If you're 25 or older, you likely grew up watching classic Disney films like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. While undoubtedly magical, these stories taught us that our only chance at happiness was to wait around and hope to be rescued by a handsome prince. Today's kid's movies are much more inspiring. They teach us to follow our dreams, take charge, and face your fears. Here are five of the best family-friendly movies that will teach important life lessons to your children:
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#1 Inside Out
This critically-acclaimed movie brings a handful of excellent life lessons to the table. A young girl's journey of moving from Minnesota to San Fransisco teaches viewers about their emotions, how to label them, and that's it's okay to express emotions such as anger and fear. However, the life lesson here is that when such emotions take the lead, it can create chaos and negative consequences.
#2 Charlotte's Web
An unlikely friendship between a pig and a spider, this beloved classic is a must-watch. It teaches children the importance of true friendship, to appreciate diversity, and, perhaps most importantly, that death is a part of life. While most Disney movies still end happily ever after—even after the parents, stepmother, or evil witch dies—Charlotte's Web takes a different approach to death, with the movie's main character, Charlotte, dying at the end: “We’re born, we live, and when our time comes, we die. It’s just the natural cycle of life."
#3 The Lion King
This all-time Disney favorite centers around loss, shame, growing up, and facing your fears. The Lion King follows the story of Simba as he faces the loss of his father and grows up to become the eventual leader of his pride after a heated battle with his uncle. Perhaps Rafiki puts it best when he says to Simba, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”
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Frozen was an instant phenomenon. If you haven't watched it, you've definitely heard children everywhere belting out Let It Go at least a few dozen times a day. The movie breaks the mould for typical princess movies and reminds children of three important life lessons: Don't believe things that are too good to be true, be unapologetically you, and most importantly, family is important.
Bound to cause a few tears, Up is a beautiful story of love, loss, adventure, and unlikely friendship. The movie centers on a grouchy, old man whose broken heart has led him to shut others out and his young companion, who eventually turns him towards all things good. The moral of this one? You are never too old to achieve your dreams.