Who doesn’t love a good family movie night? Children and parents alike can enjoy downtime while watching a movie. Why not use the opportunity to search for deeper life meanings during that time? From classic favorites to new releases on the big screen, movies can often provide a spiritual or metaphysical teaching.
To determine the best approach to teaching your little ones, take note on what topics interest them. What questions are they asking? What do you talk about that they keep coming back to? Determining their interests will also give clues as to what movie to watch next to stimulate even more spiritual conversations.
Here are seven movies that can provoke conversation after you click off on the remote.
Avatar is certainly a movie you don’t want to pass up if you have teenagers. Here are a few of the lessons that you can discuss after watching the movie.
Earth versus economics. The Avatar plot parallels the history of many Native American tribes losing their land to the newcomers who were looking to profit off the land. Discussing this history after watching Avatar with your teens can provide them with insight on economics and how the pursuit of profit can potentially compromise the Earth. It may be just the tool for your teens to spark interest in taking better care of the planet. Discuss the importance of Earth verses economics, and what the land and animals can provide for your soul that money could never create.
Oneness. A great learning on oneness can be found in one specific scene. An animal must be killed for food. While taking the animal’s life, a character in the movie gives a verbal thanks. This shows a deep connection to and appreciation for the life that has been given for the sake of feeding others.
Soulmates. Avatar also provides a new perspective on soulmates. The human man who exists as a Na’vi through a virtual reality machine falls in love with a Na’vi girl. To be with her fully, he knows he must give up being human and transform into a Na’vi. This transformation into a new species allows for a healthy, unified relationship, and may even be what is necessary for evolution of self.
2. Star Wars
Star Wars is more than a series of movies; it is a culture. Beginning in 1977, the series has grown larger than most individuals involved may have imagined. There are many meaningful lessons within the series that could open an easy dialog with your children.
Personal confidence. Even if you have not seen Star Wars, you may have heard of the force, which is a powerful energy field, metaphysical and eternal, that connects to all living things. Each individual in Star Wars has the ability to draw upon this energy; for some this is natural and for others it requires more work. The force can be used to save lives or destroy them.
In reality, something like the force may exist in your life more than you realize. The force stems from personal power—a power that comes from the Source, which, to you, may be the Universe, God, or Creator. The concept of the force may help your children if they are having a difficult time with self-confidence or bullies. Imagining the feeling of a bright, strong aura could help children avoid being victims.
Self-awareness. Yoda, the little green guy in Star Wars who appears to be weak and frail, is the ultimate Jedi guru. He shows the way of the force to Jedi in training and leads them to self-awareness. Self-awareness is a key to authentic happiness and spiritual individuality. Self-awareness is what can lead you to true confidence and inner peace.
Individual value. The hero, Luke Skywalker, is the son of the most evil man in the galaxy; however, Luke Luke chooses not to be dark like his ancestors. Often children grow into adults feeling as though they carry the weight of a negative parent or grandparent. They feel others judge them for what their family was like. It is important for them to recognize it’s within their capacity, like Luke, to focus on their individual strengths and not let their family history affect how they make choices or perceive themselves.
3. Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda can inspire many spiritual conversations.
Destiny. One of the primary lessons in Kung Fu Panda is the main character’s journey toward finding his Dharma. Although he resisted becoming an unorthodox martial arts savior because of low self-confidence, he ultimately could not run from his destiny.
Values. In this journey toward finding his Dharma, the main character learns self-control and the importance of helping the less fortunate.
Legacy. The tortoise sensei shares his space and energy with the main character after the tortoise passes on from Earth, showing the love and frequency of a being is never really gone.
4. The Wizard of Oz
If your children have never seen the Wizard of Oz, it may be time!
Personal Power: This classic provides an archetype who, in a long search of trying to get back home, is told she has always had the power. All she has to do is believe in herself and click her red shoes. The main character of Dorothy arrives and shows what magic can happen with a pure heart and the belief that she has the power inside of herself to get what she wants, rather than looking externally for answers.
There are many movies about Atlantis. Any movie that you choose will include a few main points that you can use to teach your children.
Symbology. Symbology plays an important role in the Atlantis culture. Symbols can stand for hidden meanings and spiritual connections to the earth, solar system, deities, animals, and so forth. Explore your children’s favorite symbols.
Medicine of the earth. The Atlantis culture also expresses the healing importance and power of crystals and stones. The earth provides medicinal therapies in various plants and stones. Researching this topic with your children after watching could be interesting.
6. The Last Airbender
Interconnectedness: The Last Airbender portrays the story of a boy, called Airbender, in complete oneness with the elements. His control of air is a spiritual phenomenon that his people haven’t seen for quite some time. When watching the Last Airbender, consider your connection to all things. Explain your bodies and minds are, in fact, made up of each of the elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space. Having an awareness of the elements that exist in each and every one of us helps us feel connected to the elements, to nature as a whole, and to one another.
Meditation. Airbender spends a lot of his time in meditation. This could help motivate your children to begin meditating or to increase the time they spend in meditation practices.
Personal evolution. The Last Airbender provides a great example of personal evolution and evolution for the human race.
Wall-E is a story about a male robot who has emotions, cleans a planet humans destroyed, and creates an inspiring story in the process.
Using technology in moderation. This movie can provide you an opportunity to discuss with your children the importance of using technology in moderation. Because of heavy dependence on technology, the humans in Wall-E have lost their sense of self, awareness of their surroundings, and knowledge of their home planet. It seems as though they have almost no intuition.
In the current human state of evolution, technology seems to have taken over. Parents and grandparents struggle with the fact they must be knowledgeable of this new tech world and what is yet to come, and a fear of their children losing sight of human and earth connection. As with all of life, moderation is key to creating balance.
Personal transformation. This movie can also give a few perspectives on transformation. The humans become self-aware, the robots go against their programming to do what is right, and the earth begins a transformation from death to the rebirth of plants and the return of humans. Life found a way to continue.