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!!Film - Animated
* Most Disney-Pixar flicks have some sort of underlying message.
** ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' gave us a few, like "Get up and do something" and "Corporate culture shouldn't tell you how to live your life". The director claimed the GreenAesop was an AccidentalAesop since it was just required to create the setting.
** While being a kickass action-comedy, ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' has some major messages on both the strength of family and the individual vs. a homogenizing society.
** Most parents and children are probably glad that ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' dropped the anvil that there's no need to be afraid of your closet.
*** In its sequel ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'' showed that even though you failed College or University it doesn't mean you're doomed to be a failure for the rest of your life and you're never too old to get an education (as shown with Don Carlton).
**** Monsters University also points out that although you may have to surrender your lifelong dream, it doesn't mean surrendering your life-long ''interest'' and there are other options to serve that interest. Even if it was a lower position, Mike [[spoiler: becomes a Scare Assistant who treated like an equal to his Scarer friend.]]
** ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' drops anvils about brainstorming, teamwork, questioning whether TheGovernment is really looking out for your well-being in return for something or actually has you in the crosshairs of some evil scheme, and the price you eventually pay for oppressing a population.
** There are two important messages in ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', which both tie into one another.
*** The first is "don't ignore what's really important by clinging to your regrets", which Carl learns when he realizes that [[ItsAllJunk his house and the associated memories]] doesn't matter as much as the people in his life right ''now''.
*** The second is that "life is unfair, but you can't let that ruin your chances at being happy". Carl never took Ellie to Paradise Falls, Russell never sees his dad again, and Muntz had his reputation destroyed. It's sad, but it's not the end of the world. Carl and Russell instead move on with their lives and find happiness regardless, while Muntz becomes corrupted by his own bitterness.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' says that being stubborn and not trying to understand the viewpoint of someone you disagree with will cause problems, especially because their reasons might be deeper than you think. The whole plot of the movie began because neither Merida nor Elinor tried to understand what the other wanted; Elinor kept trying to force Merida to do what she wanted while Merida continued to defy what she was told. It's only by compromising that they were able to come together.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Robots}}'' delivers two:
** "You can shine, no matter what you're made of."
** Oppress a lower cast of society with fear, abuse, and [[FantasticRacism racism]] long enough, and the people you've been repressing will strike back. ''Hard''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'' drops the anvil that you are who you choose to be. Regardless of what you're "programmed" to do, ''you'' choose who you become.
--->"[[TearJerker Su-permaaaaan]]..."
** It is also ''very'' explicit in its condemnation of nuclear weapons, and of [[RedScare paranoia]] and [[DirtyCommunists xenophobia]] in general.
* ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' makes no secret of its moral about dreams, but damned if it doesn't do it beautifully anyway. Better, it actually teaches that people go through life with more than one dream, as opposed to the idea that people are defined by one thing. Or, as Flynn puts it, "That's the great thing about dreams. Once you've found one, you get a new one."
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''. Work hard to achieve your goals, and don't go for the quick "too good to be true" route. At the same time though, it's important to not neglect things like friendship or love.
* While the moral in the movie isn't in the [[Literature/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame original novel]],[[Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame Disney's take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame]] handles its anti-bigotry message far less [[{{Anvilicious}} Anviliciously]] - and with far more skill - than its immediate predecessor, ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}''. It's best illustrated in the song "God Help the Outcasts".
** It also points out the very important (and very misguided) belief that hiding behind religion automatically makes you a "righteous" person; as shown through Frollo's character and his actions, there are still some concepts (like planning genocide and doing whatever you can to get what you want at the expense of others)that are completely unacceptable, evil, and will not be unpunished, no matter how devout you claim to be.
* Disney/TheLionKing: "Ah yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it."
* The 1988 animated English film ''WesternAnimation/WhenTheWindBlows'', (based on the comic book of the same name by Creator/RaymondBriggs, which is similarly effective) about a retired couple living in the country, who survive a nuclear attack. They do everything they've been told to (largely the equivalent of tarps and duct tape) while waiting for someone in authority to come to their aid while they slowly die.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ferngully}}'' for its [[GreenAesop antipollution message]] and the one of animal testing that's in the uncut "Batty Rap" song. The way the music and Robin Wiliam's narration go, its pretty damn creepy. And all true.
* ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'' has "If you treat people like freaks, they'll turn into freaks later in life" with characters like Uncle Pendergast and [[spoiler:the witch's ghost]].
** Also, "you shouldn't scapegoat people because what they do scares you", and "don't let fear change who you are".
** Hurting the people who wronged you turns you into something just as bad, if not worse.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' tells us that fear can be a very harmful thing, and that love can bring out the best in you. Also, true love isn't limited to a romantic relationship.
