Movies That Inspire Kids to Change the World

Inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but movies can be particularly powerful for kids and teens. Whether it's the environmental message of FernGully that gets young kids thinking about the Earth differently or a documentary like Food, Inc. that inspires kids to change their eating habits, the movies in this list can spur action. Many of these films have a specific aim to persuade viewers to think a certain way, so parents can help kids understand different sides of the issues as a means of keeping kids media savvy.

Browse Movies That Inspire Kids to Change the World

Pixie Hollow Games Movie Poster Image
Beautifully animated "fairy" tale teaches about teamwork.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Dr. Seuss: The Lorax Movie Poster Image
Outstanding 1970s parable about protecting nature.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1972)
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Happy Feet Movie Poster Image
Ultra-cute kid flick has a few scary, emotional moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2006)
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Dear Dumb Diary Movie Poster Image
Books-inspired movie has great social messages for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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FernGully: The Last Rainforest Movie Poster Image
Family favorite features strong environmental message.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1992)
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March of the Penguins Movie Poster Image
Stunning, loving documentary; some intense peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Dolphin Tale Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming tale is sweet, inspiring for kids and tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Imba Means Sing Movie Poster Image
Vibrant, uplifting docu about African children's choir.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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What's on Your Plate? Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu teaches Fast Food Nation-like lessons.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Chasing Coral Movie Poster Image
Awe-inspiring, poignant docu tracks decline of coral reefs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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A Place at the Table Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu explores the problem of hunger in America.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Kindness Is Contagious Movie Poster Image
Warm, feel-good docu about being nice is uplifting.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Fed Up Movie Poster Image
Informative, engrossing docu about saying no to sugar.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Living on One Dollar Movie Poster Image
Earnest, inspiring docu shows realities of rural poverty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Most Valuable Players Movie Poster Image
Moving, engaging docu about high school musical theater.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Dolores Movie Poster Image
Activist combats racism, sexism, and powerful enemies.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Inequality for All Movie Poster Image
Engaging economics docu encourages equality, activism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Alive Inside Movie Poster Image
Inspiring, tween-friendly docu on music's impact on memory.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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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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Buck Movie Poster Image
Powerful profile on horse whisperer has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Bully Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu addresses critically important issue for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2012)
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Dancing in Jaffa Movie Poster Image
Uplifting docu promotes religious tolerance via dance.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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The Dream Is Now Movie Poster Image
Strong, emotional documentary supports immigration reform.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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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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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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Chasing Ice Movie Poster Image
Beautiful, affecting documentary about glacier retreat.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Cowspiracy Movie Poster Image
Provocative docu has some graphic scenes of animal cruelty.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Food, Inc. Movie Poster Image
Important but disturbing docu about food biz. Teens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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Forks Over Knives Movie Poster Image
Engaging docu promotes a vegan diet in nonjudgmental way.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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If You Build It Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu shows young people capable of great things.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Lost Boys of Sudan Movie Poster Image
Enlightening documentary for adults and teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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Maidentrip Movie Poster Image
Excellent docu about teen sailor; some brief profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Stand and Deliver Movie Poster Image
Math teacher inspires in powerful fact-based drama.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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Strong Island Movie Poster Image
Emotionally raw docu on racial injustice in America.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Super Size Me Movie Poster Image
Fascinating, award-winning docu on American fast food.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2004)
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Can You Dig This? Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu about urban gardening; some profanity, drugs.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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The Cove Movie Poster Image
Gruesome, powerful, and inspiring dolphin documentary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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G-Dog Movie Poster Image
Inspiring docu about gang intervention program in LA.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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The Ivory Game Movie Poster Image
Powerful docu shines light on efforts to save elephants.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Next Goal Wins Movie Poster Image
Captivating, moving sports docu; some swearing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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The Out List TV Poster Image
Poignant LGBTQ docu highlights respect, acceptance.
Network: HBO
(2013)
(2013)
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Temple Grandin Movie Poster Image
Riveting true story of a young autistic woman's journey.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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Waste Land Movie Poster Image
Inspiring documentary portrays the dignity of the poor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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The Whole Gritty City Movie Poster Image
Vibrant, poignant, inspiring music docu; some profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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13th Movie Poster Image
Searing docu decries racial bias; intense violence, cursing.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Citizenfour Movie Poster Image
Bold docu explores Edward Snowden's controversial actions.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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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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Virunga Movie Poster Image
Outstanding but shattering docu set in war-torn Congo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Bowling for Columbine Movie Poster Image
Must-see gun violence documentary is brutal.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2002)
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