Best Smart Movie Girls

Finding positive role models for girls in the movies isn't as easy as it should be. So we've dug down for these gems that show girls and women in a positive light. Talk to both girls and boys about how women are portrayed in the media and what kinds of stereotypes they see. These discussions can counteract harmful messages kids get about body image, sexuality, and role models. For even more media picks with strong female characters, check out these books, games, and TV shows.

Browse Best Smart Movie Girls

Frozen Movie Poster Image
Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Kiki's Delivery Service Movie Poster Image
A mystical, positive take on girl's coming of age.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Lilo and Stitch Movie Poster Image
Cute story, great characters, fabulous soundtrack.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Mulan Movie Poster Image
Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Tangled Movie Poster Image
Fantastic princess adventure is fun, with great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Annie (1982) Movie Poster Image
Tale of cute orphan is great for the whole family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Heidi (1993) Movie Poster Image
Family entertainment at its best, expect emotional moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Heidi Movie Poster Image
Classic Shirley Temple film promotes positivity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1937)
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Home Movie Poster Image
Animated alien comedy is sweet, cute, if not super original.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Inside Out Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Moana Movie Poster Image
Great characters, memorable music, some monsters/scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Princess and the Frog Movie Poster Image
First African-American Disney princess is a good role model.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Anne of Green Gables Movie Poster Image
Faithful, sensitive take on classic novel is great for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Movie Poster Image
First Potter movie is a magical ride but also intense.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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Akeelah and the Bee Movie Poster Image
Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Beauty and the Beast Movie Poster Image
Fantastic but scarier remake of the "tale as old as time."
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Brave Movie Poster Image
Mother-daughter princess tale has some very scary scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Dr. Dolittle 3 Movie Poster Image
Positive messages throughout tween-friendly animal comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Ever After Movie Poster Image
Charming take on Cinderella tale has strong heroine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Fly Away Home Movie Poster Image
Thrilling, touching adventure for animal lovers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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The Secret Garden Movie Poster Image
Great book, great adaptation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Secret of Roan Inish Movie Poster Image
Gentle Irish folk tale of a young girl's island odyssey.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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April and the Extraordinary World Movie Poster Image
French steampunk tale for kids mixes science, adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Bridge to Terabithia Movie Poster Image
Beautiful lesson in friendship for young and old.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Harriet the Spy Movie Poster Image
Book-based movie has some bullying, name-calling.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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Matilda Movie Poster Image
Offbeat dark fantasy gem is intense, sometimes scary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1996)
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Wadjda Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, nuanced tale of an independent Saudi girl.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Hidden Figures Movie Poster Image
Inspiring true story of African-American women at NASA.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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A League of Their Own Movie Poster Image
Terrific story of women's baseball has great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1992)
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The Miracle Worker Movie Poster Image
Outstanding movie based on life of Helen Keller.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1962)
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Queen of Katwe Movie Poster Image
Inspiring true tale of girl Ugandan chess champ.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens Movie Poster Image
Epic Star Wars sequel delivers great performances, action.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Arrival Movie Poster Image
Great, deeply thoughtful, compassionate sci-fi tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Little Women Movie Poster Image
Lovely Alcott adaptation tugs at the heartstrings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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Pride & Prejudice Movie Poster Image
Gorgeous Jane Austen adaptation has timeless appeal.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Whale Rider Movie Poster Image
Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story Movie Poster Image
Outstanding role model urges kids to stand up to bullies.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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The Blind Side Movie Poster Image
Syrupy sports drama uplifts but glosses over deep issues.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Movie Poster Image
Magical, award-winning martial-arts fairy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Girl Rising Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu explains why all girls need an education.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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He Named Me Malala Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, deeply affecting docu explores teen icon's life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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His Girl Friday Movie Poster Image
Sassy screwball classic with a feminist twist.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1940)
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Bend It Like Beckham Movie Poster Image
Superb tale of a girl's struggle for her dreams.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Norma Rae Movie Poster Image
Inspiring pro-union story is good watch-together fare.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1979)
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Divergent Movie Poster Image
Strong female character leads in violent dystopia.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Hairspray Movie Poster Image
A kitschy teen fantasy you can dance to.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Movie Poster Image
Fans will approve of gripping, violent middle installment.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Gravity Movie Poster Image
Intense, astonishing sci-fi thriller has real soul.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Veronica Mars Movie Poster Image
Charming, bantery thriller is made by and for die-hard fans.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Silkwood Movie Poster Image
Disturbing tale of corporate greed, nuclear danger, courage.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Elizabeth Movie Poster Image
Mature, visceral depiction of a turbulent reign.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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