10 movies for children that teach the value of solidarity

When two people come together and collaborate with each other to overcome a problem, it is called solidarity. It is a unique value that is based on love, respect and empathy towards others.

How to explain and instill in your children the value of solidarity?

In Mexico we have many real examples of how we have come together to overcome natural disasters; this side by side work arises spontaneously within societies to rise from wars and diseases, but also in smaller circles.

Solidarity can come from anyone and can also be applied to anyone: family, friends, neighbors, even strangers. It comes from the desire to help, and when the goal is achieved, your heart is happy, that is the best reward.

Perhaps your children are very young, and it is difficult for them to understand the meaning of solidarity, that is why the cinema can be a playful tool that helps you in that purpose.

10 movies for children that teach the value of solidarity

1. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)

Review: Nemo, a small fish, much loved and protected by his father, gets lost outside the Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. After being captured, Nemo ends up in a fish tank in Sydney. His father, a clown fish, sets out to find him and embarks on a dangerous adventure with Dory, a fish with a very short memory span. At the same time, Nemo and his new friends are already hatching a plan to escape from the fish tank.

Teaching: This film teaches many values and solidarity is one of them. Solidarity shows in all the different animals that help Marlin get his son back, but also in the fish that accompany little Nemo in the fish tank and fight together so that he can escape and reunite with his dad.

2. Chain of Favors (Mimi Leder, 2000)

Review: Trevor, an 11-year-old boy, decides to carry out an experiment for his social studies class with the intention of improving the world under a simple premise: he will do a series of favors for three people and, in return, they will return the favor by doing something for three others, and so on. His idea becomes a national phenomenon, which also has profound consequences on his family.

Teaching: The entire film deals with the value of solidarity. A change of life of the characters is proposed through small daily gestures of kindness. Trevor’s simple idea is magnified. If you help three people with something they really need, and those three people return the favor by helping three different people, the chain of solidarity becomes immense. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all applied that premise?

Chain of favors.  Photo: Warner Bros.
Photo: Warner Bros.

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3. French Roast (Fabrice Joubert, 2008)

Review: In a Parisian cafe, a stiff businessman asks for more coffee to hide the fact that he has lost his wallet.

Teaching: This is a short film, only 8 minutes long, but with a very powerful message. A man in a suit is indifferent to what is happening around him, he even refuses to help a homeless man, but he will learn his lesson when he realizes that he forgot his wallet and out of pride, instead of explaining the situation, he complicates it even more. He would never imagine who is going to help him.

French Roast.    Photo: Pumpkin Factory
Photo: Pumpkin Factory

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4. Minuscule: The Valley of the Lost Ants (Hélène Giraud, Thomas Szabo, 2014)

Review: A young ladybug befriends a black ant and helps her save her people from a war with red ants.

Teaching: This story does not need dialogues, the sound of nature and the bugs is enough for children to understand the story. It shows in a very didactic way how the ants are organized and how they can achieve many things through the union. The ladybug joins the black ants for a common goal, to get a lump of sugar.

Minuscle.   Photo: Amazon Prime Video
Photo: Amazon Prime Video

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5. Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (Michel Ocelot, 2007)

Review: Grandfather, on his throne in the blue grotto, tells us how Kirikou becomes a gardener, detective, potter, merchant, traveler, and a doctor to fight against the sea. The little hero will have to search within himself to find the courage and cunning to succeed.

Teaching: Kirikou’s main virtues are kindness and courage. In this story, children learn what cooperation and solidarity are, but also respect, conservation of the environment, inclusion and interculturality.

Kirikou and the wild beasts Photo: Les Armateurs
Photo: Les Armateurs

6. City of Joy (Roland Joffé, 1992)

Review: In Calcutta, two very different people find understanding in each other: a doctor suffering from a depressive crisis, and a Hindu looking for a job to support his wife and his three young children.

Teaching: It is based on the best seller by Dominique Lapierre. Fate makes a young American doctor, who finds no consolation after the death of a patient, know the poorest areas of Calcutta. Helping others was how he rediscovered himself.

 City of Joy Photo: IMDB
Photo: IMBD

7. Said’s Journey (Coke Riobóo, 2007)

Review: It tells the story of a boy who lives in a coastal town in Morocco and, one day, decides to embark on a journey to that place where everyone believes is the land of opportunities.

Teaching: Although in the beginning it seems that the trip is a great opportunity, the truth is that the new destination is full of tragedies and difficulties. This story makes us reflect on the need to be supportive. Small gestures make us live in a fairer world.

Said's Journey Photo: Jazzy Producciones and Tembleque Producciones
Photo: Jazzy Producciones and Tembleque Producciones

8. The Largest Flower in the World (Juan Pablo Etcheverry, 2008)

Review: A little boy leaves home ready to embark on fantastic adventures, crossing the fields, forests and deserts, until he finds a withered flower that requires his help not to die but grow. The child be rewarded.

Teaching: Based on the book by José Saramago, this film is full of symbols in a world full of individualism, hopelessness and violence. Through it, children learn the meaning of courage, altruism and solidarity. Saramago himself narrates this beautiful fairy tale.

The largest flower in the world Photo: Continental Producciones.
Photo: Continental Producciones.

9. The Mantis Parable (Josh Staub, 2015)

Review: It is the story of a humble caterpillar, trapped in a collector’s jar, who needs a helping hand.

Teaching: The caterpillar enclosed in a glass jar tries to get out by all means without success. The Mantis decides not to help her, but her luck doesn’t help her and she ends up locked inside the jar herself. Inside, she finally understands the situation the caterpillar is in and realizes her mistake. This film shows us the lack of sensitivity and empathy towards others. Despair and hope. Courage and solidarity.

The Mantis Parable Photo: Filmaffinity
Photo: Filmaffinity

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10. Patch Adams (Tom Shadyac, 1998)

Review: The late 1960s. Hunter Adams volunteers at a mental health hospital. Despite the harsh stories that take place in the center, he has managed to earn the nickname “Patch” (patch) for helping his classmates never lose heart. Shortly after, “Patch” decides to become a doctor and enters the University of Virginia. There, he questions the methods of treating patients with serious illnesses and revolutionizes the world of medicine.

Teaching: The film is based on the true story of a doctor who stood out in the medical community for his original therapies with cancer patients. Through laughter therapy, he got many patients to recover their spirits during their illness. Patch Adams is a white-coated hero who is worth your kids meet.

Patch Adams Photo: Universal Pictures
Photo: Universal Pictures

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version

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