27 Best Educational Movies For Kids In 2024, As Per A Certified Teacher

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Movies aren’t only a source of entertainment, but also a powerful medium through which you can spread messages. Some movies can help educate kids and provoke creative thoughts. The best educational movies for kids can help your child learn plenty of information they may not be learning in school or from their family members. Since not every educational movie may be suitable for your kids, you need to take their age and the ability to comprehend content into account. So, we have put together a list of educational films for kids that children and parents can watch together.

In This Article

27 Best Educational Movies For Children

1. Best In Humour:Scoob!

Scoob! is an adventurous story of Scooby and the gang, where they face a challenging mystery involving the ghost dog Cerberus. Through teamwork, humor, and nostalgic moments, they embrace their legacy and embark on a thrilling adventure to solve the mystery.

The movie narrates the importance of friendship with a message that you can be brave and overcome your fear with your friends by your side.

2. Best Action Movie:Shazam! 

Billy, a 14-year-old streetwise foster kid, magically transforms into an adult superhero, Shazam, by simply calling out his name. The story paces up as his newfound power takes charge of his life while he struggles to understand the true meaning of family alongside his foster brothers and sisters.

This action-packed movie conveys the heartfelt message that families are made beyond blood relations. However, parental guidance is advised as this action movie may contain some strong language.

3. Best In Teaching Responsibility:The Lion King

The story of this educational family movie is about a lion cub named Simba, who is next-in-line to be king after his father, King Mufasa. However, his envious uncle Scar conspires a plot to kill both the father and son to take over the kingdom. Unfortunately, Mufasa gets killed, while Simba manages to escape. Feeling responsible for his father’s death, he flees from the kingdom. But, as he reaches adulthood, he finds out about the conspiracy and sets out on a journey to reclaim the kingdom from Scar.

It is one of the top educational movies for kids to learn about honor and responsibility. It also gives out a strong message that no matter how hard the journey, one can still find a way back to the destination.

4. Best Fun-Filled Movie:Rio 2

This fun-filled beautiful animated film follows the family life of Blue Macaw mates, Blu and Jewel. They embark on a journey to the Amazon rainforest to find other Blue Macaws and encounter several enemies and challenges.

The movie comes with some educational and moral themes on family, preservation of wild lives, love for nature, courage, and selflessness.

5. Best In Teaching Nature Conservation:Wall-E

The story is about a robot named Wall-E who is the only one left behind on planet Earth after humans abandon it. He has a pet cockroach and together, they spend their days cleaning up the garbage left behind on the planet. One day Wall-E meets EVE, a sleek, reconnaissance robot on a mission to find a living plant on the earth. The adventures of Wall-E begin with Eve, who takes him on a journey that determines the fate of humankind.

This excellent film envisions the destruction made by humans to their home planet Earth and how there is still a chance to reverse the damage.

6. Best For Art Passionates:Coco

Miguel loves music and idolizes the famous musician Ernesto de la Cruz. But, for some strange reason, no one in his family is allowed to sing or play music of any kind. His desperation to prove his musical talent takes him to the Land of the Deaths. Then starts a chain of mysterious events that reveals the secret behind the ban on music in his family. With its vivid dream-like colors and animation, this movie could be your child’s next favorite movie.

The story of this educational movie for elementary students speaks about hope, optimism, and passion that a child may have for an art form. Coco is an excellent educational animation movie for kids.

protip_icon Pro Tip
As per a study by the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, watching Disney movies together can improve parent-child communication and aid children’s cognitive and behavioral development (1).

7. Best Time-Travel Movie:Back To The Future

The story is about 17-year-old Marty McFly, who is incidentally sent 30 years back into the past, through the time-traveling machine invented by a scientist. This educational movie for teens is about how Marty finds his way back to the future by encouraging his teenage parents to meet and fall in love while convincing the scientist of his invention in the future.

The story is inspiring and entertaining and shows a teenager’s battle against time to preserve his future without disturbing the past. A fun watch, all-in-all.

