Top 75 Growth Mindset Movies for Children

Top 75 Growth Mindset Movies for Children

Movies are a great tool for character development. They can explain important life lessons and help reinforce the messages we're trying to teach our children. 

We put together a list of great movies and videos with characters who demonstrate a growth mindset and qualities such as grit, perseverance, courage, and determination.

Reminder: Please preview or read about the suggested movies and videos to ensure they are appropriate for your child.

Growth Mindset Movies for Kids


Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our FREE Your Words Matter Volume 2 Kit. With these 10 one-page parenting guides, you will know exactly how to speak to your child to help them stand up for themselves, be more confident and develop a growth mindset.

Animated Films

Zootopia (2016)

The film’s signature song “Try Everything” is more than just a catchy tune. It relays the message that even when you fall, you’ve got to get up and try again! 

Rating PG

Sing (2016)

This film teaches that nothing can hold you back. You can always pick yourself up and be stronger than ever.

Rating PG

Leap! (2016) also known as Ballerina

This movie teaches you can reach your wildest dreams with hard work and determination.  

Rating PG

Moana (2016)

The characters Maui and Moana demonstrated a great deal of perseverance, hard work and determination. 

Rating PG

The Good Dinosaur (2015)

This is a heartwarming adventure about the power of confronting and overcoming your fears and discovering who you're meant to be.

Rating PG

Meet The Robinsons (2007)

The main motto of the film is “Keep moving forward.” It teaches children that failure is an inevitable part of life, you learn from it and keep going! 

Rating G

Inside Out (2015)

This movie is an important ‘teaching tool’ for parents and teachers who can help their children learn the role of emotions.

Rating PG

Trolls (2016)

This movie teaches important lessons including the importance of being confident and believing in yourself.  

Rating PG

Frozen (2013)

This movie teaches to dream big and chase your dreams. It teaches you to never give up because others say your dream is too big.

Rating PG

Brave (2012)

In this movie, you're bound to find many examples of courage and bravery. It is an empowering movie for mothers and daughters. 

Rating PG


Storks (2016)

This is a great movie about a family which also teaches you to always give your fullest at the things you do.

Rating PG

UP (2009)

This movie teaches that life is meant to be an adventure and it is never too late to find meaning and purpose.

Rating PG

Finding Dory (2016)

Everyone can learn something from Dory's famous motto "Just Keep Swimming". No matter how difficult or hopeless a situation may seem, it is best to just keep moving forward with heads held high.

Rating PG

Finding Nemo (2003)

This movie teaches the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone and try new things even if they scare you at first.

Rating G

Chicken Run (2)

This is an exciting and original story about a group of chickens determined to fly the coop. It teaches that if at first you don't succeed, you try and try again! 

Rating G

Stick Man (2016)

It is a British animated short story about family, determination and Christmas! 

Rating G

Rock Dog (2017)

It is an animated comedy about a dog named Bodi who dreams of being a musician. The clear messages about perseverance, following your dreams and teamwork is hard to miss.

Rating PG

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

In Kung Fu Panda, Po, a noodle-slurping dreamer, must embrace his true self in order to become the Dragon Warrior. 

Rating PG

Coco (2017)

A powerful message of perseverance, teamwork, and gratitude to appreciate your family and follow your dreams!

Rating PG

Cars 3 (2017)

No matter how old you are, you always have more to learn; and the fact regardless of your gender or what you look like, you should be allowed to compete and reach for your dreams!

Rating PG

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

A story of friendship, determination and confidence as Kiki spends her first year soloing as an apprentice witch.

Rating G

Secret World of Arriety (2010)

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Sweet story of bravery, friendship and trust.

Rating G

Wall-E (2008)

Wall-E has a great message, reduce, reuse, recycle, and think about what you're doing to the planet (and yourself)!

Rating G

Ferdinand (2017)

Ferdinand is a strong, confident character who's a great role model of courage and compassion.

Rating PG

Turbo (2013)

Speedy snail dreams big! A positive message to believe in yourself, follow your dreams and never give up. 

Rating PG

Feature Films

Hotel for Dogs (2009)

It is a funny, heartwarming and inspiring animal adventure that shows how far love, determination and imagination can take you.

Rating PG

Dolphin Tale (2011)

It is a family drama with themes of courage, devotion and survival.

Rating PG

Queen of Katwe (2016)

This movie defines what it truly means to dream big—to go after something that’s never been done or that no one else can imagine for you. 

Rating PG

Cool Runnings (1993)

This movie teaches that winning isn't everything. Every time we lose, we get better.

Rating PG

The Neverending Story (1984)

The story teaches children about confidence, using imagination and overcoming failures.

Rating PG

Hidden Figures (2016)

It is based on the true story of three of the first black “human computers” at NASA, who helped send the first American into orbit. The story teaches that when you have a grand vision, your success starts with the right mindset.

Rating PG

The Martian (2015)

It is a captivating tale of human strength and the will to survive. With only meager supplies, the main character must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Rating PG-13

Walt Before Mickey (2015)

The true story of a boy whose dreams built a kingdom. The legendary Walt Disney had a tumultuous childhood, yet he was determined to overcome obstacles in his path, before the creation of his first iconic character: Mickey Mouse.

Rating PG 

Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)

This coming-of-age story of a determined and persistent young orphan might be inspiring for young viewers and teach them a bit about the Great Depression.

Rating G

Fly Away Home (1996)

An inspiring film about a 13-year-old girl from New Zealand sent to live with her father in Canada after her mother dies in a car accident. This film teaches about care and conviction.

