I envy today’s kids – the movies made for kids today are so much more inspiring. Sure, I may have enjoyed watching Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, but those movies taught me that my only chance at happiness was to wait around and hope to be rescued by a handsome prince — a lesson I actually had to unlearn. Today’s filmmakers, on the other hand, have embraced much more positive and constructive messages, like following your heart and facing your fears — themes found in the new animated film, The Book of Life. The movie, which is about the adventures of three friends who grew up together in Mexico, stars Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, and Channing Tatum (it’s available now on Digital HD, so you can watch it at home or on the go!).
Here are 9 other kids’ movies that you can count on to deliver amazing life lessons:
In a terrific twist on the old Disney princess formula, it’s sisters Anna and Elsa who save each other from peril, not the handsome men in their lives. The lesson: Romances may come and go, but the bond of sisterhood lasts forever (see more life lessons from Frozen).
2. The Incredibles
When super dad Mr. Incredible blows off a young fan, he unwittingly incites the boy to become an evil super villain. The lesson: Treat everyone with respect, or you might make an enemy out of a friend.
3. The Princess and the Frog
Tiana busts her hump working to open her own restaurant. When her plan falls through, she tries wishing on a star and winds up getting turned into a frog. The lesson: Hard work is the key to achieving your dreams.
4. Finding Nemo
Neurotic clown fish Marlin must overcome deep-seated fears to save his lost son. The lesson: Never give up, or in the words of fish friend Dory, “Just keep swimming.”
Sweethearts Carl and Ellie had a wonderful life together, but they never did take that trip to Paradise Falls. After Ellie dies, elderly Carl finally experiences the adventure of a lifetime. The lesson: It’s never too late to follow your dreams.
The ogre’s grumpy, green exterior masks a brave, kind heart. Likewise, there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to his love Princess Fiona. The lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
7. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Flint helps his struggling town by inventing a machine that rains delicious foods from the sky, but the gluttonous locals almost destroy themselves by ordering up too much grub. The lesson: More isn’t always better — moderation in all things.
8. The Lorax
When an entrepreneur cuts down all the Truffala trees for his Thneed business, only the Lorax defends the endangered wildlife, and he doesn’t care how crazy he sounds. The lesson: Stand up for what you believe in.
9. The Lion King
Blaming himself for the death of his father, lion cub Simba runs away to the jungle. There, a warthog and meerkat teach the guilt-ridden cub their philosophy of Hakuna Matata and he begins to heal. The lesson: Don’t worry, be happy.
Check out The Book of Life and let us know what you think! Join the Twitter Family Movie Night on Friday, January 9 at 5pm PT! Host your own party and tweet along with us at @BookOfLifeMovie using #BookOfLifeFiesta. (Find fun activities and decorations.