Movies That Inspire Courage

Courage is a common theme for movies and one of the character strengths and life skills essential to kids' overall growth and success. From superheroes to animated adventures to true stories of overcoming adversity, many great films feature courageous characters standing up for what they believe in. But courage isn't only about fighting monsters and bad guys. It can be demonstrated by stepping up for someone, sharing work with others, or simply being yourself. It's important for kids to learn the value of taking on challenges despite risks, speaking up for what's right no matter what, and being true to their convictions. These awesome movies highlight courage in ways that are central to the story, proving that bold action wins out over cowardice. (See even more movies and TV shows that inspire courage.)

Browse Movies That Inspire Courage

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Movie Poster Image
Gorgeously animated fairy fantasy teaches friendship lesson.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Adventures of Milo and Otis Movie Poster Image
Lovable pet tale about friendship despite differences.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Finding Nemo Movie Poster Image
Sweet father-son tale has some very scary moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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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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Monsters, Inc. Movie Poster Image
Cute, kid-friendly monster movie; may scare sensitive kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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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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Aladdin Movie Poster Image
A magic carpet ride of a movie from Disney.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1992)
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Born in China Movie Poster Image
Nature docu has gorgeous vistas, moments of peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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The Iron Giant Movie Poster Image
Touching robot-kid friendship tale has great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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The Lion King Movie Poster Image
Musical king-of-the-beasts blockbuster is powerful, scary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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The Sound of Music Movie Poster Image
Outstanding family film features glorious music.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1965)
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The Wizard of Oz Movie Poster Image
Even decades later, one of the best family films ever made.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1939)
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Big Hero 6 Movie Poster Image
Awesome origin story is action-packed, deals with grief.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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The Dark Crystal Movie Poster Image
A fantastic but more intense Muppet adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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The Good Dinosaur Movie Poster Image
Young dino braves nature in lovely but intense adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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The Incredibles Movie Poster Image
Top-notch, action-packed fun for the entire family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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Song of the Sea Movie Poster Image
Beautiful Irish tale explores myths, sibling relationship.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Spy Kids Movie Poster Image
Just the right combination of fantasy and comedy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope Movie Poster Image
Sci-fi action classic perfect for sharing with kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1977)
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The Adventures of Robin Hood Movie Poster Image
Errol Flynn stars in swashbuckling family delight.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1938)
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The Black Stallion Movie Poster Image
Breathtakingly beautiful, magical classic is a must-see.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1979)
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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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Brother Future Movie Poster Image
A moving story of slavery and freedom.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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Hugo Movie Poster Image
Spectacular book adaptation is great for tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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The Sandlot Movie Poster Image
Lighthearted, nostalgic tween comedy; some language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Secret of NIMH Movie Poster Image
Fascinating, but very dark with some creepy imagery.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Superman: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Super-nostalgic superhero adventure still soars.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1978)
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Willow Movie Poster Image
Magic-filled fantasy adventure with a few battle scenes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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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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The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Poster Image
Fangs and fur fly in visually dazzling but intense update.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Spirited Away Movie Poster Image
Magnificent movie with scary creatures and a strong heroine.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Zarafa Movie Poster Image
Enchanting African fable with some scares and sadness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Belle and Sebastian Movie Poster Image
Beautiful film about WWII has intense themes, drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Casablanca Movie Poster Image
Brief violence and lots of tension in top-notch classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1942)
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Home Alone Movie Poster Image
Slapstick comedy is funny but full of iffy stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1990)
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Legends of the Knight Movie Poster Image
Stirring docu sees superhero as powerful motivator for good.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Newsies: The Broadway Musical Movie Poster Image
Dazzling staged musical has some mild cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Phantom Boy Movie Poster Image
Poignant crime caper follows sick boy with ghostly ability.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Breadwinner Movie Poster Image
Powerful, intense animated tale of life under Taliban rule.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Chariots of Fire Movie Poster Image
Brilliant true story of 1924 Olympic footrace.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Movie Poster Image
Indy's first adventure is a rip-roaring action masterpiece.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1981)
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Spider-Man Movie Poster Image
Fun movie, but may be too intense for younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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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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Advanced Style Movie Poster Image
Docu about senior fashionistas promotes positive body image.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Apollo 13 Movie Poster Image
Thrilling, heartwarming, scary, and superb.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1995)
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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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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Movie Poster Image
Magical, award-winning martial-arts fairy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Everest Movie Poster Image
Compelling tale of real-life expedition is intense, moving.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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The Right Stuff Movie Poster Image
Exciting '80s astronaut movie has cursing, sex.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1983)
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Sully Movie Poster Image
Great performances in tense, quietly powerful true story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Movie Poster Image
Fabulous, but also violent and scary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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All the President's Men Movie Poster Image
Superb Woodward and Bernstein Watergate story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1976)
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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power Movie Poster Image
Riveting docu may inspire discussion of sexual harassment.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Iron Man Movie Poster Image
Great action, lots of style, some iffy stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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Life Is Beautiful Movie Poster Image
Wrenching Holocaust fable with bittersweet humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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Lincoln Movie Poster Image
Outstanding drama about revered leader's political genius.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Brooklyn Movie Poster Image
Poignant immigration drama is romantic, thought-provoking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Eyes on the Prize Movie Poster Image
Award-winning history of the American Civil Rights movement.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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The Hunger Games Movie Poster Image
Intense adaptation is violent, thought-provoking for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower Movie Poster Image
Docu about brave teen taking on oppressive government.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Offside Movie Poster Image
Iranian dramedy scores with gender equity issues.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Roots Movie Poster Image
Classic miniseries is essential viewing for mature teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1977)
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Thirteen Days Movie Poster Image
Superb film about Cuban missile crisis, best for older kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Difret Movie Poster Image
Intense Ethiopian film makes case for girls'/women's rights.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Murderball Movie Poster Image
Inspiring documentary for older teens and adults.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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My Left Foot Movie Poster Image
Gritty yet uplifting tale of artist with cerebral palsy.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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The Pianist Movie Poster Image
Powerful true story of a Jewish pianist has brutal violence.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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The Square Movie Poster Image
Unflinching, violent, but excellent docu on Arab Spring.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom Movie Poster Image
Brutal but inspiring docu about 2013-'14 Ukrainian uprising.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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