15 Kids Movies That Celebrate Diversity

Representation and a celebration of diversity ― racial, physical, gender and more ― are important for children to see. Here are streaming movies that do it well.

This story is part of a HuffPost Parents project called “I See Me,” a series for parents and kids on the power of representation. We know how important it is for kids to see people who look like them on the biggest stages, including politics, sports, entertainment and beyond. Throughout February, we’ll explore the importance of representation in teaching kids about difference, acceptance, privilege and standing up for others.

As parents, we know how important it is for kids to see themselves not only in public figures but also in the stories they consume.

That’s why HuffPost Parents turned to Common Sense Media to get their recommendations for movies that feature an array of diversity ― from gender to race to physical differences and more. While we looked at films for kids ages 10 and under, their site hosts a wealth of information for all ages.

Below, find a list of recommended movies from the folks at Common Sense Media, the gold standard in children’s media recommendations.

Age: 4+

Type of representation: BIPOC

What Common Sense says: “The story centers on a Black boy living in a racially and culturally diverse urban setting.”

Where to watch it: Amazon

Age: 5+

Type of representation: Gender, blended diverse family

What Common Sense says: “Dana is an exemplary role model who defies gender stereotypes, and the story focuses on diverse blended families.”

Where to watch it: Amazon

Age: 5+

Type of representation: BIPOC, gender

What Common Sense says: “There’s strong diversity among Odd Squad’s cast, including a girl as the big boss.”

Where to watch it: PBS, Amazon

Age: 6+

Type of representation: Gender

What Common Sense says: “Ferdinand is happiest pursuing traditionally feminine pursuits (gardening, dancing, spending time with family), but he’s also proudly strong and powerful.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 6+

Type of representation: Gender, BIPOC

What Common Sense says: “This movie boasts a wonderful role model in Moana, who’s set on being a strong, successful leader for her people, and offers a thoughtful representation of Polynesian culture.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 6+

Type of representation: BIPOC/culture, gender

What Common Sense says: “This charming film takes great care in the way it depicts Chinese culture and offers a brave, determined heroine.”

Where to watch it: Netflix

Age: 7+

Type of representation: BIPOC/culture

What Common Sense says: “Disney/Pixar’s vibrant film explores the traditions of the Day of the Dead.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 7+

Type of representation: Gender, body positivity

What Common Sense says: “Promotes body image and self-acceptance while confronting stereotypes and sending the message that true love sees beyond appearances.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 8+

Type of representation: BIPOC, nationality

What Common Sense says: “Diverse group of featured students exemplify determination, dedication, and ambition.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 8+

Type of representation: BIPOC

What Common Sense says: “This documentary offers a very positive look at families of Indian descent.”

Where to watch it: Netflix

Age: 8+

Type of representation: Animal diversity

What Common Sense says: “Using animals to stand in for different types of people, the film promotes tolerance, empathy, and multiculturalism ― and everyone’s value when it comes to making a difference in society.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 9+

Type of representation: BIPOC

What Common Sense says: “Kids won’t fail to notice this excellent movie’s diversity and strong female characters.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 10+

Type of representation: BIPOC, gender

What Common Sense says: “The main characters all studied and worked hard and persevered in fields that few women ― much less women of color ― excelled in at the time, and they don’t let the obvious and overt racism they have to face stop them.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 10+

Type of representation: BIPOC

What Common Sense says: “The director’s ‘color blind’ approach to casting means that this take on Dickens’ classic story is far more diverse than those that have come before.”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms

Age: 10+

Type of representation: Physical difference

What Common Sense says: “Centering on a boy with facial differences, the movie has clear positive messages about choosing kindness and appreciating everyone for who they are (rather than what they look like).”

Where to watch it: Rent on major streaming platforms