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Four colorful animated figures looking through a window.
Four colorful animated figures looking through a window.
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Culture > Entertainment

Liked Inside Out 2? Here are 5 more children’s movies with deep messages

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Animated movies follow us throughout our lives, don’t they? And they can end up conveying messages that prompt us to reflect on many things. So, considering the recent success of Inside Out 2, which addresses themes such as anxiety attacks, growth, repression of emotions, and self-awareness, here is a list of children’s movies with deep messages.

1. Lilo & Stitch

“Ohana means family, and family means never abandoning or forgetting.” I think just by hearing this phrase, you already know that this classic film needs no introduction, right? But for those who are not familiar, the film is set in Hawaii and tells the story of Experiment 626, or Stitch, and his escape to Earth. To hide from those who are pursuing him, he disguises himself as a dog and is adopted by a lonely little girl named Lilo.

The main messages that the film brings are: resilience, care, sisterhood (seen notably between Lilo and Nani), adoption, adaptation, and notions of family, addressing the fact that it can also be a choice, as seen with the inclusion of Jumba, Pleakley, and Stitch himself into the Pelekai family.

2. Turning Red

Moving on to a more recent film, from the neighboring studio Pixar, the recent movie Turning Red depicts the growth of Mei Lee, a typical teenager who tries to appear perfect in the eyes of her strict and overprotective mother. Upon entering puberty, she discovers that she transforms into a giant red panda whenever she becomes emotionally agitated.

Through this, she learns to embrace her emotions and to truly know herself, emphasizing the importance of accepting and understanding feelings in a healthy way. But this film doesn’t just bring an important lesson for younger audiences; it does so for adults as well! It teaches them that during growth, one must go through certain situations to mature, along with changes in tastes and attitudes.

3. The tale of the princess Kaguya

Studio Ghibli is another specialist in bringing animations with profound teachings in its stories! One proof of this is the work The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which tells the story of a peasant girl who, upon discovering she is a princess, starts being treated with luxury and privileges. However, she refuses to submit to the oppressive expectations surrounding her.

The film criticizes the role of women in Japanese society and the silencing of women, addressing themes such as class struggle, female independence, reinforced by the actions of the protagonist, and the desire for freedom that many women have over their lives and destinies, not just in their country. It also highlights the weight that certain traditions can carry.

4. The Boy and the Heron

The Boy and the Heron tells the story of Mahito, who, after losing his mother in the bombing of Tokyo, moves to the countryside with his father and his new wife, who is his late mother’s older sister. And after his disappearance, he is taken by a special Heron to another world.

Even in an extreme context such as war, the film sends a message about “how to live life”, about overcoming, paths to follow, choices and reconstruction when we are faced with difficult phases.

5. The boy and the world

The Brazilian on our list is The boy and the World, made in an almost artisanal way by Alê Abreu and his team since it almost didn’t use digital elements, can you believe it? And as we understand animations like no one else, the work reached the level of nominees for the Oscar for best animation in 2016.

The plot of the boy who travels alone in search of his father raises reflections on the constant advancement of technology, consumption of natural resources, search for opportunities, and achievements, among others.

What do you think of this selection? Would you marathon these titles? If so, prepare the popcorn and soda, maybe a box of tissues, and turn on the TV! You won’t regret it!


The article above was edited by Brisa Kunichiro.

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I'm Isabela Figueiredo (Better Known as Figo) I love Anime, Brooks, Films and everything that comes with entertainment