** Also, you shouldn't give your heart and trust to a total stranger. You might just be falling into somebody's trap.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood'' says that killing is always wrong, no matter how logically you try to explain it or how justified you think it is. Doesn't make the person it gets dropped on any less of a {{Woobie}} though.
** ''WesternAnimation/SupermanVsTheElite'' seemingly hand-waved this ideal within the first half of the film, but later on when Superman pretends to adopt this take-no-prisoners approach, everyone's initial reaction was "This isn't right". The true anvil was that society does not always know what's best for it and that they need guidance, not the threat of punishment to progress.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'' tells us that all of us can be special, every single person, no matter how ordinary, has the capacity to create awesome things, and that trying to control everything will only stifle the creativity. and [[EarWorm EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!]].
* ''HowToTrainYourDragon'' teaches us that violence and blind hatred are never right, parents don't always know what's best for their kids and just because something is popular or a tradition doesn't mean that it is right.
* ''{{Disney/Pocahontas}}'' - in a war both sides are still people. Neither side is completely good nor completely bad. And in a war, innocent people are going to be hurt no matter how 'justified' people believe their reasons for fighting are.
--> '''Pocahontas:''' Look around you! This is where the path of hatred has brought us!
** Also it's important to try. Doing nothing in a bad situation will only make things worse. Attempting to ''do'' something at least has a chance of helping. And don't let setbacks stop you from continuing to try. Pocahontas's first attempt to do something backfired horribly - but she succeeded on her second attempt.
* ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' heavily challenges the MadonnaWhoreComplex and the idea of seeing women as objects. Frollo's lust for Esmerelda and his refusal to see her as anything but a whore consumed him and was his ultimate undoing. Likewise Quasimodo put her on a pedestal and saw her only as a pure Madonna - all the while believing he 'deserved' to have her without getting to know her. It may seem [[CaptainObvious painfully obvious]] to drop the idea that "Yes a woman is a person and not an object" but it's still a point that a lot of people (audiences and writers alike) don't really understand.

!!Film - Live Action
* When Director Creator/JohnFord first started work on ''Film/TheGrapesOfWrath'', he sent detectives to determine if the CrapsackWorld of the Depression had hit the Okies as bad as John Steinbeck's [[AuthorFilibuster unapologetically socialist]] work made it seem. The detectives reported that the situation was [[RealityIsUnrealistic actually worse than that]].
* ''The Invisible War'' by Kirby Dick pulls no punches in showing how the United States military ignores rape and sexual assault in its ranks, even going so far as to blame the rapes on the victims.
* The ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' Trilogy has one that sneaks in hard with the sequels, beginning with ''Part II'':
** Your destiny is never set in stone. You can shape it to turn out however you want it to be. Just look how 2015!Biff bringing the sports almanac back to 1955!Biff sets off a chain reaction that rewrites Lone Pine Mall!1985 into a nightmarish alternate universe that would make Mordor green with envy.
*** For a good example in the first movie, Marty helping his father develop a backbone means his parents have a more loving relationship in the future and his father publishes the stories he previously thought wouldn't be good.
** Parts 2 and 3 makes sure to let the viewers know that pride can get the best of you. As long as you're comfortable with yourself, it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks.
* There's a subclass of documentary films that aim for this.
* ''TheSocialNetwork'': While you may have good intentions in starting a business, bad decisions made will ultimately affect personal relationships.
* ''RequiemForADream'': DrugsAreBad. What really makes the movie ''work'' is that the consequences all of the characters face are all part of a logical chain of events, and that while they're ''horrible'', they're actually pretty realistic. It helps that you just feel so ''bad'' for the characters, too.
* And on a similar note, ''Film/AScannerDarkly'' fits that mold as well, best exemplified in the afterword just before the credits. From the book:
-->'''Philip K. Dick''': This has been a novel about some people who were [[DisproportionateRetribution punished entirely too much for what they did]]. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed - run over, maimed, destroyed - but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it...
** This was then followed by a list of names and ailments - all of whom were friends (or himself) paired with illnesses they'd developed as a result of their previous drug abuse.
* ''Literature/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront'': The people on the other side of war are just as human as you are. Also, WarIsHell.
* ''Film/JoyeuxNoel'' has a well-aimed anvil about the humanity of all sides of a war. While it couldn't be called subtle, it manages to be ethically complex and very inspiring. The fact that many of the aspects of the film that might otherwise seem unreal are [[RealityisUnrealistic based on true events from World War I]] makes it all the more amazing.
