Emotional Wellbeing

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Often in films we can relate to a character even if they are very different from us, as we are invited to understand and empathise with their internal world. The films on this list can help raise issues around emotional wellbeing and can be used to understand complicated emotions that might be difficult to put into words.

This list contains films in which characters are faced with challenging situations and respond in a variety of ways, some more beneficial to their wellbeing than others. Their stories can be used to stimulate conversation about expressing oneself and the many forms emotions can take.

All of the films below are available to stream via Into Film+ but some of them (labelled) are only available to Into Film+ Premium users. Find out more here.

Trolls
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration92 mins

Trolls(2016)

Princess Poppy and Branch set out on a dangerous mission to save their friends from the Troll-eating monsters who have taken them hostage.

Lead by the chirpy Princess Poppy, a group of trolls go on a mission to save their friends from always-moody Bergens. This colourful and music-filled adventure explores the ever-changing world of emotions and their importance.

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A Wrinkle in Time
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration109 mins

A Wrinkle in Time(2018)

Thirteen-year-old Meg must travel throughout the universe to find her father who has been missing for four years.

Bullied in school for the unusual disappearance of her father, Meg feels disconnected from others her age. When three magic beings appear and take her and her little brother to multiple dimensions, Meg starts to believe in herself and how to lead.

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Believe
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration95 mins

Believe(2013)

Touching fictional tale about legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby helping a talented but wayward young footballer fulfil his dreams.

Struggling with exam pressure and still dealing with a terrible loss, young George’s self-esteem is at a low when he resorts to stealing to try and fund his way into a football competition. Revealing the circumstances behind his acts of desperation, this film also seeks redemption for its young and troubled hero.

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Big Hero 6
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration98 mins

Big Hero 6(2014)

Action packed Disney animation with a lovable robot and a cool teenage scientist.

Talented Hiro is initially reluctant to hone his robotics skills at university, preferring instead to take part in shady backstreet botfights. Encouraged by his older brother to challenge himself and expand his skills, Hiro’s newfound ambitions are nearly shattered when tragedy strikes. With the support of his new lab mates, Hiro finds a way through his grief in action.

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Bridge To Terabithia
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration93 mins

Bridge To Terabithia(2007)

Charming family fantasy film following the adventures of two ten-year-old misfits, based on the popular novel.

Outsiders Leslie and Jess escape into a fantasy world of their imagination and encourage one another’s creativity, and hatch plans to conquer the bullies that are terrorising their school.

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Turning Red
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration96 mins

Turning Red(2022)

A thirteen-year-old girl turns into a cute and giant red panda when she experiences strong emotions.

Capturing the turbulent journey that growing up can be, this adorable animation is an original look at the complicated emotions that can arise for young girls as they grow up.

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The Good Dinosaur
Available to stream on Into Film+ Premium

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration101 mins

The Good Dinosaur(2015)

Prehistoric adventure about a lost young dinosaur who must have the courage to face his fears and find his way home.

Feeling inadequate as he can’t keep up with his siblings’ progress, Arlo finds the strength he needs to prove himself when he is accidentally separated from his family and makes new friends to help him find his way back home. Befriending and taking care of a young human called Spot makes Arlo realise that he can make his mark after all.

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Song of the Sea
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–11

Duration92 mins

Song of the Sea(2014)

A beautiful and touching animation based on an Irish folktale about a little girl who turns into a selkie.

When Ben and his little sister Saoirse are moved away from their island home onto the mainland with their grandma, they long to return home to their lonely father. To make the journey back however Ben must learn to be patient with his little sister Saoirse, whose muteness he cannot understand.

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Where The Wild Things Are
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration99 mins

Where The Wild Things Are(2009)

Spike Jonze's live action adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic about tameable monsters and an angry little boy.

Expanding on the much-loved children’s illustrated book, this adaptation brings the monsters to vivid life and explores the motivations behind young Max’s rebellious behaviour and desire to run away to a kingdom where he is the centre of attention and feels more in control.

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Tomboy
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertU

Age group11+

Duration79 mins

Tomboy(2011)

A beautifully understated, naturalistic drama about childhood gender identity confusion that’s both touching and gently humorous.

When newcomer to town Laure introduces herself to new friends as Mikael, she finds freedom in her new male identity. However, the pressure of keeping up appearances start to take their toll, especially as a close friendship starts to develop with neighbour Lisa.

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My Life as a Courgette
Available to stream on Into Film+

CertPG

Age group11–16

Duration66 mins

My Life as a Courgette(2016)

Touching and funny French animation about a little boy called Courgette who is taken into care.

This charming French animation is an exploration of the thoughts and feelings a young person might have when going through a difficult moment in their lives. Colourful and accessible, this is an affecting story about friendship and child welfare.

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A Monster Calls
Available to stream on Into Film+

Cert12

Age group11–16

Duration108 mins

A Monster Calls(2016)

A boy struggling to cope with his mother’s illness finds himself visited by a fantastical monster.

Facing difficulty both at home and school, Conor’s internal world manifests into scary nightmares. This fantasy film looks at the necessity of express oneself and how imagination can be a positive outlet.

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The Hate U Give
Available to stream on Into Film+

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration133 mins

The Hate U Give(2018)

A young girl is drawn to activism after witnessing the police shooting of her childhood friend.

After witnessing police brutality up close, Starr becomes aware of how differently she is treated as a young Black girl at a predominantly white school. Exasperated at having to hide her truth, Starr becomes inspired by protesters demanding an end to systematic racism.

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Eighth Grade
Available to stream on Into Film+

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration94 mins

Eighth Grade(2018)

A 13 year-old girl endures her final week of eighth grade, navigating the perilous world of social media and the end of middle school.

Met with the challenges that come with change and growing up, Kayla creates Vlog-style videos on her Youtube channel. Often torn between her authentic self and finding acceptance in school, the film spans her journey in to expressing her real self.

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Pariah
Available to stream on Into Film+

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration84 mins

Pariah(2011)

A lesbian teenager, on a journey to be her authentic self, struggles with heartbreak and her family relationships.

This trailblazing film tells the story of a 17-year-old Black girl navigating her queerness and embracing creativity while living in a stifling environment. Thoughtful and tender, the film explores the importance of finding self-acceptance and healthy outlets for young people.

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