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20+ Films With Heroic Female Characters to Watch With Kids

Girl-power picks for an inspirational family movie night

Angelica Lai

Published on: March 20, 2023

20+ Films With Heroic Female Characters to Watch With Kids

“Black Panther”

Movies for older tweens and teens

Movie: “The Woman King” (2022), character: General Nanisca

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 15 and older

“The Woman King” tells the powerful story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. The movie follows the epic journey of General Nanisca as she recruits and trains female warriors to fight to protect their way of life. There are several intense battle scenes with quite a bit of violence. There are also discussions about rape and scenes of implied sexual violence.    

Movie: “The School for Good and Evil” (2022), characters: Sophie and Agatha

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 13 and older

Best friends Sophie and Agatha find themselves on opposing sides of an epic battle when they're swept away into an enchanted school where aspiring heroes and villains are trained to protect the balance between the forces of good and evil. 

Movie: “Dolores” (2017), character: Dolores Huerta

Not rated, recommended for ages 11 and older

This documentary film delves into the untold story of Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist and labor leader who laid the groundwork with César Chávez in founding the first labor union for farm workers. The mother of 11 has continued her tireless activism into her nineties.

Movie: “Black Panther” (2018) and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (2022), characters: Nakia, Okoye, Shuri and Ramonda

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 12 and older

The women of Wakanda are amazing reminders that anyone can be anything. Nakia is a spy, Okoye is the head of an all-female special forces unit, Shuri is a brilliant scientist and Ramonda is the Queen Mother of T’Challa, the Black Panther. These women give their all to protect Wakanda and are integral to the nation’s success.

Movie: “Wonder Woman” (2017), character: Diana

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 12 and older

Wonder Woman is girl power at its finest — Diana of Themyscira is part-Amazon, part-god, has super strength and speed, can heal rapidly, and, did we mention, she’s part-Amazon, part-god? Wonder Woman has great moral and physical strength, and her narrative challenges viewers to aim high and to fight for what’s right. 

Movie: “The Hate U Give” (2018), character: Starr Carter

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 13 and older

As in the award-winning book, the film was based on the character Starr Carter, who doesn’t have to exist in a fantasy realm to find her superpower. While the 16-year-old lives in the fictional Garden Heights, a predominantly Black neighborhood, she confronts racial divides and systemic racism that exist in present-day America. Having to code-switch and live as two versions of herself, Starr grows to understand the power of her voice. Hers is a political awakening that youths today can relate to — a coming-of-age story about developing a social conscience, creating change and, in Starr’s case, picking up a literal megaphone to make herself heard. 

Movie: “The Hunger Games” (2014), character: Katniss Everdeen

Rated PG-13, recommended for ages 13 and older

There’s no wonder Katniss is known as “the girl on fire.” As in the bestselling series on which the film is based, Katniss is a courageous hero, a highly skilled archer and a survivor. Loyal and intelligent, she risks her life to save her family and her district. And, if that’s not superhero-esque enough for you, Katniss becomes a symbol of hope and endurance for the oppressed people of Panem. Iconic.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2020, and has been updated for 2023. 

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