000 from slapping paint on a canvas.

Mercury Rising (1998)

The Intelligent Child: Simon Lynch, a nine-year-old autistic savant who is targeted by the NSA after he breaks the Mercury cypher.

Cleverest Moment: To be honest, that's it. The rest of the film revolves around Bruce Willis trying to stop him getting killed.

Paper Moon (1973)

The Intelligent Child: Addie Loggins, the nine-year-old 'orphan' who learns to become a con artist from Moze, the man who may or may not be her father.

Cleverest Moment: Concocting an elaborate scheme to convince Moze to leave his new lover, Miss Trixie.

Ender's Game (2013)

The Intelligent Child: Andrew Wiggin, aka Ender, the video games whizz inducted into a space battle programme to find ways of defeating the alien Formics.

Cleverest Moment: A matter of debate - it's fairly impressive that Ender can destroy the entire Formic planet despite believing the battle to only be a simulation. Then again, how bright can be really be if he's been duped?

Safe (2012)

The Intelligent Child: Mei, a young Chinese maths genius forced to memorise the combination to a safe that contains evidence of government corruption.

Cleverest Moment: Any swot can behave like a 'human computer,' but it takes real street-smarts to seek help from Jason Statham.

Goodfellas (1990)

The Intelligent Child: Henry Hill, who knows a good thing when he sees one and abandons his ordinary life to work for Paulie Cicero.

Cleverest Moment: Getting his wiseguy friends to intimidate the mailman so he wouldn't deliver school truancy letters to Henry's parents.

Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)

The Intelligent Child: Josh Waitzkin, a chess prodigy who is trained to become as single-minded and ruthless as the famous grandmaster Bobby Fischer.

Cleverest Moment: Josh realises there is more to winning than the strict system imposed by his tutor, and starts to be influenced by the more iconoclastic moves of street chess.