Children's Day special: 5 inspiring and entertaining Bollywood films

Bollywood is one of the largest film industries of the world and released numerous films every year. There are films to suit every kind of audience, including children. Though the count is comparatively less, with massive audience response and growth of the industry, films for children have increased in recent years. With Bal Divas or Children’s Day around the corner, here is a small list of some of the great children’s movies that are engaging, entertaining and educative.

Taare Zameen Par: The 2007 movie revolves around an eight-year-old boy Ishaan, played by Darsheel Safary, who is brilliant in painting, but is poor in academics. His constantly-complaining father sends him to a boarding school where too he is punished for his poor performance in studies. Then Ishaan’s new art teacher, played by Aamir Khan, realises that the child has a reading disorder and helps him overcome the disability. ‘Taare Zameen Par’ is an inspirational film and drives home the message that every child is special and their interests and dreams should be appreciated.

Stanley Ka Dabba: The film showcases the fun days of school children and their bonding. The 2011 film by Amol Gupte, is about a cheerful fourth standard student named Stanley, played by Partho Gupte. Stanley never brings his lunch to school as he is an orphan and lives with his abusive uncle who runs a ‘dhaba’ (restaurant). But his classmates don’t know this as Stanley always concocts nice stories about his families. But his ravenous Hindi teacher, who doesn’t bring his own lunch and gobbles up his students’ tiffin, debars Stanley from attending school until he brings his own lunch.

Koi…Mil Gaya: The 2003 film starring Hrithik Roshan is considered to be Bollywood’s first sci-fi movie. A mentally retarded man, Rohit and his much younger friends, his scientist father’s computer programme created to contact extra-terrestrial beings and accidentally summons the aliens. One alien gets left behind and the friends struggle to keep their alien friend, whom they name Jadoo, hidden from others, until Jadoo’s own people come back for him. Jadoo returns the favour by curing Rohit of his disability who then becomes an intelligent scientist like his father. The movie was followed by two sequels – ‘Krrish’ and ‘Krrish 3’, and a fourth in the series is in the pipeline.       

Hawaa Hawaai: The movie was about a poor boy Arjun who works at a tea stall in Mumbai for a living. He sees other well-heeled children practice skating and gets attracted to the sport, but gets disappointed as skating shoes are too expensive. So, his friends, who also do odd jobs for a living like him, collect things from garbage and make him a pair of skates which they call hawaa hawaai. Arjun practises with them and grabs the attention of coach Aniket, who is impressed by the boy’s skills and decides to coach him. The 2014 film starring Partho Gupte and Saqib Saleem was much appreciated by critics. It inspires to chase one’s dreams, overcoming obstacles with ingenuity, and helping each other.

I Am Kalam: The movie is a positive and inspiring tale set in Rajasthan about a poor boy called Chotu who has an urge to learn and go to school, but is compelled to work at a ‘dhaba’, which also caters to the royal palace and its guests. After watching an inspiring speech on television by former president late APJ Abdul Kalam, he dreams of becoming like the president and changes his name to Kalam. During his trips to the palace to deliver food, he gets to meet the young prince who yearns for a friend. The duo become good friends, unbeknownst to others, and the prince teaches Chotu English and he helps the prince with Hindi.