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4 Inspirational Disney Characters That Will Get You Through Finals

If you grew up in the ‘90’s, there is a good chance Disney was an important part of your childhood. And for some of us, it still is.

In honor of Beauty and The Beast coming back to theatres, now as a live action film, and to sympathize with college students who will be soon facing finals, I decided to write a review of the most inspirational Disney characters that will definitely give you a motivational boost during your study breaks.


4. Belle, Beauty and the Beast

Although Belle is not at the top of this lst, she deserves some good recognition. Belle defies gender roles and societal expectations. She learns to read and tries to pass her reading skills on to girls in her village. She makes her own decisions: decides not to marry Gaston, the most eligible bachelor in town, and decides to take her father’s place in the Beast’s castle in order to save him. Even as a prisoner, she basically forces the Beast to behave; this takes a lot of courage. She then has the opportunity to finally escape and choses to stay and take care of injured Beast. This portrays her autonomy, her kindness and her strong conviction.

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere! I want it more than I can tell!” 



3. RapunzelTangled

Rapunzel is locked on a feudal tower against her will and is convinced that someday, but just not today, she could  be free to leave the tower and explore the outside word. In the tower, she  wakes up early every day (7am is definitely a no-go for me), cleans, paints, plays her guitar, reads everything she can get her hands on, learns about astronomy, cooks, makes pottery, makes candles, and does all of this while singing. Besides having extra-productive days, she craves freedom and knows there is so much more than the tower for her to see. Soon, along comes an intruder in her tower, whose ass she successfully kicks with only her hair and a frying pan. As Buzzfeed said, “is there a more forceful way to reappropriate a symbol of feminine oppression than by beating the shit out of someone with it?” The frying pan is definitely there to make a point.  

At the end, Rapunzel leaves the tower, fulfills her dream to see the lantern ceremony, and ends up falling in love with the aforementioned intruder. However, it is important to emphasize that while concentrating on something else, a.k.a. her life and her dreams, she happens to stumble upon love, so a romance was never actually her life purpose.

“Too weak to handle myself out there, huh, Mother?” [starts twirling frying pan] 



2. TianaThe Princess and the Frog

Tiana starts from the bottom , a waitress working two jobs, and successfully works her way up until she finally owns her own restaurant (which was her goal from the beginning).

Tiana is a responsible hard working woman who, although she spends most of the film as a frog, ends up saving not only herself but also prince Navine with her ingenuity. Moreover, she falls for prince Navine while she is saving him, challenging the stereotype that girls need to be saved.

She is a girl of priorities, and says so herself when singing the song “Almost There”. Here, her mom tries to convince her to take it easy with her dream of owning a restaurant however, she clearly states that she doesn’t have time for dancing, and that that’s just gonna have to wait a while.

At the end of the film, Tiana gets her restaurant and the guy because, let’s face it, it is still a somewhat romance-oriented movie.

“I remember daddy told me ‘fairy tales can come true.’ But you’ve got to make them happen, it all depends on you!” 



1. Mulan, Mulan

Mulan challenges gender roles by first disguising herself as a man in order to save her elderly dad from joining the military. However, she doesn’t stop there. As seen in the training camp scene, when the other soldiers will supposedly “make a man out of her”, she successfully outcompetes all of her less-competent comrades, who are, in fact, men. This initial military victory does not come easily. Mulan pulls a training all-nighter. She works hard and smart and succeeds at the various archery challenges. This not only demonstrates a strong work ethic but also shows her determinism and grit. Even after she was to be sent back home because her troop’s general discovered she was a woman, Mulan comes back and rescues again and again her comrades and pretty much the whole of China.

“After all, as the emperor said, ‘The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”



Although most of these movies are unfortunately not on Netflix, borrowing DVDs from a friend or renting them are always possibilities. Who is your biggest inspiration? Let us know in the comments below!


Sources: 1/2/3/4 

Psychology & Business student. Currently broadening my knowledge on investments, insurance, & education. Aspiring CFA.
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