Movies that Celebrate Mothers

There are movies about all sorts of relationships, but there’s something special about the relationship between a mother and her children that lends itself to some excellent movies.

That said, get ready for a movie night-in! What are you in the mood for? Something on Netflix? A Disney classic? Maybe a musical or comedy? A sports movie? We’ve got you covered with these six movies that celebrate mothers

For the Pixar Fan: Brave

The Plot:

Brave is the story of Merida, a young Scottish princess who feels trapped by the roles she feels her mother is forcing on her. She decides to try and change her fate with a plan that goes awry and causes some unintentional consequences for mother and daughter alike. Together, mother and daughter must “mend the bond” if they are to set things right again.

How it Celebrates Mothers:

The mother-daughter relationship in Brave is the heart and soul of this movie. Merida and her mom begin the movie constantly at odds with each other. Throughout the movie they must work together to undo a spell (which Merida may have caused) that turned her mother, Eleanor, into a bear. As with many movies, being forced to work together towards a common goal helps two people learn more about each other. They start to see things from the other’s perspective, and their relationship grows because of it. By the end of the movie, Merida appreciates that her mother does the things she does because she cares for her. Eleanor understands Merida’s need for freedom from rigid roles and expectations, and helps Merida make choices that don’t box her in, but are still acceptable to the kingdom.

(Available to watch on Disney+)

For the Netflix Fan: Dumplin’

The Plot:

Daughter of an ex-beauty-queen, Willowdean Dixon always had a better relationship with her late aunt than with her mom. When she learns her aunt had started an application for the beauty pageant but never actually competed, Willowdean decides to make a stand and compete. 

How it Celebrates Mothers:

What starts as an act of rebellion against her mother becomes a catalyst for understanding. Not only does Willowdean learn more about herself and grow in confidence, she also finds common ground with her mom and starts to understand her a little better. Likewise, her mom starts to really see and listen to Willowdean, and appreciate Willowdean for everything she is. A fun and heartwarming film, it is sure to bring joy to all who watch it.

(Available to watch on Netflix)

For the Musical Fan: The Sound of Music

The Plot:

Maria, while deciding whether to be a nun, becomes a governess for a family with seven (!) children. She grows to love them (and their widowed father), and helps them heal from the grief of their mother passing away through teaching them about music. Music had been outlawed by their father in his grief for his late wife, but the sound of music eventually touches him and helps him heal as well. The family as a whole becomes stronger — just in time. With Nazi forces coming to Salzburg, the von Trapps must decide what to do.

How it Celebrates Mothers:

While there are many musicals which could fit in this category, The Sound of Music is a classic and also shows that moms don’t need to be related by blood in order to be a mom. The bonds Maria forms with the children and they form with her are just as strong and full of love as any motherly bond. Not only do the children love her, but she helps mend and strengthen the relationship between the children and their father. 

(Available to watch on Disney+)

For the Comedy Fan: Freaky Friday

The Plot:

Freaky Friday is a fun story of a mom and daughter who trade places for a day and are forced to learn just how difficult life for the other is. There have been four different iterations of Freaky Friday: the original in 1976, a TV film in 1995, the 2003 remake with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan and then a 2018 musical Disney Channel Original Movie remake. All except for the 1995 TV movie are on Disney+, so you’re welcome to choose your own brand of fun (but let’s be honest, the 2003 remake is the best — unless you want to see the unmatched ridiculousness of the mom attempting to waterski and hang glide while the daughter is attempting to drive to the rescue; then definitely watch the 1976).

How it Celebrates Mothers:

Similar to a lot of the movies on this list, the mom and daughter start off at odds with each other, then end up seeing things from the other’s perspective (quite literally this time!) and coming to a healthier, happier, more understanding relationship by the end  of it. Interspersed throughout the movie are fun comedic moments, hijinks and some really touching scenes.

(Available to watch on Disney+)

For the Sports Fan: The Blind Side

The Plot:

Based on a true story, The Blind Side follows the life of Michael Oher, who went from homelessness to the NFL. Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) takes in Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) when she realizes he doesn’t have a place to stay on a freezing night. She takes him under her wing and helps him in school and in sports. She eventually even makes the relationship official by legally adopting him. Oher goes on to play football for the family’s Alma Mater and then the NFL.

How it Celebrates Mothers:

By the end of the movie, they are a family, and refer to each other as such. At the heart of this movie is the message that no matter what obstacles, family can help you achieve anything. 

(Available to watch on Hulu + Live TV)

For the Disney Fan: Tarzan

The Plot:

We’ll finish off this list with a movie that again shows parents don’t need to be related by blood to be family — the story of the boy who was raised by gorillas. Kala, a gorilla who recently lost her own gorilla baby, saves a human baby from being killed by a jaguar and raises him as her own. When other humans come to the area, Tarzan feels he must choose between his gorilla family or being with other humans. 

How it Celebrates Mothers:

Kala raises Tarzan with love, understanding and acceptance despite the differences on the surface. She teaches him that though they look different, they are still a family. Though he decides to go with the humans (initially; he does end up with the gorillas at the end!), he tells Kala “No matter where I go, you will always be my mother” in a tearful goodbye. She assures him, “and you will always be in my heart.” No matter where life takes us, family is and always will be there for us.

(Available to watch on Netflix until June 26th, when it will move to Disney+)

End Credit

We hope you enjoyed our picks! There are certainly plenty of movies that celebrate mothers , and we hope we’ve given you a few good ones to start off with that show just how special the relationship between moms and their children can be. No matter what circumstances may be — related by blood or through the miracle of adoption — the relationship between moms and their children will see us through any obstacle that comes our way. 

Happy watching! 

 

We are not shutting down during this difficult time! We are fully devoted and available to all pregnant women and birth parents that are looking at adoption as an option. We will also continue to work with prospective adoptive parents who are already a part of our program. If you are a prospective adoptive parent hoping to apply to our program, we are accepting applications and doing Homestudy now.

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