Movies are not only a source of entertainment but can also be a powerful medium to spread messages.
Movies can especially be used to educate children and provoke their creative thought process. The genre of educational films has become popular lately, thanks to parents being highly selective of what their children watch. Educational movies for kids are aplenty, but not all may be suitable for your child, considering their age and maturity levels.
Here, MomJunction lists a few educational movies that both the kids and the parents can watch together, making them worth your time.
17 Best Educational Movies For Children
1. The Lion King
The story 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.
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 movie envisions the destruction made by humans to their home planet Earth and how there is still a chance to reverse the damage.
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.
The story speaks about hope, optimism, and passion that a child may have for an art form. Coco is an excellent animation educational movie for kids.
4. 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. The movie is about how he 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.
5. 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 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.
The story 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 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.
7. 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 watch the food system in New York and decide to make a movie on how the foods that we eat comes to 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 documentary creates awareness about food production practices and highlights the differences between nutritional foods and fast foods.
8. The Incredibles
The story 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 story is about strength in unity and the will to go to any extent to save humanity.
9. The Sound Of Music
Even as a child, Maria wanted to become a nun. But as she grew 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 teaches the importance of love for one another and having a positive outlook towards life.
10. Liberty’s Kids
The story is about three teenage reporters named James Hiller, Henri, and Sarah Phillips who work for Benjamin Franklin’s newspaper called 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 animated educational movie for kids takes you back in time, through the historical events of the American Revolution.
11. Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
The story is about Charlie Bucket, a hardworking and lovable boy from a low-income family that 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 movie 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
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.
15. 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 animation movie sends out a message about the power of teamwork and friendship.
16. 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 movie encourages children to try every possibility to overcome their fears to stay happy and positive.
17. FernGully: The Last Rainforest
The 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.
The movie sends out a message on the importance of the rainforest and its inhabitants.
Not all movies are educational. Some movies are just for entertainment and may be considered once in a while. Let your children have a fun time with an array of entertaining and educational movies, curated especially to make them think critically of the things around them. If you do not want to buy movie DVDs, look for websites or streaming services that give you access to free educational movies for kids.
Do you know any other movies, which you have watched with your child and found interesting? Do share them with us in the comments section below.
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