Seven Classic Movies On Friendship To Teach Kids The Importance Of The Relationship

The value of friendship has been portrayed down the ages in multiple movies. Check out our picks of the seven best movies in English on friendship you can enjoy watching with your kids

By Vidya Nesarikar

Seven Classic Movies On Friendship To Teach Kids The Importance Of The Relationship

Friendships that begin in childhood are some of the strongest bonds, and there is nothing sweeter than your little one declaring that so-and-so is their ‘best friend.’ But how does one ensure that friendships stand the test of time and through thick and thin?

There have been many movies celebrating friendships of all kinds and all forms – friendships with siblings, pets and toys and unlikely friendships made under extraordinary circumstances with ordinary or extraordinary people or even sometimes extra-terrestrials!

Here is a movie guide to get conversations about movies started – a list of some of the greatest films about friendship. So, go ahead – grab the popcorn and let these films work their magic. It’s also a great way to bond with your child while you both laugh together.

Here are some of the best Hollywood movies on friendship:

  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Fox and the Hound
  • E.T
  • Up
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Harry Potter Series
  • Toy Story


1. The Wizard of Oz

“It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the way.” – L Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz.

A classic from 1939, this is one of the most fantastical stories written in American Literature with many lessons on friendship and life itself. On the surface it’s the story of Dorothy and her dog Toto who simply want to get back to their home in Kansas. But it is also as the quote says - all the people she meets and friends she makes along the way – the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man and many many more.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: For the many unique characters, the movie soundtrack and the ruby red shoes. You will be soon singing along – We are off to see the Wizard, the wonder Wizard of Oz…we’re off, we’re off, we’re off….

2. The Fox and the Hound

The 1981 classic by Walt Disney Productions is a beautiful tale of unlikely friendship between a red fox named Tod and a hound dog called Copper. The two creatures don’t know they are supposed to be enemies and are the best of friends. They drift away as they grow up because they realise that foxes are hunted by hound dogs. Will the fox and the hound eventually realise that friendships do not need to follow traditional conventions – and that sworn enemies can be best friends, too?

“Friendships have no specifications. And Disney movies such as this one helped my sister Shubha and I strengthen our kindness to animals. Just as Tweed adopts the orphan baby fox in the movie, we have adopted many stray animals,” noted Gowri Yale, a veterinarian and proud aunt.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: The antics of the fox and the hound are so adorable, you will be smiling through the whole movie.

3. E.T

 A classic from the master director Steven Spielberg, from 1982 – ET combines science fiction and human emotions like no other movie. It is a story about a little boy named Elliot who befriends an alien and helps him get home. The line “E.T. phone home” and Elliot flying across the sky with E.T. sitting on the handle bar against a full moon – will stay with you a long time after the movie is over.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: No alien is as cute and lovable as E.T. in cinematic history!

4. Up

A comedy drama from 2009 from Pixar Studio, this is at once a simple tale of friendship and loneliness and at the same time a fantastic adventure all rolled into one. You never know what to expect in this tale! 

“I watched this movie with my daughter Shreya. A movie that teaches you humility and bonding between two generations. The hero of this movie - Boy Scout Russell and his aim of helping the elderly has been brought out in a most entertaining and enchanting manner,” said Bharathi Hariharan.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: This movie shows one can find friendship at any time and any age.

5. How to Train Your Dragon

It is not always easy to live up to your parents’ expectations, nor is it easy to overcome fears and shake off prejudices. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) packages all these themes and offers a rollicking story about Vikings and dragons. It is a story of an unlikely friendship between Hiccup, a weak boy and Toothless – a seemingly fiery dragon who has injured himself. It ends with the beautiful message that one needs to conquer the fear of the unknown. 

“I have enjoyed this movie with my sons. It shows that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you, that true friends always stand by you,” said Singapore-based Smitha Sachin.


Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: A super camaraderie between the protagonists, beautiful animation and a great story!

6. Harry Potter Series

The Harry Potter series needs no introduction and is almost a rite of passage for many kids. While it is a marvellous fantasy adventure, it is also a testimony about friendships that stand the test of time. Ron, Harry and Hermione remain the best of friends through many a plot twists and while many boy-girl friendships turn into romances, Harry and Hermione firmly remain friends.

“For me, I like the friendship between Ron and Harry. I have enjoyed watching the entire series with my niece, reminisced Sridhar P from Bangalore.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: Simply because it is Harry Potter and there is nothing like it!

7. Toy Story

No article about movies on friendship is complete without the mention of the Toy Story series. Firstly, the idea that all the toys have life and speak to one another when humans aren’t around is so imaginative. Next the exploration of the bond between a favourite toy and its owner is beautifully portrayed. And then ofcourse is the friendship between the toys themselves. This series is a favourite with many parents and their kids and for good reason. 

 “Woody and Buzz - such a kickass friendship. Always ends up making me cry,” said Ritam Bhatnagar, avid movie lover and Founder, India Film Project.

Watch the trailer here

Why you should watch this movie: Fun, witty lines, action, cool characters – this one has it all. Go for it.

Roopa Thomas, who has watched almost all these movies with her two boys and enjoyed them thoroughly concluded, “Friendship surprises you at the unlikeliest of times and changes life for the better.”

We couldn’t agree more. Here’s to friendship. Here’s to your little tykes navigating, forging and nurturing friendships in a brave new world.

And that’s our round up of the Top 7 seven movies in English to watch with your child and teach her the true value of friendship. This list is by no means exhaustive; there are some excellent movies in Indian and world cinema which showcase the values of friendship. We would love to hear about your favourites. Share with us.

Also read: Best Book Clubs For Kids

About the author:

Written by Vidya Nesarikar on 27 July 2020.

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