106. Family-Friendly Movies with Liberty Themes

Today, Connor and Brittany discuss our favorite family friendly movies with liberty themes.


  • Robin Hood
  • Ghostbusters
  • The Giver
  • Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  • Amazing Grace

Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: Hey Connor.

Connor: So, I like watching movies and there are certain movies that I’m a big fan of because I just feel like in my, bones, like the message of the movie, you know, like I, think of, you know, this is a movie for adults, but like The Patriot with Mel Gibson. Ooh.

Brittany: Yep, that’s a good one.

Connor: You know, and, the revolution. And, you know, watching that movie, I’m like, yeah, freedom. You know, and I, kind of get into those messages that like, resonate with me. So I wanted to take a few minutes on this episode, and you and I, take turns recommending some, more family-friendly movies, that incorporate some of the themes that we’ve talked about on this podcast. You know, entrepreneurship, individualism, free markets, government overreach, stuff like that. So these movies will probably be for the bigger, kids and certainly the parents. not so much for younger kids, although we’ll probably do a separate episode at a future time about, you know, some movies for the younger listeners that truly the whole family can watch. But this is more maybe your PG 13 kind of, movies that some of the older kids and the adults might be open to watching. Now, the first one I wanna talk about, we’ve discussed before on the show, and that is Robinhood. Now, whether you’re looking at, you know, the Disney version or the, who was it? Kevin Costner, I think, right? Yes. you probably know that movie verbatim, I think, right?

Brittany: I do. It’s one of my favorites. I think there was a, wasn’t there a new Robinhood too in the last couple of years?

Connor: I don’t remember. I’m,

Brittany: I think there maybe. I didn’t see it, but I think there may have been.

Connor: Okay. I’m, outta tune. I’m not up to speed with these things. So, you know, as we talked about, like, this is such an interesting message because it’s not a story about stealing from the rich to give to the poor. in other words, it’s not taking money from people who rightfully own it, even though they’re rich and then, you know, redistributing their wealth to other people. This is Merry, a band of Merry men and, their fearless leader, I guess you can call ’em, who are fighting oppression. These are people who are going off starting their own mini civilization. and, finding ways to, directly kind of go after the people who are going after other people. These are the oppressors in their view, the government that is taxing people and taking their property, and bossing them around. And, you know, at the end of the day, like we’ve talked before about civil disobedience, there’s a lot of strategy. There’s a lot of, like, you know, in most cases, it’s probably not wise to fight the government because they have all the guns and they’re very powerful. But, you know, watching stories of people who are, standing up to, bullies, you know, I think is still a fun story, even if it’s fictional, even if in the real world we kind of, you know, the Declaration of Independence says this, right? Is the tendency of man to, you know, submit or something like that, right? it is in the what does he say? It’s like in the nature and disposition of men to suffer while tyranny is sufferable, in other words. we put up with a lot. And rarely do we, as you know, Jefferson said in the declaration, rarely do we throw off the chains of Despotism and say, we’re abolishing these forms to which we’ve been accustomed, right? We’re abolishing the government and we’re gonna start a new one. That’s very rare. Usually, we submit and for a lot of reasons, but I still like these stories where people are kind of pushing back against the oppressors, and I think they’re a little bit maybe inspirational if not just kind of fun and fictional to watch. So that’s my first vote is Robinhood is I think, a really libertarian movie in the sense that they’re fighting for freedom against their oppressors. They may be doing it in a different way than most people would, find acceptable, but that’s why fiction is nice, right?

Brittany: We’ve talked about that so many times. Fiction is how we learn, and it’s, I like that you said the word inspire. I think you said the word inspire, but it also inspires us, right? Fiction is how you get inspired to go out, and maybe fulfill a dream you’ve been wanting to, you know, do for a long time. I remember watching, what was it? I don’t remember some musical theater movie where some girl wants to be a singer, but it was very inspirational and remember thinking like, oh, that’s what fiction is for, to kind of light a fire under you. Yeah. But on that note, another one that I love, and this one was fun for me because I watched this a lot as a kid and I did not know that there were Liberty themes in it, because you don’t really notice these things. But our listeners will because they have us. So Ghostbusters, which is one of my favorites, I really love Bill Murray, actually. The whole cast is great. and a side note, there’s a fun Netflix series that is called, what is it? Movies That Made Us, or It’s about movies and how they were made. And there’s a great one on Ghostbusters, so I highly recommend that. But Ghostbusters is actually a very libertarian leading, a movie from the beginning of the movie. So you have these groups of, they’re kind of ex academia, they’re all like these smart scientists, but they’ve, they’ve given up on academia cuz that hasn’t really given them any strong results, and they’re out on their own and they’ve created, what is, what do they call their ghost sucking machine? What is that called?

