Entertainment

30 Empowering Feminist Movies To Watch With Your Kids

From Moana to Matilda, options are aplenty!

For parents who want to raise feminist children, it can sometimes seem like an uphill battle when it comes to the media they ingest. Throughout history, movies have traditionally gone with male leads, while female characters have often been secondary in the storylines. The damsel in distress or the love interest, for instance. Nowadays, however, there are thankfully plenty of amazing feminist movies about strong women to watch with your kids, whether they're toddlers or tweens.

From newer animated hits like Disney's Moana and The Princess and the Frog to older beloved classics like A League Of Their Own and Matilda, there are enough options on this list to keep the whole family entertained and feeling inspired. And don't worry, all of the movies below have a G, PG, or PG-13 rating, so there's something for your tiniest viewers up to your teenage movie buffs to enjoy.

Much has been written about how to raise a feminist child — someone who cares deeply about equality and fairness, socially, politically, and beyond. It's a lifelong lesson, of course, and introducing your children to fun, inspiring, and powerful movies with empowering female leads certainly helps get the job done. So read on for inspiration to help plan out your family's next movie night.

Moana

Disney

If you're looking to watch a movie with younger kids featuring a strong woman who is also kind, brave, and compassionate... just watch Moana. Rated PG, the 2016 movie follows Moana, the strong-willed daughter of a Polynesian chief who is chosen by the ocean to find a relic for the goddess Te Fiti and save her village.

Watch Moana on Disney+.

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde, rated PG-13, might not seem like an obvious pick, but that's why it's such a great movie to watch with older kids. Elle Woods is a stereotype-smashing feminist who goes after what she wants and, perhaps most importantly, learns to believe in herself along the way.

Watch Legally Blonde on Hulu and Amazon Prime with premium subscriptions, or on YouTube for $3.99.

The Princess And The Frog

Disney

Princess Tiana is absolutely the star of 2009's G-rated The Princess And The Frog. Sure she finds love with her prince, but more than that she follows her dream: to own a restaurant in New Orleans and be an independent person. Oh, and to stop being a frog. She pulls it all off, too.

Watch The Princess And The Frog on Disney+.

Matilda

Do you know what kids love? Seeing a movie where they are smarter than the adults. The 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matlida is the perfect movie for just that. Matilda Wormwood is surrounded by horrible adults, but fortunately she has some magical gifts that has her besting them at every turn.

Watch Matilda on Hulu with a premium subscription.

Akeelah And The Bee

In this PG-rated film, Akeelah is a young girl from Los Angeles who loves to spell. A movie about spelling bees might not seem terribly exciting, but the 2006 movie Akeelah And The Bee is about so much more than that. Perseverance. Passion. Drive. And a girl who believes in herself.

Watch Akeelah And The Bee on YouTube for $3.99.

Mulan

Disney

Disney has now put out two versions of Mulan: the original animated film from 1998 and the live-action movie released in 2020. Whichever version you want to watch with your kids, you are going to see a strong female character willing to risk her life to protect the father, and the people, she loves.

Watch both versions of Mulan on Disney+.

A Wrinkle In Time

Disney

Ava DuVarnay's 2018 adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic children's book A Wrinkle In Time is a fantastic deep dive for kids to watch. Meg Murray bravely sets out to find her long-lost father with the help of her friend and little brother, and their guides along their adventure are three supernatural women. Though it is rated PG, it's a darker tale so might be best for older kids.

Watch A Wrinkle In Time on Disney+.

Zootopia

'Zootopia' is available to stream on Disney+.Walt Disney Animation Studios/YouTube

Officer Judy Hopps is the first bunny on the police force in the animal world of Zootopia, and she aims to prove she can do the job with a little positivity and a lot of heart. She's one of the more endearing strong female leads out there (I think it's the eyes).

Watch Zootopia on Disney+.

Little Women

Greta Gerwig's PG-rated, 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is arguably the most feminist yet. Jo March and her sisters are the real love stories of the piece, and Jo's speech about women being "more than their hearts" should be required watching for all of us.

Watch Little Women on Hulu with a premium subscription.

Spirited Away

The beautiful anime film from Studio Ghibli, 2001's Spirited Away, does an incredible job of showing a strong female character who is actually flawed and afraid. When young Chichiro is trapped in a spirit world far from her parents, she cries. She's afraid. And yet she perseveres.

Watch Spirited Away on HBO Max.

Ghostbusters

Netflix

When comedians Kristen Wiig and Kate MacKinnon starred in an all-female, PG-13 rated remake of Ghostbusters in 2016, there was an outcry from fan boys everywhere. So why don't you and your kids watch it and see four women in cool jumpsuits who aren't afraid of no ghosts for yourselves?

Watch Ghostbusters on Amazon Prime.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

When I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a Jedi. But that was only for boys. Even if you just wanted to pretend. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me not only to see a new powerful Jedi in Rey, but also to see Princess Leia finally become the powerful commander she was always meant to be in 2017's PG-13 rated Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney+.

Dumplin'

Netflix

With a PG-13 rating, the 2018 Netflix original film Dumplin' is for a slightly older audience, but it's message is so important. Self-acceptance, friendship, knowing your own worth, and loving Dolly Parton no matter what. A pageant mom who struggles with body image issues and a daughter making her own way in the world. Watch it with your tween.