8. Best Sentimental Movie:Inside Out

Adolescence is the time when the emotions take a roller-coaster ride inside a child’s mind. Eleven-year-old Riley is no exception and is guided by a lot of emotions like sadness, anger, distress, joy, and fear. All her feelings are controlled at the headquarters (brain), which navigates her from the negative emotions to the positive ones. The story of this educational movie for elementary students personifies emotions, as these little people inside our heads and how we hear and listen to these little voices to make decisions in our lives.

It is a beautifully-made animation movie that portrays the storm of emotions in a young mind in a lighter vein and sends out a message of staying positive and happy.

9. Best Unique Friendship Movie:Up

The story of this educational cartoon movie is about 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen, who wants to go to Paradise Falls. He accidentally meets a little boy named Russel, and together they set off on a journey to the destination. The adventure begins when Carl decides to lift his house with the help of thousands of balloons and take it with him on the trip.

The lovely educational family movie is about the unusual friendship between an old man and a young boy and suggests that there is no age limit to fulfill your dreams if the desire is strong.

10. Best Food Awareness Movie:What’s On Your Plate?

This is the story of two eleven-year-old African-American kids named Sadie and Safiyah, who are all set to explore the food chain system. They closely observe the food system in New York and decide to create a movie on how the foods we eat reach us. They talk to people who are related to the food industry and try to get answers to their questions on food processing and urban sustainability.

This educational documentary is an ideal film for students as it creates awareness about food production practices and highlights the differences between nutritional foods and fast foods.

protip_icon Did you know?
Repeatedly exposing children below five years to new vegetables can reduce their chances of becoming fussy eaters later on.

11. Best Superhero Movie:The Incredibles

This animated action-adventure movie is about a family of superheroes in Metroville, who are known for battling evil every day to save people’s lives. Fifteen years later, they are forced to live a normal retired life concealing their real identity. But, the family gets back into action when Bob, also called Mr. Incredible is trapped by an old nemesis and saves the world from destruction.

This educational family movie’s story is about strength in unity and the will to go to any extent to save humanity.

12. Best Surprising Movie:Smallfoot

Migo, a friendly Yeti goes in search of humans, referred to as ‘smallfoot’, to prove their existence to his entire community. In this epic journey, he discovers the surprising truth about the world that helps him bridge the gap between the two species.

The movie upholds the courage of standing up for what you believe in and the power of questioning the established norms. 

13. Best Affectionate Movie:The Sound Of Music

Even as a child, Maria wanted to become a nun. But as she grows up, the realization that she can’t fit into the world of devotion dawns upon her. As a young woman, she yearns to live a carefree life. Then one day, she gets a job at naval captain Georg Von Trapp’s house as the governess of his mischievous children. Her kindness and fun-loving nature draw the attention of kids as well as the captain.

This educational film for kids is based on a true story. It teaches the importance of love for one another, having a positive outlook toward life, and the concept of loyalty.

protip_icon Trivia
The film’s original title was deemed to be “Love Song,” but the filmmakers had to change it to “The Sound of Music” due to copyright issues.

14. Best For Creative Learning:Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip

Daniel, the young tiger, learns several thoughtful lessons while taking the musical family road trip to his Grandpere’s house.

This motion animation movie can be an excellent guide to help children get accustomed to various preschool skills like counting and color recognition as well as crucial social and emotional skills like patience, courage, obedience, and empathy.

15. Best Historic Movie:Liberty’s Kids

The historical educational film is about three teenage reporters named James Hiller, Henri, and Sarah Phillips who work for Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper — the Pennsylvania Gazette. This movie lets you witness the American Revolution through the eyes of these young reporters. They travel through the colonies to witness and chronicle the sacrifices made by people for freedom.

This beautiful educational animated movie for kids serves as an interesting history lesson as it takes you back in time through the historical events of the American Revolution.

