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11 Family Movies to Inspire a Conversation About Bullying

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, there’s no better time to empower your kids against bullying but bullying is a serious topic that is often hard to begin talking about if you haven’t already started the conversation. We know we want to teach kids that it’s ok to fight back, the importance of being a good friend and standing up for each other, and it’s ok to come to you, a sibling, another family member or a trusted adult but where do we start?

Sometimes we can find a helping hand thanks to a movie. Sitting down for a family movie night provides together time and can inspire an important conversation in an age appropriate way.

Even though it may be National Bullying Prevention Month, bullying is a topic that can be discussed throughout the year. So seize your time together by popping some popcorn, snuggling up a blanket, and watch as these real and relevant stories teach older ages how to fight back and younger kids learn to stand up and be heroes by streaming one of these movies on Netflix this weekend and the others throughout the year.

5 movies with themes perfect for older kids:

  • Bully — Exploring the subject of school bullying from a personal angle, this eye-opening documentary tracks the stories of five different families whose children are struggling to defend themselves on a near-daily basis.
  • The War — Vietnam War vet Stephen Simmons deals with an entirely different set of conflicts back home in Mississippi, where he copes with post-traumatic stress disorder and unemployment, and helps his son, Stuart, stand up to a group of bullies.
  • Billy Elliott— When 11-year-old Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) trades boxing school for ballet lessons, his father (Gary Lewis) — a hardworking miner from Northern England who despises the idea of his son running around in toe shoes — is less than pleased. But when the boy wins an audition for the Royal Ballet School, he experiences a change of heart. Stephen Daldry directs this Oscar-nominated drama that spawned a Tony-winning Broadway musical of the same name.
  • The Fat Boy Chronicles— Overweight teenager Jimmy Winterpock transfers to a new school, where he’s mercilessly bullied by classmates. After he starts keeping a journal that puts him in touch with his feelings, he resolves to lose weight and win the girl of his dreams.
  • Cyber Bully— Teenager Taylor Hillridge finds herself a target of bullying by fellow students through a popular social website in this topical drama with a message. After the abuse makes Taylor afraid to face her classmates, her mother gets involved.


6 age appropriate titles for younger ages:

  • Hercules— In Disney’s animated take on Greek mythology, the heavenly Hercules is stripped of his immortality and raised on Earth instead of Olympus, where he’s forced to take on Hades and assorted monsters.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius— When gooey green aliens kidnap all the adults in Retroville, it’s up to Jimmy Neutron to come up with a plan to rescue them. The 11-year-old genius and his pals blast off in homemade rocket ships on an intergalactic mission.
  • Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes— The Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes, work to bust up nefarious plots set forth by villains such as Loki, HYDRA and the Red Skull. Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man, Iron Man and the Wasp are ready to save the day.
  • Spy Kids: All the Time in the World— Former Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez return as teenagers to help 10-year-old twin siblings Rebecca and Cecil Wilson save the world with their stepmother, a retired secret agent who’s been called back into service to stop a conniving smuggler.
  • Justice League Unlimited— As humanity faces threats from all kinds of new and vile villains, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and a dozens of other animated superheroes create a league from which they form small, specialized teams to combat each new menace.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force— Cartoon Network’s sequel series finds the now-teenage Ben Tennyson hoping to locate his missing grandfather by using his Omnitrix device, which has been updated to give him access to a whole new variety of alien life forms.


Please note that the above descriptions were provided by Netflix but I always like visiting Common Sense Media to double check that the movie is right for our family.

Happy young family watching flat TV courtesy of Shutterstock

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