5 Disney Movies We Can Learn From

By Sarah Patriarca

With the recent birth of my baby cousin, I have been looking at certain aspects of my childhood that I can share with her. I think it is safe to say, that the Disney movies and the concept around it, were a big part of most people’s upbringing. As a child, I always wanted to be a Disney princess and roam a castle with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Florida. After thinking about this, I started watching Disney movies that I loved as a kid, just to compare how it would make me feel as a young adult. I’ve realized that there are many lessons to be learned that we can take into our adulthood. Here are top 5 Disney Movies that taught us a lesson about life:

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was one of those Disney movies that teaches us that beauty is not only found on the outside but it is also found within. We must not judge somebody based on their looks but get to know their personality as well. Looking at it now as an adult, another lesson can be learned through the character of Belle. Belle’s character is very different compared to the provincial life that she lives in. No matter how many times people in the movie may call her weird or strange, she still continues to read her books and hope for adventure. We know that during this time period, it was frowned upon for any women to be thinking in this manner, just like Gaston states in the beginning of the movie. However, Belle teaches us that even though we might get backlash for being different, we shouldn’t conform to what everyone else wants. We should be happy with who we are.

 

Lilo and Stitch

Lilo and Stitch, was a very underrated movie, in my opinion. This movie teaches us the bases of a supportive family and what it means to be in a family. Stitch comes from another planet unlike our own and arrives on Earth where he befriends Lilo, and her sister. Stitch only knows how to be independent and doesn’t understand the bases of leaning on someone else. With Lilo’s help he comes to realize that even a family that is small and broken, is still a family at the end of the day. Stitch realizes that he might be different, but realizes that family accepts everything and does not hold judgement.

 

Mulan

I actually did not watch Mulan until I was entering my teen years. But even comparing then to now, I’ve interpreted the message very differently. Mulan is a character that is always trying to do right by her family, by getting married off. However, being categorized as a “perfect bride” is not what she wants and is not a part of who she is. She doesn’t realize who she is until she replaces her dad in the war. We come to learn that although some jobs are considered to only be for men, women can equally do the job as well, and sometimes even better than the male. We all know how hard it is to see ourselves in the mirror and not be happy with who we are. Sometimes we feel like we are putting on a show for other people, just to please others and not ourselves. This is why Mulan is a very relatable character and proves to us that you don’t always have to please others but please yourself first.  

 

Frozen

The movie Frozen has had very mixed responses to its audience, in that the movie can be a bit overrated. In the beginning, I thought this as well, but after recently watching it we can see a few lessons that can be learned. Firstly, I believe in this generation in society the term “love” gets thrown around so easily that at times it seems as if it loses some meaning. We can see this in the first bit of the movie where Anna finds herself accepting a marriage proposal from a complete stranger. Disney uses this scene to clearly show that they are mocking those that fall in love at first sight, and uses Elsa’s character to show how unrealistic this notion can be. The last lesson to be learned is actually done through the bond of the two sisters. In majority of Disney movies, we can clearly see a princess being saved by true love’s first kiss from the prince. However, in this movie it is completely different. Not only does Anna sacrifice herself to save her sister but proves that the love of two sisters is the best type of love. This bond is inseparable, and is a lesson we can learn from our own siblings.

 

Pocahontas

When I first watched Pocahontas, I only really paid attention to the music and the love aspect of the storyline. However, looking at it now I can see that there is more to the story that relates to our current events and events that have happened in the past. In life there has always been so much hate and segregation between the diversity of people. This can date back to slavery and today’s events of religion. Pocahontas meets John Smith, and right away he sees her differently, as a savage. However, Pocahontas teaches him that you need to walk the footsteps of a stranger and understand where that person has been. That we should realize that not looking the same is actually a blessing. In the end, the Natives and English people get into a war of sorts, that is broken by Pocahontas and her love for John Smith. That even if you are of different race or religion, love has no boundaries.

 

Of course there are more movies that have taught us lots of lessons but these are just ones I have found to be the most striking in our daily lives. I encourage everyone to re-watch and learn a lesson or two from Walt Disney. You will find that most of these lessons can be learned and used in when we are on our way to becoming adults.