Movies & TV That Applaud Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heroes & Competitors

Tenacious competitors, accomplished athletes, heroic protectors, martial arts masters: The movies and TV shows on this list feature the impressive stories of Asian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) prodigies. While many of these movies feature the prowess of martial art fighters, the picks below depict the diversity of AANHPI competitors and warriors beyond just ninjas and samurais. From thrilling action and adventure films to thoughtful documentaries and biopics, families looking to celebrate the courage and resolve found in AANHPI communities have plenty to choose from. After you've watched these, come back to find more recommendations that honor AANHPI cultures and resilience.

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Mulan Poster Image
MOVIE

Mulan

age 5+

Disneyfied but dignified tale of Chinese warrior.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 1998)
Moana Poster Image
MOVIE

Moana

age 6+

Memorable musical with a Pacific Islander lead, some scares.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
Johnny Tsunami Poster Image
TV

Johnny Tsunami

age 6+

Surfing, boarding, and positive lessons for kids.

Network: Disney Channel (1999)
Kody Kapow Poster Image
TV

Kody Kapow

age 7+

Lively animation features lessons from the martial arts.

Network: Universal Kids (2017)
Jungle Cry movie poster
MOVIE

Jungle Cry

age 8+

Uplifting sports drama champions teamwork and self-belief.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2022)
Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams Poster Image
MOVIE

Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams

age 8+

Compelling docu about Japan's biggest baseball tournament.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
The Speed Cubers Poster Image
MOVIE

The Speed Cubers

age 8+

Inspiring short docu about competition and friendship.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
Spelling the Dream Poster Image
MOVIE

Spelling the Dream

age 8+

Upbeat celebration of outstanding kids who spell to win.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
Raya and the Last Dragon Poster Image
MOVIE

Raya and the Last Dragon

age 8+

Charming, epic adventure mixes monsters, humor, heart.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior Poster Image
MOVIE

Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior

age 8+

Inventive movie that families can watch together.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2006)
Kubo and the Two Strings Poster Image
MOVIE

Kubo and the Two Strings

age 9+

Beautiful epic about storytelling hero can be dark, scary.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2016)
Linsanity Poster Image
MOVIE

Linsanity

age 9+

Thoughtful sports docu will inspire young basketball fans.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2014)
Koran by Heart Poster Image
MOVIE

Koran by Heart

age 10+

Moving, sensitive documentary challenges stereotypes.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2012)
Shaolin Soccer Poster Image
MOVIE

Shaolin Soccer

age 10+

Nontraditional underdog sports team story has violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2004)
Mulan (2020) Poster Image
MOVIE

Mulan (2020)

age 11+

Martial arts epic is more intense, violent than original.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Poster Image
MOVIE

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

age 11+

Funny, poignant, thrilling MCU adventure; action violence.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2021)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Poster Image
MOVIE

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

age 12+

Magical, award-winning martial arts fairy tale.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2000)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Poster Image
MOVIE

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

age 12+

Lots of laughs, thrills, tunes in slightly lesser sequel.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2017)
Manny Poster Image
MOVIE

Manny

age 12+

Boxing docu glorifies Pacquiao but skims the surface.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)
Pacific Warriors Poster Image
MOVIE

Pacific Warriors

age 10+

Docu about Pacific Islander rugby teams has mild profanity.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2015)