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Five for Families: Films teach lessons of friendship
Woody learns the true meaning of friendship in "Toy Story." - photo by Whitney Butters Wilde
Here are five movies from various platforms families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

Films often not only entertain but also teach important values, such as what it means to be a true friend. Here are five films that contain positive messages about friendship:

iTunes: 'Toy Story'

When a flashy new toy joins the squad in Andy's room, Woody must learn to set aside his pride and see the good in himself and others in order to save the day. The Dove Foundation highlights the film's "values of loyalty and friendship, as well as learning to trust someone," adding that "the main characters ... are full of courage and moral values." The website says it is "almost completely free of any distasteful elements" but notes that a few scenes may be frightening to "sensitive and very young children." recommends the film for viewers ages 4 and older.

Netflix: 'Charlotte's Web'

Wilbur the pig and his spider friend, Charlotte, work together to save Wilbur from becoming someone's next dinner. states that the film emphasizes "repeatedly that making friends and standing by your commitments to others is essential in life" and "that love and friendship are indeed miraculous gifts." recommends the film for viewers ages 5 and older.

Redbox: 'Big Hero 6'

A young man mourning the loss of his brother joins forces with his brother's friends and robot to protect others. said the film contains "positive messages" including "helping others, courage and selflessness" that are "combined with some heavier themes and plot elements, including death (and) revenge." recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.

Netflix: 'The Fox and the Hound'

A fox and a hound form an unlikely friendship. Common Sense Media calls this Disney film a thoughtful examination of friendship. The website cautions, however, that the film includes some mature themes, especially loss, with hunting imagery and a chase scene that may be too intense for young viewers. recommends the film for viewers ages 8 and older.

Amazon Instant: 'The Little Rascals'

Alfalfa and his comrades in the "He-Man-Woman-Haters Club" find their friendship is put to the test when Alfalfa starts to pursue Darla. The Dove Foundation says the film "offers childrens entertainment without scary characters (or) violence," but notes that the film does portray the children playing pranks on each other and a few instances of potty humor. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.
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