Have you ever sat back and thought about all of the incredible life lessons that Disney movies have taught us?
From how to be a good friend to pushing past our inner boundaries, Disney movies show us the way to lives our best lives and be our very best selves.
“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.” — Mufasa
Movies like The Lion King and Moana have taught us that we’re capable of more than we know. When Mufasa dies, young Simba is full of guilt and self-doubt. It’s only when he starts to believe in himself that he can lead the way he was meant to. Like him, all we have to do is look inside ourselves for strength and perseverance.
“But the thing that makes Woody special is that he’ll never give up on you… ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.” — Andy
Disney has also taught us that true friends will always be there to help, no matter what. Movies like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. show us this. When Woody is wrongfully taken by a toy dealer, Buzz and the gang set out to rescue him, at their own peril. And has there ever been a team that relied on each other as much as monsters Mike and Sulley? Disney movies show us again and again the qualities of a good friend: loyalty, trust, and the willingness to help even when it’s not convenient… or safe!
“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”– Narrator from Beauty and the Beast
We’ve been hearing this our entire lives: Beauty is only skin deep. The film Beauty and the Beast illustrates this almost better than any other film. When she first meets him, all Belle sees is “The Beast.” But as she gets to really know him, she discovers the real person under that gruff exterior. We need to learn to look inside a person to see them for who they truly are.
“The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.” — Tiana
You don’t get something for nothing! Tiana shows us this in The Princess and the Frog — and all of her hard work eventually pays off. It’s one of the basic lessons learned in Mulan, as well. Mulan struggles against terrific odds, and yet she succeeds and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines. Judy Hopps in Zootopia knows she’s just a small rabbit, but that doesn’t stop her from giving it her all to become the cop she wants to be.
“The things that make me different are the things that make me ME.” — Winnie the Pooh
We could also have quoted Genie, from Aladdin: “Beeeee yourself!” This is the theme of so many Disney movies. When Aladdin pretends to be what he’s not, things go terribly wrong. Belle doesn’t cave to public opinion, she continues to read her books and be independent. Moana doesn’t listen to anyone’s advice — she knows that she’s meant to explore and travel the ocean. The message is clear: Always stay true to who you are.
“Think of all the joy you’ll find when you leave the world behind and bid your cares goodbye.”– Peter Pan
Peter Pan taught us that it’s OK sometimes to give in to our inner child. There are so many problems and worries in our day-to-day lives, sometimes we need to set them aside for a while and “think of a wonderful thought, any happy little thought.” We need to take some time to do something fun. We may grow older, but we do not necessarily have to grow up.
“Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.”– Rapunzel
One of the biggest messages in Tangled is to not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. There is a great, big, beautiful world outside of the one we’ve been living in. Look at Carl Fredericksen in UP. When he finally dares to go exploring as he had been planning all his life, amazing things happen. Marlin would have never found his son Nemo if he hadn’t taken the risk to leave his safe home. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine, but we grow and learn and accomplish so much more when we push past that.
“Well, there’s one thing: they can’t order me to stop dreaming.” — Cinderella
Many Disney films, like Cinderella, Up, and Tangled have taught us to follow our dreams, even when others are trying to hold us back. Where would Remy have been without his dream to become a chef in Ratatouille? And Lightning McQueen’s dream of racing drives him to become a better car, and friend. You’re never too old to dream. Walt himself believed that “if you can dream it, you can do it.” He shared this same idea in his films — and this inspiration carries through to Disney movies today.
What life lesson have you learned from Disney movies? Let us know in the comments below.
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