• Karen Salita

My Top Ten Wiggle Movies

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Wiggles are a big part of the human condition, which is why they show up so often in movies. When I refer to Wiggles, I’m referring to the excitement we feel when we’re drawn toward certain ideas, people, or activities. This excitement often makes us feel like we’re a dog wagging our tail! What causes us to Wiggle is different and unique to each of us and may change throughout our lives. But one thing is true for all of us-- we’ve been experiencing these sensations since our earliest memories in childhood.

The greatest dilemma in a person’s life often occurs when they realize that the people around them don’t support their Wiggles and they have to make a choice between remaining true to themselves or remaining loyal to their family, friends, and communities. Many of us had to begin making these choices at a young age and chose to disappoint ourselves rather than disappoint others.

Wiggle dilemmas are an ongoing theme in life as we’re often asked to make difficult decisions that relate to our wellbeing. More often than not, making choices that align our inner worlds with our outer worlds allow us to feel healthy and whole. But sometimes we need a reminder of the value in remaining true to ourselves in the face of adversity. Below is a list of my Top 10 Wiggle Movies, which I hope will provide some inspiration for your Wiggle journeys.

10.) THE EAGLE HUNTRESS

Aishol-pan stands with her Eagle in Mongolia.

This documentary follows the story of Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia who is learning the ancient skill of eagle hunting, a tradition which has been handed down from father to son through 12 generations in her family. Not only is she the first female in her family to learn this tradition, she also becomes the first female to compete in the nation’s largest eagle hunting competition. Stunning cinematography accompanies this heart-warming story of a girl’s desire to follow a Wiggle and learn a tradition that many in her culture feel should be withheld from her.


RATED G- Excellent for adults and youth alike, English and Kazakh with subtitles. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

9.) WHALE RIDER

Paikea sits in a boat that is a cherished but abandoned family project.

In this movie, a Maori girl, Paikea, is born into a long lineage of chiefs. But she’s the wrong gender to take on a leadership role, which creates a great inner conflict for her. She can’t help but follow her Wiggles to learn the ancient traditions, to the dismay and disdain of her respected grandfather, a community leader. Despite all the attempts made to reject her efforts and her identity, Paikea remains connected to the truth she feels in her heart and in her bones. She allows her spirit to guide her and the process transforms not only herself, but her community as well.


RATED PG- 13- Great for adults and teens. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Tubi, and Pluto TV.

8.) CHEF

The lead character and his son stand in the doorway of the food truck they created during their cross-country trip.

A talented chef in a high-end restaurant goes off the rails after a scathing review and a social media disaster. Losing everything he thought he wanted sends him on a soul-searching journey where he not only bonds with his son, he also discovers the experiences which enliven his heart. This transformational journey allows him to follow his Wiggles one step at a time while not seeing the big picture until the end. A fabulous cast and lots of humor make this a very enjoyable Wiggle journey.


RATED R for language and some adult themes. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

7.) THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

Chris Gardner reads to his five-year-old son while homeless.

“People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it.” These are the words spoken by Chris Gardner to his five-year-old son while struggling against homelessness and vying for a competitive position with a prestigious stock brokerage firm. This movie, featuring Will Smith, is based on the true story of a man who had to muster up all the strength and determination he had to follow his Wiggles for being a successful businessman and a successful father.


RATED PG-13 for language; Contains valuable lessons for adults and teens. Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

6.) OCTOBER SKY

Homer Hickam tests one of his early rockets.

This film, featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, and Laura Dern, tells the true story of Homer Hickam, the son of a coal miner who follows a Wiggle to learn how to build rockets in the era of Sputnik, defying his father in the process. Homer faces a tremendous internal struggle between following in his father’s footsteps, a role that is expected of him, and blazing his own trail into the unknown world of rocket science. His struggle is summed up in a conversation with his beloved teacher and mentor when he expresses his frustration over being forced to abandon his dreams. “I have no choice!” he exclaims to her, to which she responds, “As long as you are alive on this planet, you have a choice.”


RATED PG- Appropriate and wonderful for everyone. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, Google Play, and Vudu.

5.) BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM

Jess Bhamra sits in her bedroom and gazes at picture of her idol- soccer legend David Beckham.

Bend It Like Beckham is a brilliant movie not only for sports fans, but for anyone who has had to go against the grain of family and tradition to follow a dream. In this movie, Jess Bhamra is a talented soccer player, but her passion goes against the strict values of her traditional Indian family. She experiences a deep sense of conflict between her devotion to her dreams and her devotion to her family. This film highlights the idea that sometimes our Wiggle journeys mean we have to disappoint others to avoid disappointing ourselves.


RATED PG-13- Great for adults and teens. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Hulu.

4.) BILLY ELLIOT

Billy Elliot stands in his boxing gear among young ballet students as he tries to figure out how he can learn ballet.

Billy Elliot is a boy growing up in a man’s world amid the historic coal miners’ strikes in Northern England during the 1980’s. Despite his father’s push for him to learn boxing, Billy discovers ballet and he cannot deny the wonderful electricity that flows through his body while he’s dancing. He must keep his ballet Wiggle a secret from his domineering father and brother until his talent is discovered by a compassionate and dedicated dance teacher. This movie is beautiful, artistic, and compelling as it tells the age-old story of a family who imposes their narrow-minded values in an attempt to maintain the status quo.


RATED R for salty British language and brief mention of sex. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Hulu.

3.) THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN

Burt Munro races his custom motorcycle on the Bonneville Salt Flats in an attempt to set a land speed record.

The World’s Fastest Indian is based on the true story of Burt Munro, a New Zealand man who set out to break a land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats with his custom-built Indian motorcycle. The lead character, played by Anthony Hopkins, is an older adult with dreams that are almost childlike. Throughout this movie he reveals that our dreams are the fuel that power lives worth living. And while others may not understand or condone our dreams, they’re ours to follow. I feel it’s safe to say that the world’s greatest achievements have come on the heels of people’s “unrealistic” dreams and Wiggles.


RATED PG-13- Great for adults and teens. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, and Sling TV.

2.) TEMPLE GRANDIN

Temple Grandin wears overalls and a hard hat while in an internship in the livestock industry.

This award-winning movie is based on the true story of Temple Grandin, a prominent and world-renown activist both for autism and for the livestock industry. As a woman growing up with autism during the 1960’s, Temple was awkward and different, never fully understanding why she was so unlike everyone else around her. Along her journey she discovered clues about herself and the experiences she was deeply attracted to. Autism became her superpower as it enabled her to disregard the messages about her limitations and instead she was able to hone her skills and interests. In the end, her Wiggle journey transformed not only her own life but the lives of others and the world as a whole through her work.


RATED PG- Excellent for adults and youth alike. Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and HBO Max.

1.) AMELIE

Amelie smiles while looking into a box of treasures she's just discovered.

In France, Amelie is a young woman who grew up with a sense of separateness, but she craves a sense of connectedness. Through her efforts to have a profound and positive impact on those around her, she follows her Wiggles and unexpectedly creates a profound and positive shift within herself. Through exquisite, artistic, and colorful storytelling, acclaimed director Jean-Pierre Jeunet captures the imagination and tells the story that exists within all of us- the yearning to feel whole, connected, and alive.


RATED R for sexual themes and brief nudity, French with subtitles. Available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Hulu, HBO Max, and HBO Go.


I hope you recognize parts of yourselves in these movies' characters and I hope they will help you muster up the strength you need when you need it most. If you have Wiggle movies that inspire you, please share them in the comments below!


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