fbpx

10 Gentle Movies To Help Children Process Grief

10 Gentle Movies To Help Children Process Grief

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:4, A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  While grief is a part of life, it can be challenging to help children process the loss of a loved one or even a beloved family pet. This MOVIEGUIDE® curated list features movies that gently handle death. From classics like BAMBI to more recent releases like ONWARD, these films may bring peace and guidance to little ones who suffer a loss. 

 

WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS

Quality:
****
Content:
+3 Some minor questionable elements. (Media-wisdom is suggested to discuss.)
WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS is the movie adaptation of the classic novel written by Wilson Rawls. The plot centers around a young boy and his quest to be the owner of a red hunting hound dog. He learns the power of prayer and faith through his grandfather. Not only does the film have a strong biblical worldview, but it also demonstrates God’s love amid tragedy. Despite two obscenities, WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS is an old-fashioned movie that can help children ages 9 and up move through loss.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

Quality:
****
Content:
+4 Biblical, usually Christian, worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.
CHARLOTTES’ WEB is a live-action movie based on E.B. White’s classic children’s book. A young farm girl named Fern rescues a little pig that she dubs Wilbur. Her father plans to kill Wilbur since he is the runt of the litter. Wilbur gets too big, Fern keeps him at her uncle’s farm, where he makes friends with a spider named Charlotte. CHARLOTTE’s WEB has an extremely moral worldview that tackles the topic of grief and is safe for the whole family to view.

ONWARD

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
ONWARD is a fantasy film about a set of elf brothers who go on a quest to bring their deceased father back to life for 24 hours. There are several magical references but the film also features strong moral elements like the importance of family and reconciliation. That being said, parents may want to have a follow-up conversation. The movie has mild violence and some peril so MOVIEGUIDE® suggests using caution for young children. ONWARD offers a fascinating look at grief for the 7+ crowd.

THE LION KING

Quality:
****
Content:
+2 Moderately questionable elements.
THE LION KING is a Disney-animated musical featuring fun songs and beautiful animation. It tells the story of Simba, a lion cub who is the rightful heir to the throne of Pride Rock. His bitter Uncle Scar aims to claim the throne himself. It has a strong moral redemptive worldview with themes of good vs. evil. Parents should know there is cartoon jeopardy and some scary scenes, so use caution with young children. THE LION KING gently tackles death and is appropriate for kids 6 and up.

HUGO

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
HUGO is a gripping film set in the 1930s about a young orphan named Hugo who secretly lives in a train station in Paris. He finds himself in a mystery involving his friend’s Godfather who owns a toy shop. The film contains a strong Christian worldview about forgiveness and honoring the past. There are themes of mythology that may require a follow-up conversation. For the most part, it’s a fun movie with plenty of twists and turns. MOVIEGUIDE® advises families to use some media wisdom for tweens 10+.

UP

Quality:
****
Content:
+3 Some minor questionable elements. (Media-wisdom is suggested to discuss.)
UP is a Pixar and Disney animated movie about 78-year-old Carl, who fulfills his late wife’s dream of traveling to Paradise Falls by turning his house into a blimp with hundreds of balloons. Once on his way, he discovers a young stowaway who goes on an epic adventure with him. It has a very strong Christian worldview, but there is light cartoon peril. Most importantly, UP features a husband processing the loss of his wife. It’s a film with a lot of heart for the 6+ crowd.

BIG HERO 6

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
BIG HERO 6 is a dynamic animated feature about a boy named Hiro who befriends an inflatable robot named Baymax, designed by his late brother. They join a force of high-tech heroes to save their hometown from an evil villain. It has a very strong moral worldview that is pro-family. Parents should know there are heavy themes of loss and light violence. The main character deals with the sadness of losing his brother, shining a light on the stages of grief. BIG HERO 6 is appropriate for kids 7 and up.

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is a family drama film based on the children’s novel. It tells the story of a neglected middle school boy whose life takes a turn when he meets a new girl in school. Together, they dream up an imaginary world to escape their reality. It’s a poignant movie with a strong Christian worldview but does contain heavy themes that may be confusing for young children. Otherwise, it’s a moving film about compassion, grief, and forgiveness. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is best suited for kids 9 and up.

FINDING NEMO

Quality:
****
Content:
+4 Biblical, usually Christian, worldview, with no questionable elements whatsoever.
FINDING NEMO is a delightful animated film about a clownfish named Marlin who sets off on an adventure to find his son after humans snatch him at the Great Barrier Reef. He meets several friends along the way of his rescue mission. The film has a strong moral worldview with light violence and moderate language. Some scenes may be scary for small children. FINDING NEMO demonstrates a father and son dealing with the loss of their wife and mom. MOVIEGUIDE® suggests that it’s best suited for children 5 and up.

Bambi

Disney’s classic movie BAMBI is a touching coming-of-age story about a fawn learning about life in the forest. It’s a sweet and heartwarming film that’s eased children into tough topics for decades. The animation is adorable and the characters are unforgettable. The movie contains a strong moral worldview, but there are moments of jeopardy that may be disturbing for young viewers. Who could forget the famous scene where Bambi loses his mom to a hunter? BAMBI is a powerful circle-of-life story for children 5+.

We are a crowdfunded organization, supported by people like you. These are some of the reasons why our supporters choose to give.

"That it speaks to truths regarding Christianity. It fights the good fight! "

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax-deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Watch BLACK NATIVITY
Quality: - Content: +4
Watch A MATCH MADE AT CHRISTMAS
Quality: - Content: +3