Top movie picks to teach your kids life lessons

Movies are a great way to relax and keep the kids entertained during a long Summer holiday. Movie time spent snuggling on the couch can also be a good opportunity for bonding and connection between family members by creating a shared experience and a sense of togetherness. But did you also realize that exposing kids to the right kind of movies can spur cerebral and socioemotional benefits?

Films can help children broaden their knowledge and understanding of the world by exposing them to new ideas, perspectives, and cultures. Parents can also help promote their kids’ critical thinking and analytical skills by asking them questions about the characters, plot and themes, thereby making a child feel heard and encouraging them to develop their own opinions. And ever noticed your child muttering “ahhh” and “ohhh” during particularly tense or wondrous moments? That’s the movie stimulating their imagination and creativity. Don’t be surprised if a movie then later inspires your child’s stories, characters and artistic creations.

Below we’ve compiled our top picks of movies that provoke character development in a child in 3 main ways: 1) communicating the importance of grit and determination 2) teaching respect and dignity and 3) stimulating empathy. We hope you enjoy unwinding in front of the screen with your kids based on these recommendations, secure in the knowledge that these films will positively contribute to your child’s emotional growth.

Grit & Determination

Kids being determined

Here are the top recommendations of movies that teach kids about grit and determination. I’m sure a few parents out there remember watching the first one on the list when they were young! 

  1. The Karate Kid (1984) [rated PG] - This classic movie follows a teenager who learns karate and life lessons from his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.
  2. Finding Nemo (2003) [rated G] - This Pixar film follows a clownfish named Marlin, who sets out on a dangerous journey to find his son, Nemo, who has been captured by divers.
  3. Akeelah and the Bee (2006) [rated PG] - This movie tells the story of a young girl from South Los Angeles who competes in the National Spelling Bee.
  4. Rudy (1993) [rated PG] - This film is based on the true story of Rudy Ruettiger, who dreams of playing football for Notre Dame despite his small stature and lack of athletic ability.
  5. Mulan (1998) [rated G] - This Disney movie follows a young woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in the army and save her father from serving in the war.
  6. The Incredibles (2004) [rated PG] - This Pixar film tells the story of a family of superheroes who must use their powers to save the world from a dangerous villain.

These movies feature characters who face challenges and setbacks but persevere through determination and grit. They can serve as great examples for kids and provide valuable lessons about the importance of hard work, persistence, and resilience.



kids having fun while showing respect

Here are some classic movie recommendations that communicate the importance of respect and dignity

  1. Remember the Titans (2000) [PG] - This movie is based on the true story of a high school football team in Virginia that is forced to integrate in the early 1970s. It emphasizes the importance of treating others with respect, regardless of their race or background.
  2. The Lion King (1994) [rated G] - This Disney classic teaches kids about the circle of life and the importance of respecting nature and all living creatures.
  3. A Bug's Life (1998) [rated G] - This Pixar film follows an ant named Flik who must rally his fellow ants to stand up against a group of bullying grasshoppers. It emphasizes the importance of standing up for oneself and others while also treating others with dignity and respect.
  4. Hidden Figures (2016) [rated PG] - This movie is based on the true story of three African American women who worked for NASA during the Space Race. It highlights the challenges they faced due to discrimination and the importance of treating all individuals with respect.
  5. The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) [rated PG-13] - This film is based on the true story of Chris Gardner, a struggling salesman who becomes homeless with his young son and must persevere through challenging circumstances. It emphasizes the importance of treating all individuals with dignity, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

All of these movies portray characters who ultimately learn the importance of treating others with respect and kindness. 



Kids being compassionate

There are many great kids' movies that can teach compassion. Here are our most loved ones, many of which will have you in tears!

  1. Inside Out (2015) [rated PG] - This Pixar film takes place inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley and explores her emotions as she deals with a move to a new city. It emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding others' perspectives.
  2. Wonder (2017) [rated PG] - This movie is based on the bestselling novel by R.J. Palacio and follows a boy named Auggie, who has a facial deformity, as he starts fifth grade at a new school. It emphasizes the importance of empathy, kindness, and compassion towards others who may be different.
  3. The Iron Giant (1999) [rated PG] - This animated movie follows a young boy named Hogarth who befriends a giant robot from outer space. It emphasizes the importance of compassion and empathy towards those who are different or misunderstood.
  4. Charlotte's Web (1973) [rated G] - This classic children's story follows a pig named Wilbur who is saved from slaughter by his friend, a spider named Charlotte. It emphasizes the importance of kindness, compassion, and friendship towards all living creatures.
  5. Up (2009) [rated PG] - This Pixar film follows an elderly man named Carl who embarks on an adventure to South America with a young boy named Russell. It emphasizes the importance of compassion, empathy, and understanding towards others, even those who may seem different or difficult to connect with.

These movies all reinforce the importance of compassion and empathy towards others, including those who may be different or facing challenges, and stand as valuable lessons about kindness and caring for others.


Prepare to be amazed as your children watch captivating movies that will inspire them to dream big! At Bizibuz, we have a stage full of performing arts courses waiting for them. From thrilling performing art workshops to fascinating film workshops, your children can unleash their creativity and shine like the stars they admire. 


Have a blast over Summer with some classic kids’ movies that serve as life lessons.


G: General Audiences. Contains no content likely to offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. 

PG: The film should be investigated further by parents as there may be some content such as language that may require parental guidance. 

PG-13: Parental guidance is recommended for children under 13 years of age.