Magazine article The Humanist

Something for the Kids

Magazine article The Humanist

Something for the Kids

Article excerpt


Happy Feet (2006) This film hits all the right humanist themes: accepting differences, being yourself, shunning dogma, and taking matters into your own hands. Everyone has his or her own life-song to sing, even if that song turns out to be a dance. Be warned: even though this is a kids' movie, there are moments in this cartoon that have the intensity of the documentary, March of the Penguins.

Ratatouille (2007) A great chef once said, "You must not let anyone define your limits by where you come from. Your only limit is your soul." This story emphasizes multiculturalism and puts the idea of embracing diversity to the test. Sure, as that chef goes on to say, "Anyone can cook!" But would you eat a meal prepared by rats?

Toy Story 3 (2010) The transition from the first two Toy Story movies to this one could be an allegory for the transition from a faith-based life to one of a free thinker. When the human who owns the toys moves on to college, the toys find that it's time they do the same, concluding, "We are the masters of our own fate. We control our own destiny." And we learn that deus ex machina doesn't always have to be controlled by the hand of God.

Antz (1998) A lesson in political science, class stratification, and the responsibility of the individual versus the needs of society, all seen through the eyes of insects. When individuals are all too willing to conform, it's easy to exploit them. If you want big concepts in cartoons and you like the idea of Woody Allen as an ant, talking about how insignificant he sometimes feels, then this is a movie for you and your kids.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) Don't deny who you are. The rabbit is fast. The mole can see in the dark. The beaver can chew through wood. And the badger is a demolitions expert. …

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