September 21st marks the International Day of Peace, a day that allows for countries across the world to recognize the efforts of the United Nations and to promote the importance of world peace. As parents, days like these are a great opportunity to teach valuable lessons to our children.
Disney movies always come full of life lessons, including some that perfectly emphasize the meaning behind the International Day of Peace. With themes ranging from the ravages of violence and war, to the benefits of peace, to the risks of too much power in the wrong hands, to ways we can all learn to get along.
So in honor of this important day, here is a collection of the best Disney movies that promote peace.
Peace, love, and enjoy!
7 Disney Movies That Teach Kids About Peace 1 of 8
Please click through to see them all.
Ferdinand the Bull 2 of 8
Academy Award-winning short, Ferdinand the Bull, was based on the beloved children's book, The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, and recounts the story of a flower-smelling bull who refuses to fight. Released before the Spanish Civil War, this was widely viewed as a book to promote pacifism, and Ferdinand has since become an international cultural symbol for peace.
Lesson: Ferdinand teaches children to be true to themselves, follow their instincts, and above all choose peace over violence. Even when pressured to enter a bullfight, Ferdinand only cares about the flowers thrown to the matador.
A Far Off Place 3 of 8
This live-action film, starring a young Reese Witherspoon, tells the story of Nonnie and Harry, a pair of teens who are forced to run from ruthless poachers in the Kalahari Desert. At first, their clashing personalities make us wonder if they will ever make it through their tough situation alive. However, they eventually become friends and learn to accept and grow from each other's differences.
Lesson: A Far Off Place teaches us that we shouldn't just accept the fact that other people are different — we should embrace it. Nonnie and Harry only triumph when they stop bickering and join forces, realizing that each of them has the skills and strengths that the other lacks. Two heads are definitely better than one!
Pocahontas 4 of 8
Pocahontas was released in 1995 and has since become a Disney animated classic. The film is based on the true story of the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia and focuses on Pocahontas' relationship with English John Smith. Using memorable characters and gorgeous music, such as the award-winning "Colors of the Wind", this film promotes important lessons about tolerance and pacifism.
Lesson: The Powhatan tribe members and the English colonists see each other as threats and almost go to war because of it. Pocahontas and John Smith learn how to look at the world through another person's eyes, and this makes them realize that no race or culture is more important than another. This timeless lesson on empathy can really benefit both kids and adults alike.
Brave 5 of 8
In the backstory of Pixar's Brave, a legendary prince ruins his own kingdom through pride and greed. Years later, Merida (our fiery protagonist) also makes some grave mistakes as a result of pride and greed. She selfishly makes a foolish decision after fighting with her mother and looking for a magical solution to her problems. Merida must learn to take responsibility for her actions in order to save her family and her kingdom, or else suffer the same fate of the prideful prince of legends.
Lesson: Brave is a classic example of how teenagers often clash with their parents. Merida and her mother both just want to feel like they are being listened to, but neither of them will be heard until they can set aside their pride and forgive each other completely. It's a hard lesson to learn, but certainly one we ALL could benefit from.
The Jungle Book 6 of 8
In The Jungle Book, the 1967 Disney classic, Mowgli must make the tough decision to either stay in the jungle or go live in the "man village" with the other humans. Throughout the movie, Mowgli meets countless characters who pretend to have his best interests at heart, from the fun-loving Baloo to the sneaky Shere Khan. When the naive boy faces life-threatening situations, he finally realizes he can only rely on his true friends to save him and put his needs before their own.
Lesson: We all will face hard times in life, but it's important to learn who you can and can't trust to get you out of a jam. Mowgli unknowingly causes a lot of discord when he strays away from his true friends, who selflessly come to his rescue throughout the entire film. We'd all have a lot more peace in our life if we would only ditch those toxic "friendships" and only surround ourselves with genuine people.
Fantasia 7 of 8
In Fantasia's most famous scene, a sorcerer's apprentice (played by Mickey, of course!) foolishly thinks that he is ready to start using magic without any assistance. Needless to say, things escalate quickly, and the apprentice realizes his mistake way too late. This animated short demonstrates how tempting great power can be ... as well as how too much of it in the wrong hands can cause a mess.
Lesson: There's nothing wrong with admitting when you don't know how to do something. There would be a lot less conflict in the world if we all could swallow our pride and ask for help when we need it!
Cars 8 of 8
The main character in Cars, racing superstar Lightning McQueen, is way more concerned with winning titles than forming any kind of meaningful relationships. He never gives any credit to those who have helped him on his road to stardom, and ends up friendless and alone as a result. It is only after stumbling upon the diverse group of characters in Radiator Springs that Lightning drops his egotistical attitude and understands the importance of community.
Lesson: No matter how successful we become, we must remember to keep fully grounded and focus on the important things in life. If you compare the Lightning from the beginning of the film to the Lightning at the end of the film, you'd think you were looking at two entirely different characters. He goes from being a diva hotshot to finding true friendships and peace within himself.
Photo credit: ©The Walt Disney Co
Silvia cooks yummy Mexican food, plays with her kids, and takes pictures at MamaLatinaTips.com. Read Silvia’s Disney Adventures in Español at Disneylandiaaldia.com. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook.