8 Childhood Movies that taught us valuable life lessons

From the heroines to  wizards, to kids just like us. These movies were there for us when we were little and now, re-watching these classics, can we identify meaningful lessons that can guide us in our adult lives. Here is a collection of some of my favourite childhood films, and what I learnt from them. Enjoy!

 1. Mulan 

A personal childhood favourite, and the best of Disney’s heroines, Mulan told the story of a brave young woman who pretends to be a male soldier to save her father. The uplifting tree climbing sequence reflects the gratifying outcomes of persistence and determination, while the subsequent montage shows that, with teamwork , a guardian dragon and a lucky cricket, anything is possible. An empowering story about both the strength of the individual, and the importance of friendship and family, which proved that “The flower that blooms in adversity… is the most rare and beautiful of them all.”

2. Peter Pan

Blame it on a childhood spent dreaming of flying to Neverland, but the story of Peter Pan has always sat close to my heart. Wendy and her brothers’ escape to Neverland taught my youthful self of the wonders of adventure and imagination. While the childrens’ marvelous journey was enough to make any child giddy with excitement, it is the transformation of Mr Darling that proves that while growing old is compulsory (for most), it is growing up that is optional.

peter pan animated GIF

3. Shrek

If there ever was a less warm welcome than “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY SWAMP?!” my mind can’t think of it, however this time-honoured tale of an unfriendly ogre taught us much more than how not to greet guests. At the heart of this alternative fairy tale is the notion that looks aren’t everything and it’s what’s on the inside that counts (Also Ogres are like Onions, Everyone likes parfaits, and in the morning, I’m making WAFFLES).

4. My Girl

This classic 90’s coming of age story about a young girl, Veda’s, entry into adulthood never fails to hit the tear ducts hard. It taught us about friendship, blood brothers, puberty, and the dangers of beehives. This poignant story showed us that death was a part of life and you can overcome your grief.


5. Home Alone

This mandatory Christmas flick about the resourceful Kevin McCallister taught us that independence is a skill learnt young. It proved that all bad guys can be defeated with feathers, baubles and tar, and that you should never take your family for granted. Home Alone, and its sequel, showed us to be generous and kind to strangers. And to keep the change, ya filthy animal.

home alone animated GIF

6. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

If Harry’s escapades at Hogwarts taught us anything, it was that the Third Floor corridor was most certainly out of bounds. This charming introduction to a stunning series proved to us the importance of friendship, bravery and books. In the wise worlds of Dumbledore “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”. Although my Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive, the knowledge gained from many a movie (and book) marathon has been immeasurable. This formidable series taught a new generation how to cope with death, catch a snitch and outwit a troll (It’s LeviOsa, not Levi-o-saa!).

harry potter animated GIF

7. Toy Story Trilogy

The greatest Pixar series, which encouraged us to embrace new friends, hold on to your old ones, and never leave a toy behind. It reminded us that there are times when you must hold on to the ones you love, but also times when you have to know to let go. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Slinky, Mr Potato Head, and Rex proved to us the power of friendship and dreaming big.

toy story animated GIF

8. Matilda

Roald Dahl’s precocious little genius demonstrated to all of us that the little guy can stand up to the big guy. It taught us to stand up for what we believed in, be kind to all and most importantly, read, because books can save us all. In the words of  this small but brave rebel  “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable”

90s animated GIF

What do you think? Did I miss any?

Jo Bradley.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. lkeke35 says:

    My favorite message is from The Iron Giant: that you are the only person who gets to choose how you’ll approach the world. That the world doesn’t make you who you are. You do.
    A pretty hefty (almost Buddhist) message to give to children.

    You are who you choose to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t heard of that movie- is it a cartoon?


      1. lkeke35 says:

        Yes, from Pixar films and Directed by Brad Bird. I think he’s the same guy who did The Incredibles. It’s awesome, you should catch it if you can.

        One of the few cartoons that ever made me cry and I don’t cry easy. (All of the Toy Story movies Made me cry, though.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do love Toy Story. Are you excited for the forth film? I have written about Toy Story twice. Read here if interested:

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lkeke35 says:

        Oh, I didn’t know thered be a fourth. Okay, time to get more tissues, I guess.😊

        Liked by 1 person

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