10 Things Moms Can Use Disney Movies For (And 11 Things To Shield Their Kids From)

Disney films have had their share of controversy among parents about the types of messages that the films impose on children. But with such a classic fanbase, Disney movies have become a staple in the home. It is almost every child's dream to spend a Disney vacation with family and go to Disney World (and know all the words to the latest film). Despite the controversy, there are still some very positive messages these films can teach children and parents can utilize these tools to help their children in rather entertaining ways. There are, however, a few things that parents should be wary of, especially depending on their child's age.

Disney goes back nearly a century, so things that were once appropriate for kids are a bit frowned upon today, but everything will adjust and change with good time, right? For moms looking to give their children some good solid entertainment with some hearty life lessons, check out these 10 classic Disney films that are bound to keep the little ones asking for more and make parents feel that they are getting education and entertainment all in one. We've also added 11 films on this list that moms should probably shield their kids from.

21 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To D.A.R.E. Their Kids

In the movie Alice In Wonderland some of the characters are a bit out of this world, or at least out of their reality. Showing children this film can help parents bring up the subject of adult reality distorting products. Using this film can be a great segway into showing kids that although it may seem fun, things never end too well for those who turn to these products to get away. Because just as in the movie, one always gets out of Wonderland.

Using films to tackle these issues can really be of a lot of help to parents who are wary about approaching certain subjects that are considered taboo.

20 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach About - Story Time

Storytime is an essential point in any child's life. When parents are given the opportunity to show their children a fun interactive film with relatable characters who prioritize story time, this will encourage reading. Parents can use Disney films like Toy Story to help little ones improve their imagination. This story really taps into a child's mind when they see the main characters play with their toys and allow them to personify humans; this can encourage children to do the same with characters in their books.

In the day of technology when kids much prefer watching than reading, a film like this can really help.

19 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach About - Gender Equality

In a world filled with fluffy ball gowns and glass slippers, Disney finally created a film where princesses are important and capable too. In the film Frozen, the main character Elsa and her sister set to break a spell together. No love story, unless it's sisterly love, and no prince charming. Just good old fashioned, or not so old fashioned, women embracing female empowerment. Wanting to show your little girls and boys that girls rock too? This film may be just what Disney ordered to break the generations of hoping for someone to sweep in and save the day.

18 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach About - Honesty

In the old classic known by its name with roots from Italy, Pinocchio has become known by all as the film that promotes honesty. If your child is going through a fibbing phase and you want to nip it in the bud, consider showing this fun loving classic and warn them to watch their nose. Pinocchio does have some other messages as well, but namely the idea is to teach children that fibbing is wrong, and that when you do it, it can make you a less attractive person.

Besides, no child wants to walk around with a nose over a foot long.

17 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach About - Vanity

In the movie with the huge green ogre, a princess falls for someone who is not what society would consider a 'perfect match', physically. But when it comes down to it, the film teaches a few important lessons. First, that it is not really what matters on the outside, and second that vanity can turn you into a huge green ogre (not literally–although it may take a bit of extra explaining to the little ones to get that message across). So this is great when parents are trying to teach their kids to love what is on the inside, and to try not to judge others by what is seen on the outside.

16 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Explore - A Child's Talent

Even if you are a rat you can still have a talent, right? In the adorable Paris based film, Ratatouille a want-to-be chef gets a great chance to make it big in the culinary scene in France, only to find out that the actual chef behind the man is actually a rat.

Parents who show their children this film will not only promote an additional love for the city of lights and help their little ones pick up a few words from the language, but also help their kids learn a few great life lessons; everyone has a talent and they should be explored, it is never too late to learn and pursue what you love.

15 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach Kids About - Courage

If you feel like your little one resembles more of the cowardly lion than the king of the jungle, then you may want to show him or her a few films to help boost his or her courage.

Namely the film Finding Nemo can really help give your little one the ability to stand up to what they need to do and do it, with the help of some really good friends, of course. In the film Nemo, a fish who gets separated from his father, courageously sets out to find him again and cross the huge ocean all by himself.

14 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach Kids About - Relationships

Love, love? If you are looking for a great way to show the kids a kindhearted film that touches on a bit of everything but really highlights the beauty of relationships and friendship, you may want to consider the Disney classic Beauty and The Beast. This Disney movie shows kids that you can even be friends with a cup. The movie touches on love with the relationship of Belle and The Beast, and all the friends who team up together to save their relationship. Through their adventures, your little one is bound to enjoy watching all the characters come to life.

This is really a Disney classic and the accents are adorable.

13 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach Kids To Be Themselves

Kids are constantly sending little images back and forth to one another from their phones. These little characters can tell an entire story. In the film The Emoji Movie one emoji has the ability to adapt to be any character he wishes, despite the fact that his family and society does not want anyone to show multiple characteristics.

The film really teaches children to just be themselves; throughout the journey the main character meets a princess who also wants to be a different emoji. In the end they become the most popular of all the emojis, because they fought to remain the same instead of changing. This new release is up to the times and sends a really positive message.

12 Moms Can Use Disney Movies To Teach Kids About - Patience

Oh, Cinderella... this film has so many messages. This beautiful girl is forced to clean, is treated poorly by her sisters and is even treated poorly by her step-mother. In the end she gets the final say when the prince chooses her. This film teaches children not only about patience, but the lesson of remaining humble. Although she isn't treated well and she knows that her sisters are unkind, she still remains patient with them and acts with kindness.

This is a solid lesson for life; things may not always be great but with a little patience and a great attitude, things can turn around.

