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Watching one of your childhood favourites play out on the screen can take you back to the moment you first saw it, letting you remember what it felt like to be a kid. This can help give you a closer connection with your child and a new insight into their personality and behavior. Here are a few of our favourite classics, all of which contain teaching moments that you can talk about after the credits roll. Enjoy!
1. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Bastian is a 10-year-old who likes books more than people – especially when so many of those people are bullies at his school. One day he stumbles upon a mysterious fantasy book in an antique book store, and takes it to the school’s attic to read in peace. The book describes a young hero on a quest to save the ChildLike Empress and stop The Nothing from destroying his world. Bastian, thoroughly engrossed in the story, is shocked when he discovers that the characters can hear him…and that’s just the beginning of this “never ending” story.
Lessons Learned: Courage, independence, finding strength within.
2. Willow (1988)
Sometimes the little guy has to stand up and fight for what’s right, and Willow is that guy. A gentle farmer with limited magical abilities, he is shocked one day when he finds a baby floating down the river near his home. But this is no ordinary baby: she could be the one prophesied to bring the downfall of the evil queen. With a story by George Lucas, Willow has the adventure of Star Wars, but is set in a magical kingdom rather than outer space.
Lessons Learned: Taking responsibility, friendship, keeping promises, courage, teamwork.
3. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Steven Spielberg puts an intergalactic spin on the standard, “He followed me home, Mum. Can I keep him?” In a story that has often been alluded to or outright copied, a young boy named Elliot discovers an extra-terrestrial is living in the woods near his house. He befriends the alien, and lures him back home with a trail of Reese’s Pieces candies. Can Elliot keep ET hidden from his mum as well as the government forces trying to capture him
Lessons Learned: Helping those in need, being friendly, accepting people from different places, standing up for what you think is right.
4. The Princess Bride (1987)
With giants, villains, tricksters and duelists, The Princess Bride has no shortage of adventure. Buttercup is a beautiful young woman who is kidnapped by no less than three dangerous villains. It’s now up to her true love, Westley, to find her and rescue her. But does this humble farm hand have what it takes to outwit, outmuscle, and outfight these evil captors?
Lessons Learned: Don’t judge a book by its cover, there is always a solution, boys can like romance, too.
5. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
Based on the novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, this film tells the story of a widowed field mouse who has to seek help from the colony of rats next door when her house begins sinking in the mud. There’s something special about these rats, though. They’re smart, they can read and they use electricity, which they steal from the farm. How did they get this way? The clue is in the title.
Lessons Learned: Working with “enemies”, prejudice, animal welfare, hope.