Need some ideas about flicks you can watch with your family for movie night? If that is a yes, why not consider movies that will teach your child the importance of diversity and inclusion, especially in today’s society? Diversity and inclusion are important topics to talk about and guiding our little ones to accepting others and celebrating their own differences.
If you need some ideas, here are our top 10 recommended movies for children to watch and learn about inclusion and diversity.
Akeelah & the Bee
This movie follows the story of a little girl who hails from one of LA’s toughest neighbourhoods. The girl later discovers that she has a talent for spelling and doesn’t have to change who she is to be able to fit in with the people around her.
Teaching this little girl in the movie is award-winning actor Lawrence Fishburn, who plays as her spelling tutor and helps her hone her skills before the Scripps National Spelling Bee, as well as learning how to be self-confident.
Note: This movie is PG-rated because it has mild profanity in some scenes. If you want your children to watch this but don’t want them to learn about profanity at a young age, you can let them watch it when they are 8 years old and up.
One of the animated films that is considered one of the best when it comes to teaching cultural diversity and racism to kids is Zootopia.
The story features a city where animals live together and the adventure of a bunny – who is the first police officer from their race – and a very sly fox who have to team up to solve a unique case happening around the metropolis.
To teach diversity and racism, each animal type showcases a particular stereotype about them that influences how people treat them. Cultural diversity will be covered in your child’s social studies as well and here is why.
One of the latest movies to hit the cinemas that can help your child learn about diversity is Disney and Pixar’s Coco. The story features the story of Miguel, a 12-year-old Mexican boy who somehow got into the Land of the Dead during the Dia de Los Muertos holiday.
In order to escape, he works with his departed loved ones, especially his great-great grandfather who is somehow related to the family’s music ban that has lasted for generations. Throughout this journey, Miguel discovers more about his family history and himself.
Note: Parents will have to sit down with their children to discuss the issue of mortality that will be discussed in the story. The movie is recommended for children who are 7 and up.
How to Train Your Dragon
In this animated movie, children will get to learn how they should treat people with disability. It follows the story of Toothless, a young dragon who won’t be able to fly with his rider because an accident damaged his tail.
Your children will see how Toothless gets past this disability and persevere as he works with the people around him. They will also get to learn cooperation and how to become tolerant.
When it comes to cooperation, 68% of Singaporean students find it important to cooperate with their fellow students in order to get ahead in life. Introducing this animation allows parents to explain the importance of cooperating with others.
Want to teach your child about female empowerment and religious traditions? Why not let them watch Wadjda? This movie features the story of Wadjda, an 11-year-old girl who wants to compete with her male best friend, ride a bike and wear Converse shoes while at it.
However, this is not an easy task for this heroine as she has to contend with religious traditions that have not allowed women to have such liberties. But, this does not stop her to make a name for herself in the world and show what it she is made of.
Note: This is a rated-PG movie, which requires strict parent supervision. It is also recommended for older children from ages 8 and up.
Although it is from the 90s (with a live-action remake currently being shown), Mulan is another movie that you should show your children to teach them about female empowerment.
The story follows Hua Mulan, a girl who takes her sickly father’s place when he was drafted for the war. Posing as a boy, Mulan perseveres and eventually becomes the hero of all China.
Aside from female empowerment, the movie will also tackle themes like courage and teamwork, which are basic life skills to pass over to your kids.
A favourite family movie that can teach you about inclusion and diversity is Finding Nemo.
The story follows the clown fish Marlin, who is a very dedicated single father to his only son Nemo, who has a hard time swimming because of his small fin. Nemo somehow goes missing one day, leading Marlin to swim through the ocean to find him and meets several diverse characters along the way.
Finding Nemo’s sequel, Finding Dory, is another great movie that can teach your children about how people with disabilities live and how they should be treated or understood.
In this movie, the story focuses on Dory, a royal blue tang Marlin meets in the first movie that has a memory problem. Because of her memory problem, it makes it hard for her to remember her past and travels around the ocean to try finding the answer.
Despite her disability, Dory’s persistence and unique personality is admirable and your children can use it as an inspiration. Besides, watching marine inspired animation may spark an interest in science.
Wonder is a based from a 2012 book that talks about the story of 10-year-old Auggie, who was born with facial disfigurement.
Your children will learn how he lives with his disfigurement and how the people around him act or reach out to him. It is a very emotional movie that even you may fall in love with.
The Miracle Worker
The Miracle Worker is a unique live action film released by Disney featuring the story of Hellen Keller, a young child who was born blind, mute and deaf, and her teacher Anne Sullivan who is very dedicated to helping Hellen discover her unique way to communicate with people.
This story is very heartwarming and can definitely teach your children about people with disabilities and their strong will.
Movies make a great learning material if you know which ones are the movies you should let your children watch.
With these movies, you can definitely teach them about inclusion and diversity, especially now that it is becoming a hot topic worldwide. Remember to watch these movies with your children so they can ask you about the things they see in the movie.
Here are some other movies that offers great teaching moments: