Movies are stories in action. We watch them mostly for leisure but as we’ve come to know, certain movies leave such a mark it could become part of our lives. These films usually tug at the heartstrings and impart lessons or values even kids can benefit from.
Animated films are especially fun because they allow filmmakers to be more creative, so much so that they keep little children watching the full-length feature, sometimes even more than once! We’ve rounded up some of the best ones your child ought not to miss.
A line in Macklemore’s song Glorious quite sums up the premise of this movie: “I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave. And the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name.” In Disney Pixar’s Coco, the tradition of honouring the dead is very much alive. In the midst of all the hubbub due to Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), young Miguel finds himself in the company of his deceased ancestors as he tries to pursue a musical career his living family strongly forbids. His journey uncovers the truth about his family’s aversion to music and strengthens their bond, both living and dead. The story will teach your child not only the value of family and tradition but also forgiveness and acceptance, even if it sometimes takes time.
#2 Toy Story
The Toy Story franchise has drawn millions of kids to its world over the years. Who knew one can have so much affection for an inanimate object? With its memorable characters and storylines that people from all walks of life can relate to, the films won the hearts of both children and adults, movie critics, and even award judges. Follow the adventures of the toy Woody and his unfaltering loyalty to his owner, Andy. Set aside a whole afternoon to watch all four movies and see your child gain more appreciation for their toys, much like you did when you first saw the film! Of course, the lessons on loyalty, friendship, and being resilient to change will also guide your little ones as they grow older.
If you haven’t watched Frozen yet, be sure to sit with your child for this one. You might think it’s another love story children will look up to, but it’s so much more. Follow the story of sisters Anna and Elsa and discover how they beat all odds by using each other’s strengths. With catchy songs, loveable characters (like the irresistible, summer-loving Olaf the snowman) and a bold plot, Frozen was a solid choice for an Academy Award. Its main theme revolving around self-discovery and embracing one’s uniqueness will make your little one realise his own strengths. The strong sibling bond between Elsa and Anna might also inspire your kids to be closer and supportive of each other. Surely, your child won’t be letting go of this movie soon after you watch it, if you know what we mean!
Yet another inspiring film with last song syndrome-worthy hits is Moana. More than an adventure plot, the story of strong-willed Moana brings up ideas about self-identity and purpose. Our young heroine has lived a satisfactory life (“The village of Motonui is all you need,” sings her father) though she has always felt that a journey awaits her in the seas. As she grows up, the village becomes more threatened with shrinking resources. Motivated by her grandmother, Moana seizes the opportunity to venture out for a solution, and find herself in the process—with the help of a smug but selfless Maui the demigod. Her journey demonstrates kindness, strength, and courage—qualities every leader must possess. You can also teach your child the importance of protecting the environment through this film.
Here’s one that ought to tear you up within the first 10 minutes of the film, and then give a hilarious account of what could be an impossible journey. In Up, unlikely pair Carl Fredricksen and Russell create a familial bond when grandpa Carl, with the goal of achieving the dream he and his late wife made, uses thousands of balloons to transport his home to South America with Russell tagging along to earn his scout badge. The grumpy grandpa hesitates but develops a soft spot for the little adventurer. Together, the two will have to overcome challenges of all kinds but as Carl will prove, you’re never too old to chase your dream. It’s also a reminder for children to always be helpful and respectful of the elderly.