Remember when you were told that kids should be outside and you should limit their screen time?
And now you are in quarantine (#stayathome) with nothing but Netflix and Disney+ to ensure your kids don’t keep crashing your video calls, because you still need to get some work done?
Now, before you think they’ll be scarred for years to come from the enormous amount of screen input, fear not because there are some excellent movies that will actually help your kids process what is happening in the world right now.
Let’s get started (and buy you an hour and half of time while kids watch the movie). I should warn you there are some spoilers ahead!
(Walt Disney Pictures/2019)
#1: Frozen 2
Dare I say that this is currently my favourite animated movie of all time? That’s a big statement particularly for a sequel, where I thought the first movie was just ok.
Aside from the comedy genius that is Olaf (his recap of Frozen 1 was hilarious), the movie deals with deep messages about self-love, courage, self-belief, and doing what is right.
Here are the themes from from Frozen 2 to discuss with your kids:
Courage in the face of fear:
The lead song “Into the Unknown” is all about Elsa resisting change (and finally accepting it). She has her family, has embraced her powers and her people have accepted her – why would she want to mess with it?
But she goes ahead anyway. Change can be scary, but by showing our children that change can be an opportunity, we prepare them for the only constant in life: change.
In our first book, Ava starts being afraid, but then she feels brave and she becomes brave. It’s important for children to learn that it’s not about not feeling afraid, it’s about having the courage to do something even if you are a little afraid.
Accepting and loving yourself:
As Elsa arrives in Ahtohallan, she believes she is on course to meet the entity that is calling her there. Only to find that, in fact, she is calling herself, to her destiny.
At that moment, she seems to fall in love with herself and “steps into her power” not only because she is the fifth element, but because she is complete in herself.
Self-love sounds like a cliche, but understanding it is a key issue in meditation. Why? Because you realise that when someone else is being unkind, rude, angry, etc. at you… it’s not about you, it’s about them.
I talk all about this and how to explain to your kids on my Instagram story highlights “Movie Analysis” HERE.
Men/Boys are also vulnerable (and it's more than ok, it's normal):
I cannot recall another movie that shows male vulnerability at this level through the character of Kristoff. From his various failed proposal attempts to that 80s style song, Kristoff is shown in love, being left behind, and battling with his feelings.
Yet, when he finds Anna again, he doesn’t complain or tell her off for leaving – his responses “I am here, what do you need?” and “My love is not fragile” are mature and pretty much perfect.
#2 The Little Prince
(2015 Production by Orange)
I flat out cried my eyes out the first time I saw this movie, but don’t let that put you off because there is also a huge message in there for adults.
Here are the themes from The Little Prince to discuss with your kids:
The Little Prince
(Onyx Films Orange Studio/2015)
Our relationships make us unique to each other:
The Little Prince comes across a bush of roses and becomes disappointed because his rose which he thought was unique “was just a common rose… there was nothing special about her”.
Until the fox explains that his rose is indeed unique to him. And that it is the love and time that he devoted to his rose that made it special.
Dealing with Loss:
The little girl befriends the pilot throughout her summer and through learning the story about the little prince she understands that the pilot may soon leave her too.
As he falls ill and she goes to find the little prince, she understands that when a loved one leaves us, they are always with us in our hearts.
The Fox says: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye"
Immortal words of the original book told by the fox to the Little Prince before they say goodbye.
The Little Prince
(Onyx Films Orange Studio/2015)
Seeing with your heart means that instead of seeing the world in the way that you may be feeling (which may be fear, anxiety, anger) you see it through the lense of kindness and love.
And seeing with the heart leads to compassion and understanding, which is something we all need right now.
Another musical makes the list, but honestly when you have The Rock as the demi-god Maui, one can hardly resist!
(Walt Disney Pictures/2016)
Here are the themes from Moana to discuss with your kids:
Questioning authority and the way things "have always been done"
It’s all fun and games telling kids to question authority, until they start questioning your own! Moana struggles with her desire to please her parents and follow her heart to go out to sea.
But she knows that she needs to save her island and that “the way things have always been done” are not helping.
So with her grandmother’s and mother’s blessing but against her father’s wishes she sets out into the unknown to restore the normal balance of things.
Failing and trying again:
Moana had no idea how she was going to achieve her goal.
In her first attempt, she failed and was abandoned by Maui and in her moment of despair she gives up and asks the sea to choose another.
Through a vision her grandmother comes to her and she realises that her failure has shown her what not to do, so she tries again… and succeeds.
Knowing and embracing your true self:
Moana is in her boat, alone and defeated. Her deceased grandmother makes a simple question, “Moana, do you know who you are?”
Moana realises that she is both the daughter of the Chief who doesn’t want to go to sea and the descendant of voyagers. She realises she is more than what others think of her and that in embracing all of the aspects of who she is, makes her stronger.
Now, go put on one of the movies above (#NoGuilt) and get on with some work…
or you can always join your kids with a bowl of popcorn.
If you want to know how to keep the zen going after the movie is finished keep reading…
Can these themes help introduce your child to meditation?
The themes in these movies such as self-love, courage, embracing your true self (actually all of them) are also the themes that you work on through meditation.
This is why I believe that teaching kids about meditation is so important. It not only gives them direct benefits now, but also helps them grow into happy, kind and emotionally intelligent adults.