question of the day: What films offer the best life lessons to little kids?

Toy Story

A story in The Telegraph this week sports one of the most head-scratchingly specific headlines I’ve ever see:

Toy Story is the film children must see before they are 9 1/2

Not nine years old. Not ten. Nine and a half.


The line-up, compiled by child psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen, was based not only on entertainment value, but also the films’ moral themes in order to teach children “essential life-lessons”.

“The hardest lessons children have to learn are not the sort that fit neatly into the school curriculum or can be found in any parenting guides. These lessons relate to emotion and relationships; both of which lie at the heart of any good film,” said Dr Cullen.

Despite being drawn from a wide time range, Dr Cullen claims to have identified several key themes that are vital to children in their formative years. She claims that Toy Story teaches children that all people should be treated with respect, and be given value as an individual through the on-screen rivalry of protagonists Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

The Lion King came second with 14 per cent of votes, due to its themes of facing up to challenges and the importance of self belief. It was followed closely by Home Alone with 10 per cent of votes, with its themes of the importance of family.

Click over to see the whole list.

Do you agree about Toy Story? What other films should be on the list, and why? What films offer the best life lessons to little kids? And what lessons do your choices teach?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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