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Inspirational Family Movies

Updated on April 23, 2016

No to TV

I wrote an article titled “Children and TV” in which I explain the consequences of giving children free access to television. In the article I explain the reasoning behind why I did not allow my own children free access to television when they were growing up and how I controlled what they watched. I explain the dangers that parents expose their children to by using television as a babysitter and I outline a way to use a well chosen collection of videos and DVDs to make sure that your children are absorbing the values you want them to learn rather than leaving this to chance.

In this article I would like to share with you the results of that decision made by my wife and I all those years ago and the impact it had on us and our family.


My wife and I love movies and when we were dating we would sometimes go to the matinee and after having a bite to eat we would then watch an evening movie. I remember excitedly going with my wife to the local video shop, in Ranelagh where we lived, when I received my first wage and we rented our first video player for the weekend. We eventually did save up enough money to buy our own player and many is the evening we spent curled up together watching movies all weekend.

Family Movies

When the children came along they joined in this pastime and to this day we all come together in our sitting room to watch a movie every Saturday and Sunday night. When the children were very young we began buying videos we knew they liked and would watch over and over. These videos were carefully chosen with the kind of messages we wanted for our children.

Over the years our collection grew and our children watched each movie so many times I cannot count the number of times. We also had a lot fun watching these movies with them and still do to this day.

Would you believe that we still watch movies like Pocahontas and The Fox and the Hound? The message in these stories are as relevant today as they were when we first bought them and I can see how my family has benefited.

Pressure to conform

As the children grew older we of course had to deal with the pressure our children experienced from their friends because they could not join in the conversations about the latest soap operas on TV but we stuck firmly to our principles and our children even thanked us later.

Sometimes our children opt for a whole family outing to the cinema as a birthday treat and that would include a pizza beforehand. This has become a tradition now.

My son wrote a hub reviewing , the movie "Inception”after we went to see it as a family and his review will give you an idea of his appreciation for a good movie.

Movies from many cultures

Along with all the Walt Disney movies, I also added movies from all over the world to our children's collection. These included movies that gave them an appreciation for Native American culture, Indian culture, and Japanese culture. Watching these movies gave them a deeper understanding and empathy for people from other cultures so when they came across these cultures in their school studies they already knew so much.

We also found that by watching movies which were subtitled my children developed great concentration and their reading skills developed as a result.

Top 12 Most Inspirational Family Movies

I am now going to list what I would consider the 12 most inspirational movies I have watched with my family.

I have also added a clip from each of the movies I have listed at the bottom of this hub.

  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • Phoenix (Hinotori)
  • Barefoot Gen
  • Centennial
  • The Namesake
  • Without Limits
  • Braveheart
  • Mr. Holland's Opus
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Dances with Wolves
  • Remember the Titans
  • Geronimo - An American Legend

Grave of the Fireflies

Hinotori (The Phoenix)

Barefoot Gen



Without Limits


Mr Holland's Opus

Dead Poet's Society

Dances with Wolves

Remember the Titans

Geronimo (Goyakla)


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    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Thank you so much myi4u for visiting this hub and your comment warms my heart. It is has been a tradition that my wife and I watch movies every weekend with our children. For that reason I carefully chose good movies that taught them something important at the same time. I matched the choice of movies to their age and as a result people would always comment at how disciplined my children were when they went to other peoples' houses and could sit quietly appreciating even a movie with subtitles. it is a pity your wife does not share your passion for movies but that will come in time. Though they are mostly all grown up I still love sitting with my family and watching a good movie. I hope you watch the movies I have listed here especially the Japanese ones.Enjoy.

    • myi4u profile image

      myi4u 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow... it's great to see that bond of watching movies together! My wife doesn't like movies at all and I always watch them alone, hehe... It's not a bad thing though. Whenever she talks about travelling or next holiday destination, I will always tease her by saying that I have gone to most places in the world, even the space and other planets. And I have been to the future and back too!

      Movies really teach us a lot, not just the story and knowledge, I learn a great deal of English from it too. First thing first, I watched Inception and thought it is brilliant too. But the thing that I don't like is the way Leonardo acts nowadays. If you carefully watch each of the movies that he starred, his espression and skill are always the same. I have watched both Inception and Shutter Island and it's like one character in two movies. But still, he is a good actor.

