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5 Movies to Help Your Kids Feel Better About Moving

May 24, 2024 | Household Moves

Moving can be a stressful experience for anyone in the family, particularly young kids. Switching schools and leaving friends behind is tough! For your kids, the various unknowns can cause fear, worry or even anxiety. At Wheaton, we’ve seen that movies can act as a great therapeutic tool to help kids better understand and cope with change. 

Kid-friendly movies touch on courage, friendships and new adventures, providing a lighthearted perspective to starting anew in a different place. The moving experts at Wheaton have put together movies that not only entertain, but also offer valuable lessons on embracing the experiences that come with relocating to a new home. Let’s get started! 

5 Movies to Help Your Kids Feel Better About Moving

1. My Neighbor Totoro 

The 1988 film, “My Neighbor Totoro,” is an excellent movie for discussing themes of moving and dealing with new experiences and friendships. The film follows two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who relocate to the countryside with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. While exploring in their new space, the two sisters meet Totoro, a friendly forest spirit who opens up a world of excitement, making a once unfamiliar place feel like home.

Similar to children who are moving, Satsuki and Mei have to adapt to their surroundings. “My Neighbor Totoro” encourages children to explore their new home and find comfort in unexpected places. As Satsuki and Mei interact with their environment, they learn more about the world and themselves. This discovery is a gentle nudge for children to learn how to find the good in unfamiliar places. 

2. Inside Out

“Inside Out” is a great option for movies about moving from one city to another. It serves as a way for children (and adults) to see moving and other significant life changes as opportunities for emotional development and personal growth. The movie follows 11-year-old Riley as her family relocates to California. The move causes a tumultuous shift in her emotional world and is personified through the characters of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. 

The film directly addresses kids’ feelings throughout the moving process. Riley’s emotions are thrown into chaos when she leaves her familiar life behind. This reflects the real-life challenges children face when moving, such as leaving old friends, acclimating to a new school and becoming comfortable with the unfamiliarity of a new place.

Experiencing mixed emotions during significant life changes, like moving, is normal, especially for kids. “Inside Out” provides a realistic picture that it’s okay to feel a mix of joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust in response to new situations. This message helps children understand that their feelings about moving aren’t unusual and can actually offer opportunities for growth and learning. 

3. Toy Story

The first film in the “Toy Story” series presents a narrative that parallels the experiences of navigating change. The story centers on Woody, a cowboy doll who feels threatened by the arrival of a new toy named Buzz Lightyear. Woody’s struggle and the dynamic changes in the toy community can be seen as metaphors for how kids may feel when moving to a new place. 

Just as Woody fears being replaced as Andy’s favorite toy by Buzz, children might fear losing their place or feeling less important when moving to a new home or school. This fear can stem from losing established friendships and facing the uncertainty of forming new ones.

“Toy Story” teaches children how to embrace this change. Initially resistant and jealous of Buzz, Woody learns to be welcoming of him, leading to a strong friendship. This transformation is a reminder that, although it may take time, new relationships are possible when entering a new environment/changing schools.

4. Home 

The animated movie, “Home,” effectively provides valuable lessons on adapting to change, the power of friendship and the meaning of home. The plot revolves around an adventurous girl named Tip who accidentally gets left behind during an alien invasion. Her struggle to find her mother leads her to meet one of the aliens, Oh. Their journey together to find Tip’s mother highlights building trust in new relationships and the emotional adjustments to new experiences. 

In “Home,” Oh and Tip demonstrate adaptability as they navigate their changed world. Oh learns to appreciate human customs, while Tip learns how to handle the challenges posed in the new alien-dominated environment. This theme emphasizes the importance of being innovative when faced with new challenges, a critical skill for kids moving to new surroundings.

5. Finding Nemo

“Finding Nemo” tells the story of Marlin, a timid clownfish, who embarks on a rescue mission across the ocean to save his son, Nemo, after he is captured by divers and placed in a dentist’s fish tank in Sydney, Australia. Although the story doesn’t directly involve moving, it presents themes about overcoming fears and dealing with challenging experiences. 

Through Nemo’s journey away from his father, he learns to make decisions independently. For children, moving to a new place often fosters similar growth as they learn to tackle challenges on their own (such as making new friends). This theme helps children understand that, like Nemo, they too can gain courage and navigate their new world successfully.  Little boy watching TV.

Start Your Adventure With Wheaton World Wide

Supporting your children through a move will help calm their anxiety; moving with Wheaton World Wide will help calm yours! We’re here to help during every step of your move so you can focus on your family and the new adventure ahead. From packing to storage services, we can ease any stress of your household move. Get an estimate today or contact us to learn more!

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