Pranay Shah, Editor at Large

In my high school career, I took over 30 classes. Do I remember everything from every class? No. But I do remember everything from the movie Rio. Movies can be a powerful tool for learning because they allow us to experience different perspectives and emotions in a way that is not possible in a traditional classroom setting. Through movies, we can learn about historical events, cultural customs, and social issues in a way that is both entertaining and informative. Also, movies have the ability to evoke empathy and inspire action. While schools provide a structured and systematic approach to learning, movies offer a more engaging and immersive learning experience that can stick with us long after we leave the theater. Here are some of my favorite movies which will teach you a lot. We often don’t realize that the movies we watch have valuable lessons embedded in them.


Surfs Up:


The main character, Cody Maverick, is a young penguin who dreams of becoming a professional surfer. Throughout the movie, Cody faces numerous challenges and setbacks, including a rival surfer who seems to have it all and a lot of trophies to show for it. Despite these obstacles, Cody never gives up on his dream. He continues to practice and work hard, even when it seems like he will never achieve his goal. Through his perseverance, Cody eventually succeeds and becomes a champion surfer. By watching Cody’s journey, you can learn that success often requires hard work and dedication. This movie truly changed my life as I watched it after getting a 52 percent on my calculus test during junior year. It inspired me to work harder for the next one.



In Ratatouille, the character Remy receives criticism from Chef Skinner about his cooking, but instead of getting defensive, he takes it as an opportunity for growth. Remy uses Skinner’s feedback to improve his dish and ultimately impresses the harsh critic, Anton Ego. This teaches us that constructive criticism, though sometimes difficult to hear, can be incredibly helpful in improving our skills and achieving our goals. It’s important to listen to feedback, take it seriously, and use it to make positive changes in our lives. 



The film follows the story of Blu, a domesticated macaw who is taken to Rio de Janeiro to mate with a female macaw, Jewel. However, Blu and Jewel are captured by smugglers, and must work together to escape and return to their natural habitat. Throughout the movie, Blu learns to accept his situation and adapt to his new environment. He also learns to accept himself for who he is, and to embrace his unique qualities. This message is reinforced through the character of Jewel, who encourages Blu to let go of his fears and live in the moment. Overall, Rio teaches us the importance of accepting the things that we cannot change, and finding joy in the present moment. Like when you get placed in a service day group with people you aren’t that close with, but you use that day to create new friendships.


Good Will Hunting:

The film follows the story of a young janitor named Will Hunting, who is a mathematical genius with a troubled past. Through his relationship with his therapist, Sean Maguire, Will learns to confront his demons and open up emotionally. One of the key lessons from Good Will Hunting is the importance of facing our fears and vulnerabilities in order to grow as individuals. The movie also emphasizes the value of education and intellectual curiosity, as well as the importance of seeking help and support when we need it. It reminds us that true growth and change often require us to confront uncomfortable truths and step out of our comfort zones. Like when I had to confront the truth that I was 5’7’’ and not 5’8’’ like I had claimed when my friends pulled out two yard sticks.