15 Perfect Movies to Work Self-Esteem with Children

Self-esteem, the perception we have of ourselves, largely determines our personality and our character. That is why it is vital that both in the classroom and at home we ensure that children develop their self-esteem, value themselves, and love themselves as they are. This way they will be better able to fight to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. The cinema can be a great ally to represent a multitude of emotions and stories. In addition, it is a powerful tool for learning through sensations and putting ourselves in the shoes of the characters. These movies to build self-esteem both at home and in class will help you with your homework.

1. How to train your dragon

Source: IMDb

This fantasy adventure comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who does not fit the stereotype of his people: tough dragon hunters. He cannot throw an ax or use a sword and is too small and skinny to fight. 

Determined to assert himself, he sets out in search of his first dragon, but what he finds is nothing like the stories he has heard all his life. Because he will meet Toothless, a specimen of the legendary Night Fury, a race that was believed to be extinct. 

A film that gives the opportunity to show the importance of avoiding prejudices and labels. Throughout the whole story, Hiccup shows everyone, including himself, that he is capable of achieving what he sets out to do and that he has more courage and strength than he ever thought.

Recommended age: +6 years | Available on HBO, Prime Video, and Netflix


2. Tadeo Jones

Source: IMDb

Tadeo Jones is a simple construction worker who resides in Chicago, but has a great spirit of adventure and dream. One day he is mistaken for a popular archaeologist and sent to Peru on a mission. There he will have to stop an organization of thieves who steal treasures and who intend to loot a mythical Inca city that has just been found.

He is accompanied on his adventure by Sara, Freddy, a parrot who cannot speak, and a bounty hunter. A story that shows us the need to trust ourselves, enhance our virtues and not give up in the face of adversity.

Recommended age: +6 years | Available on Disney +, Prime Video, and Netflix


3. The choir boys

Source: IMDb

Clément Mathieu is a music teacher who, after being unemployed for a while, decides to start working as a caretaker at a boarding school for boys. During his stay, he realizes that the children live under a lot of pressure and that they are not happy. 

He decides to teach them music and put on a choir so they can have fun and get away from his life at boarding school. Through art, the teacher will try to get his students to believe in themselves and have a future.

Recommended age: +6 years | Available at: Prime Video


4. Princess Mononoke

Source: IMDb

In the 15th century, during the Muromachi era,  the Japanese forest is being ravaged and destroyed by human action. Ashitaka is the future head of the Emishi clan and, suddenly, he is attacked by a wild boar transformed into a destroying demon.

When Ashitaka is seriously wounded, he is forced to go in search of the Deer god to lift the curse that has gangrenous his arm. On his way he will discover how the animals of the forest fight against the men who destroy their nature. Then you will meet Princess Mononoke, a strong, independent and feisty female character. 

An ideal film to show a true heroine full of courage who can help break the odd stereotype and empower girls, thus increasing their self-esteem.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on: Netflix


5. The endless story

Source: IMDb

Based on the book by Michael Ende,  The Neverending Story has as its main character Bastián, an 11-year-old boy. Use your imagination to deal with your day-to-day problems. Unable to cope with the constant fights at school, he uses books to escape the real world. 

One morning he discovers a bookstore run by Mr. Koreander, who shows him an old book. The boy’s curiosity is aroused and he decides to take him away to engage in a reading that absorbs him for most of the day and that transports him to a fantasy world.

The film shows us the importance of loving ourselves and drawing the strength that we have within us.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available at: Prime Video


6. Matilda

Source: IMDb

Matilda Wormwood is a gifted girl whose intelligence is far above that of all the members of her family. This causes her to grow up isolated at home, where she feels misunderstood and lacks affection from her loved ones.

His life turns upside down when he starts school, where he discovers his special abilities: he has the power of telekinesis. In the new school, she will only have the support of her teacher, Miss Honey, who will make sure that Matilda enhances her abilities even more by forging a close bond with her. 

In Matilda, self-esteem is closely related to self-realization, since history tells us that the key is to love ourselves and enhance our virtues.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on: Prime Video and Netflix


7. Kung Fu Panda

Source: IMDb

Po is a humble panda bear who works as a waiter at a noodle restaurant. Although his true dream is to learn kung-fu, he believes that he cannot achieve it because his fitness is not good. 

One day the honorable Master Shifu organizes a tournament to choose the fighter who will save China from the clutches of the evil Tai Lung. Po is unexpectedly the chosen one and becomes the great hope. You must learn the complicated martial arts and get in shape before it is too late.

