PSYCHOLOGIST NAMES TOY STORY AS THE MUST-SEE MOVIE FOR CHILDREN
With a storyline that addresses conflict and individuality through its characters, Buzz and Woody, Toy Story has been named as the film children should watch before they reach the age of nine (and a half).
LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service instantly streaming films and TV series over the internet and sending DVDs and games by post – worked with leading child psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen to poll over 5,000 grown-up film fans on their favourite kids’ classics and create a definitive list of the movies children should watch to learn essential life lessons and values.
Dr Kairen scrutinised the list of favourites which includes films spanning over 70 years, from The Wizard of Oz right through to modern day animation Up. Despite there being decades between many of the top ten, Dr Cullen identified vital common themes within the films which are key to the enhancement of young minds, making them ideal viewing for children during their formative years.
According to Dr Cullen, Toy Story, which took first place in the list with seventeen per cent of the vote, encourages children to learn more than just a few well known catchphrases, making it a sound choice for parents looking to entertain (and educate) their children. By using conflict reminiscent of sibling rivalry between Buzz and Woody, Toy Story demonstrates that although all individuals are different, everyone has intrinsic worth and should be valued and respected accordingly.
The second must see film in the list was The Lion King, which won fourteen per cent of the votes. Not only does the movie entertain children with its colourful characters and unforgettable songs, it also teaches children about self belief and the benefit of enduring and facing up to challenges.
Home Alone scooped third place with ten per cent of the vote. Whilst the film’s overarching message teaches children about the importance of family, Kevin’s wily booby traps also demonstrate bravery and creative problem solving.
In fourth place was Labyrinth, with nine per cent of the vote. The film’s heroine, Sarah, provides a strong and active role model for young children, particularly girls. Through the movie’s fantasy setting, Sarah explores the difficult process of growing up by facing up to her fears and using the power of her mind.
The Jungle Book romped into fifth place with eight per cent of the vote. Using musical magic and humour to great effect, the Disney classic emphasises the importance of friendship.
Mary Poppins flew into sixth place in the list with seven per cent of the vote. The original ‘super Nanny’, Mary Poppins epitomises the importance of structure and discipline. Her creative rewards encourage children to respect and understand rules and boundaries in everyday life, whilst also enhancing their imaginative capacities.
The Wizard of Oz strolled into seventh place with six per cent of the vote. Despite being the oldest film in the list, the central characters still serve as a stark reminder that no one is perfect, whilst the importance of hope and faith is key to the group’s journey to the Emerald City.
In eighth place was The Neverending Story with five per cent of the vote. The fantasy film addresses a wide variety of complex scenarios including bullying, mental health, bereavement and above all, the importance of love.
Bright spark Matilda took the penultimate spot in the list with four per cent of the vote. Matilda’s troublesome home life and school environment highlight the importance of education, whilst film fans young and old are also reminded of the value of listening to children and their views.
Up floated into tenth place with three per cent of the vote. Through the relationship between Carl and Charles, the animated film shows the positive aspects of old age and demonstrates the possibilities for inter-generational friendship.
LOVEFiLM’s top ten films to watch before you turn nine (and a half) are:
1. Toy Story – 17%
2. The Lion King – 14%
3. Home Alone – 10%
4. Labyrinth – 9%
5. The Jungle Book – 8%
6. Mary Poppins – 7%
7. The Wizard of Oz – 6%
8. The Neverending Story – 5%
9. Matilda – 4%
10. Up – 3%
Dr Kairen Cullen, Child Psychologist, commented:
“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. Therefore, it is key for parents to choose films that help support their child’s development and learning at a young age.
“When it comes to choosing what to watch, the best films should expand a child’s mind and demonstrate key life lessons in a positive and encouraging way. Not only does Toy Story entertain and engage children with its colourful animated characters, it also teaches children about inter-personal relationships and the acceptance of people from different walks of life; themes which stay with us as we grow up.”
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM commented:
“This list of great films from across the decades, demonstrates just how many parents go on to share the movies they enjoyed as children with their own families. Not only do the films in the top ten encourage positive development and engagement in children, they’re also a great introduction to the world of film.
“The next time you are deciding what to watch with your child on a rainy day, consider choosing one of the ten within the list, all of which are available on DVD, Blu-ray or to stream instantly via LOVEFiLM Instant, to ensure entertainment with added value.”