Connor: I don’t, I do not remember. All I remember is,

Brittany: I don’t remember.

Connor: All I remember is zool.

Brittany: Are you not a huge Ghostbuster fan?

Connor: I don’t think I’ve watched it since like the early nineties.

Brittany: Oh my goodness. Okay, well, you should.

Connor: I’m learning, I’m learning from you. Keep, teaching.

Brittany: So the EPA, which is the Environmental Protection Agency, and they do terrible things in real life. They, been known to take people’s houses away because of weird claims to that they’re hurting the environment, they’re the bad guys in Ghostbusters. So you have Ghostbusters trying to start their business, get rid of ghosts, keep New York safe, and all of a sudden the EPA comes in and they’re trying to shut them down, and it turns into this big power struggle. And then at the end of the day, the government has to come to the Ghostbusters and say like, we were wrong. We need your help. So it is very much a small business versus the big government, movie. I mean, that’s kind of the crux of the whole thing. Now, a lot of people don’t realize that because they’re watching the movie and they’re thinking just that it’s a fun ghost, you know, comedy. But even Vox, which is not a very libertarian-friendly website, they even wrote a whole article about how, how this movie was kind of a love story to market, like free market capitalism in a way, because it was small business owners succeeding in the face of all these obstacles. So that’s my first recommendation. I am a huge fan of Ghostbusters. I actually like the second one better, but the first one is the one that has a lot of good themes.

Connor: The next one I wanted to share. We’ve talked before about dystopian stories, how they portray a future that, you know, there’s a oppressive government and things are bad, and it’s kind of a warning to us, right? Like, we don’t want these things to happen, so let’s not support any type of policies or politicians that would take us in that direction. And, one of the ones that was turned there, there’s been several dystopian, stories that have, you know, think of, like Hunger Games as, you know, an example, right? Yep. Uh, there are lots of these stories that have been turned into movies, one, and I think this movie didn’t really, maybe it didn’t get the best ratings or wasn’t very popular, but the message I think is, very libertarian and that’s the giver and, the giver, you know, this is based on the story, turn into a movie. The Giver is, there’s this totalitarian society where everyone’s memories of, like emotion basically have been suppressed. So there’s no love, there’s no hate, there’s no compassion, there’s no violence. There’s not even like art and music, even color. These things have all been somehow suppressed. I think they, use like a drug that they make, or, yeah, I think they do like injections. Everyone has to,

Brittany: That’s right. It’s something weird like that, right? An injection or something. I don’t remember.

Connor: Yeah. Everyone’s getting kind of their daily drug to suppress

Brittany: that’s right

Connor: in their mind, all of these emotions, because the idea in their society was these things are bad and lead people to fight. Therefore, we need to suppress all these things about our humanity, so that we are just kind of bland and normal and, you know, anyway, so there is this role in society of someone called the Giver, and their kind of responsibility is to remember. So they don’t take the drug. They, remember what life was like before so that they can kind of pass on and there’s always one giver. So in the movie, there’s this new giver, you know, that kind of comes out. He’s being kind of trained, if you will, so his eyes are open to, what’s going on. And then he realizes this is awful. Everyone deserves, you know, freedom and so forth. And we’re in this totally totalitarian society that’s controlling families and controlling individuals and, violating people’s rights. in, the society where people just don’t have souls. I mean, they’re just so boring and drugged down. And so, you know, you think of other stories like 1984 or, Fahrenheit 4 51. There’s a lot of these stories that remind us about how the state, the government when it gets too powerful, will turn into a system of oppression, and people’s rights will be violated. And so it reminds us of the importance that, you know, and, the giver, the whole idea was the greater good we need to do things for the greater good. And that was always the excuse. It was the collective. We’ve talked about collectivism, where people prioritize the many over the one individualism, right? This is from the Roe Deserted book. Elijah has an awesome, drawing that shows a handshake versus you’re kind of, handcuffed shackled to the other person. Collectivism is when you’re forced to do things a certain way because someone else decided that that’s what’s best for everyone versus individualism is you get to decide what’s best for you. and so the Giver, I think is a great story that kind of raises some of these themes as well.

