Want to talk to your kids about bullying, but not sure how to open the conversation? Watch one of these good bullying movies with your family, then use them to launch the discussion!
There are many bullying movies on Netflix that deal with this topic and will help open up the conversation between you and your kids, whatever age they are. Bullying is not like it used to be when you were in school. These days technology plays a part and that brings its own special kind of damage. It is a serious subject that warrants a discussion, so the lines of communication are open. Here are a few of my suggestions for good family movies about bullying broken down for older kids and younger kids.
Essential Anti Bullying Movies to Watch on Netflix
MOVIES FOR OLDER KIDS
As far as bullying movies go, this is definitely one of the most heart-wrenching. This documentary follows about 4 kids in school and on the bus who are bullied. It opens with a father talking about his son who committed suicide because he was bullied. One of the principals is even caught on camera simply telling the kids to get to class when he witnessed bullying. Given the intense subject matter, I suggest watching this one with your older teenagers. It’s definitely too much for younger kids.
The Fat Boy Chronicles
As if being overweight wasn’t enough, Jimmy Winterpock is a Freshman who is bullied, mostly by the football team. Of course, there is a love interest in the story. He befriends a girl, who he learns is cutting herself. They soon start to go to church together. He starts to run with dad, wanting to lose weight. Still dealing with taunts because is 5’5” and 188 pounds, he starts to tutor the captain of the football team.
This originally aired on ABC Family starring Emily Osment. The creators of the film worked together with Seventeen magazine in hopes to ‘delete digital drama’. Technology can be great, but it also allows people to hide behind their screen and say things they wouldn’t normally say to someone’s face. Seventeen year old Taylor becomes of a victim of cyberbullying, and it often isn’t limited to the internet, what is said often spills over into the school. Like too many kids try to do, Taylor makes a suicide attempt, only she can’t get the bottle open on the pills she is using to do it. There is a happy ending, so just click play and watch.
13 Reasons Why
While this is a show rather than a quick movie, it’s definitely something you’ll want to watch together with your teens (versus just letting them watch it on its own). 13 Reasons Why has received extremely mixed reviews, with some experts calling it a great way to open the discussion about teenage suicide and others hailing it as dangerous. This is definitely one of those bullying movies that you really have to decide for yourself if your teen can handle it.
A Girl Like Her
This is one of the newer bullying movies on Netflix. It focuses on the story a bullied girl who attempts suicide, and what her attempt does to her community. Her school was chosen to be part of a documentary of the top schools in the country, and when the cameras start rolling, the truth starts coming out.
The son of Zeus, he is born with tremendous strength. Family drama unfolds, and it is revealed that in 18 years when the planets are in the right alignment, it will allow Hades (brother of Zeus) to locate and free the Titans (who have been imprisoned at the bottom of the ocean). Only Hercules has the power to stop him. Hades has him kidnapped and fed a formula that is meant to make him mortal, so he would lose the power to stop Hades. Only the 2 who kidnapped him neglected to take away his superhuman power before he is found and adopted by a farmer family. Now you have the background. When Hercules becomes a teenager and goes to school with all the other kids, he is made fun of and becomes an outcast because of his strength. And then begins the quest for where he came from.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
A boy inventor, he accidently starts a fire with one of his inventions and is sent to his room. He decides to sneak out and meet his friends at the park without his parents knowing. Meanwhile all the parents in town are being abducted by the Yolkians, an alien species from the planet Yolkus. Jimmy (with help from his friends) saves the town’s parents from being abducted and taken away. It shows how he rallied his friends and stood up to the alien bullies who took the parents away!
This is one of my favorite bullying movies on Netflix for younger kids. It does a great job of demonstrating the chain reaction that bullying can have. The main human character, Lucas, is having a rough time. He’s neglected by his family and bullied by a bigger kid. In turn, he takes out his frustrations on an ant hill, becoming the titular Ant Bully. When he’s magically turned into the same size as the ants, though, he learns not only how his actions hurt them, but also how to have more confidence in himself and stand up to his own bully.
Another one of my favorite bullying movies! We’ve all heard the fable about the chicken who ran around yelling “the sky is falling!” Well, what if he was right? Chicken Little tells the story of a misunderstood (and often teased) little chicken who saw something that no one else saw. Now if he could just get them to believe him! This movie teaches kids that they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up, even if they think no one is listening.
Billy Elliot is a great flick for older elementary school kids that are too mature for some of the other titles in this section yet not quite ready to watch bullying movies made for teens. The movie follows the journey of 11-year-old Billy, a boy who has to deal with the stereotypes of wanting to be a dancer. He has to deal with his father’s “manly man” attitude and his brother’s constant bullying. It teaches kids about acceptance of both others and themselves.
Aside from the bullying movies on this list, if you’re looking for other films that cover the topic that are perfect for younger kids, Disney movies are always a great place to start. Almost every Disney movie has a villain (or bully) as well as a hero that outwits the villain through positive actions.
For your older kids, I highly suggest screening the movies in advance so you know what to expect and what topics to bring up after watching it together with your family.