Having your child's favorite shows and movies on a tablet in can make a huge difference in helping them keep calm and stay close to you during emergency situations and other chaotic events that can cause anxiety for your child such as moving to a new home, power outages, travelling and more. For those with special needs who thrive on structure and routines, having familiar movies can be a welcome escape. This is especially true for emergency situations which alter the landscape such as a house fire, hurricane, earthquake and other natural disasters. Having new and familiar movies to watch can give them a feeling of normalcy to hold on to.
We counted down our top 10 favorite children's movies from the giant of home streaming services, Netflix. The reason why we chose Netflix is because they have a wide variety of movies that can be downloaded on to a mobile device such as a phone or tablet which can be viewed at a later time without an internet connection.
We kept a few guidelines in mind when creating this list:
1) While conflict is expected, action sequences in the film must not be exceptionally violent in a way that may potentially trigger a child's anxiety since chaotic events may already be happening around them.
2) We made our list for children and those with a mental capacity between ages 4-13. That being said, we're guilty of enjoying many of the movies on this list and know you will too.
3) As of the writing of this article no sequels have been made of the movies on our list. We have a separate list of movies that have sequels or are in a series to add to a device for your special needs child (perfect for longer stretches of time).
Here are the top 10 SNEP approved children's movies for your special needs child.
1. The Little Prince (2015)
Based on the 1943 children's novel with the same name, this English language beautifully animated French film will touch your heart with its story line and your imagination with its visuals.
2. Coco (2017)
A beautiful story about a 12-year old boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead and seeks the help of his deceased great grandfather to return to his family in the land of the living. The bond his family has is woven into the film with it's rich colours and visuals.
3. ET The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Taking the top spot of the highest grossing film of all time for 11-years in a row and considered one of the greatest films of all time, ET is the story about a boy named Elliot who takes in and befriends an extra terrestrial he finds in his backyard. With the help of his siblings they help hide ET from the government and return him to his home planet.
4. Moana (2016)
If you're not singing along to the soundtrack right now you will be by the end of the film. Disney's strong heroine Moana is the daughter of a chief in a Polynesian village whose destined to take her fathers place on the throne. She has a love for the ocean, exploration and her people. When a blight is growing on her island affecting her peoples livelihood, Moana searches for the demi-god Maui to find the heart of Te Fiti and help heal the land. The story displays the strong bonds Moana has to her family, community and culture.
5. Big Hero 6 (2014)
The story follows a 14-year old robotic prodigy named Hiro Hamada who is taken under the wing of his older brother Tadashi after spending too much time participating in illegal robot fights. Tadashi has created a helpful robot named Baymax that Hiro uses along with his friends to create a superhero team and combat a villain. This movie has a good amount of action without being overstimulating and shows the connection between Hiro and his family as well as the friendship between him, Baymax and his friends.
6. Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Based on The Guardians of Childhood book series and short film The Man in the Moon, Rise of the Guardians is set 300 years after the book series. Following the story of outcast Jack Frost who is reluctantly recruited by Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Sandman to help stop the villain Pitch Black from turning childrens dreams into nightmares and covering the world in darkness. Jack builds unexpected friendships with the guardians, finds where he comes from and his purpose.
7. Sing (2016)
In a world of animals, an optimistic koala tries to save his theater by inviting animals from all over the city to participate in a singing competition. Featuring an all star cast with musical hits that you'd hear on the radio, Sing is a lighthearted flick that's enjoyable for both the young and young at heart.
8. 9 Lives (2016)
A quirky family comedy about a business tycoon named Tom Brand whose workaholic tendencies have made him neglect his family. His daughter Rebecca has asked for a cat for her 11th birthday. Rushing to get a gift and make it on time for her birthday party, his GPS redirects him to a strange pet shop where he's turned into a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants and sent to his family as a gift for his daughter.
9. Mary and the Witches Flower [English Dubbed Version] (2018)
A Japanese animated fantasy film about Mary Smith who moves into a British estate to live with her great aunt Charlotte while her parents are away. Mary befriends a boy named Peter whose cats lead her into the forest where she discovers magical blue flowers. Without giving too much of the movie away, one thing leads to another and Mary is lead to a school for witches in the sky.
10. Bee Movie (2007)
An animated film about a bee who befriends a human named Vanessa after she saves him from being swatted. Through Vanessa he learns that humans are taking honey and decides to sue the human race.
Author: Giada Crosbie
Read more about Giada and the SNEP Team here