Transition

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3

Adjusting to something new can be tough, but is something we all have to go through at various points in our lives. Whether it is moving from primary into secondary school, or to a new home, a new town, or even a new country, it can often feel like nobody understands us and things will never be the same again. As this collection of films make clear, this is not the case and learning to transition to something new can be an exciting adventure to relish, helping us to grow up and learn who we are. Examining areas around moving on, developing confidence, teamwork, struggling to fit in and having to deal with saying goodbye, these films all contain wonderful lessons for children and young people about coping with these issues and helping to realise that we are not as alone as we might think we are. As many of the characters also learn, dealing with transition often involves being kind and understanding to others going through the process, even if we think we have passed that stage ourselves.

For more advice on using how film can be used to ease worries over transition, read our article - How to use film to support Transition

You can also check out our Transition-themed podcast suitable for primary clubs.

Kiki's Delivery Service

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration103 mins

Kiki's Delivery Service(1989)

Anime about a 13-year-old witch-in-training who, as part of her calling, has to spend a year living away from her mother in a new town.

An ideal introduction to Studio Ghibli for young audiences, this animation about a young witch in training deals with a time in all of our lives when we have to set out on our own and make a go of living independently. For Kiki, this means adjusting to life in a new town where she has no connections. However her adventures are only just beginning…

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Goosebumps

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration103 mins

Goosebumps(2015)

Thrilling and funny adaptation of the well-known Goosebumps books that sees havoc unleashed on an unsuspecting American suburb.

This adaptation of the mega-selling ghostly series places author R.L. Stine at the heart of the story. With new-in-town Zach struggling to adjust to life away from the big city, new neighbor Hannah promises to show him that life in Delaware isn’t so bad. However Hannah’s grumpy father forbids them from hanging out, and soon after things start to go bump in the night.

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Toy Story 3

CertU

Age group5–16

Duration98 mins

Toy Story 3(2010)

The third outing for Buzz and Woody in a tale every bit as funny, touching and exciting as it's predecessors.

One of the hardest things about transitioning to a new phase of life is saying goodbye to what was once a valuable part of who we are. This issue is examined in acutely poignant fashion in this wonderful animation, where Woody and Buzz find themselves forgotten as Andy gets set for college. But emotions can be more complicated than that, as the much-loved duo come to discover.

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Tomboy

CertU

Age group7+

Duration79 mins

Tomboy(2011)

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

Laure is a 10 year-old who has recently moved to the outskirts of Paris with her family. When she is mistaken for a boy by her new peers, she decides not to correct them and begins identifying as Michael. This is a warm, gentle film about universal issues of fitting in and being yourself.

Read more
Whale Rider

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration101 mins

Whale Rider(2002)

Tradition causes trouble in a family when a young Maori girl wants to take up what she believes is her rightful place at the head of her tribe.

Sometimes old-fashioned thinking and get in the way of people’s potential, even inadvertently. This glorious New Zealand drama about a young Maori girl believing in her destiny as head of her tribe is a wonderful example of building up confidence within yourself, particularly in the face of events you could never foresee and which have life-changing consequences.

Read more
Akeelah and The Bee

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration108 mins

Akeelah and The Bee(2006)

Inspiring and uplifting movie about an impoverished child who discovers an exceptional spelling talent.

Sometimes we can discover hidden talents we never knew we had. Struggling to believe in herself, 11 year-old Los Angeles based Akeelah finds her life transformed when she enters a national spelling bee competition. With the help of a mentor, Akeelah learns to overcome any embarrassment and increase her confidence, beginning to fit whilst remaining true to herself.

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Sounds Like Teen Spirit

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration93 mins

Sounds Like Teen Spirit(2009)

One of the most entertaining documentaries in years, this follows the 10-15 year-old contestants in the Junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest.

This documentary focuses on the amazing spectacle of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Filled with the mixture of ego, insecurity and desire to beat the odds that drives most performers (and young people) on, the participants are inspiring, and might just encourage others to put pen to paper and write their own songs, as well as learning the value of healthy competition

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Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration146 mins

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone(2001)

The first in a series of magical adventures with schoolboy wizard Harry Potter.