Rating PG 

Rudy (1993)

The movie extols the virtues of perseverance and hard work; Rudy overcomes seemingly impossible odds to achieve his goal.

Rating PG 

Pay It Forward (2000)

A story about a 7th-grade boy who, inspired by his social studies teacher, comes up with a way for people to practice random acts of kindness, which he hopes will lead to the world becoming a better place.

Rating PG-13

The Blind Side (2013)

An uplifting family sports drama based on the true story of a football player. It centers on messages about inclusion, the benefits of hard work and the importance of family.

Rating PG-13

The Lord of the Rings (2001)

A classic fantasy that teaches courage. As Tolkien wrote, “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Rating PG-13

The Karate Kid (1984)

It is a classic '80s martial arts movie that's still a fine pick for families with older tweens. The story teaches that it takes discipline, hard work and fortitude to accomplish great things.

Rating PG 

October Sky (1999)

It is a moving drama based on a true story centers on a very difficult, tense father-son relationship. The movie is about following your dreams, no matter how unachievable they might feel.

Rating PG 

Wonder (2017)

The movie has clear positive messages about choosing kindness, appreciating everyone for who they are (rather than what they look like) and true friendship; empathy and perseverance are also strong themes.

Rating PG 

Greatest Showman (2017)

P.T. Barnum starts out as a penniless orphan but becomes the world-renowned creator of the circus. The impossible can come true!

Rating PG 

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005)

A mischievous dog befriends a lonely young girl in a new town and helps her make new friends.

Rating PG 

Charlotte’s Web (2006)

Fern rescues a runty piglet, raises it as her own and names him Wilbur. Charlotte, a gentle and wise spider who befriended the lonely Wilbur, vows to save his life.

Rating G 

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado's path and end up in the land of Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz who everyone says can help her return home.

Not Rated

The Little Prince (2016)

The Little Girl rediscovers her childhood and learns that ultimately, it's human connections that matter most and that what's truly essential can only be seen with the heart.

Rating PG 

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005)

A young boy is recruited by his imaginary friends Sharkboy and Lavagirl to help save their planet.

Rating PG 

Anne of Green Gables (1985)

An orphan girl, sent to an elderly brother and sister by mistake, charms her new home and community with her fiery spirit and imagination.

Not Rated

The Secret Garden (1993)

In The Secret Garden, Mary demonstrates curiosity, communication and compassion in this beautiful story with breathtaking scenery. 

Rating G 

Matilda (1996)

A story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius but is misunderstood by her family.  Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world!

Rating PG 

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Inclusive but imperfect take on a classic story about hope, love, courage and self-acceptance.

Rating PG

School of Rock (2003)

After witnessing the musical talent of his students in their music class, Dewey forms a band of fourth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent.

Rating PG-13

Ramona and Beezus (2010)

An adventurous young girl uses her imagination to escape her reality, which is quickly spinning out of reach.

Rating G 

Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy but she is changing the world... one word at a time.

Rating PG

Short Animated Films

Piper (2016)

A story about a baby sandpiper who is no longer being fed by his mother, so he has to overcome his fear of the water to get his own meals.

Rating G 

Soar (2014)

With a fairytale-like storyline, ‘Soar’ explores hope and perseverance with a glimmer of magic.

Rating G

The Boy Who Learned to Fly (2017)

Based on true events from Usain Bolt’s life, this is an animated short film showcasing his unique story and what drives him as an elite athlete. From humble beginnings in a Jamaican schoolyard to his ascendence on the world stage, Bolt finds a way to fly past the pressure. 

Rating G

Let Me In (2008)

A story about a hungry cat who doesn't give up and resorts to increasingly desperate measures to get indoors.

For The Birds (2001)

This video can be used in a number of ways to teach a lesson to students (even adults) about the consequences of bullying!

Kiwi! (2006)

The idea is sweet and immediately tells us of a simple goal and a lifetime of work towards it with dedication and hard work.

The Gift (2016)

A short film about family, determination and courage. 

Jinxy Jenkins & Lucky Lou Short Film (2014)

When the chaotically misfortunate Jenkins and the monotonously lucky Lou run into each other one morning, they find a thrilling and fulfilling change of pace as they hurtle down the hills of San Francisco in an ice cream cart.

Elmo Doesn't Give Up (2017)

Elmo's dad teaches him to keep trying and not give up! Elmo learns the more he tries and practices, the better he becomes.


Famous Failures by Motivating Success

This video mentions well-known people who had failed but kept pressing on until they became successful. 

Understanding Talent by sportscotland

This film was developed to help young athletes understand what 'talent' is and how you can get good at sport - it's more of a choice than you might think.

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset: The Natural Talent Myth! by Make Up Your Mind

The myth of natural talent crushes our confidence. This video explores how hard work and perseverance always wins over natural talent.

You Can Learn Anything by Khan Academy

Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it and struggle, the more it grows.

How Many Times Should You Try Before Success?by fundersandfounders

This video demonstrates numerous failures of successful people like Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson and others.

Grit: The Key to Your Success by Florida Virtual School

A great video introduction to grit. 

Pathway Transformation Initiative - Growth Mindset by Fullerton College 

A great introduction to a growth mindset.

Growth Mindset Video - YouTube by infobundl

Having a growth mindset means that you know you can train your brain to get smarter.

Learning and the Brain by Learning and the Adolescent Mind

Shows how new neural pathways between brain cells is like building a bridge to cross a ravine! 

Sesame Street: Janelle Monae - Power of Yet

Sal visits Sesame Street to teach Zoe and Elmo about the power of a growth mindset!

C.J. Luckey 

The Power of Yet music video

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