Films young girls will love

Slipper and the Rose

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Movies for preschoolers

Here is a list of the best movies to watch with a preschooler. Primarily this list is aimed at girls, but that doesn't mean boys can't enjoy them too!

My Neighbour Totoro

This beautiful animated classic centres on two young girls. They move to their country with their father to be near the hospital where their mother is being treated for an unnamed illness.

Situated amongst steep hills, the children's house is surrounded by a combination of dense forest and rice paddies. Their father works at a university while looking after his two children. It's a nice role model for young girls to see the father as the prime care-giver, taking responsibility for house hold chores.

From the beginning of the film the children show a respect towards nature. When their father helps the girls explore the local forest he comments that one old tree has been growing since the time when trees and humans were friends.

An elderly neighbour, "granny" and her grandson befriend the children and provide company for them. However, the real highlight and focus of the film is when the children also meet what their father terms the 'forest spirits". Totoro, a friendly but loud creature, which looks sort of like a cross between a rabbit and an owl is their main friend. The children and Totoro don't speak the same language, but they can still help each other and provide companionship. This particularly helps the children through a tough time when they are desperately missing their mother who is in the hospital.

Released by Studio Ghibli in 1988 this film is sure to charm. Just make sure you use the version which is dubbed in English, rather than just subtitles.


March of the Penguins

Inspiring, beautiful and true. March of the Penguins is a very rewarding family film.

Don't avoid this film because it is a documentary. The footage is superb and the story is gripping. It's also great to also introduce an educational aspect as a bonus and an appreciation of the natural world.

This meticulously filmed 2005 documentary looks at the breeding cycles of Emperor Penguins.

The bleak and frozen lands of Antarctica plays host to one of nature's most epic survival stories. Every year the penguins overcome some of the harshest elements on the planet to breed and raise their young.

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the March of the Penguins has some brilliant and candid footage of the penguins on the ice and swimming in the ocean. One warning, is that there are some sad scenes in the documentary, such as penguin chicks struggling to survive an Antarctic storm.

However, overall, this is a very worthwhile film which can be enjoyed by young children and their carers.

Bambi

Walt Disney's animated film Bambi was produced in 1942. However, this enduring classic can still be loved and enjoyed by children today.

Bambi is a coming of age story about a young deer growing up in the forest. Bambi is looked after by his mother and his father "The Great Prince" or leader of the forest deer. He has a close group of friends. These include Thumper, a rabbit, a skunk named Flower and a fawn called Faline.

Bambi enjoys childhood in the forest. During wintertime, when food is scarce, he forages for food with his mother. During good times the forest is abundant with food and fun. The birds sing, and the forest animals play.

Children may find the scene where Bambi's mother dies distressing. She is shot (off screen) by a hunter. However, this is such a charming film that it still makes this list.

The Slipper and the Rose

Produced in the 1970s, this is a musical version of the well-known Cinderella story. This British film boasts beautiful costumes, dancing and singing. The score was nominated for an Academy Award. Unlike most versions of Cinderella there is a focus on both the prince and Cinderella in the story.

Loads of fun, particularly for young girls.

The Wizard of Oz

This classic musical film was produced in 1939. The story will be familiar to many. Based on the book by Frank Baum, the film tells of the adventures of a young girl called Dorothy. Dorothy is literally uprooted from her farm in rural Kansas when she is whisked away in a Tornado to the fantasy Land of Oz. She has her dog, Toto, with her to keep her company.

Arriving in Oz, Dorothy sets out on a quest to win her way back home. She is told that she must seek help from the Wizard of Oz who lives in the Emerald City. Along the way, Dorothy makes friends with an eccentric assortment of characters. These include the Tin Man, (a robot like looking man, made from tin) a "cowardly" lion and a talking scarecrow. She has many adventures and must overcome the Wicked Witch of the West in order to find her way home.

Some of the effects might look a bit daggy to modern eyes, but young children who enjoy singing and dancing, are likely to enjoy it.

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