The Harry Potter series of course needs no introduction. Amongst the series’ many charms, it is an often excruciatingly accurate insight into the sheer terror of starting life at a new school, where you don’t know anyone and everybody else appears full of confidence. As Harry and the rest of Hogwarts quickly discovers, neither is really the case…

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration92 mins

Diary of a Wimpy Kid(2010)

Funny and painful by turns, Diary of A Wimpy Kid is a clever take on pre-teen angst.

A perennial favourite amongst young Into Film members, this school comedy has a fantastic message about learning to be yourself, with its painfully funny take on pre-teen angst that will appeal to anyone who ever wanted to be the popular kid in school. It also demonstrates the value of teamwork and people working together in order to achieve shared goals.

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Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration74 mins

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie(2015)

Much-loved Charlie Brown attempts to navigate school life and falls in love with the new girl as Snoopy embarks upon an adventure of his own.

Charlie Brown is struggling to fit in at school, making one mistake after another. However life gets more complicated when a new girl arrives, whom Charlie is instantly smitten with. Based on the much-loved comics, this has universal messages around school, friendships and fitting in, making it ideal for any young viewer terrified at the prospect of starting something new.

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Inside Out

CertU

Age group7–16

Duration102 mins

Inside Out(2015)

Animated adventure about the five dominant emotions inside an 11 year-old girl’s head, as she struggles to come to terms with moving home.

Pixar’s masterpiece will strike a vivid emotional chord with anybody who has faced up to life in a new town, or a new school, or just dealing with the end of early childhood. Just about everybody then, as this animated exploration of emotional complexities and turmoil makes clear in brilliantly inventive, hilarious and poignant fashion.

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School of Rock

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration105 mins

School of Rock(2003)

Vibrant, uplifting comedy in which an unemployed rock guitarist is faced with needing to get a job, and masquerades as a supply teacher.

Learning to adjust to new surroundings can be greatly helped by creativity, team work and increasing confidence, whatever our age. Through the creation of a ramshackle new band, a reluctant new supply teacher gets more than he bargained for when he tries to educate his new pupils about the joys of rock music.

Read more
When Marnie Was There

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration103 mins

When Marnie Was There(2014)

A shy girl sent to the country to recover from asthma discovers an abandoned mansion and begins to explore its mysteries with her new friend Marnie.

Anna is a shy, awkward 12 year-old struggling with anxiety and coming to terms with events from her past. When her concerned mother sends her to stay with relatives in the country, a friendship with a spirited girl her own age called Marnie might just be able to help her, in this beautiful, heartfelt and emotional swansong from Studio Ghibli.

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Goosebumps

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration103 mins

Goosebumps(2015)

Thrilling and funny adaptation of the well-known Goosebumps books that sees havoc unleashed on an unsuspecting American suburb.

This adaptation of the mega-selling ghostly series places author R.L. Stine at the heart of the story. With new-in-town Zach struggling to adjust to life away from the big city, new neighbor Hannah promises to show him that life in Delaware isn’t so bad. However Hannah’s grumpy father forbids them from hanging out, and soon after things start to go bump in the night.

Read more
Kes

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration110 mins

Kes(1969)

Enchanting film from famed British social realist director Ken Loach, about a young lad with an unhappy life, who befriends and tames a kestrel hawk.

This legendary film from director Ken Loach centres around Billy, a young lad in the north of England short on confidence, being picked on at school and ignored at home. But then Billy finds and befriends a kestrel hawk and slowly starts to believe in himself.

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Tomboy

CertU

Age group7+

Duration79 mins

Tomboy(2011)

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

Laure is a 10 year-old who has recently moved to the outskirts of Paris with her family. When she is mistaken for a boy by her new peers, she decides not to correct them and begins identifying as Michael. This is a warm, gentle film about universal issues of fitting in and being yourself.

