Five for Families: Movies to celebrate back to school

Posted August 29, 2016

"Matilda" (Deseret Photo)

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

As children reconnect with friends at school, they may also find new friends in music, spelling and caring teachers. Here are five school-themed films for families to consider.

iTunes: 'Matilda'

A young girl who is neglected by her parents discovers she has special powers that she uses to cope with her “nasty parents” and “horrible school,” according to Parent Previews. "Matilda," based on the book by Roald Dahl, ultimately has a happy ending for all the characters, and Matilda forms a happy bond with a teacher. But the website warns that younger children may be frightened by portions of the film and that it may be difficult for children to differentiate between sarcasm and depicted reality. Common Sense Media notes that the film features people who "feel underappreciated, misused and misunderstood" and that Matilda recognizes and confronts those feelings. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

iTunes: 'Akeelah and the Bee'

With the help of teachers and the community, an 11-year-old girl strives toward her goal of entering the National Spelling Bee. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for ages 12 and older with a note that the film leaves viewers with "hope for the future of our children and the importance of love and support from families and friends." recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'

This first film in the Harry Potter series introduces a young Harry Potter, who is rescued from his neglectful aunt and uncle to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Common Sense Media notes that the film “has some intense and scary moments. Harry Potter and friends — who are only 11 years old here — are in peril and get hurt but not seriously, and most of the scares come from fantasy creatures.” The film is rated PG. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Amazon Video: 'School of Rock'

An underachieving guitarist pretends to be a substitute teacher and recruits the students to be in a rock band. refers to the story as “light, silly and often tongue-in-cheek,” with a teacher (Jack Black) who is sensitive and kind to the students. Parents should also note that the film is rated PG-13 and contains some language and elements of rebellion. recommends the film for viewers ages 11 and older.

iTunes: 'Sky High'

The son of superhero parents tries to find a balance between being a normal teenager and trying to discover his own strengths while attending a school in the sky. Parent Previews notes the film "rises far above the rest of this genre" and holds "great discussion starters and lessons for young audiences," with humor that works for children and grown-ups. The website also said the film "demonstrates how you don't need superpowers to make a significant difference." recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.



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