Even before I had a kid, I loved watching kids' movies. Give me a great Pixar-animated film or The Princess Diaries and a bucket of popcorn and I'm a happy camper. Don't even ask me if I lined up for tickets to the first screenings of the Harry Potter movies (yes, I did).
Once Kiddo came along and we re-watched these with her, I began to notice what she was picking up in terms of role models from these movies. I saw some of them in a different light -- some better, some not as good. There definitely are movies aimed at kids that don't quite portray girls or women in the best way, that are a bit lacking in inner strength or those that relying on others to save the day (Hello, Prince Charming). Not exactly what I want my daughter thinking about as I'm trying to build up her self esteem.
That is why I am so jazzed to see the latest Pixar movie, Brave, which is in theaters now. The first Pixar movie with a female lead is nothing short of the perfect "strong girl" movie for a mommy-daughter movie date. I rounded up some more good movies you can watch with your daughter, to get conversations going about confidence, strength, figuring out your own individual abilities and more.
How to Train Your Dragon - Yes, Hiccup is the lead, but female viking Astrid is a force to be reckoned with as well.
The Incredibles - Not only do we have two females -- Elastigirl/Helen and Violet -- with great powers that have to become comfortable with who they are, it is a good movie to kick off discussions about mother-daughter relationships.
All of the Harry Potter movies - Hermione is a girl who isn't afraid to be called smart and she lets people know it...and uses her smarts to help her friends. A fabu and fiercely strong character!
Coco Before Chanel - For older girls, this movie follows the story of Coco Chanel's rise from to become one of the world's most influential fashion designers. A interesting view of the fashion world with an emphasis on how she made it as a female in a male-dominated world versus just the "looks" side of fashion.
Ratatouille - Collette, one of the few female chefs in the kitchen, teaches her male counterparts a few things. A great character for a girl who may be interested in a usual "boy" hobby.
Bend It Like Beckham - Jess and Jules help illustrate how to struggle to reach your goals when sometimes it goes against the norm, and how to feel confident once you do it.
What about you and your girls -- what movies are your favorites that have strong female leads? What makes them strong?