* Creator/ClintEastwood made the same point about the WWII Japanese in ''LettersFromIwoJima'', the companion piece to his American-POV movie, ''FlagsOfOurFathers''.
* ''BloodDiamond'' emphasizes that even people who've engaged in evil have the potential to consciously choose good and redeem themselves. This is shown in the film through a real-life home for former child soldiers which, through kind treatment, gives them a chance at a normal life.
* ''BrokebackMountain'' emphasizes that gay people are just as capable of romantic love as any straight person, and for depicting the very real pain caused by the closet -- not just Jack and Ennis, but everyone around them, are made miserable and complicit in the lie that the two are forced to live.
* Many films made during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, with ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' being a good example of a work which is explicitly patriotic yet never stops being entertaining.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight''[='=]s story was mostly taken from the famed comic "ComicBook/TheKillingJoke," where the Joker wants to prove that anyone can have a bad day and turn into someone like him. The comic rides on the aesop that personal choice and free will is an individual trait, that everyone will ''not'' do the same thing in the same situation.\\
\\
It even adds that while one person can become a symbol, whenever you try to force moral change, people will fight you. For Batman, the mobs resisted his war against them. For the Joker, [[spoiler:civilians and criminals alike refused to play by his "social experiment."]]\\
\\
Also, you don't bow to fear. Every time Gotham goes along with the Joker's demands, something terrible happens. Every time they resist him, the outcome is a good one.
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' was all about how strength of character is not derived from the inability to feel negative emotions like fear or pain, but from the ability to march on despite these feelings.
* There's nothing at all subtle about the original ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951''. The entire film is an indictment against trigger-happy paranoia; at the conclusion, [[MessianicArchetype Klaatu]] delivers AnAesop in no uncertain terms. There's no irony or ambiguity, only sincere, earnest urgency -- and it ''works''.
* The point of ''Film/TheDeerHunter'' is to drive in the point that WarIsHell.
** It was also the first such work of fiction (an anti-Vietnam War work of fiction) that also showed that the soldiers going into 'nam were full human beings with full human emotions and human lives with families, loved ones, friends, etc. These were the boys next door who went into war to serve their country only to come back as broken, forgotten men. Given that the film was released less than ten years after protesters were calling servicement demonic baby killers, this was an admirable thing to accomplish (without losing sight of the "WarIsHell" message).
* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' has plenty of messages about racism: Refugees and minorities deserve respect, racism is ''bad'', the Apartheid is ''monstrous'', and racist people are capable of finding enough humanity within themselves to find redemption (which is a rare anvil to drop, indeed, as some viewers treat bigotry as a MoralEventHorizon on its own and become ''angry'' when such characters redeem themselves).
* ''DrStrangelove'' showed us that the "arms race" may as well be a bunch of sexually-frustrated men trying to outdo each other. And for that matter, the "missile gap" is about as silly as a "Doomsday Gap" or a "Mineshaft Gap."
* The movie ''Fail-Safe'' is the serious version of Dr. Strangelove, and actually depicts the horror of a nuclear attack, as it has both Moscow and New York City getting blown-up.
* ''Film/GoodNightAndGoodLuck'' portrays its villain as an unspeakably corrupt madman who will stop at nothing to ruin his enemies' lives. The villain is [=McCarthy=] ''himself,'' who's played by ''archive footage of himself.'' You can't argue with an anvil that falls out of a story that actually ''happened.''
** Unless, like [[ViewersAreMorons some test audiences]], you believe that [[YourCostumeNeedsWork the person playing McCarthy was overacting to the point of ridicule]].
* Creator/FrankCapra films are generally {{anvilicious}} in a good way. ''MrSmithGoesToWashington''; where Mr. Smith does EagleLand so proud that if you aren't, as an American, inspired by his advocacy for the rights of all of us, then you, sir or ma'am, are a communist!
* ''SecondhandLions'' takes time out for Robert Duvall to expressly give this monologue on the moral of the story:
--> Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love... true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. You see, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things ''worth'' believing in.
* ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/Gojira Gojira]]'' derives a large part of its power from its explicit and not remotely subtle anti-nuclear/atomic-weapons message. While the giant dinosaur is something of a SpaceWhaleAesop, the sheer devastation wrought by the monster was intentionally evocative of the aftermath of a nuclear bomb or the aftermath of Hiroshima, showing exactly what one does every time they let a weapon of mass destruction loose.
** ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/GodzillaVsHedorah Godzilla VS Hedorah]]'' provides the very straightforward message that pollution is a huge danger to not only humans, but all life as well... And that we must all work together to stop it.
