We all spent many hours of our summer vacations as children watching movies, and some of them have remained with us several years after the fact. More than entertainment, these films became part of our culture and have influenced how we see the world. Now that you’re a parent, it’s time to pass on the wisdom found in film. Today, we’re listing must-see movies for kids that provide both entertainment and life lessons. Here are some of our favorites.
Star Wars (the original trilogy)
star warsFar more developed and poignant than the prequels, Episodes 4-6 (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), provide so much meaning and complexity that they have spawned college courses. From the three films, the audience sees Luke Skywalker progress from the rascal teen on a small planet to the Jedi Knight he’s destined to become, with several trials and tribulations along the way.
The Lion King
lion king charactersIn a very similar vein to Luke Skywalker’s evolution as a character, Simba of The Lion King fame faces the same choices of stepping into his destiny or shirking away from responsibility and remaining stuck where he is. The Lion King is also one of the last of the era of natural (non-computerized) animation, making it a classic.
The Wizard of Oz
wizard of ozThe 1939 classic was included in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.” It’s certainly part of pop culture, even though it did not win Best Picture (it was released in the same year as Gone with the Wind). It’s a classic tale of the Hero’s Journey as Dorothy and the rest of the crew follow the yellow brick road to find the wizard. One of the more poignant ideas comes at the conclusion, when, upon finding the wizard, they’re disappointed by the truth about him. While the
wizard offers tokens to the journeyers, the point is that they all possessed what they were seeking all along.
While cinema has seen its ups and downs over the decades, moving and powerful films still make their way onto our screens and into our lives. Sharing the best of them with our children is a great way to open up a conversation about life.