One of the best parts about having children is being able to show them all of the movies that you yourself loved watching as a child and that you grew up with. Sharing these joyous moments with the next generation is just one of the many reasons why home-video is one of the best modern inventions.
But which movies should you show them first? The most important element of a children's film is the lesson that said film (and its characters) teaches those who consume it. We've carefully selected ten classic films with wonderful messages that will help you teach your children the most important things in life.
10 The Land Before Time
Though this movie does make us want to reach for the tissues, it is a classic for a reason. The Land Before Time is simply a wonderful family film that teaches children of the importance of love, family, and helping each other out when times get a bit tough.
It is also a good way to open up a dialogue about the subject of death with a younger child (especially if a relative has recently passed and the child seems to be confused about the event.) Children are naturally curious and do not consider things morbid or off-limits in the way that we do. This film could be a wonderful way to explain the subject in an age-appropriate way that will make sense to them.
Though this film is much more modern than many of the movies on our list, it became an instant classic once released and is beloved by an entire generation of young fans- so we had to include it.
Besides being one of the most entertaining and visually stunning films Disney has produced, Tangled also holds one of the most important lessons, which is: if someone ever tries to tell you that you aren't good enough, then they are not your friend and it is okay to not want to play with them anymore.
8 Peter Pan
Though some of the elements of this film may be rather controversial to modern audiences, we still believe that it is a classic that is a must-watch for all families (especially those with young children.)
It is important for people, of all ages, to learn that growing old is mandatory but that does not mean that you have to lose any part of yourself in order to be considered a proper grown up. Grown ups come in all shapes and sizes and many of them are just big kids too! Learning this can make the idea of growing up a lot less scary to our little ones!
Though some parents have written Cinderella off entirely, we believe that that choice was made in poor judgment and that Cinderella might be the most important Disney Princess film to share with your children.
Cinderella teaches children several very important lessons that are so crucial for their young minds to absorb. The first being that sometimes our problems are too big for us to handle on our own and that, when that happens, it is okay to ask for help. And the second being that no one, not even family, has the right to make you feel like you are not good enough.
6 Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin
There is a reason why so many generations have fallen in love with Christopher Robin and his woodland friends. The classic themes, bright visuals, and beautiful reminders that the best thing a person can be is a good, kind, and genuine friend are just some of the reasons why we continue to love and share these films.
Showing this film to a child who is too young to attend school has the added bonus of them not understanding where Christopher Robin had truly headed off to; which might lead them to making some amusing assumptions about his destination.
5 The Little Mermaid
For some reason, people continue to take films about strong and amazing heroines and decide to focus entirely on the princes and the romance. The Little Mermaid is not a film about a woman giving up her voice for a man, as some critics have claimed.
But rather a film about the importance of fighting for our dreams, even if no one else sees the value in them. Ariel is a wonderful role model as she teaches children that their dreams are worth going after and that is a message we can get behind!
4 Alice In Wonderland
Originally written as a way to make fun of algebra, this classic tale has seen numerous adaptations over time. But none are as classic as the original animated Disney version.
Children will love the catchy songs, bright visuals, and the message that a little curiosity can take you on the most wonderful adventure... if you only follow those urges and see them through.
3 Beauty & The Beast
They call this film a tale as old as time for a reason. Though some people have remarked that they are rather worried about the overall message that Belle's relationship with the Beast may send children, we think that the message that Belle's journey sends is far more important than the romantic plot.
Belle's story teaches children the importance of being themselves, even if that choice is unpopular and it feels like the world is against them. Changing for someone else is never the answer and if they hold onto who they are then, one day, they are going to find someone who loves them as is.
2 A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life is truly one of the best films that you can show a child who is still developing their concept of empathy. Some people may remark that young children can come across as rather mean without intending to do so, but that is simply because they do not understand that other people have feelings and that they can hurt them yet.
Watching Flik and his friends get hurt by the grasshoppers' actions can teach your child that the things they do have consequences and that, sometimes, those consequences are that someone might get their feelings hurt.
1 Monsters Inc.
Though the Monsters may be a bit intense for the more timid tods, this film can provide an excellent opportunity for parents to teach their little ones that there is more to the eye than one's physical appearance and that the monster that they fear lives in their closet has no nefarious intentions.
A delightful classic that is sure to keep your toddlers entertained and won't be lost on the adults either.