For decades, Disney movies, both animated and live-action, have touched the lives of children and adults alike. If you watched Disney movies as a kid, you probably paid more attention to the songs, bright colors and action sequences (if applicable).
Watching them as an adult, though (don’t lie – you know you do it), you’ve probably realized these movies have buried deep within them valuable life lessons you never even knew you were learning throughout your childhood. Here are 10 of those movies. You might have to watch them again, one right after the other in marathon fashion, to see the lessons played out in real time.
Not everyone will approve of what you do or the dreams fluttering inside your heart. You have to find the courage to chase those dreams no matter who tries to stop you. It’s not always possible to do this alone, however. Sometimes you need a little help to get to where you want to go.
Growing up is scary, filled with responsibilities we’re not sure we’re ready to adopt. Just because you’re growing older, though, doesn’t mean you have to let your playful imagination fade away. There’s nothing wrong with believing in dreams or far-off fairytales. Your inner child will always be there when you’re running low on faith.
The Lion King
Your past will always be there lurking in the shadows. It’s tough not to look over your shoulder and think about it. Instead of running from it and trying to leave it behind you, run toward it. Face it head-on. Overcoming a bad memory isn’t easy, but once you’re standing on the other side of it, you’ll realize you’re a better person for it.
Stand up for your friends and stick close to your family. Helping those who have helped you when you were in need is what friendship is all about. Those loyal to you will stand behind you no matter the situation. Whether it be a teammate, a parent or a golden retriever, team work never, ever fails.
Lilo & Stitch
Everyone has their own definition of family. You don’t have to be related by blood to someone to care for and love them. Okay, so maybe your dog is actually a distant alien species, but that doesn’t mean you should love him any less. What really makes a family is what its members are willing to do for each other in times of both trouble and triumph.
One mistake doesn’t make you a bad person. There is always good to come of the unfortunate things that happen to us, and always something to learn from every negative experience. Who you really are just might be buried beneath the surface, waiting to be found.
Deep down, you already know what you were born to do. It’s the same dream you’ve had since you were young. As you’ve grown older, maybe you’ve tried to set it aside, to focus on things you and those around you feel are more important. Never let go of what you’ve always known you wanted most. Even if it means giving up what you’ve worked to achieve, it’s worth pursuing the true ambition that captured your heart from the start.
The Princess and the Frog
Achieving your life-long dreams doesn’t come without hardship. Along the way, you’ll run into all sorts of obstacles and roadblocks. Maybe not quite as drastic as transforming into a frog, but close enough. Take on those obstacles as they come and do your best to overcome them.
The only person who gets to decide how you live your life is you. You can’t miss out on all the world has to offer you by letting other people hold you back. If you want to venture outside your comfort zone, do it. If there’s a question you’ve always had and want to find the answer, get out there and find it. Your dreams are so much more important than the dreams other people might have in mind for you.
Everyone has a gift. Maybe you’re good at something no one else can do, and no one seems to understand the true value it has brought to your life. You don’t have to hide it or ignore it because it means something different to you than to everyone around you. Embrace it. Let go of your fear of judgment and isolation. If you can show the world you’re proud of what you can do, they’ll start to look at things differently, too.
The older you get, the more you’ll be able to appreciate everything these movies have taught you over the years. With more Disney magic on the way for years to come, there’s still plenty more to learn.
Featured photo credit: Richard Stephenson via flickr.com