When your family gets ready to move, your kids can experience many feelings that range from excitement to fear to anxiety. Some children find it difficult to verbally express their worries about an upcoming move, even when they know their parents are supportive and caring.
If you want to help your kids talk about this major life change, try watching one of the family-friendly moving movies listed below. As you watch the film together as a family, your kids may discuss how the situation in the film resembles or differs from your own move, or you may find more low-key opportunities to bring up the topic in general.
To please the preferences of all kids and parents, we’ve named one or two of the best moving movies in each genre. A few of the films are better suited to tween and teen audiences, so keep that in mind as you select which movie to watch.
Action Adventure: “Jumanji” or “Swiss Family Robinson”
Imagine moving into a new house and finding a game that has the supernatural ability to bring monkeys, a lion, and a monsoon into your residence. That’s what happens to the kids in “Jumanji.” As they play this game, the jungle overtakes their house and the town. During the adventure, the kids make new friends and confront many of their fears.
If your kids scare easily, they might prefer the lighter antics of “Swiss Family Robinson.” In this film, a family’s ship wrecks while they are en route to their new home in New Guinea. They end up on an island where they build an elaborate tree house and play with wild animals. Use this movie to show kids that moving can bring unexpected fun which you can only experience in unfamiliar places.
Animated: “Inside Out”
This Pixar film came out in 2015 to wide acclaim from both audiences and critics. It centers upon 11-year-old Riley and how the emotions in her head react when her family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco.
Even if your kids have seen “Inside Out,” they may connect with it in new ways when they watch it before or after they move. You can ask them which emotions in their brains became most active during various moments, such as saying goodbye to friends or packing up the moving van.
Fantasy: “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”
Harry Potter fans will likely enjoy this 1971 Disney film that features live-action special effects and a few animated sequences as well. The story takes place in England during World War II when three siblings move from London into the countryside cottage of a friendly witch-in-training, played by Angela Lansbury.
Although the move for these children is temporary, they still must adjust to their new surroundings and form new friendships, much like your kids will.
Musical: “High School Musical”
This Disney Channel original movie was an instant phenomenon when it premiered in 2006. One of its main characters, Gabriella Montez, moves to a new school in the middle of the school year early in the movie. Although she’s a little shy, Gabriella develops new talents and forms lasting friendships.
If your move takes place in the middle of a school year, your kids may take comfort in watching Gabriella adjust to her new surroundings and succeed.
Romance: “The Perfect Man”
Heather Locklear and Hilary Duff team up for this light romantic comedy that makes perfect viewing for young teen girls in particular. Locklear and Duff play a mother and daughter who move around the country a lot. Will their recent relocation to Brooklyn be permanent?
Although “The Perfect Man” deals mainly with the romantic storylines of the leading ladies, the mom and daughter also debate the ups and downs of moving throughout the movie. You and your child can use this film as a springboard for discussions about what really makes a place become a home.
Sports: “The Karate Kid”
If your sports fan has misgivings about an upcoming move, you can watch either the 1984 original or the 2010 remake of “The Karate Kid.” Both films deal with a young man who moves to a new place and feels like an outsider. The 2010 version technically features kung fu, not karate, but the story remains very similar.
“The Karate Kid” teaches lessons about persistence, respect, and friendship that resonate with kids facing the challenge of moving. Your children may even see echoes, both positive and negative, of their experiences at a new school in the stories of Daniel and Dre.
Spine-Tingler: “Casper” or “The Watcher in the Woods”
It’s a common trope in scary movies for a character to move into a new house, only to discover it had some strange previous inhabitants-who want to make their presence known. That’s the basic setup of both “Casper” and “The Watcher in the Woods.”
If you have younger kids, try “Casper.” This movie is more family comedy than horror, but there are a few scares. “The Watcher in the Woods” is better suited for teenagers, though your kids may find the special effects hokey in comparison to today’s movies. Either film may help your kids express and release their fears about moving to a new place.
As you prepare for your upcoming move, view these films with your family.
For more tips about moving, search our other blog posts.