Toy Story (1995) [Ages 5+]
Toy Story is one of those Pixar Classics that parents and children can enjoy together as it has such great levels of humor that as you watch it over the years, you pick up on various aspects of the jokes. This movie shows an important aspect in a child’s life that one day, they will have to separate from their toys. The scenes with the bully neighbor Sid not only show how his life as a bully is not so wonderful but also provide kids with a sense of relativity with their neighborhood bully. It highlights that are bullies everywhere, that they are not alone, and most importantly – it is better to be good.
Finding Nemo (2003) [Ages 5+]
This is one of those films that can be enjoyed at all ages for both parent and child can relate the dynamic of protecting a child and allowing them to explore the world. The characters of this cute film are relatable for a lot of kids and young teenagers. Not only does it teach kids about the wonders of the deep blue ocean but there are wonderful morals that are taught in a fun, dynamic way. It also teaches children to respect their parents!
Wall-E (2008) [Ages 5+]
Wall-E is one of those films that has such a great message for the younger generations about the need to take action and become environmental pioneers. If that wasn’t great enough, it comically animates the results of greediness and the power of positivity and friendship. This tear-jerker is not only essential for the youth but is great for anyone who cares about the environment and friendship.
Spirited Away (2002) [Ages 9+]
For all those young ladies out there destined for big things, this film is a perfect depiction of perseverance and overcoming huge fears. This Studio Ghibli production has rather creepy creatures so if that is a concern for parents, perhaps give it a watch before your kids do. It also includes a lot of Japanese folklore which could be hard to understand for some youth and unenjoyable but is worth a watch, even if just for the parents. There are so many films, books, stories that can be added to this list but these few have focused on different important aspects that can strengthen your child’s sense of direction of who they want to be and what they want to do with their lives. The greatest perk is, there is a lesson for the parents too!