Stories can teach us so much about life and about ourselves, they teach us to love, to be just and fair and to show us that we can overcome any challenge, or at least try to. Most importantly I believe stories teach us to feel and, the magic of cinema is an essential storyteller in our world today. Do you remember as a child the wonder, the loss, the pride, the joy and adventure’s you witnessed on the screen? The feeling of seeing a film and with wide eyes afterwards coming out in silence as the only word you could possibly say was wow. I still enjoy that feeling today and as a mother have enjoyed experiencing cinema with my child as he grew.
Film in education has a very important role, and in a pandemic with education more onscreen than on-touch I think we could do so much more with it…. however, let’s leave that for another conversation.
When it came to write this post, I was endeavored to discuss my favorite film as a child but, I quickly realized this became too much of an ask to focus on just one. And what about all the other children’s film that I love today as an adult?
I grew up in the eighties, where we had an interesting choice of fav films – remember Never Ending Story? The Princess Bride? Willow? Labyrinth? (only David Bowie could make tights work in the way he did) or the amazing adventure of The Goonies? Which I think showed us such a great story of overcoming fears and interpersonal issues to beat the odds. You see the true art of storytelling is creating characters that the audience connects with and the art of children’s film is creating characters that are just like us (well the kid in us). They display real kids in real situations that mirror what we feel as well as exploring emotions that young ones may have never connected with. Think of Bridge to Terabithia and the shocking sense of loss, or the beautiful beginning of the cartoon Up (if you can’t shed a tear in that opener please seek medical guidance). There is even the sweet way Inside Out handles the feelings of depression and sadness. One of my true favorites is Brave, truly the best Disney Princess ever created, she shows strength and drive to be who she wants to be, mixed with the tale of how her and her Mother mend their differences through adversity.
I could go on and on and on about all my favorites but I know now hand it over to you. So, as we continue our journey through the pandemic try to take a moment to watch your favorite children’s film and, if possible, share with a young one some classics, as well as recent films, that make our hearts sing and our souls rejoice in the pure fun, passion and wonder that is children’s film. Some suggestions that haven’t already been mentioned include; Pete’s Dragon, Hook, The Iron Giant, Antz, Charlotte’s Web, How to Train your Dragon (all 3 movies) and of course a longer list yet of all your favorites that come to mind. Enjoy…..
Gif - 'Finding Nemo'
Screenshot - 'Up' 2009
Screenshot - 'Brave' 2012