Five of the Best Movies for Teaching Children Values

The cinema can be of real help when it comes to educating the smallest members of our households. We've compiled a list of five of the best movies to teach them about respect, honesty, and responsibility.
Five of the Best Movies for Teaching Children Values
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 16 August, 2023

Early childhood education is, to a large extent, based on entertainment. Indeed, we tend to work on the education and upbringing of our little ones with games, stories, etc. For this reason, movies with values are extremely important at this early stage in our children’s lives.

In fact, it’s essential that children, from a really young age, understand and internalize the value of friendship, compassion, honesty, perseverance, responsibility, and loyalty, among others.

Five of the best movies for teaching children values

There’s little that the world of cinema doesn’t offer. Although many movies focus on mere entertainment, others, in addition to occupying our children, also transmit interesting values. They can be useful to us as parents and educators in helping them understand and accept these important principles.

So, if you want to spend quality time with your little ones in an activity that you’ll all enjoy, take advantage of these movies. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to watch them at home or in a movie theater, you’ll certainly find them to be useful.

The Lion King

We can all can now enjoy two versions of The Lion King, the original from the 90s in traditional animated form and the new one, also animated, but as if it were shot in real life.

However, what values will children learn from this movie? The most important, and the crux of the story, is that of responsibility. Indeed, the story tells the adventures of the little lion, Simba, who was born to become king.

Along the way, we see how the little lion, by becoming an adult, learns other interesting values, such as respect for non-equals, friendship, and loyalty.

“Being brave doesn’t mean looking for trouble. What it does mean is that you’re mature enough to understand your fears and overcome them.”

-Mufasa, The Lion King


Are you surprised to find this movie on our list? You shouldn’t be, because, beyond the laughter and the eccentricities of this famous green ogre, lie interesting values that enrich the saga.

Among the many values depicted in the movie, such as friendship, the one that stands out is integrity. Children see characters who are faithful to the principles they believe in, even though following this path often means paying a price.


It’s best to view the Disney version of this story since the original is much crueler. The Hollywood factory made it sweeter and instilled in it the value of honesty.

It’s nice to see the wooden boy protagonist, together with his allies, the Blue Fairy and Jiminy Cricket, discover that not telling the truth and not being honest have negative consequences, both for himself and those around him.

We can use this movie to show children that sincerity is worthwhile, even though in the short term it may not always appear to be the case.


This movie was nominated for an Oscar despite not being particularly well known. The value that’s most demonstrated in it is that of tolerance.

The movie tells the story of Norman, a boy who talks to the dead. But the plot is an excuse to get to know the protagonist better, a boy who feels like an outcast because of his special abilities. As the story progresses, those around him learn that judging people isn’t acceptable and they understand the need to be more tolerant.

Toy story

You could choose any of the four Toy Story movies, the famous creation by Disney Pixar. However, we’ve chosen the first which is more interesting when it comes to values.

In case you don’t know the story, it narrates the adventures of a group of toys, each one who, at one time or another was the favorite of Andy, their owner.  Together, they form a group in which they all support each other.

What values underlie this animated movie? In fact, there are several, the most important is that of loyalty. Beyond friendship, we see that the toys are loyal to each other, respecting each other for who they are.

With any of these five movies, you can have a good time with your family without even leaving home while, at the same time, enjoying the magic of the cinema.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.