* ''JohnQ'' raises questions and messages about whether or not health care in the country is truly a service to help the sick or a business just out to make money. It lays it on thick, but it's something that needed (and still needs) to be pointed out.
* The anti-war film ''JohnnyGotHisGun'' is clear, blatant and obvious in its message from the very first scene. It could not possibly be improved, certainly not by anything remotely resembling subtlety.
* ''Film/TheDayAfter'' showed in explicit detail what would happen to the survivors of a nuclear war between the US and the USSR. The message was impossible to miss: ''The catastrophic events you have witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe than the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States.'' And it worked! Soon after ''The Day After'' (and ''{{Threads}}'', an equivalent film in England) was released, various nations started talking seriously about disarmament, instead of making more ridiculous plans to "win" a nuclear war. Ronald Reagan even sent the producers a note after the 1985 Strategic Arms ''Reduction'' Treaty was signed, stating "You caused this to happen."
* The mid-1960 BBC documentary ''The War Game'' did its job of warning about the horrors of nuclear war a bit ''too'' well - it was banned for twenty years because it was considered likely to panic the public. (The aforementioned ''Threads'' was inspired by ''The War Game'' and mimics its look and feel.)
* The plot of the similarly-named ''WarGames'' is about how the only way to "win" a nuclear war is not to start it in the first place. It doesn't go so far as to have an actual war occur, but it gets fairly close, making it pretty effective. It doesn't get much more {{Anvilicious}} than having "The only winning move is not to play" right there in the script...
* ''{{Hairspray}}'' (both versions) comes with AnAesop about racial tolerance and how anyone can achieve their dreams if they're plucky enough to BeYourself that's so subtle-as-a-speeding-Mack-truck that it borders on parody. And yet, it comes off as refreshingly optimistic and upbeat and makes the show thoroughly enjoyable.
* ''TheShawshankRedemption'' repeats the basic message -- that hope is a ''really good thing'' -- about a billion times over, but that doesn't stop it from being fantastically well done.
* The Chinese film ''Wait 'til You're Older'' hammers home the point that life is a one-way journey and that people should value the time that they already have. This is achieved by having the protagonist take an aging potion as a fast track to adulthood, only to find out that his life span has been reduced to less than a week, and he has an overwhelming need to resolve his family problems before his time runs out.
* The central message of ''ItsAWonderfulLife'' is that YouAreNotAlone. Expressed directly in the film by the inscription Clarence leaves for George: "Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
* OctoberSky: Knowledge, especially education, plus determination and hard work, can enable you to accomplish any dream, no matter how far-fetched it may seem. Doesn't hurt that it's a true story, either.
* ''Literature/{{Pollyanna}}'' and the scene about all the Happy Texts in the Bible. It might be TastesLikeDiabetes to some but in today's society where everyone is taught to AccentuateTheNegative and be cynical because positivity is considered "immature", Pollyanna's line about how there are over 800 texts in the Bible telling mankind to be happy is a very telling lesson.
* At its core, ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' is an attack on do-gooding government social engineers. The first scene even has River stating that the Unification War which decimated the rim planets was the result of government meddling. WordOfGod says that the Independents were fighting for "the right to be wrong" -- the right to have their own way of doing things.
--> '''River''': People don't like being meddled with.
* The point of ''SchindlersList'' is that the Holocaust was bad. This might hardly seem like a message that needs to be repeated, but it's a lot easier to compartmentalize it in an academic setting as opposed to seeing it played out in front of your eyes.
* ''SilentRunning''. [[GreenAesop The natural world is valuable and important, and worth the effort to protect and preserve.]]
* ''TheRussiansAreComing '' is a very solid (and at times brutal) statement on war, and the difference between being a person and being a sheep. [=McCarthy-era=] panic just makes an extra-good backdrop to it. After twenty-plus years of "Russians are all [[DirtyCommunists soulless killer commies]]", it also was one of the first to drop the "no, they're just people like us" anvil.
* While {{RENT}} tends to get called over-hyped or dated in its extremely optimistic point of view, it wouldn't have made such an impact if it wasn't about a group of broke ''and'' starving ''and'' (for half of them) HIV/AIDS-positive friends. In spite of everything going wrong, they still manage to have fun and hope for whatever's left of their future.
* It's hard to name a Creator/CharlieChaplin film which doesn't drop one or more. TheGreatDictator is probably one of the oldest films to drop such a colossal anvil: ThoseWackyNazis are ''bad''. It was made when that anvil really ''did'' need to be dropped.
