Star light, star bright. Parents, get ready, the back-to-school season is in sight. As you create a new schedule and get all of your kiddo’s supplies ahead of time, it’s important to prepare your children in other ways, too.
To help your little one have another exciting and successful year in the books, Disney’s live-action remake of the classic Pinocchio can provide some important life lessons. The new film honors its 1940 animated predecessor with its beloved themes of honesty, good behavior, trusting your gut and listening to your heart, to name a few.
Pinocchio stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto the woodcarver, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the wooden boy Pinocchio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the official conscience Jiminy Cricket and Cynthia Erivo as the ever-so-forgiving Blue Fairy. Other notable characters include “Honest” John voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and The Coachman (Luke Evans) as well as the newly-introduced Sofia the Seagull (Lorraine Bracco).
Slated to premiere worldwide on Disney+ on September 8, Pinocchio will be released just in time for the new school year. Here are seven important lessons your little ones can use to guide them during their first day of school and beyond.
1. “Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish”
For Pinocchio, his dishonesty and mischievousness get him into a great deal of trouble — so much so, he almost ruins his opportunity to become a real boy and indirectly places Gepetto in danger. Although the chances of you and your spouse being swallowed by a giant whale are slim to none, Pinocchio’s experience can illustrate to kids that telling the truth, being courageous and focusing on those you care for goes a long way in life. Whereas “a lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.”
2. Let your conscience be your guide
While your kiddos can’t give a little whistle for Jiminy Cricket to come to the rescue, they do have their own tiny voice inside their head that can help them differentiate right from wrong. Inspire them to trust their instincts if they’re confronted with temptation or find themselves in a situation that can get them into trouble. If a classmate is encouraging them to misbehave, they should know it’s okay to stand their ground and do what’s good.
3. It’s never too late to do the right thing
Pinocchio makes a handful of mistakes, from skipping school and running off to giving into temptation, but he eventually learns that being honest is best. As your youngster enters a new grade, makes new friends and discovers more about themselves, it’s important they know that if they mess up, they can correct their wrongs. Similar to Pinocchio, no matter how many mistakes they make, it’s never too late to be a good kid and do what’s right.
4. The love of a parent is truly unmatched
While no parent wants to receive negative feedback from their kiddo’s teacher—they didn’t do their homework or were too disruptive in class—there’s no denying that they’ll still love them no matter what. So as your little ones enter this new school year, remind them that if they ever need help or are struggling with a problem at school (whether it’s big or small), you’ll be by their side.
5. Always dream big
Although we, too, would love to wish upon a star and have a Blue Fairy grant our wish, never giving up on our dreams is important as we go through life. Maybe your child wants to become captain of their sports team or maybe they want to take up an instrument or hobby. Whatever their new goal may be, motivate them to keep chasing after it. Along with mom and dad’s support, they can do anything they set their mind to.
6. Don’t be too trusting of those you don’t know
Honest John, who families learn isn’t so honest at all, sways Pinocchio into skipping his first day of school to become an “actor.” Pinocchio immediately believes the deceitful fox and follows him instead of going to class. In today’s day and age, it’s necessary to stress the importance of not talking to strangers. If an adult they don’t know approaches them and makes them feel uncomfortable, they should immediately ask a teacher, school administrator, coach or someone they know for help when mom or dad is not around.
Sign up for Disney+ to stream Pinocchio on September 8. You must be 18 years of age or older to subscribe. Additional terms apply. To learn more, visit disneyplus.com.