Read more
Whale Rider

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration101 mins

Whale Rider(2002)

Tradition causes trouble in a family when a young Maori girl wants to take up what she believes is her rightful place at the head of her tribe.

Sometimes old-fashioned thinking and get in the way of people’s potential, even inadvertently. This glorious New Zealand drama about a young Maori girl believing in her destiny as head of her tribe is a wonderful example of building up confidence within yourself, particularly in the face of events you could never foresee and which have life-changing consequences.

Read more
Sounds Like Teen Spirit

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration93 mins

Sounds Like Teen Spirit(2009)

One of the most entertaining documentaries in years, this follows the 10-15 year-old contestants in the Junior version of the Eurovision Song Contest.

This documentary focuses on the amazing spectacle of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Filled with the mixture of ego, insecurity and desire to beat the odds that drives most performers (and young people) on, the participants are inspiring, and might just encourage others to put pen to paper and write their own songs, as well as learning the value of healthy competition

Read more
The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum

CertPG

Age group11–14

Duration91 mins

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mum(2011)

An 11-year-old girl discovers that she's adopted in this sweetly sentimental Canadian coming-of-age film.

Discovering she is adopted has a transformative effect on 11 year-old Elizabeth. As she sets off on a quest to find her birth mother (who may or may not be the legendary country & western singer), with only her imagination to guide her, she gradually learns that love and family come in all different shapes and sizes.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Cert12

Age group11–16

Duration98 mins

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

The joys and heartbreaks of growing up are beautifully handled in this captivating coming-of-age story that balances emotion with humour.

This adaptation of the hugely popular YA novel focuses on events towards the end of school life, but remains equally relevant for those in lower age groups. Through the help of two free-spirited friends, social wallflower Charlie learns the values of friendship, personal expression and many more, stepping away from watching life on the sidelines.

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Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration95 mins

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging(2008)

Enjoyable depiction of teenage dilemmas inspired by the hugely popular books by author Louise Rennison.

Some students may be familiar with the popular book that inspired this film, but either way it’s a lot of fun for anyone making their way through teenage life! As Georgia prepares for her 15th birthday party, she finds herself dealing with new issues, such as boys and alcohol, as well as bickering parents in this delightful comedy about the pressure to pretend to

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Mean Girls

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration92 mins

Mean Girls(2004)

Smart comedy in which a new girl at school falls in with a popular crowd, only to find they are more vicious than any jungle cat.

Starting life at a new school is never easy. This intelligent, sassy comedy explores the difficulties of staying true to yourself and surviving in the manic circus that school can be. Determined to fit in with the social clique whatever the costs, Cady learns that popularity at any cost is not necessarily a good thing.

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Clueless

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration93 mins

Clueless(1995)

Jane Austen's comedy of manners Emma gets a valley girl update as Alicia Silverstone's so-not-an-airhead struggles with love and life.

When new girl Tai starts at Beverly Hills High School, she is delighted to find herself adopted by Cher, who defiantly rules the roost there. Similarly, Cher finds herself smitten with the dashing Christian, also new to the school. But all three soon realise that getting along in school is more complicated than trying to fit in based on other people’s misguided expectatio

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School of Rock

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration105 mins

School of Rock(2003)

Vibrant, uplifting comedy in which an unemployed rock guitarist is faced with needing to get a job, and masquerades as a supply teacher.

Learning to adjust to new surroundings can be greatly helped by creativity, team work and increasing confidence, whatever our age. Through the creation of a ramshackle new band, a reluctant new supply teacher gets more than he bargained for when he tries to educate his new pupils about the joys of rock music.

Read more
When Marnie Was There

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration103 mins

When Marnie Was There(2014)

A shy girl sent to the country to recover from asthma discovers an abandoned mansion and begins to explore its mysteries with her new friend Marnie.

Anna is a shy, awkward 12 year-old struggling with anxiety and coming to terms with events from her past. When her concerned mother sends her to stay with relatives in the country, a friendship with a spirited girl her own age called Marnie might just be able to help her, in this beautiful, heartfelt and emotional swansong from Studio Ghibli.

Read more
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