** In fact, Chaplin stated had he known about the Holocaust, he'd have ''never made the film''.
* In ''Film/StandByMe'', the major moral lessons are the importance of friendship and family and that you should believe in yourself and follow your dreams no matter what anyone else says.
* ''PrayersForBobby'' drops the anvil ''hard'' on homophobia. The fact that it's a true story makes it all the more powerful.
* ''Film/TheOxBowIncident'' is one of the first serious Western films made, and it's {{anvilicious}} in a big way. But its anvil is a critical one, maybe even more now than when it was made. In a time when the words "vigilante" and "hero" are seen as synonyms, even while DNA testing gives us a hint of just how many people might be wrongly accused, ''The Ox-Bow Incident'' tells a simple, inevitable story that movies like ''Death Wish'' and ''The Brave One'' wouldn't dare get into: what happens when the righteously outraged vigilante heroes, claiming that the law's failed and trusting their own instincts instead, kill an innocent man?
* ''Film/{{Dogma}}'' says a lot that needs to be said about organized religion, and how it undermines the most important thing of all; that you have faith.
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': [[ScrewDestiny There's no fate but what we make for ourselves.]] A lot of people were upset when the third movie [[YouCantFightFate inverted]] that particular {{Aesop}}.
* The 1947 film ''Film/GentlemansAgreement'' is a very anvil-heavy attack on anti-Semitism. Watching it nowadays, it's easy to miss just [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentleman%27s_Agreement#Production how controversial this was at the time]].
* Fritz Lang's ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' says "The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart" about a million times (more in the unabridged version), ending with a shot of Freder (the heart) joining the hands of Joh Frederson (the head) and Grot (the hands). And it's true.
* An in-universe example occurs in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' -- "Never give up! Never surrender!" -- as well as the various anvils dropped by the movie itself. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] at various points by the Thermians.
* With the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequels, Creator/GeorgeLucas wanted to show how easy it is for a noble democracy to turn into a brutal dictatorship. Also applies to any movie about the zeitgeist before an oppressive regime starts up.
* The Virgin Spring: Faith can punish even good people. And do not think for even a second that "God" will protect you from misery or death. This kind of message is kids stuff today. In 1960 it was unprecedented.
* ''Film/TheWave'' is all about how one should never assume that [[DayOfTheJackboot fascism]] can "never happen here." It can, and very easily. [[ThoseWackyNazis The Nazis]] were able to get away with what they did because the people didn't see the warning signs and would rather give up their freedom than risk being cast out of society. The fact that it was based on an actual incident that happened at a California HighSchool only intensifies this.
* ''Disclosure'': No, ''[[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale rape is not okay when it's a woman on man]]''. Not even if the woman is his ex-flame and the man is a reputed horn dog.
* ''Film/{{M}}'' gives us two: It's important that you watch your children and don't let them talk to strangers, and that, quoting the lawyer, "No one has the right to kill a man who is incapable of responsibility for his actions! Not even the state!"
* ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' manages to avoid the ScienceIsBad pitfall usually associated with simple GreenAesop stories when it is science that can help the planet. The scientists in the film represent the best of humanity, who see the true value of Pandora in its forests that could be used to cure the sick Earth with various biomechanical means derived from the native plants, instead of hoarding the crude {{Unobtanium}}, the most obvious resource around. It's the {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s who just want to make a big buck and jingoistic soldiers who seek to demonize and destroy the natives who are the actual villains of the story. The movie shows that science can be good or bad for humanity; it just depends on what kind of people use it.
* Throughout the film of ''The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'', Lucy spends her time wishing she had Susan's beauty, and eventually has a dream that she has turned herself into Susan, only to find that she (Lucy) no longer exists and that Edmund and Peter no longer remember Narnia. After she wakes up in a panic, Aslan gently scolds her for her vanity, telling her that by wishing to be someone else, she is underestimating her own worth. Perhaps what makes it work is the dream itself - there's something chilling about finding out that your old self never exists and no one remembers it at all.
* ''AmericanHistoryX''. Racism is ''bad''. End of story, and that's including racism by black people (and other minorities) against white people, not just the racism of white people (or whoever happens to be dominant) toward black people. If someone is a racist, he's racist, no matter which ethnic group he belongs to, and that's wrong.
* ''LoveActually'' has "even if you really are attracted to someone, and that particular someone is really attracted to you, sometimes it's just not the right time for romance. Sometimes there are overarching issues that need to be sussed out." Sara was one of the few people in the story who [[DidNotGetTheGirl did not get the guy.]] However, she chose to take care of her mentally ill brother rather than to be with her LoveInterest, showing that family is more important than romance. Their final interaction seemed to imply that they really are still interested in one another, but are just [[FalseStart putting things on hold.]]
