X-Men: First Class

x-men first class

X-Men: First Class
Rating: PG-13
Released: 2011
Run Time: 132 minutes
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

Cultural ratingpawpaw

This film addresses notions of Othering and also sends the positive message that a person shouldn’t change who they are just to “fit in” to society.

Summary

A group of misfit mutants band together to stop a villain from causing war and taking over the world.

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The Lego Movie

lego movie

The Lego Movie
Rating: PG
Run Time: 101 minutes
Released: 2014
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Cultural Ratingpawpawpaw

Overall, this film challenges stereotypes regarding masculinity and femininity and engages with a number of other marginalized identities (the body, disability). However, the film does little regarding sexual orientation and race.

Summary:

Emmet and WyldSytle team-up to prevent President Business from taking over the Lego universe.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

hp and sorcerers stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Rating: PG
Run Time: 152 minutes
Released: 2001
Directed by: Chris Columbus

Cultural Rating: pawpawpaw

In addition to positive messages regarding friendship and teamwork, this film engages with multiple cultural identities by having strong male and female characters and positive depictions of various body types.

Summary

When Harry learns he is a wizard he attends his first year at Hogwarts and discovers secrets from his past.

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Toy Story 3

toy story 3

Toy Story 3
Rating: G
Released: 2014
Run Time: 103 minutes
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

Cultural Rating: paw

The film is fun and promotes positive messages regarding friendship and loyalty but tends to reinforce traditional gender roles and engages very little with other cultural identities.

Summary

When Andy heads off to college, his toys are accidentally sent to a daycare and taken hostage by the ruthless teddy bear Lotso.

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Shrek 2

Shrek 2

Shrek 2
Rating: PG
Run Time: 93 minutes
Released: 2004
Director: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon

Cultural Rating: pawpawpaw

The film does an excellent job of challenging popular notions regarding body image, body ideals, and beauty ideals but does very little to engage with gender roles, racial diversity, disability, and sexual orientation.

Summary

Things quickly go awry when Princess Fiona’s parents meet her new husband, an ogre.

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Maleficent

maleficent

Maleficent
Rating: PG
Released: 2014
Run Time: 97 minutes
Directed By: Robert Stromberg

Cultural Rating: pawpawpawpaw

This film does an excellent job of constructing strong, complex female leads. The film also dispels the myth of heterosexual love as perfect and necessary for happiness.

Summary

Maleficent, the villain in Sleeping Beauty, reveals her side of the story regarding the curse she put on Princess Aurora.

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Into the Woods

into the woods

Into the Woods
Rating: PG
Run Time: 125 minutes
Released: 2014
Director: Rob Marshall

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

The film challenges traditional gender roles and media narratives regarding femininity and masculinity but does little to engage with cultural identities regarding race, sexual orientation, the body, and disability. Additionally, the film is full of moral lessons about taking responsibility for your own actions.

Summary

A young couple heads into the woods to release the curse placed on their family.

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

hp azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rating: PG
Released: 2004
Run Time: 142 minutes
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

In addition to positive messages regarding friendship and teamwork, this film engages with gender by having strong male and female characters.

Summary

During his third year at Hogwarts, Harry comes face-to-face with infamous killer Sirius Black.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

hp half blood prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rating: PG
Released: 2009
Run Time: 153 minutes
Directed By: David Yates

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

In addition to positive messages regarding friendship and teamwork this film engages with gender by having strong male and female characters.

Summary

Harry learns more about Voldemort’s past during his sixth year at Hogwarts.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

hp goblet of fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Rating: PG-13
Released: 2005
Run Time: 157 minutes
Directed By: Mike Newell

Cultural Rating: pawpaw

In addition to positive messages regarding friendship and teamwork this film engages with gender by having strong male and female characters.

Summary

Harry competes in the Triwizard Tournament during his fourth year at Hogwarts.

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