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I wanted to do a post all about digital art documentaries that could be shown in the classroom, but it turns out that there really aren’t any good ones out there yet! Maybe that’s something that I could look into one day…

So for today, I’ll be reviewing three art documentaries for you. Two of them are totally safe with no possible explicit content, but for the other one you may have to do some fast forwarding or muting. ;) 


Exit through the gift shop
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Exit Through the Gift Shop 

I start with this one because it has the most questionable content. However, I had to include it because it is so good! The story as a whole has been scrutinized by some because not all the footage can be verified as true, however, I think it creates some great opportunities for discussion! In it you follow the path of a few key graffiti artists and they talk about how and why they choose to work on the street instead of on canvas.

  • Where to find it:
  • Run time: 86 minutes
  • Questionable Content: 
    • 12:19, cuss word spoken
    • 21:23, cuss word spoken
    • 22:55, cuss word written
    • 34:35, cuss word spoken
    • 50:24, obscene hand gesture
    • 55:25, cuss word spoken
    • 57:56, cuss word spoken in French
    • 1:11:50, cuss word spoken
  • Discussion Question:
    • After watching the movie and getting a peek into the lives of street artists, does it change the way that you view graffiti? Do you see it as illegal and wrong? Or is it a unique form of art that has a right to be expressed? Explain why. 


Bob Ross
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Bob Ross: The Happy Painter

Popularity of Bob Ross’ videos has grown over the past few years. He has some catch phrases that are instantly recognizable, even for the younger generation. Whether your students recognize his name only to poke fun at him or they have actually watched his videos, I chose this documentary because I knew he would be known. ALSO, this would be a SAFE option. No need to fast forward or mute any parts; just put in the link, sit back, and enjoy!

  • Where to find it:
  • Run time: 64 minutes
  • Questionable Content: none!
  • Discussion Question:
    • The whole premise of Bob’s passion for painting was the joy he felt in sharing it with the world. What are you passionate about? What would it look like for you to turn that passion into a joy-filled career?


Pixar Story
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A Pixar Story

This documentary is very well done. The only problem I see with it is…that it’s not free. Unfortunately, you have to have a Disney+ subscription in order to view it. However, it follows the life and work of John Lassiter and the beginnings of new technology in animation. It is inspiring and full of real life setbacks and conflicts as one artist pursues his dream. 

  • Where to find it:
  • Run time: 91 minutes
  • Questionable Content: none!
  • Discussion Question:
    • When everything seems to crash down, how do you pick up and keep moving forward and pursue your dream the way John Lassiter did with Pixar? (Or if you haven’t experienced a crash like this, what dream would you be willing to keep fighting for?)


I think these could be some really good options for your digital arts classroom, even if they’re not all strictly digital in nature!

You can grab full discussion guides for each of the videos listed above for just a buck! Click the button below to find out more.