Watch Dumplin' on Netflix.

Inside Out

'Inside Out' on Disney+.Disney+

Riley from 2015's Inside Out is a happy 11-year-old girl who finds herself struggling with her emotions when she moves from Minnesota to California. The movie sees Riley go through a whole wealth of different emotional experiences, with her feelings shown as actual characters, as she tries to navigate her new life. This PG-rated movie is a great choice for kids who don't always know how to express themselves.

Watch Inside Out on Disney+.

Maleficent

Sure, the dark wizard from the 2014 Disney film Maleficent might not be everyone's first choice for a feminist character. But she's strong. And complicated. And misunderstood.

Watch Maleficent on Disney+.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

The G-rated, 1997 version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella starring Brandy as the title character and Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother is all about those strong female leads. Even if she does get her prince in the end. Oh, and the music.

Watch Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella on Disney+.

Bend It Like Beckham

In Bend It Like Beckham, rated PG-13, two girls from different backgrounds go against their families' wishes to play soccer.

Watch Bend It Like Beckham on Disney+.

Queen Of Katwe

'Queen Of Katwe' on Disney+.Disney+

Rated PG, the 2016 Disney movie Queen Of Katwe tells the story of 10-year-old Phiona, who learns to play chess in the village of Katwe in Uganda. This movie was inspired by a true story that was genuinely uplifting and powerful.

Watch Queen Of Katwe on Disney+.

Brave

In 2012, Disney really knocked it out of the park with the movie Brave, the story of young Merida defying customs to carve her own path, no matter the cost.

Watch Brave on Disney+.

Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase

She's been a feminist icon for so long, her name has essentially become synonymous with brave, inquisitive young women everywhere. Rated PG, 2019's Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase re-introduced fans to the beloved teen detective.

Watch Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase on Tubi.

Wonder Woman

'Wonder Woman' is a great feminist movie for kids.Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins' amazing version of Wonder Woman was released in 2017, and for those of us who grew up looking up to the iconic '70s superhero, it was an absolute blessing. This new version of Wonder Woman, rated PG-13, saw Diana Prince training with her fellow Amazon women to become a warrior before leaving the home she loves to fight for humanity. What's better than that?

Watch Wonder Woman on HBO Max.

Wonder Woman 1984

'Wonder Woman 1984' continues Diana Prince' saga.Warner Bros.

Also rated PG-13, Wonder Woman 1984 is a flash forward to the 1980s, where Diana Prince is just trying to live her life before she gets roped back into saving the world again. She steps up in a fun, empowering movie that feels sort of exactly right these days.

Watch Wonder Woman 1984 on YouTube for $19.99.

Hidden Figures

'Hidden Figures' on Disney+.20th Century Fox

Hidden Figures is based on the true story of three Black women who worked at NASA in the 1950s and 1960s and were so brilliant they were referred to as "human computers." Their story went untold for decades, and it's an important one for kids to watch to see what real-life strong women look like. And how far they've had to come. Also it might even get kids interested in math, which is a win-win.

Watch Hidden Figures on Disney+.

Pocahontas

Watch 'Pocahontas' on Disney+.Disney+

Pocahontas might be a Disney animated movie, but it's based on a real woman and bona fide American princess. A woman who defied her father Powahatan and rescued John Smith, an English adventurer, before going on to serve as a translator and ambassador in Europe in the late 16th century.

Watch Pocahontas on Disney+.

RBG

Documentaries can be tough for kids to sit through, but the life story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is no ordinary documentary. Her life's work has changed the world for us all as a women's rights activist, a lawyer, and a Supreme Court justice. RBG tells her story so beautifully, it's all so worth it.

Watch RBG on Hulu.

Captain Marvel

It's important for girls to have superheroes to look up to, and few are more impressive than Captain Marvel. The 2019 movie, rated PG-13, follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the most powerful heroes in the universe, and kids love it.

Watch Captain Marvel on Disney+.

A League of Their Own

Watch 'A League Of Their Own' on Amazon Prime.YouTube Films/YouTube

There was a time during World War II when women formed the first professional female baseball league. It was a time when many women were slowly crawling forward with more rights, more freedom, and more possibility. And A League Of Their Own perfectly captures what that struggle might have looked like for a group of women brought together by their love of the game.

Watch A League Of Their Own on Vudu for $2.99.

Wadjda

In Wadjda, a 10-year-old Saudi girl enters a competition to recite the Quran in order to win the bicycle of her dreams. She is a young rebel with a dream, and everyone is rooting for her to get what she wants by the end.

Watch Wadjda on Netflix.

Real Women Have Curves

'Real Women Have Curves' on HBO Max.Warner Bros.

America Ferrera is a young girl trying to get into college while also staying true to her Mexican-American heritage in Real Women Have Curves. It's a coming-of-age movie that is full of charm and the push-pull of family vs. ambition, future vs. past.

Watch Real Women Have Curves on HBO Max.

Black Panther

Watch 'Black Panther' on Disney+.Disney

King T'Challa might be the star and main superhero of Black Panther, but let's face it: His mother, sister, and all of the Wakandan female warriors are such amazing examples of strong women who fight for what's right, it might as well be their movie.

Watch Black Panther on Disney+.