* This exchange from ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings The Fellowship of The Ring]]'' sums up quite nicely the importance of making choices in one's life:
-->'''Frodo''': I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
-->'''Gandalf''': So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.
* ''Theatre/InheritTheWind'' is necessary viewing for any who thinks themselves religious and is fearful of thinking for themselves. Such wisdom in the play/film, especially as spoken by Creator/SpencerTracy in the 1960 film, can change your life and set your spirit free:
---> ''[challenged to say if he considers anything holy]'' '''Henry Drummond:''' Yes. The individual human mind. In a child's power to master the multiplication table, there is more sanctity than in all your shouted "amens" and "holy holies" and "hosannas." An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the waters.
* In ParisJeTAime, a collection of short films about the city of Paris made by notable directors. The husband-and-wife team behind BendItLikeBeckham made a short about the relationship between the ethnic French and the growing Muslim community in Paris. A few teenage/college aged boys make fun of a hijabi and try pulling off her headscarf. One of the boys with them lingers to apologize. She's beautiful and intelligent, and they hit it off. [[spoiler: He tentatively asks her about her hijab and she explains that it was her choice, it's a reminder of her faith and it makes her feel good. At one point he vists at her house, and her scary male relative is there - oh no! But he's happy to meet the boy and invites him to go for a walk with them, all three together. The movie fades out as the older man makes small talk, full of pride, about the student project she's working on: stories about Paris, but about her own Paris ... ]] Anvilicious? Yes. Sweet, touching, and a refreshingly honest look at the fears non-Muslims have built up around Muslims, as well as what you generally get if you bother to actually talk to a Muslimah? Definitely yes.
* ''GranTorino'' gives us more than a few. First, there's the lesson that killing someone isn't "cool", but a traumatic experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Second, fighting violence with violence is pointless.
* ''{{Rambo}}'' (2008): Sometimes non-violence isn't the answer, and some people can only be dealt with with force.
* ''AHistoryOfViolence'' has an anvil that's something of a TakeThat to the glorification of violence in popular media. Killing someone does not - and should not - automatically make you a hero, no matter how much they may have deserved it. Actions have consequences, and the consequences of violence are ugly and life-destroying.
* The ''Film/{{X-Men}}'' movies made a big deal out of the parallels between mutants and LGBT folks, especially in the second movie when Bobby "comes out" to his parents. It's ridiculous, but when you hear about or have experienced some of the stigma that many people go through these days, you can get why it's still an issue. Also, being gay would be a lot easier if you could shoot fireballs or something.
** [[IncrediblyLamePun Wouldn't that just make them flaming?]]
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' gives us a wonderful anvil that tells us that true power doesn't come from attaining actual strength to strong-arm everyone around you, but it comes from within, and that those who are good people will always know the true value of power. Hence why Steve Rogers managed to be a better person than he was prior to the SuperSerum, and why the Red Skull, a power-hungry maniac, turned out the way he did.
** The movie also [[DefiedTrope defies]] the all-too-common AllGermansAreNazis trope.
* ''TheOtherGuys'' drops the anvil that unchecked corporate greed is a bad thing, and can destroy lives. In a BuddyCop satire movie. But since it came out right after the credit crunch and the resulting economic crisis, the point seems to be that it's not ordinary people that caused the crisis, but rather predatory corporations.
* ''GuessWhosComingToDinner'' was a 1967 film depicting a marriage [[MalignedMixedMarriage between a black man and a white woman]]. The character of Dr. John Prentice, the husband, is so mind-blowingly perfect that it borders on PositiveDiscrimination. But this film was released a mere ''six months'' after the US Supreme Court declared laws against interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.
* In-universe, this is what John Doe believed he was doing in ''Film/{{Se7en}}''. Somerset at one points asks him why he decided to state his message to the world by [[SerialKiller killing people]]. Doe responds that if you want to tell someone something, it's not sufficient any more to tap them on the shoulder. You have to hit them over the head with a 2x4. "Then, you'll notice you have their strict attention."
** And the film's final words:
-->'''Somerset''': Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
* The film adaptation of ''Film/TheRunningMan'' may have been an escapist action flick starring ArnoldSchwarzenegger, but it (in its own way) taught about the negative aspects of completely turning off your brain in favor of pure, violent escapism, how soul-destroying humanity's bloodlust can be, and the need to question the version of reality that TV presents. It also teaches about the value of tenacity and standing up for yourself. As well as to not believe everything you see on TV.
