Disney movies are great for keeping the kids entertained so you can get things done. However, the lessons these movies teach don’t just apply to children. Even though they’re cartoons, these classic Disney films impart life lessons even adults can learn from.
An overbearing mother grounds her daughter for life. As oppressed girls do when they come of age, the young girl goes wild and falls for the first man she meets. Soon, the girl teams with the older man to rebel against her mother. They live happily ever after until the girl realizes she’s just like her mother.
Lesson:The more you oppress a person, the more likely they are to do exactly what you don’t want them to.
2. Alice in Wonderland
Bored with her day-to-day life of privilege, young Alice begins taking drugs and chasing the white rabbit through Pan’s labyrinth. She travels to a small village in the Amazon where she drinks peyote tea and confronts her mommy issues. Like a typical American travelling overseas, Alice runs amok, eventually drawing the ire of local law enforcement. After inciting a riot, Alice is deported back home, where she now speaks with a pretentiously fake British accent, to the chagrin of friends and family.
Lesson: Sometimes you have to just take a chance and travel down the rabbit hole.
3. Meet the Robinsons
Two orphans take very different paths in life–one follows his dreams, while the other envies him for it. Years later, the envious orphan gives up on competing with his adult rival, and instead battles his son. Still a loser, he gets in touch with his inner child, which is the only child you’re allowed to touch in questionable ways.
Lesson: Jealously looks good on no one.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Everyone’s celebrating Halloween, but Jack yearns for Christmas. Jack decides to begin selling Christmas decorations before Halloween. Jack’s decision wreaks havoc on all holidays and towns in the world. Soon, Jack sees the error of his ways, and teams up with Santa to destroy the Boogey Man.
Lesson: Walmart puts their Christmas decorations out way too early.
5. A Goofy Movie
A goofy, yet well-meaning, father takes his goofy teenage son on a road trip in order to bond. His son, however, isn’t interested in hanging out with dad–he wants a girl. After much miscommunication between the two goofs, dad finally decides to stop cock-blocking his son and let him grow up.
Lesson: You have to give your kid space to grow.
The most perfect human specimen has 100 problems, and a girl is just one. Caught up in his parents’ sibling rivalry, the man grows up poor. Overcoming all obstacles, Hercules saves the world, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after. Centuries later, the poor, muscular Hercules is reimagined as a skinny, wealthy carpenter.
Lesson: The more perfect someone looks, the bigger their problems are.
7. Wreck-It Ralph
Ralph has a problem–he’s a disrupter, and everyone hates him for it. He’s a grown man with no wife or kids, so he’s dedicated to his job. Desperate to fit in, Ralph leaves to earn a medal, befriending a young glitch along the way. Ralph’s quest earns him the respect and acceptance of his neighbors, although he still sleeps alone.
Lesson: Be compassionate to everyone, especially the outcasts.
In order to save her father, Mulan pretends to be a boy and joins China’s Million Man Army. As the first woman in the military, Mulan easily outsmarts the brutish men, saves the emperor, and wins the heart of the general. This is one of few examples of consensual relations in the military. By comparison, women in the modern American military fight an Invisible War.
Lesson: Gender roles are overrated–anyone’s capable of changing the world.
9. A Bug’s Life
In a regimented world, one ant has an idea. Rather than blindly following orders, he seeks ways to make things more efficient for the entire colony, which annoys literally everyone but his best friend. When the grasshoppers attack, however, the ants rally around the quirky one to defeat their formidable foes and reinvigorate the colony.
Lesson: Listen to your employees; you never know what great ideas they may have.
In the prequel to Ice Age, God punishes the dinosaurs for having been placed on Earth by the Devil for the sole purpose of tricking scientists into debunking Christianity. Somehow the cursed demons survive just a smidge longer.
Lesson: Evolution happened…deal with it.