Some kids’ movies are more loaded with serious issues like religion, race, politics, environmental problems, and class inequality than most of Hollywood movies. Here are 7 kids’ movies that raised serious issues.
How To Train Your Dragon
The movie might be set in the world of dragons, magic, and evil lurking in the shadows, but it doesn’t mean it can’t address the issues of the modern world. The Viking village has a huge problem with dragons and has always used only the language of violence to communicate with them. A young boy, who never had it in him to harm anyone, chose a different path and befriended one of them, opening a whole new era of Viking and dragon relationships. The message in this movie is strong: violence is not always the answer!
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
Before there was Avatar, telling the story of creatures living in perfect harmony with nature, there was FernGully: The Last Rainforest. It’s heavily loaded with environmental problems and humans are shown as the ones destroying the amazing balance of the natural world inhabited by animals, fairies, and other wonderful creatures.
This coming of age story might be the most unique presentation of how we deal with the emotional transformation that happens as we grow up. It’s fun for kids to watch as it is full of vibrant characters, but the adults will certainly appreciate the complexity of this movie, revealing the inner workings of the human mind.
The Secret of NIMH
One would never expect to see a kids’ movie that raises the problem of animal experiments, yet here it is! The Secret of NIMH tales a story of a group of rats that gained a long life span and exceptional intelligence after a series of experiments done by humans. These creatures don’t have a place in this world and depend heavily on human machines to survive.
This highly entertaining movie about a boy longing to become a pro guitarist takes us from the world of the living to the realm of the dead (and sometimes forgotten). While the movie taps into the standard Disney themes like being brave and following your dreams, it also tackles some of the more serious issues like relationship with parents, dementia, family rivalry, and remembering the ones that passed away.
Zootopia is both fun and serious in a very cute way. Using various anthropomorphic animals it shows the vices and troubles of human society – racism, sexism, stereotyping, and bureaucratic issues. Judy Hopps, one of the main characters, is a rabbit aspiring to become part of the police force, despite being a woman, small in size, and with a farming background not suitable for a big city. She overcomes all those stereotypes, yet reveals some faults of her own in her relationship with a fox partner.
This cartoon is an obvious choice because of the sheer number of political, environmental, and philosophical issues it puts on the table. It’s not often you see an anti-utopian animated film with the main character that is a robot that turns out to be more human than the actual humans. We see the future where consumerism has taken its toll both on the planet and on the human race that has gone completely awry. The planet is in ruins, there’s no vegetation left, and what’s left of humanity is controlled by an AI.