Movies are a great way to provide a fun learning experience for you and your students! We've compiled a list of Disney movies that have excellent examples of character, bravery, and ethics. The subject matter varies, but all movies provide educational lessons for students. Keep reading to see which Disney movies we recommend to show in your classroom and what students can learn from them.
1. The Lion King
This classic movie is responsible for one of the most essential life lessons about faith with the Swahili phrase “Hakuna Matata,” which means, “No worries.” As we watch Simba grow through hardships to become King, we're shown valuable lessons about happiness, life, family, and friendship. An important lesson that Simba learns is to always believe in himself, which is a wonderful thing for your students to learn!
2. Beauty and the Beast
The main theme of this movie is that beauty comes from within. Belle is intelligent and loving, sacrificing her freedom for her father's safety. As she spends time with the Beast, she learns to appreciate him and his personality. She's strong-willed and determined to show him just how beautiful he is to her. This movie is romantic and sweet, but it also details the important message that there is more to a person than looks or beauty.
This action-filled movie is fun and wholesome, as it tells the story of Mulan, who disguises herself as a man to serve in the army in her father's place. It shows the message of honor and sacrifice, of camaraderie and friendship. Mulan does everything in her power to save China from the Huns, while also wanting to bring honor to her family's name. The message of bravery and selflessness is one that is important to show to your students.
This Disney film explores the importance of honesty. After growing up in the streets and stealing to survive, Aladdin meets a princess that he eventually falls in love with. In order to be qualified to marry her, he must be a prince, so he masquerades as a prince with the help of his friend, Genie. Princess Jasmine fell in love with Aladdin when she met him as a street rat and was disheartened when she found out he lied to her. However, when Aladdin saved the kingdom from Jafar, he gained back the trust of those he lied to. This movie is a great way to teach your students the importance of honesty.
This movie shows an important lesson about being grateful for the things you already have instead of focusing on the things you don't. John Smith sailed to America in hopes of finding gold and treasures. When he meets Pocahontas, she teaches him to appreciate what he is given and to show gratitude towards nature and what it has provided. This film is a great way to show your students that respecting nature and the environment is extremely important.
6. Lilo & Stitch
In this movie, your students will learn the true meaning of Ohana, or family. Lilo meets Stitch at a dog shelter after he escaped from a spaceship. With the help of her sister, Nani, and her sister's friend, David, Lilo has to protect him from the government agencies trying to take him. This movie shows touching displays of loyalty and that a found family is just as real and important as a biological family.
7. Treasure Planet
This Disney movie is a thrilling animated space adventure filled with relevant lessons for both children and parents. Jim Hawkins is enthralled with stories of space pirates and longs to be out in space working in a crew. After a raid that occurs at his mother's inn, he acquires a map of the legendary Treasure Planet. He sets off on a ship and makes friends with an unsuspecting cook. As the film goes on, we learn about friendship, bravery, and adventure, as well as the important lesson of not judging a book by its cover.
In this movie, Tarzan is raised by gorillas after his parents are killed by a leopard in the Congolese jungle. He befriends other animals and eventually meets a group of humans from England who are there to study the wildlife. He learns to trust these strangers and teaches his gorilla family to trust them as well. He protects everyone from danger and, in the end, becomes the leader of the gorillas. This movie displays a message of trust and friendship, and it is a wonderful way to teach your students these lessons!
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