Things Disney Taught Me

 Growing up, watching Disney movies on repeat, we don't pay much attention to the lessons they teach us. Until you're in your teens or 20's and all the sudden it makes sense. 
The lessons that we can learn through Disney movies really are ones that we can take throughout our lives. They may seem silly at first as kids, watching the movies and hearing the songs, but when you really think about the meanings behind each story and song you’re bound to leave with at least one new moral. Watching Disney movies is so much fun as a young adult because we can catch the little puns that we didn't notice before and appreciating all the lessons along the way.

1. Follow your dreams.
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Rapunzel didn't just teach us the importance of following your dreams, but also how important it is it believe in yourself and to step outside of your comfort zone. All she wanted was to see the floating lights for her birthday, but instead, she was convinced to stay in her tower, locked away for years by Mother Gothel . They say that life begins outside of your comfort zone, and while at first Rapunzel was scared to leave the tower, afraid of what the repercussions may be, she did eventually take that big jump outside that tower and had the best day ever!

In the movie, she and Eugene talk about the importance of having a dream and following it through to the end. Some dreams may seem silly almost childlike, but they mean something to you for a reason, and they are worth it all because dreams really do come true. But what if your dream doesn't turn out to be all you hoped for? Doesn't have to stop you from dreaming and going after what your heart desires.

2. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.
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This lesson shows just how important it is to standing up for yourself and who you are. Too often, young women (and girls), are silenced and unable to speak their minds. They are seen as bossy just for taking charge or being assertive, and in older, classic movies it’s often the princesses being saved and going along with what they are told

Jasmine and Merida are both great role models for speaking up for themselves and not being bossed around. Neither of them wants to marry for anything but love and they don’t see the need to marry at all if it’s not what they want to do. Jasmine won’t let anyone but herself decide her future for her. She “is not a prize to be won” and she won’t let you think otherwise. She's a princess who is more assertive than some, and will not be walked all over. She won’t do something if she doesn’t want to and she will definitely let you know if she does not agree with you.

 Comparably, Merida doesn’t let anything stop her from being herself and she is very strong willed, determined that she is in charge of her own fate and destiny, no body else. “There are those who say fate is something beyond our command, that destiny is not our own. But I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.” - Princess Merida

3. Be kind to others
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Cinderella taught us to have courage and be kind. A little kindness can go a long way, and while Cinderella was treated horribly, she never let that stop her from being the bigger person, focusing on seeing the bigger picture and being kind to others. Overall, Disney also taught us this classic golden rule from "Bambi." from the lovely rabbit, named Thumper

4. Don't be afraid to be yourself and be different.

One of the biggest lessons we can learn is to be yourself, no matter what it looks like to others. People may make fun of you for being different at first, but being different isn’t a bad thing. Our differences are what make us special and unique. There are so many quotes about being yourself in spite of our differences and no one showcases that lesson better than Dumbo by embracing his cute, jumbo ears. Embracing your differences makes you who you are, and in the end, it’s way more fun being yourself rather than a second rate copy of someone else. Always be yourself and stay true to who you are.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” – Mulan

5. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
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We’ve all heard this lesson one way or another and it's one we should always bare in mind, when picking up books or judging others and we likely already know how true this lesson really is. If Belle were to judge someone solely based on their appearances, she likely would've ended up with Gaston. And please, no one wants to even imagine that! Do they!? 

Belle is a smart girl who loves to read, she is caring and kind, and she is nice to others, even when they call her odd. Everyone seems to like her just because she is beautiful, but she looks beyond appearances at who the person truly is inside. Although we has humans judge those based on looks but it's the kinder souls who look a little deeper to get to know the real person.

At first, while the Beast is mean to her and tries to be intimidating, and appearances do seem to match the personality inside. But Belle keeps an open mind and when she and the Beast are nice to each other, they learn to get to know one another beyond how they look. The whole reason the Beast has the appearance of a ugly looking monster in the first place is because he judged someone negatively, clearly based on their appearance. And he learnt the hard way. Being cursed along with the rest of the castle and the people in it. You can’t judge how a person is based on how they look, but rather by how they act. When you look past the cover, you see what is really inside and what is worth getting to know, because beauty can't be found on the surface, but from within.

“Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what is outside, but what is inside that counts.” - Merchant (Aladdin)

6. Never grow up.

Peter Pan - and Walt Disney - both taught us to never grow up. When we were little, we all couldn’t wait to grow up, make our own choices, and be independent. It’s only now that I realise how wrong I may have been wanting to grow up so fast along with a few others. Because adulting just sucks, and there's not point in sugar coating it. Time already moves so quick - quicker than any of us would like or really notice - but the true magic comes from being a kid at heart. You have the most fun listening to your inner child.

We forget how significant this lesson is because as a kid the world seems so amazing, nothing is going wrong and even as an adult, adventure is always out there. Being an adult and having a lot of responsibilities isn’t always much fun, but it doesn’t mean that you have to grow up. As Walt Disney said, “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional,” and with the magic of Disney and of course Peter Pan, we can all be kids at heart and remember that place where dreams are born, time is never planned, and happy thoughts can help us fly away. Embrace your inner child, no matter what age you are.