16. Best Moral Movie: Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory

This wonderful adventure story is about Charlie Bucket, a hardworking and lovable boy from a low-income family who lives near the famous Willy Wonka chocolate factory. For reasons unknown, the factory is shut down for years. And then one day, to everyone’s surprise, Willy Wonka announces the reopening of the factory and invites five children who win a golden ticket as guests to the factory. Charlie is one of the five children who win a free one-day tour inside the chocolate factory.

This educational film for children is based on Roald Dahl’s book ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ and teaches kids about the consequences of being greedy, or biting more (chocolate) than you can chew.

17. Best Documentary On Penguins:March Of The Penguins

It is a documentary that depicts the life cycle of the Emperor’s penguins. Every autumn, the penguins begin their journey from the south pole to the most frozen place in Antarctica called Oamack, to accomplish the rituals of breeding. Unwithered by the strong winds and extreme conditions, the female penguins lay their eggs and go in search of food while the male counterparts hatch the eggs for two long months.

The fascinating documentary showcases the life of penguins and teaches how these species survive in spite of the obstacles they face.

18. Best Empathetic Movie:The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

As Elmo loses his favorite blanket during a tussle with his friends at Sesame Street, he has to take a tour of the mysterious Grouchland to get it back. Throughout this journey, he learns to communicate his needs to his fellow grouches, cooperate with them, and be understanding and friendly.

This movie talks about the valuable lessons of empathy, communication, and friendship.

19. Best Movie On Lives During Wars:A Little Princess

Young Sara Crewe is sent to a boarding school in New York while her father heads to fight for the British during World War I. Her jovial attitude and wild stories makes her lovable among her classmates. However, her headmistress, Miss Minchin, is all determined to squash her self-respect and individuality. Her destiny takes a turn when she hears the news of the death of her father.

This movie shows glimpses of how life was during the war and sends a message of friendship and hope to the viewers.

20. Best Inspirational Story:Wadjda

The story revolves around a 10-year-old girl named Wadjda, who is all set to break the stereotypes of her society. She hails from Saudi Arabia and is brought up in a conservative society. Fun-loving and determined, Wadjda is ready to cross all the boundaries to achieve her dreams.

The story is inspirational and teaches kids that determination helps turn their dreams into reality, in spite of all the odds.

21. Best For Teaching Team Work:The Land Before Time

The story is about an orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot, who sets out on a journey along with his friends Spike, Cera, Petrie, and Ducky to find the Great Valley. On the way, they meet four other dinosaurs, each from a different species. The dinosaurs are compelled to work together to overcome the obstacles that come in their way and find the valley.

This wonderful animated educational movie for elementary students uses mild language and sends out a message about the power of teamwork and friendship.

22. Best Courageous Movie:Wonder Woman (Commemorative Edition)

This film portrays the heroic journey of the iconic DC character Diana, the princess of Amazon. Rich in mythology, this film takes us on an adventure where Diana meets American fighter pilot Steve Trevor and accompanies him to the outside world, falling in love in the process. The astonishing movie showcases her unconditional dedication to saving her people and world as she leaves her hidden paradise to stop Ares, the God of War.

The movie symbolizes strength, hope, justice, and courage and helps children learn about the same.

23. Best Movie In Jungle Theme:Ainbo: Spirit Of The Amazon

The stunning and delightful animated film follows Ainbo, a young native girl of the Amazon, as she embarks on a journey to save her home from destruction. Guided by her spirit animal companions, she learns to protect her environment and find her true connection to the Amazon.

The beautiful portrayal of the film will educate your child about the rainforest of the Amazon, native cultures, environmental protection, and more.

24. Best Fantacy Movie:Bridge To Terabithia

The story is about Jesse Aarons, who is a little distressed with life. But, his life turns upside down after he meets Leslie Burke, who is new to the town and school. Jesse and Leslie become good friends, in spite of the differences in their upbringing and lifestyles. Together, they create a wonderful fantasy world where they rule as the king and the queen.

The imaginative movie encourages children to try every possibility to overcome their fears to stay happy and positive.

