10 Great Movies for Kids to boost their Emotional Development

Movies are a great way to unwind with families and friends at the end of a tiring week. There are unlimited choices for movies to watch with your kids, especially after the advent of Netflix. Entertainment is all good for time pass and relaxation. However, if you are looking for something meaningful that can engage your children emotionally and intellectually, there are some remarkable movies that you and your kids must watch. We have prepared a list of 10 great movies that can boost emotional development of your kids and their understanding of different feelings including empathy.

Read More: 4 Big Emotions to Talk-about with School going children

1. Inside Out

Inside Out is certainly on top of our list for movies which deal with emotions. Inside-Out is a heart-felt animated film about an 11-year old girl (Riley). Riley is dealing with anxiety as her family moves to another city and now she is feeling new and big emotions. The main emotions portrayed in the movie include Sadness, Joy, Fear, Anger and Disgust. While the focus was on mental faculties of one person, the impact of this movie is universal and highly penetrating. Not only will it introduce your child to the world inside their brain but will also teach them about managing certain emotions. The pain of moving on from joys of childhood, dealing with depression and purpose of sorrow in life are some of the most valuable takeaways from the movie. Riley’s parents and a peek into their psychological knacks is definitely a self-reflective treat for parents as well.

2. Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo is another brilliant piece to watch with your kids. It is story of an overprotected father (a clown fish) and his eager-for-adventures son Nemo. The movie deals with several emotions that most parents can relate to. The concept of helicopter parenting, struggles of single parent, growing kids with demand for independence, misinterpretation of parents’ love, and realization of significance of family are beautifully shown in the movie. Dory, a regal blue tang fish with short-term memory loss is another funny yet emotional treat for the family.

3. Wall-E

Wall-E is a master piece movie which revolves around robots on earth, Wall-E and Eva. Built for cleaning the planet, Wall-E is the last remaining robot on earth for cleaning. In the meanwhile, remaining humans stay on a spaceship, living luxurious yet extremely sedentary, isolated and unhealthy lifestyle. The movie shows post-apocalyptic situation of earth filled with heaps of garbage left by humans and no sign of greenery. Wall-E is a beautiful movie which leaves a vast room for imagination. It also surges emotions of empathy for our earth, humans and companionship. Moreover, the negative impact of screens and sedentary lifestyle shown on human bodies leave a great impact even on our screen addicted children.

4. Up

Up is an exciting, emotional, adventurous and heartfelt movie by Pixar with captivating animation for children. The movie presents a Multigenerational concept involving an odd couple of a kid Russel and an elderly widower Carl. Carl is a balloon seller who wants to fulfil his dream of flying his house with thousands of balloons to South America. The story is very touching and deals with several emotions of love between Carl and his late wife, old age loneliness, companionship between Russel and Carl, the strong emotional depth for elderly and how the company of kids can enlighten elderly life.  The thrills and adventures in the movie are surely to entertain and educate your child about meaningful emotions.

5. Wreck It Ralph

Wreck It Ralph is a great entertainment for you and your children. It innovatively takes us to a fictional yet relatable backstage of video games. The movie revolves around Ralph, a videogame villain who is bullied and abandoned by colleagues due to his outer character in game, Vanellope, a videogame racer who glitches and is considered an embarrassment for other participants, and Felix, a videogame hero who has a soft heart and is loved by everyone. The movie engrosses its viewers with gaming visuals and interesting plots. It also addresses major issues of bullying, significance of each person in his/her own individuality, effects of judgmental attitude and teamwork.

6. Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is a modern sci-fi animation which is great in motivating kids towards science while blending in various emotions. The movie revolves around special bond between prodigy Hiro Hamada and the inflatable robot Baymax. Baymax is designed by Hiro’s late brother, Tadashi, to help humans in medical field. The kids will love the huggable and empathetic character of Baymax. Baymax refuses to hurt anyone due to the giving personality of his designer, Tadashi. The movie also deals with loss of loved ones, role of friends and family in support during rough times and struggle with internal weaknesses. With exquisite animation, full of tech and action plot, comedy and emotions, Big Hero 6 will be a sure hit with your kids.

7. The Lion King

‘The Lion King’ is a royal classic by Disney. It is loved by both kids and adults. The movie is based on life of Simba. Simba is a young cub who unexpectedly faces loss of his father and runs away from his responsibilities for several years. The movie shows circle of life in a beautiful way, explaining lifecycle of animals in wild life. The movie shows love of parents, their loss, power of friendship, denial of responsibility and finally owning up to your true self.

8. E.T. Extra Terrestrial

Considered as the ‘Classic of Family Classics’, E.T. is a nostalgic movie for most of parents. E.T. highlights the life in 70s and 80s and the low-tech childhood. However, you will surprisingly find young kids today immersed in this movie and getting emotional at the ending. E.T. is a sci-fi movie revolving around an alien who is accidently left on earth by its home spaceship. Elliot is the human child who found E.T. The bonding and special friendship between Elliot and E.T. still takes a toll on viewers’ emotions and is sure to melt your child’s heart as well.  

9. Dumbo

Another masterpiece from the past, ‘Dumbo’ revolves around a circus elephant named Dumbo. Dumbo has freakishly large ears and is bullied by animals and humans for its looks. With the help of a mouse, eventually Dumbo realizes how his ears can help him fly and goes on to be a star. Dumbo is a perfect family entertainer with beautiful portrayal of mother-son love, bullying, positive and negative self-image, and wicked desires of many to take advantage of weak while some show genuine empathy. Dumbo has a newer version released recently which might be more visually appealing for children, however, the older version remains overwhelmingly adorable.

10. The Land Before Time

‘The Land before Time’ is a famous movie based on which several sequels, TV series and video games were released. The main character is an orphaned dinosaur ‘little foot’. Little foot loses his way to home and is guided by his recently deceased mother’s voice. The plot revolves around the ‘age of dinosaurs’ where a famine led to settlement of little foot’s family in Great Valley. There are different kinds of dinosaurs who do not interact with other kinds and stay within their own circles. The movie is captivating, emotional and sweet with lessons about parents’ relentless love, care, friendship, compassion, tolerance and significance of teamwork.

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