Certified Fresh Fall Movie Guide

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Summer has officially come to an end and fall movie season is here. Finding the right movie to see with your child or teen can be very challenging. Yet, it can also be a welcome opportunity to better engage and inspire rich conversation around certain important topics.

We have compiled a unique list of appropriate family friendly movies that both you and your child can enjoy together. The following movies all contain positive messaging, positive role models and representations, as well as limited exposure to drinking, drugs, smoking and foul language. Keeping in tradition with the Meeting House way, each movie also has a built in SEL component, whether it deals with demonstrating empathy, relationship skills, social awareness or other important SEL related themes. We hope the following movies will inspire rich and meaningful conversation with you and your child.

Smallfoot  
An animated musical adventure about a small group of Yetis who try to prove the existence of humans. The movie is age-appropriate for younger viewers but does have a lot of physical/slapstick comedy (including many falls from great heights, all of which are survived) and a couple of cases in which dart guns with sedatives are shot.

SEL Meter:
The movie strongly promotes the ideas of appreciating traditions but questioning the status quo, thinking outside the box, staying true to your ideals, and giving those unlike you a chance. In other words, it promotes curiosity, communication, and integrity.

Intelligent Lives
An uplifting documentary about people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities (including autism, Down syndrome, and very low IQ) persevering and making the most of opportunities to live fulfilling lives. They encounter many challenges and difficulties, which might require explaining to younger viewers (which could be a good thing), including some tough issues of self-determination.

SEL Meter:
The movie teaches us about the value of showing empathy, perspective taking, as well as the importance of friendship and familial bonds.

Pick of the Litter
An upbeat documentary about training dogs to be service companions for the blind. While it's not specifically aimed at kids, it's appropriate enough for viewers of most ages. The tone is definitely positive, but kids might be a little sad when puppies get "cut" from the program and/or change ownership.  The idea of losing a pet, or when someone who is loved leaves and doesn’t come back, can be upsetting.

SEL Meter:  
Kids will learn a lot from watching -- both about how the guide dog program works and about the issues that sight-challenged people deal with regularly. The latter in particular will encourage kids' empathy and expand their understanding. The movie is also a wonderful way to open up a dialogue about community service and the importance of teamwork.

Christopher Robin
Now a family man living in London — Christopher receives a surprise visit from his old childhood pal, Winnie-the-Pooh. With Christopher's help, Pooh embarks on a journey to find his friends — Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo. Once reunited, the lovable bear and the gang travel to the big city to help Christopher rediscover the joy of life.

SEL Meter:
There's a strong theme of being grateful for your life/those you love, as well as the importance of compassion, teamwork, play, friendship, imagination, and parent-child relationships.

Screenagers
A documentary that will strike a chord with many parents. It explores how teens interact with each other using electronic device (smartphones, computers, social media, etc.) and looks at whether parents can — or should — try to limit or control this behavior.

SEL Meter:
Many experts share their thoughts on the topics the movie covers, which include
tech addiction, violent video games(some clips from the games are shown), digital citizenship, and more. It's sure to prompt conversations about family communication and responsible tech use if kids and parents watch together.