Movies That Promote Perseverance

Perseverance is one of the most important character strengths and life skills that a kid can develop -- and it's one of the most popular themes in movies. From Finding Nemo's advice to "just keep swimming," to the true stories and documentaries about people who demonstrate grit, these inspirational movies give examples of heroes who stick with something no matter what challenges they face. With the help of this list, kids can learn the importance of persevering no matter the obstacle and to always keep trying in the face of failure until they reach their goals. (See even more movies and TV shows that promote perseverance.)

Browse Movies That Promote Perseverance

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Movie Poster Image
Halloween isn't complete without this classic.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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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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The Little Mermaid Movie Poster Image
Superb, entertaining animated musical has some scary stuff.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1989)
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Monsters University Movie Poster Image
Monsters Inc. prequel is a fun college comedy for all ages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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WALL-E Movie Poster Image
Brainy, charming, eco-friendly animated adventure.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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An American Girl: Grace Stirs Up Success Movie Poster Image
Tale of young baker jam-packed with positive messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Babe Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming farm story is touching and a bit scary.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1995)
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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Movie Poster Image
A fantastical car story custom-made for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1968)
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Fantasia Movie Poster Image
Breathtaking animation feat -- with some creepy visuals.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1940)
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Finding Dory Movie Poster Image
Delightful sequel promotes teamwork; some sadness, scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Ghost of the Mountains Movie Poster Image
Absorbing docu about snow leopards has mild peril.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey Movie Poster Image
Adventurous animal tale will have kids riveted.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Land Before Time Movie Poster Image
Original baby-dinosaur buddy tale has scares, sadness.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1988)
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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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Modern Times Movie Poster Image
Families will cherish Chaplin's silent slapstick.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1936)
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My Fair Lady Movie Poster Image
Witty, stylish musical classic will entertain all ages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1964)
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Ratatouille Movie Poster Image
Cute rat tale has some peril and potentially scary moments.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2007)
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Storks Movie Poster Image
Family comedy mixes moments of peril, sweet messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Chicken Run Movie Poster Image
Charming animated escape tale has some peril, scares.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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National Velvet Movie Poster Image
Great family movie; even better for horse lovers.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1944)
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Pee-Wee's Big Adventure Movie Poster Image
Just as charming and curious as it was in 1985.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1985)
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The Red Balloon Movie Poster Image
Imaginative story told entirely through vivid visuals.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1957)
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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 Eagle Huntress Movie Poster Image
Inspiring documentary about barrier-breaking teen girl.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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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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Hugo Movie Poster Image
Spectacular book adaptation is great for tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Iron Will Movie Poster Image
Coming-of-age tale has some violence, deaths.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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Mad Hot Ballroom Movie Poster Image
Enchanting dance documentary hits all the right beats.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2005)
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Oliver! Movie Poster Image
Glorious musical based on Dickens' Oliver Twist.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1968)
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The Pride of the Yankees Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming baseball classic for tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1942)
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The Princess Bride Movie Poster Image
Witty, winsome fairy tale for the whole family.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1987)
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The Secret Garden Movie Poster Image
Great book, great adaptation.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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Swiss Family Robinson Movie Poster Image
Good intro to older movies for kids; watch for stereotypes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1960)
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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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Circus Dreams Movie Poster Image
Docu about touring youth circus highlights friendship.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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Dark Horse Movie Poster Image
Stirring, inspiring docu about unlikely champion.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Hoosiers Movie Poster Image
Stirring tale of heroic sportsmanship will inspire families.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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Spellbound Movie Poster Image
Families should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s film.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2003)
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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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Children of Heaven Movie Poster Image
Excellent subtitled Iranian coming-of-age story.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Gone with the Wind Movie Poster Image
Still one of Hollywood's best sweeping epics.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1939)
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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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October Sky Movie Poster Image
Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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Paper Planes Movie Poster Image
Thoughtful, inspired look at grief soars.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Selena Movie Poster Image
Touching and ultimately tragic tale of young Tejano star.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1997)
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Underwater Dreams Movie Poster Image
Inspiring story about an underdog high school robotics team.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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Wonder Movie Poster Image
Earnest, emotional book adaptation has strong messages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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Groundhog Day Movie Poster Image
'90s comedy offers witty, sarcastic take on redemption.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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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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The Karate Kid Movie Poster Image
'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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North by Northwest Movie Poster Image
Witty Hitchcock thriller piles on suspense and innuendo.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1959)
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Rocky Movie Poster Image
Boxing Best Picture sets underdog-hero standard; drinking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1976)
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Rudy Movie Poster Image
Inspiring sports film about a real-life underdog.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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School of Rock Movie Poster Image
Standout Jack Black in nerds-become-cool comedy.
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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Buck Movie Poster Image
Powerful profile on horse whisperer has mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2011)
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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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Gandhi Movie Poster Image
Brilliant biopic engages, educates, and inspires.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1982)
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The Grapes of Wrath Movie Poster Image
Classic John Steinbeck adaptation is still powerful.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1940)
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Jurassic Park Movie Poster Image
Terrifyingly realistic dinos run amok in sci-fi landmark.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1993)
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The Martian Movie Poster Image
Excellent space thriller mixes peril, charm, real science.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made Movie Poster Image
Story of kids' labor-of-love Indy remake is fun, moving.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2016)
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Shake the Dust Movie Poster Image
Poignant docu about B-boys and B-girls around the world.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Amadeus Movie Poster Image
Lavish, award-winning film with mature themes.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1984)
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Billy Elliot Movie Poster Image
Terrific story of young ballet dancer has strong language.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2000)
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Forrest Gump Movie Poster Image
Moving and wonderful, but parent preview a good idea.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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Goldfinger Movie Poster Image
Thrilling action comedy may be the best Bond.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1964)
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Hoop Dreams Movie Poster Image
Stunning documentary addresses race and class issues.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Movie Poster Image
Forceful telling of Angelou's coming-of-age book.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1999)
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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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Life Is Beautiful Movie Poster Image
Wrenching Holocaust fable with bittersweet humor.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1998)
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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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Selma Movie Poster Image
Outstanding drama about MLK's fight for equal rights.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2014)
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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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Battle of the Sexes Movie Poster Image
Moving dramedy serves up sexism, sexuality; lots of smoking.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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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 Color Purple Movie Poster Image
Powerful tale of survival with wrenching scenes of abuse.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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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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The King's Speech Movie Poster Image
Superb drama about overcoming fears is fine for teens.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2010)
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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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Stand by Me Movie Poster Image
Edgy coming-of-age story isn't for young kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1986)
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This Changes Everything Movie Poster Image
Riveting climate-change docu encourages grassroots action.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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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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Desert Runners Movie Poster Image
Intense, awe-inspiring docu about extreme marathoners.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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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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The Shawshank Redemption Movie Poster Image
Gritty prison tale has positive messages, lots of profanity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 1994)
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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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To the Bone Movie Poster Image
Compelling but mature drama about eating disorders.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2017)
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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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Slumdog Millionaire Movie Poster Image
Epic romance-drama is brilliant but too mature for kids.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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