** [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-things-the-running-man-teaches-you-about-life/ 4 Things 'The Running Man' Teaches You About Life]], courtesy of Website/{{Cracked}}.
* ''TheBreakfastClub'' is timeless because it teaches the value of viewing teenagers not as subhuman but as individuals worthy of at least a modicum of respect. It also teaches that behind the facades we all have that seem to separate us into neat little cliques, we are all, at heart, complex and complicated humans with the potential to be anything, both positive and negative.
* ''Film/{{Parenthood}}'' drops a few anvils regarding family.
** Gil Buckman and his wife Karen learn not to deny the worst things that happen in their family after their oldest child starts having problems.
** Gil's sister Helen seems like she's ready to crack after a rough divorce. It doesn't help that her son Garry became secretive and her daughter Julie decides to run off with her boyfriend Tod. But she eventually accepts the insanity.
** Susan, Gil's other sister, who was childish and preferred to do things her way, learns that not everything revolves around her; and on the flip-side, her husband Nathan, who isn't really a bad person due to bringing up a 3-year-old girl with above-average intelligence, learns to ease up and let his wife do what she wants every now and then.
*** Susan and Nathan's marriage could also be viewed as an anvil on the necessity of change in a relationship. Susan admits that she was somewhat wild when she was younger, and liked the idea of Nathan "reining her in"; similarly, Nathan is obsessed with making their daughter into a child prodigy, and refuses to let her interact with other children or attend school for fear of affecting her mental development. But now that they're older, their situation is changing, to the point where, when Nathan tries to keep things exactly as they are and control his wife, she nearly leaves him. Ultimately the two make up, but only after realizing that they both have to make sacrifices and change to keep their relationship healthy.
** And Larry, the youngest Buckman and the BlackSheep, learns not to be a deadbeat after a talk from his father.
*** Sadly, this anvil isn't entirely true--but it does point out a few other anvils that's just as important. Larry incurs huge gambling debts, and the collectors threaten to kill him if he doesn't come up with the money. His father debates whether or not he should bail him out (as he's done all his life), and delivers an amazing monologue about how, even though his children are fully grown and have their own lives, he still worries about them constantly and wants to help them however he can; as he puts it, "Larry's thirty-four, and he's still my son." He ultimately decides to help Larry, on the condition that he go to Gamblers Anonymous and come to work in the family business. But rather than do this, Larry instead decides to travel to South America for yet another get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to the following sad, but powerful message: sometimes, despite your best intentions, people ''don't'' change, and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but you shouldn't expect everything to have a happy ending, either.
* ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}'' would like to remind you that, despite the world being an occasionally depressing place, it's still way better than trying to live in an idealized bubble where everything's perfect. Also, not everything is as idealistic in you may remember it to be from TheFifties: sometimes (indeed, usually) the NostalgiaFilter is exactly that - a filter that blocks out all the parts you'd prefer not to remember.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'' was made to address the fears many people had about the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the UsefulNotes/ColdWar:
-->'''Kirk:''' Some people think the future means [[TakeThat the end of history]]. Well, we haven't run out of history quite yet.
** ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'': In his closing speech, Capt. Kirk says that no matter how intimidating or threatening our enemies may be, you do not give in to the same fear and hatred they live by.
** ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' copy-pasta'd it's anvil from "MobyDick" and countless other stories; the unyielding, blind pursuit of revenge '''will''' destroy you and the people around you. Repeated again in ''First Contact'' and ''Into Darkness''.
*** Another anvil, getting old, losing youth and friends, and missed opportunities, don't mean life isn't still a great adventure worth having.
*** "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"
** ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'' - There's no length too far to go when your friends need you.
*** and, "sometimes the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many." But then TrueCompanions is one of the founding principle of the franchise.
* ''{{Film/Matilda}}'' tells us that children are smarter than we give them credit for and we must appreciate them more and that if you continue to oppress everyone below you, they will strike back '''''hard.'''''
* ''Film/DemolitionMan'' goes on about how important it is to have free will in society. [[CowboyCop John Spartan]], [[RebelliousSpirit Edgar Friendly]], and [[EvenEvilHasStandards even]] [[AxCrazy Simon Phoenix]] all can't stand Dr. Raymond Cocteau's highly-restrictive society.
* As divisive a movie it is, ''Film/SuckerPunch'' has "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything". Don't be just a bystander, an apathetic or too cynical person to do anything; Even if its TakeAThirdOption doing something is better than do nothing. Also relates to the old saying "Bad things happen when good people do nothing".
** Likewise even if you think you've hit rock bottom and lost everything, you can still help someone else. And help yourself in the process.