Brittany: It’s funny to me, I just realized we both have a Jeff Bridges movie on this list, and it’s not a very long list. So it’s funny that he made the list twice. So the next one I wanted to share. So I, love entrepreneurship. In fact, if somebody were to ask me what the issues I’m most passionate about, I think entrepreneurship would be on top one just because I think that’s how the world changes. I think social change and the economy, you know, all good things happen and begin with entrepreneurship. So when I was in high school and I was in a marketing class, we watched a movie called Tucker, the Man, and his Dream. And I remember thinking it was very cheesy at the time. And now that I’m an adult, I have so much appreciation for it because it recounts a life of an innovator and an inventor. Preston Tucker was his name, and he was the automotive genius behind a car called the Tucker 48. And it was way ahead of its time. In fact, a lot of the safety features we see in regular cars came from this car. And it’s, all about his rise to building this car and into becoming a success. And, like we’ve talked about with so many things involved with entrepreneurship, it is not, you know, smooth sailing. It is not only in rainbows and sunshine, he comes up upon a lot of problems and has to, you know, take risks and problem solve and figure out how to get this car to market. So I think it’s a must-see for anybody excited about entrepreneurship.

Connor: Awesome. the final one that I’ll share is, amazing grace. I love the story of William Wilberforce, and if any of you listening have not heard this story, it is worth, learning about this man. And an easy way to do that is simply by watching the movie Amazing Grace. This was in England and, Wilberforce led the effort to abolish slavery in the British Empire. And he faced a lot of opposition. And, this was not a one-year project, this was not a five-year campaign. This was a life mission. This took him, I think it was like 30 years if I’m remembering it. Oh, wow. This took just a very, very long time for him to see this through and change people’s hearts and minds. and showing his tenacity. In other words, how hard he worked, how he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He wouldn’t let failure define him. He kept at it, right? His persistence, you know, of seeing how, you know, here’s the society that was, widely supporting, oppression of people, you know, based on their skin color. That is not liberty at all. And yet it was popularly supported. And so in our day, we have things that people generally support that are wrong. We have infringements of liberty, of our privacy, of our rights, of, you know, being left alone and being able to make our own economic decisions, being able to keep the money that we earn, right there, are all these things that the majority of other people disagree with, and they support laws and, policies that violate our rights. And so these things are popularly supported by people who are supporting bad things. you know, slavery is a different degree of evil than not being able to, you know, have a lemonade stand, obviously. but the principle is the same that there are, times when you want to stand up for what is right and tons of other people will disagree and they will fight you. And you have to combat them, persuade them, change their hearts and minds. That’s not easy. It takes, it can take a long time. And so this story to me is so inspirational of a good man who had a kind of religious awakening and, as a result of that, determined to go try and, fight for what he knew was right. And just an amazing story, amazing man. Very inspirational and, very libertarian to see someone who’s dedicating so much of his energy and his life towards bringing liberty to so many people and, helping, tear down this government-supported oppression. that was, you know, violating people’s rights. Just an excellent story work watching.

Brittany: Also a really just well-done movie. I mean, even, just going into it as just a movie. Really well done. So, couldn’t recommend that one enough. That’s a good pick.

Connor: Do you have a final one to share before we wrap it up?

Brittany: yes, and I won’t, I won’t do a whole synopsis on it because I don’t remember all of it, to be honest with you. But Free State of Jones was one of the best movies I ever saw in 2014, and I can’t remember everything, but I know to some extent it was about, you know, during the Civil War on, the southern side, you weren’t allowed to just say, I’m not going to join the Army. That wasn’t an option. In fact, if you said that they would sometimes har harm your family or still your livestock. So it was a very contentious time, even among Southerners. So this is about Matthew McConaughey refusing to pick a side basically, and starting his own free state, his own, it’s actually similar to, talked about the Mary men and, Robinhood, it’s kind of similar to that. They kind of like go into this no man’s land in the south and refuse to pick sides. So I really like that one. And just talking about just the resilience of the human spirit and just, you know, getting away from a tyrannical government. So that would be my last one.

Connor: Awesome. Well, we will do another episode in the future, for even younger audience. there’s many more we could have shared. There’s so much good material out there. And even in, movies that aren’t necessarily libertarian or freedom or whatever, you can always find a lot of these little examples and snippets where we can draw on and kind of observe. And so it’s fun to kind of pay attention to that, right? And like pop culture even something like Avatar, right? Avatar was this insanely popular movie, right? and they’re presenting this idea of like, here come these oppressors trying to steal resources from the natives. And, you know, is that right? Is that wrong? Should you be on a team, you know, earth, or a team like natives, right? And these are interesting things that have a lot of relevance to the real world and they can provide for some really interesting discussions. So, maybe a fun list for you guys to draw from and have some conversations about as a family. and, anyways, thanks for being subscribed. And until next time, Brittany, we’ll talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.


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