25. Best For Mathematics Learning:Leapfrog: Math Circus

In this fun-filled circus adventure, the cute and lovable Leapfrog characters engage in learning essential math concepts through a series of playful and entertaining educational activities. The Quidget family and the subtractobats engage in exciting circus acts while learning essential mathematical concepts.

This movie makes learning numbers and counting fun and interactive and helps them achieve essential problem-solving skills.

26. Best Fairy Tale:FernGully: The Last Rainforest

The spectacular story is about a rainforest called FernGully, which is the habitat of fairies. Crysta is a beautiful fairy who is always intrigued about the world outside. Crysta is the only fairy to believe that humans exist. She comes to know about the plight of a crazy bat named Batty, who is trapped by the humans and embarks on a journey to find the truth behind the existence of humans.

This educational cartoon movie sends out a message on the importance of the rainforest and its inhabitants.

27. Best In Teaching Lifeskills:Daniel Visits a New Neighborhood

It is an exciting and educational story of Daniel as he takes his first train ride to visit Juan Carlos and his family in another neighborhood.

The film showcases some important life skills, like being a considerate passenger, celebrating diversity, and language skills.

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How To Choose The Right Educational Movie For Kids?

Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a suitable educational movie for kids.

  1. Age-appropriate:The movie’s content should be appropriate for their developmental stage. For example, younger children will likely enjoy a movie with vibrant colors and simple themes, while older children might prefer something more challenging and thought-provoking.
  1. Interests:If your child is passionate about a particular subject, such as animals or history, look for movies that focus on those topics. This way, they will learn new values while being entertained.
  1. Reviews: Hearing what other parents think about a movie can give you a good idea of whether or not it will be a good fit for your family.
  1. Ratings: Many educational cinemas are rated by organizations like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). These ratings can give you an idea of how appropriate a movie is for your child.

Elisabeth Daly, a blogger, book and movie reviewer, and English teacher, says, “Stories serve as a way for children to understand themselves and the world around them. Movies are visual stories that not only engage children but also teach them valuable life lessons. Be mindful of your child’s fears and triggers when choosing appropriate educational movies.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah, our experienced writer and reviewer of children’s movies and books, has done extensive research and gone through various reviews to understand the required criteria to put together this list of the best educational movies for kids. It comprises fun, entertaining movies for children that convey an important and valuable lesson. In addition, he has provided a summary of each one to save you time and help you make the right selection.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are movies important for kids?

Movies can help spark children’s creativity and imagination and make them more empathetic. Cultural educational films can also help introduce your children to different cultures and concepts and improve their social skills.

2. Are movies good for children’s brains?

Yes, movies can help improve children’s memory, focus, and reasoning skills. They can also help develop their auditory and visual senses.

3. How do movies help children’s self-development?

Movies are an excellent tool for children’s self-development. They can help children understand the potential advantages or consequences of certain actions through movies. Besides, children can also develop courage, friendliness, empathy, and many more qualities by watching movies.

The Bottom Line

Gone is the era when movies purely meant entertainment. Movie time can now mean an educational and enriching time for you and your children. Movies can educate and also inspire your children to think from a creative perspective. The Incredibles, Lion King, Wadjda, Up are some of the best educational movies for kids that you can watch with your child. Movies such as The Lion King portray the importance of honor in life, Wall-E shows how human actions can alter the environment, and Inside Out helps kids manage their feelings and emotions. Inspiring stories like the ones in the list can teach children to stay dedicated to their goals despite the challenges. So while you pick an engaging movie to watch, don’t forget to grab some snacks to munch on while enjoying your family movie night.

Infographic: Tips For Choosing Educational Movies For Children

Reading through books and practical examples can help children gain knowledge and understanding. However, movies utilize listening and visual abilities to help children learn faster and better. Check out the infographic below to explore tips to help you select the best educational movies for your children.

Things To Remember When Selecting Educational Movies For Children (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Using Disney Movies to Help with Child Development
    https://uh.edu/news-events/stories/2021/october-2021/10142021-disney-movies-help-with-child-development.php

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