If we believe that stories have the power to convey values and positive messages much better than theories, then it’s important to choose stories that display kindness, solidarity, love, and friendship.
But which stories would those be?
As Juan José Muñoz García states in his work Cine y misterio humano, traditional tales and parables are now being replaced by “cine-parables” or “tele-parables.”
Especially when speaking about children, shouldn’t we focus on teaching them about selflessness and teamwork?
We have three suggestions for cartoons that display these values¾though, we know the list could actually be much longer.
Toy story (1995), directed by John Lasseter, starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, a Walt Disney film
This is story is set “in the world of toys” and is the first movie of its kind. The protagonists are toys that are lying around the bedroom of a boy named Andy. Whenever Andy gets a new toy, he neglects the older ones. After receiving his latest toy, Buzz Lightyear, the little boy seems to have forgotten that Sheriff Woody used to be his favorite toy. Jealous Woody starts fighting with Buzz, causing Buzz to fall out of the window. The other toys are outraged at Woody’s behavior. At this point, he begins a challenging journey to bring Buzz home.
Toy Story ‘s message is profound and valuable: it teaches children how to interact with one another and be part of a group; what the consequences are of treating someone badly or discriminating against him; the value of a supportive friendship; the need to recognize that we all make mistakes; and, last but not least, the importance of making up for our mistakes in order to receive forgiveness.
Cars – Roaring Engines (2006), directed by John Lasseter, a Walt Disney film
Another thought-provoking movie is Cars – Roaring Engines. Lightning McQueen is an arrogant, boastful race car. He is used to placing first on the track, then going around showing off and seeking attention and praise. Until one day, just before an important race, he accidentally ends up in the forgotten ghost town of Radiator Springs after a mishap with his transport truck. There, thanks to the residents of that quirky town, he discovers that life is more beautiful when shared, instead of sitting on the pedestal all alone.
This movie points out that the important thing isn’t placing first, but rather coming together with others; friendship and loyalty matter more than cups; being successful and all alone doesn’t make us happy¾rather, it’s the saddest thing that could happen to us.
Sing , a 2016 animated film directed by Garth Jennings
The protagonist of this animated film is Buster, a relatively perfect koala who wants to carry on his family business at any cost, as it was built with his father’s blood, sweat, and tears. That business is a theater that seems doomed to fail.
Buster seems naive and clueless at first glance, but he is actually quite determined and tenacious. He holds his father in very high regard. Even though he has passed away, his son tries to come up with solutions to keep his business from going under.
He decides to organize a singing competition in an attempt to revive the theater.
So many talented people show up for auditions. Many will initially find themselves competing against each other for a prize. Later, however, these new friends come together to work to save the theater.
This movie¾in addition to showcasing a beautiful father-son relationship, so solid and deep that it transcends even death¾teaches us that generosity, sharing, and teamwork lead to much better, lasting results than any results one could get thinking only of one’s own selfish interests.
This hilarious, original story, enjoyable for both children and adults, is peppered with twists and turns. Its main characters, silly little animals who dance and perform famous musical pieces, will have the audience busting up with laughter.