Watching a good movie as a family is a great way to spend a day off. Having a good selection of kid-friendly movies in the house is also useful if you suddenly need to entertain your child's friends or cousins. Author Sakshi Singh brings you her list of favourite children's movies that are not only fun to watch, but also teach subtle lessons. To add a bit of excitement to your movie-watching sessions, throw in some popcorn and juices and make the experience something your children will always treasure.
(Available on DVD on Amazon.in)
Haathi Mere Saathi (1971): This movie features the story of a young orphan called Raju who grows up with four elephants. Even when Raju becomes older and gets married, the elephants continue to be a part of his family. The movie shows us why we need to respect animals' need for space and safety. It teaches us that we must give animals as much love and support as we can to ensure that they are as happy in their environments as we are in our homes.
Masoom (1983): Shekhar Kapoor's 'Masoom' is one of the most sensitively portrayed movies in Indian cinema. While it is a beautiful story of a family that goes through trials and tribulations, it also has an extremely entertaining side to it. 'Masoom' depicts how children can share and care for one another and live like one big, happy family in spite of being different or belonging to another parent.
Mr India (1987): One of India's first sci-fi comedy flicks, 'Mr India' had both children and adults glued to the screen. Its entertaining script has comedy, emotion and drama all rolled into one. Featuring a home full of homeless children, the movie makes you laugh, cry and marvel at the children’s acting skills all at the same time. While the movie was a thorough entertainer, it emphasised the fact that not all children have a home and family and that privileged children should be thankful to their parents for the life they lead.
Home Alone (1990): What happens when a big family goes off on a vacation and leaves a six-year-old boy at home all by himself? 'Home Alone' is one of the all-time favourite family-fun entertainers that both children and adults can't get enough of. We often realise the value of things when they are gone. In the movie, when Kevin's family goes away, he has an exciting couple of days but slowly starts to miss them as Christmas approaches. The movie teaches children that festivals are to be celebrated with family and people whom we love. It also teaches children to be brave at all times and never to be afraid of the unknown.
Finding Nemo (2003): This movie is about Nemo, a clown fish with an abnormal right fin, and his father Marlin. In the film, Nemo gets caught by humans and is taken away while his father Marlin has to fight against all odds to locate his only son. Visually appealing, the movie also has an amazing background score and an array of funny, interesting and unforgettable characters. 'Finding Nemo' took everyone by surprise with its brilliance and went on to become one of the most-watched Disney-Pixar films of all time. In the movie, Nemo did not listen to his father and was kidnapped and taken away. The movie reminds children that they should not ignore their parents' advice and should respect the opinions of adults.
Koi Mil Gaya (2003): A sci-fi thriller, 'Koi Mil Gaya' features a lead character who is a mentally challenged child with hidden talents. This movie shows us that though some children may be specially-abled and may not seem like they function normally, they still possess talents that we need to appreciate and accept.
Iqbal (2005): We are all special and gifted in our own way and no one can take our inherent talent away from us. 'Iqbal' is the story of a mute child who is passionate about cricket and does not let his disability come in the way of his ambition. He continues to learn and practise despite a lack of encouragement and is finally selected to play the sport professionally. The movie tells an inspiring and motivating story for children, which teaches them to never give up. It is worth a watch for children of all age groups.
Taare Zameen Par (2007): Gentle, innocent and beautiful, this movie is the story of a young child with special talents. The film appealed to children and adults alike as it brought to light the ins and outs of the Indian education system. The movie us that just because a specific child may not be not good at one thing, it doesn't mean that he or she is weak or should be ridiculed. The movie teaches children to appreciate the talents of their friends at school and sends the message that children must be encouraged to find and discover their talents with a lot of love and patience.