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Five for Families: Stories the teach about gratitude

Posted November 20

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.

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and come together as a family. As the group gathers around the turkey, watches the parade or cheers on their football team, here are five films that teach lessons of gratitude for families to consider this holiday season.

Amazon Video: "The Ultimate Gift"

Based on the best-selling book "The Ultimate Gift" by Jim Stovall, a deceased billionaire leaves his selfish grandson a list of seemingly meaningless tasks to complete in order for him to earn “the ultimate gift.” The grandson thinks it will lead to his inheritance but instead learns to serve and appreciate others. Parent Previews says that the transformation of the main character from a "self-centered youth to a mature, caring adult" may spark discussions on the value of the "gifts" and will hopefully "inspire parents and grandparents to consider what contributions they can ultimately pass on to the next generation." Common Sense Media notes the film is faith-based and contains positive messages but warns that it includes several deaths, including the death of a main character that may be very upsetting to kids. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 9 and older.

iTunes: "Toy Story 2"

When Woody is captured by a toy collector, Buzz Lightyear and the other toys rush to save him. Woody, however, meets new friends and doesn't want to leave. The Dove Foundation calls the Disney film "even more entertaining than its predecessor" and awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for all ages, noting that the animated movie teaches lessons about friendship and making choices. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 4 and older.

Amazon Video: "The Blind Side"

“The Blind Side” tells of football player Michael Oher, who was a homeless teen until a family took him in and helped him realize his potential. PluggedIn praised the film for focusing less on football and more “on the massive impact people can have in other people’s lives." The film is rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drugs and sexual references. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 12 and older.

iTunes: "Freaky Friday" 2003

After a fight at a restaurant, a teen and her mother magically switch bodies and must adapt to each other's lives for one day. Common Sense Media notes the main characters, Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, are fun to watch and the movie "is a great way to start discussions between parents and teens about how they can better understand one another." Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.

Amazon Video: "The Princess and the Frog"

A girl sympathetically kisses a frog prince to restore him to human form but she becomes a frog herself. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for ages 12 and over and praised the "positive themes of not judging someone by their outward appearance, of perseverance, and of hard work," but cautioned against scary images including dark spirits shown as shadows and scenes of voodoo. Ok.com recommends the film for viewers ages 5 and older.

Email: crandall@deseretnews.com

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