11 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Sad Lessons

Though Disney is a great outlet that can really teach kids how to just be kids while inspiring some invaluable life lessons, there are a few messages that some of the films have that can be a bit hard to watch and can have a really powerful impact on how kids feel about the world. Moms may want to shield their children from films like The Lion King and Bambi if they are very young, due to the rather realistic messages about the cycle of life.

In both of these films the main characters, Simba and Bambi, lose their parents at a very young age. That can be especially hard for little children to witness. Maybe hold off until the little ones are older before exploring such hard life lessons.

10 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Sudden Events

In the jungle film Tarzan, kids can learn about life in the great outdoors. Although the film is rather lighthearted there are a few things that can be hard to witness as a child. Tarzan is a child with no parents, therefore he has to be raised by animals in the jungle; for some kids, this may seem ideal (no rules), but on the other hand, this could be rather sad. There is also a moment in the film when the villain gets tangled up in the tree branches and his neck snaps. This is a pretty harsh scene to see even though it only lasts for about a minute.

Moms should take this into consideration before putting this film on after school.

9 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Bad Habits

Another Disney classic is the film with the adorable elephant with big ears. While anyone who likes animals knows that elephants have big ears, the film shows the rather harsh reality of what it is like to grow up in society when you do not look just like everyone else. Some of the other characters who encounter Dumbo mock him for his ears. This type of behavior can rub off on children and give them the impression that it is okay to poke fun of other kids for their differences. Which, down the road, can be more harmful than helpful.

Moms who want their children to embrace others for their differences may want to consider explaining this element of the film or shield them from it altogether.

8 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Kids-Only Trips

Magic carpet rides? A smart monkey? Great outfits and fun colorful clothing? Count me in! In the Disney film Aladdin, children can get a taste for the culture of the East. The only thing that may be a bit hard to watch is the instance when one of the main characters, Jasmine, is taken against her will. Taking someone against their will is frowned upon in most cases and should be dealt with lightly.

So moms, when showing your little ones Aladdin, maybe talk over why being taken for ransom may not be the best way to get your way; at the end of the day, it's clear that the character who took Jasmine is the villain in the movie.

7 They Should Shield Their Kids From - No Pets Allowed

For all you dog lovers out there, the cute spaghetti eating film The Lady And The Tramp is a really great film that personifies man's best friend. Though the dogs have human traits, the dogs are not treated very well and are forced to eat out back. This may not be the best message to convey to children who want pets or for parents who want their children to love animals.

Parents should take a second and third look at the film and consider shielding their little ones from the unfortunate reality of the characters in the film, and talk over why some things should not be practiced in real life.

6 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Bad Adult Habits

Though Peter Pan is one of those timeless movies, there are a few life lessons that the characters exhibit that one may wish to shield their little ones from. Namely, smoking and fleeing responsibility. In the film, many characters smoke, a rather bad adult habit. This habit should be explained to children, and never wanting to grow up, while adorable in theory can also lead parents to have an aging 30 something year old still sleeping in the basement.

In most cases, movies are just movies, but just in case, this may be one of the movies that parents could save for later.

5 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Being 'Hangry'

If you've ever read the story Jack and the Beanstalk, then you are familiar with the magic beans that can transport Jack and his friends to a magical land in the sky where life is much, much better. But the reason for the beans is that those little beans are all they can afford. When Disney did their spin on the story, titled Mickey and the Beanstalk, the characters touch on the subject of famine, which may be a bit too real for the little ones.

If you happen to believe that the little ones are still a bit too young for that reality, consider shielding the kids from this one for a little while.

4 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Happily Ever After

Things typically work out in life and with a little hard work and a positive attitude, one can get through to see another day. Many Disney films like recanting this message. But the one thing about almost every Disney classic is the idea of the happy ending. Though happy endings keep things lighthearted and allow children to remain hopeful, showing kids a lot of Disney films with a happy ending will not allow them to prepare themselves for the potential reality of what happens when things don't work out. Life lessons according to Disney say that in just a few hours everyone will be singing in harmony and smiling.

Consider explaining that though happy endings will eventually come to pass, they are not guaranteed.

3 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Don’t Be Yourself

The Little Mermaid is a harmonious joyous film that shows the camaraderie between underwater sea creatures. The only thing that one may want to shield the kids from is the idea of not being yourself. In the film, Ariel, the main character hides the fact that she is a mermaid from the prince so that he would like her. The idea of trying to be someone else in order to convince someone else that you belong in their world can be potentially  difficult for children and give them a bit of an identity complex.

Moms may want to shield their little ones from the idea that they have to change in order to be accepted.

2 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Mean Foods

In the wonderful world of Snow White parents may want to shield their kids from the idea that apples are not nutritious. Evil Queens can make apples a bad thing to eat, while on the other side an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctors away. Kids can find these messages a little confusing.

For a well balanced nutrition consider telling the kids that fruits are okay, it's just that at times people can have bad intentions. This is an important life lesson to keep the kids aware of the difference between films and reality, and also to be wary of taking gifts or snacks from strangers.

1 They Should Shield Their Kids From - Hidden Doors

In the film The Lion Witch and The Wardrobe kids can think it is okay to run away if they are not happy with their reality, by just going into the closet and exploring an entirely new world. This can be a bit detrimental when enforcing discipline.

Moms should consider shielding their kids from thinking it's okay to go off exploring or hiding when the parents ask them to do something around the house. To keep the little ones grounded explain that there is a time for fun and a time for responsibility. They may not always love hearing that but they will appreciate it when they get older.

References: Disney classics

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