Disney has a way of working its magic to all ages.
We watch these classics time and time again, and with each re-watch, we still continue to learn something new. These films really are the gift that keeps on giving! But when was the last time you thought about the lessons that you may have learned from these films-- both the old and new ones?
Take a look at our favorite lessons that Disney films have taught us through the years:
Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover | Beauty and the Beast
“Far Off Places” by Paige O’Hara | Shop: http://bit.ly/2NNtcr2
With Belle’s love for books and reading, it’s fitting that this is one of the main lessons of the story.
The whole town fawns over Gaston’s good looks (have you seen that smile? 😍), but Belle is unimpressed. Gaston is both egotistical and pompous, and he shows that a beautiful outside can have a beastly inside.
On the contrary, there is The Beast. Cursed with looks that would frighten your average joe, it is difficult to see past his unsightly exterior and catch sight of the goodness of his heart. But he shows Belle that a beastly outside can have a beautiful inside.
Belle was able to look past both men’s exteriors and see what was truly at their core-- and no, we aren’t talking about Gaston’s abs.
Be Truthful | Pinocchio
“Little Wooden Boy” by Toby Bluth | Shop: http://bit.ly/2EvZhnS
“Always let your conscience be your guide.” -Jiminy Cricket
As children, Pinocchio introduced us to the idea of this: what if our noses grow each time we tell a lie? The character of Pinocchio tells many lies, some larger than others, but he learns that keeping track of lies is far more trouble than simply telling the truth. Lies grow far beyond our control, just like Pinocchio’s nose did, and they’re bound to come out eventually. So the lesson that Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket taught us is simple, yet so important: always tell the truth.
Family Means Everything | Lilo & Stitch
“The Splendor Of His New Home” by Rob Kaz | Shop: http://bit.ly/2ymiT8o
"Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."
Lilo comes from a non-traditional family. But when Stitch comes into their life, they take non-traditional to a whole new level… we’re talking “alien” level.
Lilo and her sister Nani have a hard time accepting his different non-human quirks. But once they get past Stitches peculiar habits (eating garbage?) and learn to accept him for the odd yet lovable creature that he really is, Lilo turns this story into a personal nurturing experience.
She cares for Stitch and teaches him wrong from right, just as she wishes a parent would do for her. And while she grieves the death of her parents, this is cathartic for her. Stitch is now family, and Lilo learned that through thick and thin family must stick together.
Be Kind | Snow White
“No Ordinary Apple” by Jim Salvati | Shop: http://bit.ly/2EuInG1
Perhaps talking to strangers would be the obvious lesson in this movie (who would eat an apple from a WITCH?!), but you already know not to do that, right?
One of the more baseline lessons that Disney covers is this one from Snow White. The character of Snow White just might be the OP (Original Princess) example of “kill ‘em with kindness.”
The Evil Queen’s mission to have Snow White killed was brought to a halt when the princess showed her good nature to the Huntsman. She saw through his ill-intent and appealed to the goodness in him. She believed he could be kind. While Snow White could have easily acted vengeful, she chose to take the route of kindness-- a lesson we should all take from her.
Embrace Your Emotions | Inside Out
Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.
These are the emotions that Inside Out encourages us to embrace. While some emotions leave us feeling content, others leave us feeling negatively-- we’re looking at you, erm, everyone except for Joy. Inside Out taught us that we should equally embrace both positive and negative emotions, which is exactly why this film tugged on our heartstrings with so much might.
The character Joy often tries to prevent Sadness from having too much of an impact on Riley’s mood, going so far as to confine her to a circle so she can’t be in control of Riley’s mind. In reality, Joy is really suppressing these sad emotions that Riley should be confronting and working through on her own.
The lesson: embrace tough emotions mindfully.
Never Lose Your Curiosity | Alice in Wonderland
“Down The Rabbit Hole” by James C. Mulligan | Shop: http://bit.ly/2q0JF1i
Alice in Wonderland has a large amount of representation and imagery within the animated film, and perhaps one of the biggest symbols in the film is the White Rabbit. The White Rabbit represents curiosity, and while Alice is warned not to follow the rabbit down the hole, she decides to follow her curiosity anyway. If she hadn’t left her comfort zone, she would have never visited all of the magnificent places that she saw and met all of the new people that she was introduced to. Always follow your white rabbit, and always stay curious.
As children, we see Disney films as enchanting escapes from our day-to-day lives, but we probably didn’t notice all of the lessons that they taught us along the way. Whether it be something as simple as being kind to one another, or something more complex, like embracing tough emotions within us-- Disney films never fail to teach a good life lesson.