An animated comedy that shows us the need to have a good concept of ourselves and to trust our own abilities to achieve what we set out to do.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available at: Prime Video


8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Source: IMDb

Charlie Buckett is a modest boy from a humble family who lives in the shadow of Willy Wonka’s extraordinary factory. No one has ever entered it and its interior is a mystery to all the villagers.

In order to get closer to the citizens, Wonka launches a contest. The eccentric chocolatier has hidden five golden bills in the wrappers of the chocolate bars, and whoever finds them can visit his factory. Charlie, along with four other children, will be awarded.

Other children have an excess of self-esteem that makes them selfish beings and with a certain air of superiority, but Charlie is not like that. In the factory, in addition to learning about Wonka’s rarities, you will learn the value of believing in yourself, caring for your origins, family and maintaining fundamental principles.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on: Prime Video and Netflix


9. Babe the brave pig

Source: IMDb

Life on Mr. Hogget’s farm is calm and placid. Many animals live there, but the arrival of Babe, an orphan pig, will provide a breath of fresh air for the daily life of the place. 

Fly, a sheepdog, is in charge of taking care of him. This is how the little pig ends up believing himself to be a guardian dog for flocks of sheep. The farmer realizes his skills in herding cattle and will enter Babe in a national contest. In this way, Babe escapes from becoming the Hogget family’s Christmas dinner.

A film that shows us a very brave and determined main character, with confidence to overcome all the obstacles that are presented to him.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on: Netflix


10. Karate Kid

Source: IMDb

Young Daniel Larusso moves to California with his mother from New Jersey. In the new institute things will not go as he would like, as he has noticed Ali, a charming girl, but who was the former girlfriend of the leader of a troubled gang, John Kreese.

So John makes her life miserable. The beatings and insults are continuous and Daniel has to face this situation every day. Desperate, he will find the help he needs in Mr. Miyagi, who will introduce Daniel to the world of martial arts.

In each training session, the young person will face a search for himself, and this will help him to know himself better, to arm himself with courage and gain confidence.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on: Netflix and Prime

11. Where the monsters live

Source: IMDb

Max is a child who does not stop doing mischief due to the jealousy he feels in the presence of a friend of his mother. When they punish him by sending him to his room without dinner, he feels so sorry and misunderstood that he decides to continue his antics in a special way. 

An imaginary world full of fantasies is created to your liking. There is an island, a ship and herds of monsters of which Max will be the king, as he dreams of terrorizing everyone around him. A story that reinforces self-esteem and courage in the face of the unknown.

Recommended age: +7 years | Available on Prime


12. The club of dead poets

Source: IMDb

The story takes place at the prestigious American University of Welton in the late 1950s. The basic principle is discipline and teachers adhere to it to the letter. The course has just started and a new teacher, Mr. John Keating, intends to use other more enjoyable methods to educate his students. 

The dreams and concerns of young people will come true thanks to the trust he places in them. They will develop their self-love and learn to make their decisions.

Recommended age: +12 year


13. Enola Holmes

Source: IMDb

We all know the most famous detective of all time: Sherlock Holmes. But who is Enola? Enola is his little sister in this film, who shows us her determined character and offers us great adventures. The story focuses on the life of this teenager who hardly has a relationship with her siblings. Without a doubt, she is an independent girl with many skills .

One fine day her mother disappears without a trace and, far from wanting to enter a boarding school for girls, as her brothers wish, Enola begins to use her deductive skills and discovers a hidden message from her mother.

The film conveys a powerful message of female empowerment and its protagonist has already become a role model.

Recommended age: +13 years | Available on: Netflix


14. Billy Elliot

Source: IMDb

Set in 1984, during the UK miners’ strike, this musical drama with touches of comedy tells the story of 11-year-old Billy. He lives in a small and dilapidated house with his widowed father, his older brother and his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

His father forces him to learn boxing and one day, in one of the training sessions, he notices the dance class Miss Wilkinson is giving. Seeing the child’s interest, she invites him to participate in one of her sessions . 

Little by little Billy will gain confidence and acquire the necessary technique to first equalize and then exceed the level of his teammates. He does it secretly from his father, which costs him many troubles. But he does not hesitate to fight for his dream, whatever the cost, and to bet on his talent.

Recommended age: +16 years | Available at: Prime


15. Little Miss Sunshine

Source: IMDb

Olive, the youngest daughter of the Hoover family, a chubby girl with glasses,  wants to be a beauty queen. When, thanks to a stroke of luck, she is invited to participate in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in California, she is accompanied by the whole family.

So they all head west together, in an old Volkswagen van, on a tragicomic three-day journey full of unexpected surprises. Self-esteem, the need to value and accept oneself are exhibited in this film with a lot of humor.

Recommended age: +16 years | Available on: Disney +, Prime Video and HBO

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