Top 50 Growth Mindset Movies for Children


Movies are a great tool for character development. They can explain important life lessons and help reinforce messages we're trying to teach our children.  We put together a list of great movies with characters who demonstrate a growth mindset and qualities like grit, perseverance, courage, determination, and others. 

A list of top 50 growth mindset movies and videos for children. 

A printable list of growth mindset movies for kids

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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 character Maui was feeling defeated numerous times throughout the movie but he kept getting back up and eventually became the strongest and best demigod he has ever been. 

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 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 family which also teaches 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 (2000)

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 are hard to miss.

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. Everytime we lose, we get better.

Rating PG

Wall-E (2008)

It's an adorable movie about love, courage, and taking care of our planet. 

Rating G

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 From 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 abour 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 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 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 which 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 

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. 

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