7. Hard work pays off.
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Tiana embodies working hard and making a living doing what you love. She’s had a dream to own her own restaurant since she was a little girl  and she knows that nothing is guaranteed, she isn’t likely to get anything handed to her. She also knows that she can do anything she puts her mind to and even though it may be hard and take some time, it will be worth it to know that she did this and that she deserved it. I don't think people talk about how awesome Tiana is, she doesn't focus on getting the prince - she focuses on herself and her dream. That's how the hard work well and truly paid off. No matter how many blows life gives you, you can still rely on your hard work and determination to make your dreams become a reality.

8. Don’t change yourself for anyone.
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Yes, I definitely wish Ariel would have taught me how to be a mermaid, but we don't always get what we want. One thing she did teach me though was that in the end true love will always conquer all. She also showed us that it's important to ALWAYS remember where you come from.

This may not seem like the best example because, obviously, in the end, Ariel does change into a human to be with Eric. However, she does learn a few important lessons along the way. Ariel gave up her voice so that she could be on land and try to win over Prince Eric, but this only caused more problems for her throughout the story. Her voice was a gift and it was only when she wasn’t able to use it that she realised how important it actually was. Eric loved her for who she is and for her voice, and luckily, she was able to get both of them back in the end. This goes to show, having a voice is powerful and how important it is to use it.

Aladdin also tries to change himself for Jasmine, but Jasmine shows that she loves him for who he is, not what title he has. The important thing in life is to be yourself and not let anyone change you for their sake. If someone wants to change who you are, they’re not worth it one bit. The people that really love you will be the ones that love all of your quirks and traits; they’ll love you for you, not for anything else.

"Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much we're all alike" - Aladdin

9. Don’t regret past mistakes. Learn to face your fears.

Simba spends most of his time worrying about what happened in the past, too afraid to go back and face everyone for something that he thinks was his fault. He lets his fear control him and tries to run away from his problems.

Honestly, we all make mistakes. It’s inevitable that we are going to look back and see the mistakes that we’ve made and what we could have done instead. But, really everything happens for a reason and regretting your choices and past mistakes won’t get you far. It’s facing your fears that can show how brave you really are to keep coming back in the end and fighting to change your path. Let your past inspire you, motivate but never let it hold you back from doing great things 

10. Family is everything.
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The first thing I think of with this lesson is the song “You’ll Be In My Heart” from "Tarzan." And the lesson in the movie behind this is not one to forget. Kala finds baby Tarzan alone in a tree house, saves him from a leopard and takes him home to raise him as her own. Family is more than just skin deep and the bonds we share with family and friends really are forever. Kala and Tarzan grow and protect one another, love each other as family, and would never turn their backs on each other, despite them not being of the same species. Family isn't defined by blood but by love and acceptance as shown in Lilo & Stitch

This lesson is also shown through Mulan’s story. She disguises herself as a man all in order to save her father and go fight for him. He's an older man who has already been in a war and is somewhat injured, but that doesn’t stop the Chinese army from trying to send him in the war again. If there were another man in the family that could step up, her father would be excused, but because there isn’t another man, Mulan steps up and takes his place and save his life, including the fate of China. All she wants is to keep her family safe and to bring honour to those she loves. Mulan is great at representing the fact that a girl can do anything a boy can do; especially when she puts her mind to it. Don't ever let anyone belittle your potential for your abilities just because of your gender. Never let anyone discriminate against you and your talents. Along with Belle, she is a girl power princess.

11.  Honesty Really Is the Best Policy

We have all learnt that telling lies can’t lead to anything good (maybe a little white lie,) and it won’t get you very far at all. If you are honest with others and with yourself, more good can come your way. Like the Blue Fairy in "Pinocchio" said, “A lie keeps growing and growing until it’s as plain as the nose on your face.” Whenever Pinocchio lies, his nose grows a few inches. This always made me giggle when i was young. It is only when he proves that he is good that he finally gets to be a real boy, not just a puppet with the help of Jiminy Cricket. Being a good and honest person gets you much further in life, because really, no one likes a liar.

12.“Even miracles take a little time.”
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The lesson to be patient can go a long way. In the end, everything will work out for the best, and it’s important to try your best and have patience throughout any of your goals. It’s the things that we struggle with and work for that are worth it in the end. The things that are worth it won’t come overnight. But the real lesson is that great things can happen if we keep trying and if we don’t give up. It may take a little longer than we'd like, but patience pays off well in the end. No matter what happens in the world around you, you have the power to create your own reality.
Thanks, Disney, for showing us no matter what age we are, Disney always teaches us a thing or two. To be kind, have a little fun alongside giving us so pretty awesome music and quotes. You're never too old for a Disney movie. Growing up watching Disney films about princess, animals, the magic of believing in yourself and your abilities. When you watch them as an adult, you feel the magic and meaning all over again and I think that's why people love Disney.

Who doesn’t love watching Disney movies? I know I do. Sometimes all you need is to curl up with a blanket, snack on some sweet treats, and watch your favourite Disney film and everything feels good again because who doesn't love a good sing along and magic. 

What has Disney taught you? What Disney movie is your favourite?

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