If you would like to teach your kids about travel and world cultures, but you don’t know where to begin, the answer could be right in your DVD or digital movie collection. Start with a movie night featuring the best kid’s travel movies to kick off your exploration adventure, then follow up with related crafts and snacks. Soon, your little ones will be begging for a trip to see the many wonders of the world.
“Madagascar” (2005) – This computer-animated film follows the adventures of four Central Park Zoo animals who unexpectedly travel to the African island of Madagascar. An all-star cast keeps the laughs coming from start to finish.
For more African adventure, consider Disney’s “Tarzan” (1999) for children of all ages or Disney’s classic “Lion King” (1994).
“Happy Feet” (2006) – Movies don’t get any better than Warner Bros. “Happy Feet,” a computer-animated masterpiece set in Antarctica. Lots of music keeps the story moving along, and characters are brought to life by the voices of stars such as Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, and Nicole Kidman.
“The Amazing Panda Adventure” (1995) – Keeping the whole family entertained can be a tall order, but Warner Bros. succeeds with “The Amazing Panda Adventure.” Follow the adventures of 10-year-old Ryan Tyler as he finds himself in the middle of a nefarious panda poaching scheme in China.
Other films that will inspire children’s interest in Asia include Disney’s “Mulan” (1998) and “The Karate Kid” (2010).
“Babe” (1995) – While travel isn’t the focus of the 1995 blockbuster “Babe,” you can be sure your kids will enjoy every minute of this movie. Use the opportunity to talk about the scenic Australian backdrop as well as the culture and customs of the continent down under.
Other family favorites set in Australia include “Finding Nemo” (2003) and the sequel, “Finding Dory” (2016).
“The Sound of Music” (1965) – There’s no shortage of films to inspire an interest in Europe, so start with the classics. “The Sound of Music,” set in Austria, is a must-see for every child.
Other excellent choices to discover Europe include Pixar’s “Brave” (2012), which takes place in Scotland, and Disney’s “Ratatouille” (2007), which takes place in France.
“The Secret Life of Pets” (2016) – It’s New York City like you have never seen it – through the eyes of Manhattan’s pets. After this adventure, you will be planning your next visit to the Big Apple.
“Rio” (2011) – Get to know Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro in a whole new way through this computer-animated musical adventure about a romance between two hilarious macaws.
“The Muppet Movie” (1979) – Your playlist should include some titles that focus on the joys of the travel experience, not just the destination. Begin with the classic North American Road trip adventure: “The Muppet Movie”.
Other excellent road trip movies include Disney’s “Cars” (2006) and “A Goofy Movie” (1995).
“Fly Me to the Moon” (2009) – Though you won’t be booking travel to the moon just yet, nothing gets kids more excited about travel than a tour of the stars. This retelling of the Apollo 11 moon landing is told from the perspective of a stowaway fruit fly with a thirst for adventure.
Other engaging space films include “Wall-E” (2008) and “Space Buddies” (2009).
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (2005) – Enter the enchanted world of Narnia through the doors of an English wardrobe, and discover the thrill of visiting new cultures and ways of life.
Other movies that take you to far away lands include, “The NeverEnding Story” (1984), “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009) and, of course, “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).
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