Movies aren’t just a great source of entertainment, but can also be inspirational and thought provoking for kids and adults alike. Below is a list of movies that I believe everyone should watch.
1. Dr. Seuss: The Lorax
This movie has to be at the top of this list because never has a children’s movie ever, been able to portray the evils of industrialization, capitalism and consumerism with such clarity. The movie methodically elucidates how consumerism is propagated by TV ads and the idea of needing something based solely on the urge of wanting. All in all an amalgam of educational, political, philosophical and environmental messages, crammed into an entertaining 95 minutes, that will teach your kids what they would otherwise learn after 15 years.
One of the most intelligently made movies to come out of Disney. It addresses social issues such as gender inequality, racial stereotyping and the current global political situation, through clever symbolism and allegory of anthropomorphic animals. This movie, if adequately understood, could be an amazing didactic tool for young minds.
Using Polynesian mythology, the creators of Moana plotted the heroine’s journey based accurately on the structure of Joseph Campbell’s “monomyth”. It has all the elements of a perfect story and would make Campbell proud. The female protagonist is a great role-model for little girls; she’s not a damsel in distress, isn’t afraid of challenges, knows how to take initiative and finally completes her quest despite all the trials she has to face, returning proudly to her family with her newly acquired skills and knowledge to enable them to answer their call to adventure.
An entertaining movie with an ecological message, inculcating environmental awareness in young minds. The message is that industrialization and pollution destroy the environment and disturb the balance of nature. If you’re a tree hugger and want your kids to be the same, you’ll love this.
The story is set in ancient China and depicts the struggles of a sixteen year old girl against a patriarchal society, in order to save her father’s life and to protect her family’s honor. Loosely based on the Legend of Hua Mulan, a warrior woman, the story teaches young girls that although they might have some limitations, yet they are in no way inferior to any man. It’s also a history lesson of ancient Chinese culture.
6. Kung Fu Panda
Overcoming adversity and limitations couldn’t be better depicted than a panda who does Kung fu. The idea of breaking stereotypical molds imposed by society is indeed inspiring for the young impressionable mind.
When I first sat down to watch this movie I wondered who on earth would want to watch a movie with a rat as the lead character, and I can proudly say I have never been so wrong. It turned out to be a beautiful story of overcoming adversity and having the courage to follow your heart, no matter how the world demoralizes you. Isn’t that what we all want to teach our kids?
The concluding dialogues and final punchline of the movie were the icing on the cake (pun intended).