Movies That Inspire Empathy

Developing character strengths and life skills is essential to kids' overall growth and success. It's important for kids to learn the value of putting themselves in someone else's shoes to understand the feelings and perspective of another person. The character strength of empathy surfaces in these movies by being intrinsic to the story, being repeated several times in the actions of a lead character, and "wins" over character flaws such as focusing only on their own needs. (See even more movies and TV shows that inspire empathy.)

Browse Movies That Inspire Empathy

Halloween isn't complete without this classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
 
Classic TV favorites are as charming and relevant as ever.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
Faith-based messages about sharing are sweet and funny.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
The ultimate makeover story has strong, positive messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1991)
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Fantastic princess adventure is fun, with great messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
 
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Beautiful, original story about handling big feelings.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Wonderful family film with excellent messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1960)
Spielberg's family classic is still one of the best.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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Wonderful adaptation of classic book; some scary moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1995)
Tim Burton magic with just a touch of scariness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Game-themed movie mixes potty humor with strong messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Mother-daughter switch is fun comedic chaos.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
A modern-day Grease for tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
 
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Vibrant, uplifting docu about African children's choir.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
Boy bibliophile becomes part of fantasy tale.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
 
Warm, feel-good docu about being nice is uplifting.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
Epic musical story of Jews facing religious persecution.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1971)
Inspiring football drama brings history to life.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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One-of-a-kind high school comedy for the family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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Fun movie, but may be too intense for younger kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Powerful docu addresses critically important issue for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
Sensitive portrayal of four girls' friendships.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
Masterpiece with crucial lessons about prejudice.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1962)
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Insightful docu poses questions about faith, gun reform.
In Theaters Now
(Release Year: 2015)
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A realistic look at a teen's coming-of-age.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Edgy, sweet book-based dramedy has profanity, mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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Classic '80s teen movie has mature themes, profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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Moving story of brilliant, troubled youth for older teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Thoughtful, charming for 16+.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2001)
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Spike Lee's masterwork of racial unrest; discuss with kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)