It’s great to have a conversation about bullying with kids. Movies can help you have that perfect starting point where you can refer to characters and guide kids to differentiate between the right and the wrong behaviours.
We’ve compiled a list of movies to help you foster that discussion and make a difference in children’s lives. Check out our list of bullying movies for kids that teachers must explore.
The movie is about a boy named Auggie, born with a facial deformity due to a genetic condition. The film revolves around his school life. He is about to start his first year in school after being home-schooled for the initial few years. The movie will take you through the journey of Auggie as he tries to fit in at the school, make friends, and get bullied for looking “different”. The kid faces discrimination and battles stereotypes and bullying. Auggie’s character is inspiring as it shows strength, confidence and the ability to handle tough situations with a positive outlook. The movie touches upon the sensitive issue of having a disability, what life is when you have a disability and how your loved ones can make a difference.
Themes: Bullying, Disability, Family Strength and Support, Friendship, Independence, Overcoming Fear.
Age Appropriate: The movie has a few violent scenes that can disturb children under eight. It also discusses losing a loved one, child neglect, and pet death. The movie uses some coarse language and name-calling. Children between the ages of 8 to 13 can watch the film under an adult’s supervision, and those above 13 can enjoy the movie independently.
Luis and the Aliens
The movie revolves around an 11-year-old boy Luis who is a lonely and neglected child. His father, Armin, is too busy searching for life in the space to pay attention to Luis. And then, one day, three mischievous little aliens, Wabo, Mog and Nag, crash-land in Luis’s yard looking out for an item they saw on an infomercial. Luis helps the kids find it and get back to their mothership. In return, the aliens help Luis trick his principal and a creepy child protection lady into letting him stay with his father. All is not what it seems, and aliens might already live among them.
Themes: Child Neglect and Loneliness; Forced Separation of Child from Parent; Death of a Parent; Alien and Science Fiction; Bullying
Age Appropriate: Recommended for children ages 8 to 13. The movie has some violent scenes as the older boys bully Luis, and his father physically fights with his neighbour, which is represented comically. The scenes can have a negative impact on kids. The movie can scare or disturb kids up to eight years. >
The Ant Bully
Lucas Nickle feels ignored by his family n a new town with no friends. After a local bully picks on him, he floods an ant colony with a water gun looking for someone to push around. A wizard ant then shrinks Lucas to insect size, and Lucas develops friendships and compassion while living among the ants.
Theme: Bullying, compassion, teamwork, and loyalty.
Age Appropriate: Scenes with menacing frogs, spiders, wasps, and fly swatters can scare young kids. The bullies in the ant colony try to wipe out the entire civilization, and Lucas faces constant danger. The movie also has some name-calling and a little iffy language. We recommend the movie screening for kids between 5 to 8 years with an adult, and kids above eight can enjoy the movie solo.
Luca, the adolescent son of the sea people family, comes across another fish boy Alberto. On land, Luca discovers that he can transform into a human being when completely dry against his belief that to leave the water is the most dangerous thing in the world. As Luca’s and Alberto’s friendship flourishes, they become obsessed with Vespa scooter and escape Luca’s nagging parents to see the world. As Luca spends more time out of the water, his mother catches him in the act. She then threatens to send him to the ocean’s depths with his anglerfish Uncle, Ugo. Terrified, Luca takes Alberto and escapes to the picturesque Italian seaside town of Porto Rosso. They meet self-described underdog Giulia who involves them in the town’s annual triathlon – swimming, cycling and eating pasta. Giulia’s goal is to beat the previous winner, town bully and Vespa owner Ercole, but the two boys aim to win the prize money to get their scooter. The movie revolves around training the three children for the race. They must keep their secret safe from the sea monster-hunting townsfolk, and, whatever they do, they must not get wet!
Themes: Family separation, abandonment of a child; Bullying
Age Appropriate: Luca has some scenes that could scare or disturb children aged 5 to 13. We recommend parent or teacher supervision for kids aged eight years, a thorough discussion of the movie and a go-through on the violent scenes for kids up to 13 years. Children who are aged 13 and above can enjoy the film independently.
Toy Story 3
Toy Story is one of Pixar’s flagship creations. The series of the movie is a favourite among many kids. The third part of the toy story series touches upon the sensitive issues of growing up, abandonment, and bullying. This animated movie has all the classic, familiar characters, including Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jessie, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, and Hamm the Piggy Bank. Andy Davis, now 17 years old, is heading off to college. He decides to sort his stuff through upon his mother’s command and decides to take Woody along to his college. The reaming toys are stuffed in a black garbage bag to store in the attic. However, the story takes a turn when his mother mistakes the bag for garbage and throws it out for collection.
The toys then jump into a box headed for Sunnyside childcare centre from the trash, and Woody unintentionally joins them. They meet other toys at the centre, led by a strawberry-scented teddy bear called Lotso. Woody leaves them to get back to Andy, feeling happy that they have found their friendly mates. But the toys get an unpleasant surprise as they are placed in the toddler room and experience rough toddler play. They further decided to escape and head to Andy’s attic. But Buzz is caught by not-so-friendly Lotso and reprogrammed into his galactic superhero state. Buzz turns on the others and imprisons them so they can’t escape. Now, it’s up to Woody to rescue them.
Themes: Growing up, Abandonment; Bullying
Age Appropriate: The movie has a few scenes that show violence and accidental harm. Kids under age 8 require supervision, and those above eight can enjoy the film. However, we recommend a thorough discussion and adult supervision for ages up to 13 as the movie has some sexual references.
Educating kids about bullying from a young age can help them become responsible children who do not engage in bullying. We hope these movies help you inform kids about bullying.
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