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5 Valentine's Day Movies for Families and the Love Lessons They Inspire

Love is in the air, and what better way to teach children about the meaning of love than through some of the greatest film classics of all time? Imaginative, comical and not too mushy, here are kid-friendly Valentine's Day films and the love lessons they inspire.

 

The Princess Bride

Filled with adventure, comedy, fantasy and romance, this classic fairy tale tells the story of a beautiful princess and her true love Westley's quest to rescue her from an evil prince bent on marrying her to start a war.

The message: Perhaps the most profound message is the importance of not giving up on true love.

 

Beauty and the Beast

Belle, who's passionate about books and her dreams, is an idyllic role model for young girls. "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. And for once it might be grand to have someone understand I want so much more than they've got planned," she sings.

The message: What's on the inside is more important than on the outside and seek the good in others.

 

Be My Valentine Charlie Brown

The original Valentine's Day movie for kids, this short film follows the Peanuts gang as they prepare for the heart-filled holiday with the traditional school card exchange.

The message: Funny and relatable, the film addresses the joys and disappointments of this holiday and that just because you don't receive a Valentine's Day card doesn't mean you're unlovable.

 

Shrek

It's an ogre's life for Shrek, who prefers to live in solitude rather than face a world that isn't prepared to handle his unsightly persona. When his swamp is invaded by fairy tale creatures, he agrees to rescue beautiful Princess Fiona to return to his status quo life. Accompanied by a loyal Donkey, Shrek learns that...

The message: Things are not always as they seem, and love comes in all shapes and sizes.

 

Gnomeo and Juliet

This pun-filled rendition of Shakespeare's classic love story seeks to answer the question, "What's in a gnome?" Two garden gnomes, divided by the color of their hats, seek to overcome obstacles (mainly their namesake) to love. 

The message: The film teaches forgiveness, tolerance and the fact that love is more powerful than hate.

 

Lady and the Tramp: When two dogs from opposite sides of the track meet and fall in love, they must overcome their differences and social status to be together.

The message: Along with helping children understand the feelings associated with being the older sibling to a new baby, it depicts what it means to be a loyal friend and look beyond class and social status.

 

Enchanted:  Merging animation and live action, this is a modern-day romance about a princess banished from her fairy-tale world to the streets of New York City. With tongue-in-cheek humor, the film explores that bridge between fantasy and reality and depicts authentic love after the "happily ever after."

The message: There is no "perfect romance." Everyone has flaws.

 

The Princess Diaries: What do you do when you're 15, not that popular and suddenly find out you're royalty?

The message: You learn manners, etiquette and self-discovery as Mia Thermopolous learns that the most important part of being a princess is being true to yourself.  

 

The Parent Trap: This beloved, classic film tells the story of twins separated at birth who learn of each other's existence during summer camp. Determined to "get their parents together," the two switch residences in hopes of a reunion.   

The message: Love (both romantic and family) prevails, and children also learn that despite the twins' intentions, it is more important to be honest and authentic. 

 

Ever After: The "true" story of Cinderella as told by the brothers Grimm is one of heartache and love. An encounter with a prince is the beginning of a love story that proves time again that hard work, kindness and dreams are the makings of a real princess.

The message: Love and goodness always prevail.

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