Updated: Jun 27, 2020
I am all about the story, and I love great stories, whether you find them in books, films, television, or even old-school radio format.
As a kid and young adult, I gobbled up re-reruns of Zorro, Disney's animated Robin Hood, and even binge-listened to the famous old-time radio show The Shadow.
Stories indeed come in all sorts of formats, and all shapes and sizes. I love this about them because there is a story out there for anyone and in any preferred form.
Today I'm focusing on stories in one of my favorite formats - films! Are you searching for awesome stories in the best kid movies? Movies with a story that's family-friendly and great for all ages? Well then, my friends, get your bowl of popcorn, put on your favorite pair of comfy slippers, and gather around! Here are a few of my personal film story favorites.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
Who doesn't love a panda? The cute protagonist isn't the only reason I like this movie, however. Kung Fu Panda is a story about Po, a panda who isn't really happy with his place in the world and is a lot bigger than everyone else. I thought this movie did a great job of positively portraying differently sized body types, showing that you can be awesome no matter your size. Rated PG.
Despicable Me (2010)
It's all about the Minions. Or should I say, it's all about Dru's relationship with the Minions that makes this movie stand out. Dru first seems like a bad guy, but when you see where his heart really is through his interactions with his Minion groupies and the three little girls he adopts, you find out he's not such a villain after all. This movie is excellent because not only is Dru trying to do the impossible by stealing the moon, he's learning about himself and becoming a better person while striving for a challenging yet meaningful personal goal. Rated PG.
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
I love me some dragons! And fun Viking culture. This movie is lovely because it's about looking past appearances to understand others, even if they initially appear very different (and scary!). This movie is also based on the wonderful children's book series How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. The movie is rated PG.
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
YES! Monsters! I heart monsters and this movie. Count Dracula is portrayed as a doting and over-protective dad living in a world where monsters and humans don't get along. I liked this movie because it reminds you to look past differences and choose compassion and connection over fear and isolation. Rated PG.
Not my gumdrop buttons! Fairytale characters, humor, um, A DRAGON (yes! dragons! ooh and monsters!No wonder I loved this movie!). This movie stands out for its handling of the character Fiona. She is capable, strong, smart, and down to earth. We need more realistic female characters portrayed like this and not as the damsel in distress always being rescued. I also really liked "ogres are like onions," teaching viewers that people have many layers, not just one. Rated PG.
Looking for more guidance on great movies for kids?
Check out Common Sense Media for book, movie, and other reviews by parents and educators to help you make informed decisions about the media choices you give to your children.
Want the latest news and updates from Marisa?
Sign up today and receive a free Ninja Squirrel and the Clan of Shadows ebook!
Please note this post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. If you click on the book covers I earn a small percentage for advertising but you will not be charged. Learn more about Affiliate Links here.