* The David [=DeFalco=] film ''Chaos'' went with "the world can be heartless, and true evil can sometimes win". This led to a lot to a lot of arguments between [=DeFalco=] and the critics, most prominently Roger Ebert:
--> '''[=DeFalco=]''': Mr. Ebert, how do you want 21st century evil to be portrayed in film and in the media? Tame and sanitized? Titillating and exploitive? Or do you want evil portrayed as it really is? 'Ugly, nihilistic and cruel', as you say our film does it?
--> '''Ebert:''' In a time of dismay and dread, is it admirable for filmmakers to depict pure evil? Have 9/11, suicide bombers, serial killers and kidnappings created a world in which the response of the artist must be nihilistic and hopeless? At the end of your film, after the other characters have been killed in sadistic and gruesome ways, the only survivor is the one who is evil incarnate, and we hear his cold laughter under a screen that has gone dark. Your answer, that the world is evil and therefore it is your responsibility to reflect it, is no answer at all, but a surrender.
* ''Film/ComeAndSee'': No matter how good intentions you may have had going into it, war will eat away your innocence and sanity to the point that your original intentions would be worthless and Florya, the main character, only comes off as sympathetic in the end by realizing that at one point even Hitler had been innocent.
* ''Film/{{Philadelphia}}'' was among the first films to say "Gay people and people with HIV or AIDS are no different from anyone else."
* ''Film/NaturalBornKillers'' gives us the lesson that the media's fascination with violent crime and making the criminals whom commit them, national celebrities by the constant coverage, is a problem.
* In ''Film/AnyGivenSunday'', the audience is given the message about how dangerously cult-like the sport American Football is; and how athletes suffer and kill themselves just to give the American people violent entertainment like the Gladiators in Rome. One scene between Coach Tony and Quarterback Willie Beaman, {{Lampshaded}} this when the film shows scenes of the famous chariot race in ''Film/BenHur'' while the two are arguing, including the part where the stunt man got ran over and killed.
* ''{{Film/Traffic}}'s'' overall point, is that the war on drugs is pointless, because there's too much political corruption and money involved to really win the war. In other words: Its too big to fail.
* ''The Defiant Ones'' stars Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier as two convicts, handcuffed to each other, who escape a chain gang and are forced to rely on each other to survive. By the time they manage to break the cuffs, their antipathy toward each other has turned into mutual respect. The obvious anvil, and one very much in need of dropping in the late 50s when this film debuted, is that white and black people are pretty much stuck with each other so we'd better learn to get along if we want to survive.
* "States of Grace" drops a hard anvil in the Christian Community, reiterating an often forgotten message about God's endless grace and the power to turn a life around after grave sin.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' especially the original ''Film/{{Gojira}}'', is basically all about the horrors of nuclear weapons, where Godzilla's original rampage in Tokyo has eerily similar after effects of the real life atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
* The purpose of ''Film/{{Downfall}}'', according to [[WordOfGod the director]], is to make the Nazis feel human and not just monsters one can dismiss as nothing like oneself.
* The documentary ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reel_Bad_Arabs Reel Bad Arabs]]'' is an in-depth look at the stereotyping of Arabs and other Middle Eastern peoples, dropping a massive anvil about all the UnfortunateImplications coming from it, and how harmful the stereotyping actually is.
* The children's direct-to-video film ''Wee Sing in Sillyville'' drops a few powerful anvils about racism. The basic premise: two children are brought from the "real world" into Sillyville, a world in a coloring book. There, they discover that the population, which is divided into different groups based on what color they wear, have all stopped interacting [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything because they don't look similar to one another.]] To further hide the message, those groups are made up of people of different races and ethnicities. The two children point out that you shouldn't do everything the crowd is doing just because it's popular, and that without different colors, Sillyville wouldn't even exist. It's also praiseworthy for noting that the different members of the groups, though "colorist," aren't nasty or cruel in any way--they're genuinely nice people who love to have fun and sing. In a genre where villains are often pure evil, it's nice to see more nuanced portrayals of the way racism works in the real world.
* ''Film/{{Gettysburg}}'': The people on both sides of the UsefulNotes/AmericanCivilWar were human beings, and every person who died at The Battle of Gettysburg was an American.
* ''Film/{{Jurassic Park}}'' basically screams "DON'T PLAY GOD, ESPECIALLY WITH MOTHER NATURE". Interestingly, the film doesn't seem to present the "science is bad" approach, either.
* ''Film/MeanGirls'': Saying hurtful things about others, directly or indirectly, is extremely painful to everyone.
-->'''Cady:''' Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.
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