      To be real honest, I have not watched any of the twelve movies!

      I was brought up in a strict family, though the strict was mostly applied in education. My parents didn't really care what me and my siblings watched when we were young. Maybe because there weren't much choices at that time. We rented tapes during holidays and that was the most anticipated moment. My English wasn't good at that time, so I only like to watch action movies; action speaks louder than words! So, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were my favourites.

      By the way, speaking about Japanese and Korean, I only think about their horror movies and dramas.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      You are very kind epigramman and I will certainly do my homework. I also lived in Japan for 9 years.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ....well what makes this hub subject this so obviously joyous and wonderful is the labor of love that you've put into it - I will post this on my Facebook page with a direct link back here and (hopefully) some more will be moved by this most life affirming story of yours - and yes I too loved the music in Merry Christmas Mister Lawrence as composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto - and I have a homework assignment for you - go to You Tube and check out a film by Paul Schrader called Mishima - it's a masterpiece and in particular for the stirring music by Philip Glass.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I will let you know what I think about Rango and please let me know if you watch any of the ones I suggested. I am sure you can watch some of the Hinotori episodes free on YouTube. Yes I am perfectly nuts!HaHa

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Well I too was tricked by Rango - I thought it was just a cartoon! Let me know what you think after you see it!

      I am afraid to know what I was in the last life:)! Haha! I do always joke that I'm working on plans for the next one in advance! I'm so relieved to know you aren't perfect, I was beginning to wonder though! Being perfect is over rated I'm told. Oh yes, you said that!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I was too rash judging Rango. I watched the trailer and hadn't realised the story. I hated pirates of the Caribbean so as it was by the same makers I thought it was going to be another of those. Sorry. I will watch it. You are very persuasive! Were you an enforcer in the last life HaHa.

      I think we have similar ideas regarding bring kids up but I have to say I am not Mr perfect and often get it wrong. But God loves a trier!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      First - I am never offended by others individual likes:) ha! My grandfather called the television the idiot box. He said the government uses them to subliminally control your mind. I can see why he thought that and it is interesting how people don't seem to realize that. I liked Rango because it was about a real problem regarding lack of water and who controls it. It gave room for thought about collectively solving problems.

      I don't mind if a child's movie delves into the depths of reality. This is how they learn sometimes, sadly. Syd has been reading different books about the Jewish conflicts. She read Number the Stars and Out of the Dust. Pretty heavy stuff but she enjoyed the books.

      I have a friend who shelters her kids so much they are not allowed to watch the news. Those are the kids that will be in for a big surprise - when they see the world isn't such a carnival. I would worry they haven't developed good coping skills? I don't know. It doesn't feel right to do that. I think they need to know reality without going overboard. My kids are pretty smart and have a good grasp on the difference between fantasy and reality:)

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I am so glad we did this as I feel that TV brainwashes children (and adults). People don't even realise how dependent they have become on TV and how it dictates so much of their lives. It tells you what to eat, drink and wear. It tells you how to behave and what should be important. Th government uses it as a tool to control people and it does a very good job of it. I like stories with a moral that uplift the spirit or teach us a lesson even if it might be sad to watch. Every one of the movies I chose above do that but I would suggest you check out the trailers first because my values may be different to yours! My younger kids like movies like Rango but I am not a big fan. I hope you are not offended. I have always shown my children the truth about things and not sheltered them or tried to hide things because it might upset them (within reason of course) Grave of the Firefies e.g. is a very sad but very moving story that helped my children empathise with the people left behind in war when men go off in pursuit of glory and their wives and children are left home to starve. You use your judgement as these are my preferences and we are all different if you know what I mean. centennial is a must if you want your children to know about their Indian heritage! Thank you for your support as ever.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love this and it is so true! I am very careful about how much and what the kids are seeing on T.V. We love going to the show together and renting movies for the weekend. I missed several on your list. I'm going to try to get them - I know we all would like them.

      Recently, we saw Rango - really cute movie for all ages!

      I wish america would out law soap operas! What a waste!